One of the reasons I wanted to study abroad in London was to experience the world-famous culture and history of the city. If you choose Britannia South Bank as your student accommodation, London’s attractions are literally on your doorstep. Better yet – so much can be explored for free.
Here are my recommendations for a day spent enjoying the quirky attractions of the South Bank, without having to spend a penny.
House of Vans
Start your day by walking the fifteen minutes from Britannia South Bank to the House of Vans. The Vans brand, famous for its shoes, has taken over the Old Vic tunnels and turned this underground space into a music venue, cinema, gallery, cafe and epic skate park. It’s a cool hangout for skaters, artists and music lovers.
Better yet, the cinema puts on free showings giving out tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. This means you need to get there early to get your free ticket. They show all sorts of movies and documentaries, from 1980s cult comedies to indy short films.
Once you’ve hung out in the House of Vans, head out into the sunshine of the South Bank. In a couple of minutes you can be standing on Westminster Bridge, with the iconic Houses of Parliament in front of you, the London Eye to your right and the Thames flowing beneath you. It’s the perfect opportunity to take some photos with your friends and appreciate the variety of London’s architecture.
It’s a ten-minute walk along the beautiful South Bank to reach the Southbank Centre. This arts centre hosts a variety of events and exhibitions all throughout the year. During my time in London I found out by accident that there are often free music performances in the bars and public spaces.
I would particularly recommend going along to Friday Tonic, a series of performances in the early evening that feature up-and-coming artists from a range of genres. If you’re open to hearing new things, sit down with a drink and enjoy the show for free.
You will definitely have noticed the National Theatre on your walk down the South Bank. The huge, concrete, Modernist building is not everyone’s cup of tea (take a look at this blog post if you’re confused by that phrase!) but it is an icon of London’s cultural scene.
I love that you can go to the Sherling High Level Walkway inside the National Theatre free of charge and spy on the production workshops. I have spent so much time watching from above as teams of skilled people create props, sets and costumes for the theatre.
My final recommendation is to walk a further seven minutes to Gabriel’s Wharf. This is my favourite place for window shopping – the cute painted shop fronts make it pretty as a picture. If you don’t mind spending some money you can find some special gifts for your loved ones back home in the independent shops and boutiques.
Even if you’re not buying anything, make sure you visit Skylark Galleries inside the Oxo Tower. It hosts free art exhibitions including paintings, prints and sculptures.
Who would have thought that all of these free attractions could be found within a few minutes of your student accommodation? London is truly a diverse and fascinating place to study. To find out more about all of the amazing spaces, events and attractions of the South Bank, take a look here.
Are You Having Difficulty Choosing The Right Student Accommodation For You?
Britannia Student Services offers the best range of student accommodation London has to offer. If you would like to make the South Bank your home while studying in the city, get in touch with their expert team to start organising your stay.