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Queen's Walk - between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge

Waterloo Bridge, London, SE1 8XT

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Access Guide

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Introduction -The Queen's Walk - between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge

  • This guide gives access information for the section of the South Bank between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge and onwards to Blackfriars Station, just east of Blackfriars Bridge, along the Queen's Walk.
  • The walkway between the two bridges forms part of the Western Loop of the Jubilee Walkway.
  • The Jubilee Walkway is an official walking route in London and the Western Loop is the longest part of it.
  • The distance of the section of the walkway between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge is approximately 800 metres, with a further 100m to Blackfriars Station.
  • This section of the Jubilee Walkway is called The Queen's Walk.
  • The walkway has a mainly flagstone paving surface and runs parallel to the River Thames, past the National Theatre, Gabriel's Wharf and the OXO Tower Wharf.
  • Access to the walkway from Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridges is by steps.
  • There are several step-free access points to the walkway from Upper Ground which runs parallel to the river.
  • The potential hazards along the walkway include; busy pathways, trees, bollards, cyclists, temporary kiosks and street furniture.
  • Please click here if you would like to view the TFL Map for the Western Loop of the Jubilee Walkway (opens in new tab).

Getting Here

Related London South Bank Venues (Oxo Tower Wharf)

Related London South Bank Venues (National Theatre)

Related London South Bank Venues (Gabriel's Wharf)

Related London South Bank Venues (Sea Containers London Hotel)

Related London South Bank Venues (Bernie Spain Gardens)

Related London South Bank Venues (BFI Southbank)

Access From (Waterloo Bridge)

  • Description View
    • There are steps to access The Queen's Walk from both the west and east sides of Waterloo Bridge.
      Please note that there are barriers between the footpath and the road on Waterloo Bridge which prevent pedestrians from crossing the road on the bridge.
  • Stairs View
    • There are 69 steps (in sets of 10, 17, 17 and 15 with landings between) to access The Queen's Walk from the west side of Waterloo Bridge (shown in photographs 1-4).
      There is access from the midway landing of these stairs to the Royal Festival Hall Terrace level.
      There are clearly marked bollards at the foot of the stairs with a central gap of 110cm (shown in photograph 5).
      There are similar steps down from the east side of Waterloo Bridge (shown in photographs 6-8).
      There are 70 steps in total (in sets of 11, 17, 17 and 15 with landings between).
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • Handrails are not at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a landing.
  • Comments View
    • From Waterloo Bridge level, the step-free route to The Queen's Walk is to continue along the bridge towards the traffic roundabout with the IMAX Cinema at its centre.
    • On the east side of the bridge, an access road connects the roundabout with Belvedere Road and Upper Ground from where there are routes through to The Queen's Walk.

Access From (Blackfriars Bridge - West Side)

  • Description View
    • There is stepped access from the west side of Blackfriars Bridge to The Queen's Walk.
      The steps are next to Doggett's pub and join The Queen's Walk next to the foot tunnel under Blackfriars Bridge (shown in photograph 7).
  • Stairs View
    • There are bollards with good colour contrast on Blackfriars Bridge on the approach to the steps (shown in photograph 1).
      There are 25 steps in total, with 2 on the approach to the main sets of 13 and 8 steps with a landing between each set.
      There are entrances into the pub off the landings.
      .
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a landing.
  • Comments View
    • The nearest route to bypass these steps is to turn from Blackfriars Road into Upper Ground and approach Queen's Walk using Marigold Alley.

Access From (Blackfriars Bridge - East Side)

  • Description View
    • There is stepped access from the east side of Blackfriars Bridge to The Queen's Walk.
      This is near to one of the entrances to Blackfriars Station.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope does not bypass the step(s).
  • Stairs View
    • The stairs are off a paved area to the east of Blackfriars Bridge.
      There are 25 steps (in sets of 11 and 14 with a landing between).
      The railings to each side of the steps are 160cm high, too high to serve as handrails.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are not between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are not clearly marked.
    • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • There is a landing.
  • Comments View
    • There are bollards with good colour contrast on Blackfriars Bridge on the approach to the steps and at the top of the flight.
    • The nearest route to bypass these steps is to cross Blackfriars Road into Upper Ground and approach The Queen's Walk using Marigold Alley.

Access Points (Upper Ground to The Queen's Walk - National Theatre)

