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The Southbank Centre London
South Bank
London SE1
TfL Fare Zone 1.
The Southbank Centre is made up of a number of venues, all separate entities but brought together under the one name.
Built on the site of the 1950s' Festival of Britain, the only remaining original building is the Royal Festival Hall. Between 1965-68 The Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room were added to the site. The Southbank Centre is the overall administrative body and handles bookings and enquiries for all venues.
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall (RFH) is the venue for concerts, ballet and talks. Its position overlooking the Thames and the lights of London makes it a great place to visit. Unusually the RFH has an open foyer policy which means that the public are free to enjoy the foyer spaces even when there is no performance. You can relax with a glass of wine on the Festival Terrace and watch the passing parade.
The RFH underwent extensive refurbishment to improve the acoustics, flexibility of the auditorium, access, catering facilities, and the general fabric of the building. New public spaces were created and public art installed. The Queen’s Walk now passes in front of the building.
For details of opening times, ticket bookings and access go to the Royal Festival Hall article in this website.
Hayward Gallery
The Hayward Gallery is an art gallery which has no permanent collection of its own. Its primary purpose is to host three or four major temporary exhibitions a year. These exhibitions can be from any period but the Hayward has a long history of presenting work by the world's most adventurous and innovative artists, including Performance Art. There is always an admission charge for the gallery.
For details of current exhibitions, opening times, admission charges and access, go to the Hayward Gallery article in this website
Queen Elizabeth Hall
The Queen Elizabeth Hall (QEH) and Purcell Room hold daily music and dance performances. Classical, jazz and avant-garde music is performed. The QEH holds over 900 people but the Purcell Room is strictly a small recital venue accommodating only 370.
A walkway from the Royal Festival Hall terrace gives access to the main foyer of the QEH. The entrance is a horizontal slit in the great concrete bulk of the building. Six pairs of cast aluminium doors give entry to the surprisingly intimate foyer.
The recent refurbishment of the whole Southbank Centre complex has included the QEH and Purcell Room.
Contact, Further Information & Bookings
Getting There
Find the best route for getting to Southbank Centre by visiting TfL Journey Planner page.
- By Underground
The closest Underground tube stations are Waterloo on the south bank of the Thames and Embankment (on the north bank of the Thames – just a walk across the Hungerford Footbridge). Services are frequent.
Waterloo Station         Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee, Waterloo & City lines
(Step-free access)
Embankment Station    Bakerloo, Northern, Circle and District lines
-By Mainline Rail
(Step-free access)
Waterloo East
(Step-free access)
- By bus
Bus number RV1 stops on Belvedere Road.
Bus routes 76, 77, 211, 341, 381, 507, N381, N76 and RV1 all stop on York Road, a 5 minutes’ walk away.
Bus routes 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 521, N1, N68, N171 and N343 stop on Waterloo Bridge, a 2 minutes’ walk away.
- By Rver
Boats stop at Festival Pier, going to St Katherine’s Pier, Bankside and Westminster.
Google Maps - The Southbank Centre


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