City of London self-guided walk

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

Tower Bridge, London
Finish your walk at the iconic Tower Bridge

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

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.

This section of the walk also takes in such famous London landmarks as the Golden Hinde ship, Southwark Cathedral, The London Dungeon, HMS Belfast and finishing at the iconic Tower Bridge.

With a good London street map or map app on your phone you'll have no problem following this walk and be fully equipped to make interesting diversions and adaptations with confidence.

City of London Walk map

City of London Self Guided Walk Map

Tate Modern Art Gallery

Tate Modern London
Tate Modern

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.

The Globe

Globe Theatre, London
Shakespeare's 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.

Golden Hinde galleon

Muggles walking tour, London visiting Golden Hinde ship
See the Golden Hinde ship on the Walking Tour for Muggles

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.

The Golden Hinde features as the Durmstrang ship on the popular Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles.

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral, London
Southwark Cathedral

Exit the square at its western end, opposite the Guildhall itself into Aldermanbury, turning right. Then turn left into Love Lane, then immediately right into Wood Lane, then left again along a major road, (London Wall).

Continue to the roundabout about 200m down the road.

The London Museum is one of the most well hidden museums in London. You are now surrounded by tall modern buildings. The London Museum is physically in an elevated position up above the north eastern corner of the roundabout.

Best strategy is just to follow the signs to the museum along the maze of walkways. The museum itself is open 7 days a week and has free entrance. It has over a million exhibits telling the story of London and is very professionally done. There is also a section of the original London Wall.

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon, London
The 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 Tussauds. 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

HMS Belfast by Tower Bridge, London
HMS Belfast with Tower Bridge in background

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

Tower Bridge, London
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.

Buy tickets to Tower Bridge Exhibition


This is the end of Stage three of the London City Walk.

For the other stages please see:

Stage 1 Tower of London to the Bank of England

Stage 2 Bank to St Paul's


London Eye Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.
The Shard Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.
St Paul's Cathedral Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Westminster Abbey Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Tower of London Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.
Madame Tussauds See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.
London Dungeon The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.
Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.
The London Zoo World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.

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