London audio tour: Southwark: London's Historic Entertainment District

Southwark: London's Historic Entertainment District

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

On this walk we follow in the footsteps of Chaucer and Shakespeare across London Bridge to the south bank of the Thames. Here is the district of Southwark, which used to have a murky reputation, as it provided the entertainment, manufacture and trade that City dwellers wanted but were not permitted within the boundaries of the City. You will visit ancient inns, churches, hospitals, markets and prisons, covering nearly 2,000 years of London history. The walk ends at the massive former Bankside Power Station, now converted into one of London's top tourist attractions - the Tate Modern Art Gallery.

Excerpt from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Rebecca Dittman, is courtesy of Librivox.

Tour Producer


Brian Cookson

After qualifying as a Russian Interpreter during National Service, I obtained a BA in Russian and German at Oxford University. I spent most of my working life as a computer consultant, mainly working for IBM. When I retired, I qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide. I lead guided walking tours all over London and have written two books - 'London Waterside Walks' and 'Crossing the River', published by Mainstream.

Information on my tours and lectures can be found at

Major Landmarks

  • Monument to the Great Fire of London

  • St Magnus-the-Martyr

  • London's Tower Bridge

  • Southwark Cathedral

  • The London George Inn

  • The Shard

  • Golden Hind

  • Clink Prison Museum

  • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

  • Tate Modern

Directions to Starting Point

The walk starts just outside Monument Undedrground Station which is on the Circle and District Line. Take the Monument exit from the station.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Food and drink are available at the Mudlark pub, the George Inn, the Anchor Inn, and the Globe Theatre restaurant as well as numerous bars and cafes along the South Bank.
Any of the major landmarks mentioned can be visited, but check opening times.

Best time of day

This walk is enjoyable any time of day, including evenings. However if you want to go inside any of the attractions, you should check their opening times.


Be careful about pickpockets anywhere in London.


Great tour - even as a resident of Southwark, I learnt plenty of new (and very interesting) information

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 3 years ago


Posted by Brian , about 3 years ago

It was an interesting walk, although I had to take out my phone a couple of times because the directions were unclear/weren't told until I was part the point of referenced..

Posted by Sietske van Vugt , over 4 years ago

Thanks for your comment, Sietske, and I am glad you found it interesting. Sorry about the directions. I have had difficulty with GPS in Southwark especially as the route goes back on itself. I will retest it and see if directions can be clearer.

Posted by Brian , over 4 years ago

Great history of London south bank

Posted by Kent , about 5 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Southwark: London's Historic Entertainment District