  • Access Point View
    • The access point between the BFI Southbank National Film Theatre and the National Theatre is known as Theatre Avenue.
      This is the first step-free access point between Upper Ground and The Queen's Walk to the east of Waterloo Bridge (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
    • This route is mostly level, with a slight uphill slope towards The Queen's Walk at the end (shown in photographs 3-5).
      In this area, there is direct access from Theatre Avenue to the forecourt of the National Theatre.
      This bypasses the three steps between the forecourt and the general level of The Queen's Walk (shown in photograph 6).
    • Access point types include; open gap(s) .
    • There is a National Theatre signpost where Theatre Avenue meets Upper Ground.
      There is no seating in Theatre Avenue, but there are some concrete benches on the forecourt of the National Theatre.
    • There are large bollards across the service vehicle road and the footpath at the Upper Ground end of the route.
      Some of these can be lowered to give service vehicle access, but otherwise the route is pedestrianised.
      Some of these bollards have a contrast colour band (shown in photograph 7).
      At The Queen's Walk end of Theatre Avenue there are fixed bollards which contrast with the background (shown in photograph 8).
  • Ramp/Slope View
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    • There is a similar access point further to the east on Upper Ground, between the National Theatre and the IBM Building (shown in photographs 9-14).
      The entrances to the Dorfman Theatre and Clore Learning Centre are off this route.
      This route is also mostly level, with a slight ramp without handrails where it meets The Queen's Walk.
      The path surface is stone slabs and block paving.
      There are some bollards with good colour contrast, flagpoles, raised flower beds and trees in this area.
      There are also some metal bench seats.
    • There is a third access point between the IBM Building and the former London TV Studios building (shown in photograph 15).
      There are low bollards at the entrance to this route from Upper Ground (shown in photograph 16).
      There are high bollards with good colour contrast on the approach to the ramp and steps from The Queen's Walk (shown in photograph 17).
      The surface of the route is block paving.
      The ramp, near to Queen's Walk, is steep and has a handrail to the left going up (shown in photograph 19).
  • Step(s) View
    • The ramp bypasses the 8, medium unmarked steps (shown in photograph 20).
      The steps have handrails to both sides.

Access Point (Upper Ground to The Queen's Walk - Bernie Spain Gardens)

  • Access Point View
    • This access route links Upper Ground with The Queen's Walk through Bernie Spain Gardens.
      This is between Gabriel's Wharf and OXO Tower Wharf.
      The gardens offer a pleasant place to rest away from the busy riverside area.
      There are several routes through the gardens with grassed areas and trees between the paths.
      There is open access into the gardens from Upper Ground through bollards or an opening without a gate (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
    • There is ramped/sloped access at this access point.
    • There is open access.
    • There are bollards at this access point.
    • The bollards contrast visually with the paving.
    • The minimum width between the bollards is 115cm.
    • There are two further entry points into the gardens where there are gates fixed open with a minimum opening of 130cm (shown in photographs 3-5).
      There is open access into the gardens with no barriers from The Queen's Walk.
      There are several bench seats, some with armrests, in this area (shown in photographs 6 and 7).
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located on the paths within the gardens, uphill from Upper Ground towards The Queen's Walk.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
  • Comments View
    • Some of the sloping paths are long and without resting places (shown in photographs 8 -10).
    • There are some uneven areas where there are decorative stone blocks set into the tarmac paths.
    • There is a level grassed area at the centre of the gardens.
    • Photograph 12 shows one of the Southbank information boards next to the path.

Access Point (Barge House Street to The Queen's Walk - OXO Tower Wharf/ Sea Containers Building)

  • Access Point View
    • This pedestrian route connects The Queen's Walk with Barge House Street at its junction with Upper Ground.
      This is between OXO Tower Wharf and the Sea Containers Building.
      The path is level with stone paving until the level change at the Barge House Street end.
      There is some low level planting which projects out into the walkway near to the ramp and steps (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this access point.
    • There is open access.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located where the path meets Barge House Street (shown in photographs 3 and 4).
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located to the left of the ramp as you approach from Barge House Street (shown in photographs 5 and 6).
    • There is/are 3 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
    • The step(s) has/have tactile paving at the top and bottom.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 16cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
  • Comments View
    • There are two alternative routes between The Queen's Walk and Barge House Street, through the OXO Tower courtyard.
    • Both of these routes include steep ramps without handrails between the courtyard and Barge House Street (shown in photographs 7 and 8).

Access Point (Upper Ground to The Queen's Walk - Marigold Alley)

  • Access Point View
    • Marigold Alley is a pedestrian route between The Queen's Walk and Upper Ground, to the east of the Sea Containers building.
      The route provides the nearest step-free access between Blackfriars Road/Blackfriars Bridge and Blackfriars Station.
      There are two ramps, about 20m apart.
      The sets of steps are next to the ramps.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this access point.
    • There is open access.
    • There is an information board/map at this access point.
    • A TFL 'Legible London' signpost is located at the Upper Ground end of Marigold Alley.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located alongside each of the two ramps.
    • There is/are 2 steps, then a second set of 3 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
    • The step(s) has/have tactile paving at the top and bottom.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 17cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.

Access Point (Hopton Street to The Queen's Walk/Blackfriars Station)

  • Access Point View
    • This access point connects Hopton Street with The Queen's Walk, next to an entrance to Blackfriars Station.
      This is the first step-free access point to The Queen's Walk east of Marigold Alley, as there is no step-free access at Blackfriars Bridge.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this access point.
    • There is open access.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located alongside the Falcon Point building, at the end of Hopton Street, leading up to The Queen's Walk.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The width of the ramp/slope is 120cm (3ft 11in).
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located between the ramp and the station building.
    • There is/are 6 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
    • The step(s) has/have tactile paving at the top and bottom.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are not between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 14cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a second lower handrail.

