London Bridge –– Southwark –Bermondsey – South Bank – Waterloo- Westminster – Lambeth
If day one and day two were about a London riverside in development, day three was about a riverside that belongs to tourists, and the day started as it meant to go on with at least five different “river fun runs” underway. It didn’t help that it was a Sunday either. Crowds of tourists of all nationalities, strings and strings of riverside runners, and hustle and bustle. This wasn’t the Thames that we saw the day before. It took some negotiation to make our way along the riverside at this point. So many runners and tourists!
Exiting London Bridge station takes you directly into Hays Galleria, a large shopping center for tourists, mostly.
The London Bridge. Not very spectacular, is it? However there are many other much more impressive bridges all within a short distance of one another along this stretch of the Thames
Southwark Cathedral is the first major point of interest after you cross London Bridge. Parts of it date back to the 12th century and its well worth a visit if you have time. We didn’t….to busy dodging all the pesky joggers!
Like Greenwich, Southwark is steeped in history and you could easily spend half a day looking around. We hustled past the second of the historic ships that weekend. First the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, and here the Golden Hind.
Passing Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind….past more of those joggers….
Southwark Bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background
Every inch of the city seemed alive in this section of town on a Sunday. Even the banks of the Thames, exposed at low tide, were covered in people. This crowd seemed to be “mudlarking” (searching through the mud for buried treasures.)
Further down the bank at Southwark is the Globe Theatre, a marvelous reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre. One of these days I would love to see a performance there.
A little further along from the Globe Theatre, the Millennium Bridge comes into view. Built in 2000 as the name suggests, this pedestrian bridge goes from the South Bank to the heart of the city and St Paul’s Cathedral
Another diversion….had to cross the Millennium Bridge as I had never done it before. Great view down the Thames!
Looking back to Tower Bridge
Yep…yet more people. Millennium Bridge was packed. That’s what you get for going out on a Sunday!
Back on the South Bank heading towards Waterloo
Around the South Bank there are so many activities going on. This is the skateboarding park under the bridge
At the Royal Festival Hall. London Eye coming up in the distance
Street entertainers galore. These guys were doing a trick bicycle routine opposite the houses of parliament. But there were also singers, mime artists and jugglers….tourist heaven!
Close up on the London Eye
A better view of the Houses of Parliament
Finally as we passed under Lambeth Bridge, a view of Lambeth Palace, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the end to the day’s excursion
We ended Day 3 in the area where tourist London also drops off. Further down the river, away from the main attractions, there will still be crowded riverside days at weekends, but it will mostly be Londoners, not tourists, that we will come across. However, when we pick the trail again from Lambeth Bridge, I imagine it won’t be until 2015. You never know, but I don’t think I can make it back to the UK next year, but I look forward to picking up the trail again…. watch this space!