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City of London self-guided walk

Stage 3 St Paul's Cathedral to Globe Theatre and Tower Bridge

Millennium Bridge London from St  Paul's Cathedral

Millennium Bridge London from St Paul's Cathedral

We left stage 2 of our walk crossing the Millennium Bridge from St Paul's Cathedral over to the south bank of the Thames.


Invest in a good London street map (the London A-Z series has a great range of suitable street maps) readily available in all news stands and shops and you'll have no problem following this walk and be fully equipped to make interesting diversions and adaptations with confidence.

Two buildings will have caught your eye on the opposite south bank of the River Thames as you crossed the bridge. The large square building is the Tate Modern Art Gallery, a former electricity generating station for London. Slightly to the left is the medieval building of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Tate Modern Art Gallery

Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern art and also houses a collection of British art from the 1500s. The building's vast size becomes apparent when you enter via the dramatic turbine hall which is 152 metres long!


The collection of modern and contemporary art represents all the major movements from Fauvism. It includes important masterpieces by both Picasso and Matisse and surrealist works by Dalí, Ernst, Magritte and Mirò.


Like many of London's largest art galleries, the Tate is free to enter. We have a dedicated page looking at London's art galleries.

Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire. The modern reconstruction of the Globe Theatre in front of you was opened in 1997.


The theatre puts on plays in a season that normally runs from May to October and sometimes over the Christmas period. Just like the original, the cheap seats are standing. Tours of the theatre and an exhibition are available at all times of the year.

Once you have visited either or both the Globe and Tate follow the river eastward back towards Tower Bridge along the pedestrian path. A little way after the Globe Theatre is a riverside pub to refresh you for the final sector of the walk.


This whole area up to Tower Bridge was recently just a district of old warehouses, but in recent years has been rejuvenated into a very attractive district, very atmospheric in places and full of interest.


The path goes under Southwark Bridge. You may see signs for Vinopolis, a rather out of context tourist attraction down a side road offering wine tours.

City of London Self Guided Walk Map

Clink Street

The path then veers a little inland into an atmospheric, cobbled lane, Clink Street. The Clink Prison Museum is on the site of the original Clink Prison ("possibly the oldest men's prison and probably the oldest women's prison in England") which held prisoners from the early Tudor years until 1780. Shakespeare visited an old school friend here.


You soon rejoin the river and come across St Mary Overy's Wharf, in which a replica of the Golden Hind resides in dry dock.

Golden Hind

Drake left Plymouth in 1577, the aim of the voyage was for Drake and his men to be the first Englishmen to circumnavigate the globe.


Queen Elizabeth I gave Drake a charter granting him permission to attack and loot ships belonging to England’s enemies – in effect the Spanish.


Due to this charter, Drake and his men regarded themselves as privateers, not pirates – however, enterprisingly the Spanish took a different view and regard him as a pirate to this day.

There is a self-guided tour of the ship available.

Southwark Cathedral

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

The path now bends inland again around a building. On turning the corner, Southwark Cathedral is right in front of you. This historic old cathedral can be visited, there is no admission charge but donations are urged.


William Shakespeare is commemorated by a window and statue in the South Aisle.

You are now coming across London Bridge, the original bridging point of the Thames from 2,000 years ago, (see first stage of walk).


Cross over the busy approach road to London Bridge and take Tooley Street, parallel to the river. London Bridge railway station is over on your right, there is a very atmospheric basement with shops here.

London Dungeon

On your right is the London Dungeon, consisting of a series of set scenes reproducing chilling aspects of medieval London aimed at kids.

The London Dungeon is a more gruesome version of Madame Tussaud's. The attraction consists of a series of set scenes reproducing chilling aspects of medieval London. Expect lots of darkness, dripping water, skeletons, caged rats, tolling bells etc. to add to the atmosphere.


Naturally there are scenes of torture in all its variations.


All are brought to life with special effects very well done, originally conceived for film and TV. Actors add life to the displays and among other things may sentence you personally to death.

Now, carry on along Tooley Street past the London Dungeon. Soon after coming to Hay's Galleria, a modern shopping mall. Walk through the shopping centre to the river on the other side.

HMS Belfast

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Turn right along Queens Walk by the river, Tower Bridge takes your attention. The warship you would have noticed from the opposite bank in stage 1 of the walk is HMS Belfast.


HMS Belfast is a former Royal Navy cruiser from the Second World War. Since 1971, it has been used as a floating Museum.

GLA Building

Next, the modernistic round glass building just before Tower Bridge is the Greater London Authority building. Home of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.


Members of the public may visit parts of the building Monday to Friday.

Tower Bridge

Climb up the steps to Tower Bridge and walk across. The bridge is a visitor attraction which you can tour inside. The entrance is at the tower at the Tower of London side of the bridge, on the side facing the Tower of London.

Complete the walk by walking to the end of the bridge and around the Tower of London to Tower Hill Underground Station.

Links To Three Stages Of Walk




Original London Tour hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses

Original London Tour Open Top Sightseeing Bus

For the vast majority of visitors to London, the way you get about town on a day to day basis is by the London Underground, perhaps supplemented by the occasional red London bus using an Oyster or Travelcard.


But, especially for the first time visitor to London, the popular hop on, hop off sightseeing buses are a great orientation to the city of London getting you up to speed on the layout and spotting new places of interest you were not aware of.


You will have invested a lot of time and money in getting to London so you will want to use your time as efficiently as possible.


The hop on, hop off sightseeing buses are perhaps unrivalled in their ability to give you a speedy informed orientation to the layout of London. They also help you identify new locations that appeal to you, perhaps pointed out by the on-board guide and also give the once over those attractions you had always planned on visiting.


These buses offer comprehensive coverage covering nearly all the main sights in London. The popularity of the buses means there is one along every few minutes and you get a grandstand view perched up on the top deck of the bus.


In addition to the bus tour a river cruise and some free walking tours are all part of the deal.

Key Points of Original London Tour:

  • Tickets valid for 24/48/72 hours
  • Three major bus tour routes supplemented by feeder services
  • FREE walking tours! (three of them)
  • FREE Thames River Cruise
  • FREE Wi-Fi on buses
  • Hop-on and hop-off service with stops at all the attractions
  • Kids' Club activity pack and commentary - currently the only London tour company to offer this
  • English live guides + audio guides (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic & Brazilian Portuguese.)

Original London Tour Tickets

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