Area guide

Located in central South London, Pure Bankside has the Southbank on its doorstep, a two-mile procession on the edge of the Thames of largely state-funded arts and entertainment venues and events, including many of London’s most famous cultural attractions.

Pure Bankside benefits from an enviable location and is an excellent place to call home, this is reflected in the hugely diverse range of local attractions and hidden gems that are located close by. To familiarise yourself with your new neighbourhood and its surrounding area, this guide will give you essential information about local hotspots, key travel information and tips on living in London.


London Aquarium (20 mins walk)

Right beside the iconic London Eye, London Aquarium is home to hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from all over the world, including stingrays, sharks, piranhas and sea scorpions. The highlight of the aquarium is the Shark Walk, which allows visitors to walk over a glass platform with sharks swimming just below their feet!

Tate Modern (7 mins walk)

Thanks to its industrial architecture, this powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter. Once inside the building, the first thing you see is the main turbine hall, now a huge cavernous creative spacethat hosts large scale artworks and from time-to-time, large scale events. The main galleries that jut out from the turbine hall house temporary installations. Beyond, permanent exhibitions draw from the Tate’s collections of modern art and feature heavy hitters such as Matisse, Rothko and Beuys. Artwork within the Tate is grouped according to movement (Surrealism, Minimalism, Post-war abstraction) rather than by theme.

The Globe (9 mins walk)

The original Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare's plays were first staged burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of 'Henry VIII'. Nearly 400 years later, it was rebuilt not far from its original site. Performance season runs from April to October and the open-air, free-standing yard is the best bet for those after complete authenticity – the absence of seating may test your stamina but tickets are excellent value – while the Middle and Upper Galleries afford a (marginally more comfortable) atmosphere of their own.

The Shard (12 mins walk)

The Shard is the tallest building in London and towers over London Bridge on the edge of the Thames. Here you can find a range of high end restaurants located high up in the tower that offer stunning views over the city, a great place to go and enjoy a drink when the sun is setting and the city is lighting up. At the very top, there is also a viewing platform, although to get to the top, it is fairly pricey.

Food & Bars

Borough Market (8 mins walk)

Possibly the largest and oldest food market in London, Borough Market is a mixing pot of excellent international and British foods. Venders offer free samples of their produce, so you can potter about tasting a wide range of fantastic foods. The market is also largely covered thanks to nearby London Bridge Station and therefore is a suitable destination in all weather conditions. The place is always busy and a fantastic place to make new culinary discoveries.

Gordons (25 mins walk)

The capital's oldest wine bar, established in 1890, is housed in atmospheric subterranean rooms that offer one of the quintessential London experiences.When the subterranean rooms are crammed, which is often, it can get distinctly warm in the semi-darkness, but a drink or two here remains a classic London experience. And on Sundays there is a traditional roast served with mash, veg, and Yorkshire pudding.

Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café (18 mins walk)

The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, designed by the Eden Project, is the place to be for stunning views of London.A true oasis at the heart of Southbank Centre with beautiful riverside views, a bar and café, allotments, fruit trees and wild flowers, the Roof Garden is one of London’s best-kept secrets. It is open to the public until late September.


What the butler wore (16 mins walk)

This brilliantly named store specialises in ’60s and ’70s fashion for men and women. Sandwiched between two cafes on Waterloo’s Lower Marsh Street, the small but well stocked shop sells everything you need to pull off a polished retro look. Friendly staff are more than happy to let you rummage – particularly in the back where the furs, capes and evening dresses are kept alongside costume jewellery and accessories.

Southbank Centre Book Market (18 mins walk)

London’s very own bouquinistes: endless second-hand books, maps and old prints on a collection of stalls on the South Bank. Southbank Centre's Book Market is one of London's best kept secrets. Tucked under the Waterloo Bridge on Queen's Walk, it's one of the only outdoor second-hand and antique book markets in southern England. It's open daily, rain or shine, with a wide selection of paperbacks and hardcover to choose from.

Lower Marsh Market (15 mins walk)

A street market since Victorian times, there’s some quality veg, women’s clothes, decent jewellery and vintage shops.The whole road is host to some of the finest independent shops and stalls in the capital.

Getting Around

By Tube: Pure Bankside is only a 6 minute walk to Southwark tube station for the Jubilee line. A further 7 minutes takes you to Waterloo station for the Bakerloo, Northern and Waterloo & City lines. London Bridge is just a short 12 minute walk and is served by the Jubilee, Northern and outer- London rail services. Travelling to and from Heathrow Airport is easy using the Piccadilly line to Green Park, changing to the Jubilee line to Southwark station all in about 55 minutes.

By Bus:You can access most areas of the city by bus from the Southwark area.Buses number 45 & 63 head north toward King’s Cross.  RV1 is the central city loop. Number 100 takes you East of the city and numbers 381 & 63 head South West. Bus number 45 goes directly South.

Cycling:While we have dedicated bicycle storage available on-site, for those that don’t have a bike, London’s bicycle hire scheme there are several docking stations close to Pure Bankside. The first of these is on Union Street just a minutes walk from the building and another is near Southwark tube station.

Getting to the Universities: From Pure Bankside, LSE and King’s College are an easy bus ride away on the RV1 or a pleasant 30 minute stroll across the Thames. London South Bank University is a 15 minute walk away.