Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
South London is the area of Greater London south of the River Thames. It has fewer historic sites and important government and business sites than North London, because London grew out of the cities of Westminster and London, both north of the river.
There are many notable places in South London. The south bank of the Thames in central London has the London Eye, Lambeth Palace, the Tate Modern gallery, the Saatchi Collection of contemporary art, The Globe Theatre, Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park. Clustered around Waterloo Bridge the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, the British Film Institute and the Hayward Gallery are often collectively referred to as the South Bank arts complex.
Further afield are:
- Brixton, known for clubbing and live music.
- Dulwich Picture Gallery, Britain's oldest public art gallery.
- Kennington Park, site of public execution and a 'speakers corner'.
- Kew Gardens
- Richmond Park, Europe's largest city park.
- Wimbledon, home of the tennis championship.
- The maritime history of Greenwich, with the Prime Meridian.
In general South London is less densely built-up and has more open spaces and parks than the North. Londoners tend to consider themselves as belonging to one or the other side of the city. Some South Londoners complain that people from North London look down on and ignore them and their region. Peter Sellers famously joked about South London in his sketch Bal-ham: The Gateway To The South.
The London Underground network is largely concentrated in North London — there are only 30 stations south of the river compared to many times that north of it, despite roughly equal populations. Historically this was due to the early development of an effective electrically powered surface railway system in South London, and not unsuitable geology as is sometimes suggested. It meant that for decades there was a separation of public rail transport networks on either side of the Thames. With the Jubilee Line extension in the late 1990s and the proposed East London Line Extension the integration of transport systems across the Thames is starting to be rectified.
South London consists of the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton, and Wandsworth. The London Borough of Richmond straddles the river, and is more often thought of as being part of West London.
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