A walk along the river’s South Bank from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge is a pleasant mile-and-a-half stroll that can include stops at the London Eye, Tate Modern, and the 250-year-old, four-acre Borough food market (Friday and Saturday under the railway arches opposite Southward Cathedral). Cross the pedestrian-only steel suspension Millennium Bridge and take in Baroque St. Paul’s Cathedral (Sir Christopher Wren designed it in 1673); the Thames; Norman Foster’s futuristic Greater London Authority building (home to Mayor Boris Johnson by day); Tower Bridge; and the recently gentrified warehouses and restaurants at Butler’s Wharf and Shad Thames. Delight in breathtaking vistas of the City (financial district) and its new architecture—most notably the office building at 30 St. Mary Axe (a.k.a. ‘the erotic gherkin’ to Londoners).
Insider Tip: Save time for the South Bank Book Market underneath Waterloo Bridge; it’s the place to score second-hand editions (free entry; open daily).