How scary is the London Eye

An accessible day on London's South Bank

South Bank is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to London as it is home to some of the most famous attractions such as the London Eye, Southbank Center, Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe.

Access to the South Bank was improved ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics with advanced walkways, ramps, benches and other innovations.

Many of the area's attractions have great facilities and services for disabled guests. Follow our suggestions and experience an unforgettable day on London's South Bank.

getting there

The closest station, Waterloo, has good connections for the London Underground, trains and buses. Waterloo is partly step-free (details can be found in English on the Transport for London Waterloo Station page). If you prefer to take the bus, please see the same page.

There are several parking lots on the South Bank, such as under the Southbank Center and under the Royal National Theater. With a disability ID (blue badge) you can park here free of charge. Additional parking spaces on the South Bank.

Mornings: London Eye and River Cruise

Start your day with a ride on the famous London Eye. The view of London will amaze you. Disabled guests receive discounts and special access. Getting into the cabin is easy for wheelchair users and people with mobility problems and one of the employees is always available to help.

There's still plenty to see near the London Eye if you have time. The SEA LIFE London Aquarium is home to one of the largest global exhibits on marine life, with accessible elevators to all floors and disabled toilets on all floors. Find out more about accessible access to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium.

Learn many new spooky stories about the history of London at the London Dungeon. There are terrifying figures and great driving operations. Most of the attractions are handicapped accessible, but there are some restrictions. Find out more on the London Dungeon website.

Admire London from the water and take a boat trip on the Thames. City Cruises, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, and the London Eye River Cruise all operate from the London Eye jetty and have accessible boats for wheelchair users. City Cruises grant discounts for disabled guests - details can be found on the City Cruises website.

After this exciting morning you are sure to be hungry! Treat yourself to lunch at the Skylon Restaurant in the Southbank Center. From here you have a wonderful view of the Thames. The restaurant has an accessible entrance through the Royal Festival Hall. Alternatively, you can stop off at one of the many eateries in the Southbank Center - all of them are wheelchair accessible.

Afternoon: Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe

After lunch you can explore the Southbank Center. There's always something going on here, from free shows to art exhibitions to pop-up gardens. The Hayward Gallery features exciting contemporary art exhibits, and wheelchair users can take the elevator from the parking garage below the gallery. More information can be found here: Hayward Gallery's website.

Art lovers shouldn't miss the Tate Modern, Britain's museum of modern and contemporary art. Admission to the permanent exhibitions is free and disabled people pay reduced prices for the special exhibitions. The gallery has a variety of accessible facilities, from Touch Tours (hands-on tours) and BSL (British Sign Language) tours to spacious toilets with changing rooms. More information can be found here: Tate Modern's website.

Right next to the Tate Modern is Shakespeare's Globe, a realistic replica of the actual theater building, built in 1599, where William Shakespeare worked and where his works were performed. Watch an afternoon show or visit the Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition and Tour to learn more about this unique building. The Globe offers disabled access. Information can be found on The Globe's website.

Evenings: OXO Tower and National Theater


Treat yourself to dinner in the OXO Tower Restaurant, located on the eighth floor of the iconic OXO Tower. Here, too, you are offered a view of the Thames that you will not soon forget. The restaurant serves British and Pan-Asian cuisine and has a spectacular 76-meter terrace. The step-free access leads up from the ground floor via two elevators. Toilets suitable for the disabled are available. Alternatively, you can find more dining options at nearby Gabriel's Wharf.

When it comes to evening entertainment, you are spoiled for choice on the South Bank. Because here are two of London's most famous theaters - the National Theater and the Old Vic. Both have various facilities for disabled guests, such as shows with subtitles and audio. For more information, see their respective websites: National Theater and Old Vic.

Do you love music? Then visit the Royal Festival Hall in the Soutbank Center, one of the world's leading venues. The Southbank Center has four orchestras of its own and hosts various performances and festivals throughout the year. For disabled access please see here: Royal Festival Halls Disabled Access.

Film fans will also get their money's worth here, as there are two British Film Institute venues on the South Bank. BFI Southbank is a world famous film center with four cinemas, a film library, a library and a shop. The BFI Imax, on the other hand, is a cinema with an impressive 26-meter-wide screen. Both offer disabled access for wheelchair users. More details can be found here: BFI Southbank and BFI Imax.

More information on making London accessible to people with disabilities