For those wishing to indulge in a bit of cultural activity or take in a top quality performance, the Southbank Centre on Belvedere Road, London is where they will head. As Europe’s largest and one of its most vibrant centres for the performing and visual arts, the Southbank Centre has something for everyone all year round.
Located on the south bank of the River Thames as the name implies, the centre was created in 1951 for the Festival of Britain and was intended to give a fillip to the collective psyche of the nation. Its mind boggling range of cultural offerings include classical orchestral and choral music performances, plays, circuses, comedy, street and other dance forms, cabaret, acrobatics and mime, varied music genres, poetry and book readings, talks and debates, art exhibitions and events with community participation. It is no wonder that 3 million visitors a year turn up to enjoy the centre’s more than one thousand ticketed performances and 300 free offerings as viewers or participants. A host of restaurants and bars serving up enticing menus for a range of cuisine including Italian, Japanese, Pan-Asian, Chinese, Belgian, Mexican South America, confectionary, sandwiches, mugs of cold beer and coffee whet the appetites of visitors. Al fresco dining in summer here is a great attraction on its own. Inveterate shoppers will be thrilled with the specially designed wares, inspiring children’s toys, 1950s inspired home ware and books that are on offer at several locations.
The Southbank Centre’s offerings throughout the year showcase the talents of thousands of young, emerging and established musicians, artists, poets, playwrights, dancers and all sorts of other performers that make it the leading cultural destination in England. The centre supports four resident orchestras one of which is the renowned London Philharmonic Orchestra, several resident artists and a hundred artistic organisations. It also manages the Arts Council Collection of art and curates the Hayward Touring Exhibition at 100 venues throughout the UK. Among the complex of 68 artistic venues of the centre located on its 21 acre site are the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery, Purcell Room and the Saison Poetry Library. The easiest way to access the centre is through Waterloo and Embankment underground stations.
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Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.