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Some time ago I told you about the best 24 hour places to study in London, and it just so happens that a few cafes open late and foyers are located around Southbank.
What could be a better incentive to tell you about the best places to study in Southbank, especially when I’m addicted to some of the cafes and workspaces there?
In this guide, which looks like it’s going to be quite short in comparison to some other posts about the best cafes to work in London and the best free study spaces in London, I’ll tell you about some of my ultimate favorite places to study in Southbank.
8 Best Places To Study in Southbank from Cafes to Libraries
Before we get started, which station is closest to Southbank?
Well, there are quite a few actually.
Southbank is really close to the Blackfriars station and the London Bridge station (which are the closest stations to Southbank in reality), and St Paul’s and Embankment on the other side of the river.
You can access it pretty easily from Central London as well since Southbank really is just a ten/fifteen-minute walk from Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square stations as well.
There are quite a few good cafes to work in Soho, and all around Covent Garden as well.
Still, if you know you’re meeting someone for an exhibition at the Tate Modern for instance, and want to find a good work spot in Southbank after, these places are going to help you out big time.
Best Places to Study in Southbank London: Southbank Center
The first one, of course, is the Southbank Centre. It can be pretty tricky to understand what the Southbank Centre is compared to the Royal Festival Hall, for instance, or the Poetry Library.
Basically, the Southbank Centre is the biggest European center for the arts, and it’s divided into several spaces inside.
You’ve got the Queen Elizabeth Cafe, the Poetry Library on the 5th Floor, and the foyers of the Royal Festival Hall, which are basically located at street level.
One of the best places to study in Southbank is certainly the Poetry Library, but if you come early enough, the foyers of the Royal Festival Hall are huge, and you’ve got power outlets and free WiFi there.
I did say early, as this is one of the only free study spaces in London, and lots of people gather in the Southbank Centre to work all day long.
Best Cafes To Study in Southbank: BFI Reuben Library
Another one of my favorites and one of the best places to study in Southbank is the BFI Reuben Library. It’s part of the British Film Institute, which means in the library, you’ll find lots of movie and TV resources.
Even if you’re not a film student or professional, this is one of the best free libraries in London to study and entry is completely free.
Right in front, you’ve also got one of the best used bookshops in London, right under the bridge, and lots of different titles.
All you need to do is fill in a registration form when you arrive, and you can sit and study for as long as you wish.
The cubicles of the BFI Reuben Library are something really inspiring in my opinion, as I love getting in the zone while I’m writing, and you really have your own vital space to be productive with work.
Best Places to Study in Southbank London: Tate Modern
That’s not too long of a shot to consider the Tate Modern and its coffee shop to be one of the best places to study in Southbank, at least from what I’ve experienced.
For starters, there are a few plush seats scattered about in the museum on every floor, and the ones towering over the main hall are my favorites to sit down with a notebook or a good book.
But if you need power outlets as well, then you’ll want to go to the top floor, where the Tate Modern has a coffee shop with charging outlets as well as free WiFi.
A lot of people consider this to be a really good study space in Southbank, so I’d definitely tell you to come as early as possible as there are not a lot of power outlets in the Tate Modern cafe.
Best Cafes To Study in Southbank: Caffè Nero
I’ve always had this attraction to the Oxo Tower, just because there are a lot of independent shops there, as well as the Brand Academy store and its own Coffee Academy cafe – delicious hot chocolate to combine with the Crosstown doughnuts they sell.
The Caffè Nero at the bottom of the Oxo Tower is one of the best places to study in Southbank in my opinion, and it’s actually one of my favorite Caffè Nero to work in London.
You’ve got plenty of plush seats and wooden tables, slightly dim lights, and a view of the river. Then, you’ve also got power outlets a bit everywhere in the coffee shops and free WiFi – what more could we ask for?
It also closes almost every day at 10 pm, and at 10.30 pm two or three days a week – the perfect cafe to work all around, and you’ll find quite a lot of people working on their laptops there.
Best Places to Study in Southbank London: Pret a Manger
There are a few Pret coffee shops around London Bridge and Southbank, and even one right next to the Foyles bookshop, but the one I want to tell you about is located right next to the Southwark Bridge.
Aside from the Pret on Borough High Street and the one on Southwark Bridge, the other Pret cafes in the area are nothing special – especially not the one in Waterloo, which is the worst in terms of WiFi I’ve been given to work at.
If you’re looking for the best places to study in Southbank, you’ve got this Pret, next to the Southwark Bridge.
Best Cafes To Study in Southbank: Host Cafe
Bit of a long shot with Host Cafe, but I’ve been given to work there for a bit, and I absolutely loved it.
I mentioned it in my guide to the best cafes to study in Covent Garden, the Strand and St Paul’s, and indeed, Host Cafe is on the other side of the river.
Really close to St Paul’s Cathedral, and still one of the best places to study in Southbank since all you have to do is cross the Millenium Bridge and walk for a few minutes to reach it.
Host Cafe is set inside the St Mary Aldermary Church, and it’s probably one of the most unexpected and instagrammable cafes in London.
If you’re just coming for an hour or so, just get your drink or your bite and you’re good.
If you’re coming for a half-day or a full workday, Host Cafe offers a set fee which also includes specific coworking seats with power outlets, free WiFi, and refillable drinks.
Best Places to Study in Southbank London: National Theatre Espresso Bar
If you’re looking for places to study in Southbank open late, you’ve got the National Theatre foyers.
They’re open until 11 pm most days of the week, but if you’re actually really holding on to the thought of working at a cafe, check out the National Theatre Espresso bar.
Given the nature of the space, this is the perfect place to study in Southbank if what you need are a quiet background, free WiFi, and power outlets.
The National Theatre Espresso bar closes pretty early during the day though; at 5.30 pm, you’ll have to move to another spot in the hall or one of the foyers.
Still one of the good study spots on Southbank, and I can’t believe I haven’t started visiting sooner.
Best Cafes To Study in Southbank: Black Sheep Coffee
I’m still to write a full guide to the best Black Sheep Coffee cafes to work in London, but to start with, we’ve got a great one in Southbank Central.
It’s not too far from the Tate Modern and the Thames river, and you’ve got free WiFi, and power outlets scattered throughout the coffee shop, and clearly, it’s one of the best places to study in Southbank.
Just because the Black Sheep Coffee cafes are usually quite spacious, offer that wooden setting I’m in love with, and they’re really underrated in terms of study spaces.
8 Best Places To Study in Southbank from Cafes to Libraries
There you have them, all the best places to study in Southbank from libraries to foyers, and of course, the best cafes to work around Southbank, St Paul’s and Blackfriars!
Hopefully, you’ll have found here all you need to be super productive when you don’t want to work from home. If you know of any more study spaces in Southbank, shoot me an email!
Until next time!
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