The Queen's Walk - General Access - Waterloo Bridge to Gabriel's Wharf

  • The area in front of the National Theatre is level and wide.
  • There are large trees in a line parallel with the river.
  • The walkway in this area has a smooth flagstone paving surface.
  • There are some cobbled areas near to the circular stone feature which is often used for play or informal seating (shown in photographs 1-4).
  • Near to the access point between the National Theatre and the IBM building, the walkway narrows and there are marked bollards and a bin across the path (shown in photograph 5).
  • The gap between the bollards is around 90cm.
  • From the IBM building eastwards past the former London TV Studios to the Gabriel's Wharf shopping area, the path is level tarmac (photographs 6-9).
  • The path broadens out as it turns the corner, then narrows in front of Gabriel's Wharf.
  • There is step-free access into Gabriel's Wharf (shown in photograph 10).
  • For more information about this area, please follow the link to the guide.
  • There is stepped access to the riverside beach - known as Ernie's Beach or Gabriel's Beach - in this area.

The Queen's Walk - General Access - Bernie Spain Gardens to Blackfriars Station

  • Bernie Spain Gardens is located between Gabriel's Wharf and OXO Tower Wharf.
  • There are routes through the gardens to Upper Ground for bus stops and parking.
  • The Queen's Walk broadens out in this area.
  • The general surface is tarmac and there is some paving of small blocks.
  • There is a low stone commemorative plinth in the centre of the walkway (shown in photograph 2).
  • Opposite this point there is step-free access onto a viewing pier with a boardwalk surface (shown in photograph 3).
  • East of Bernie Spain gardens, the path narrows again and there is a slope downhill towards OXO Tower Wharf (shown in photographs 4 and 5).
  • Here The Queen's Walk is a narrower level path between the OXO building and the river wall (shown in photographs 6-8).
  • An alternative sheltered path runs in front of the OXO building shops (shown in photographs 9-11).
  • In some areas, there is level or sloping access between the brick columns linking the two paths.
  • In other areas, there is a marked step - these vary from shallow to deep.
  • Between OXO Tower Wharf and Blackfriars Bridge, there is a level path in front of Sea Containers building and a residential block (shown in photographs 12-14).
  • The Queen's Walk continues level though a tunnel under Blackfriars Bridge (shown in photographs 15-17).
  • East of Blackfriars Bridge, The Queen's Walk narrows as is passes under temporary scaffolding (February 2019, seen in photographs 18 and 19).
  • There is a slight slope up to a direct entrance to Blackfriars Station in this area (shown in photograph 21).
  • The Queen's Walk continues, with slight slopes down then up as it passes under the rail bridge (shown in photographs 21 and 22).
  • There are handrails to both sides of the ramped sections.
  • Note that the level walkway next to the river wall, seen to the right in photograph 23, ends in steps where it joins the main path.
  • East of the rail bridge, there is a second entrance with level access into Blackfriars Station (shown in photograph 24).
  • From this area, The Queen's Walk continues eastwards towards Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge.

The Queen's Walk - Seating and Information/Map Boards

  • Photographs 1-3 show some of the TFL Legible London wayfinding posts along the route, near Gabriel's Wharf and Blackfriars Bridge.
  • There are also London Southbank maps/information boards and landmark posts for key buildings such as the National Theatre (shown in photographs 5-7).
  • Between the National Theatre and Gabriel's Wharf there are wooden bench seats without armrests at frequent intervals (shown in photographs 8-11).
  • There are also bench seats and tables on the forecourt of the National Theatre and a carved wooden seat (shown in photograph 12).
  • There are many bench seats in Bernie Spain Gardens.
  • East of this point, there is no public seating on The Queen's Walk between the OXO Tower Wharf until near to Tate Modern, after Blackfriars Station.
  • Some of the pubs and restaurants in this section may have external seats for customers.
  • Many of these are set in a line between the trees.

Queen's Walk - Additional Information

  • From The Queen's Walk there is stepped access to an upper terrace for the NT Terrace restaurant (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
  • There is also ramped or stepped access to the National Theatre forecourt with outside seating for its restaurants (shown in photographs 3 and 4).
  • There are no public toilets on this section of The Queen's Walk.
  • There are public accessible and standard toilets within the Gabriel's Wharf shopping area.
  • There is also a public accessible toilet just off the walkway at OXO Tower Wharf, next to Caffe Nero.
  • Outside the National Theatre, there is a statue of the actor Laurence Olivier (shown in photograph 5) and also the 'London Pride' sculpture by Frank Dobson (shown in photograph 6).

Access To (Ernie's Beach)

  • Description View
    • Ernie's Beach, also known as Gabriel's Beach, is the stretch of sandy riverside opposite Gabriel's Wharf (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
      Access is by steps only.
      The beach is popular at low tide for recreation.
      Please note that the Thames is not considered safe for paddling or swimming.
      All the river beaches are completely covered by deep water at high tide.
  • Stairs View
    • Access to Ernie's Beach is using the stairs through the gate opposite the entrance to Gabriel's Wharf (shown in photographs 3 and 4).
      The steep steps are formed from a metal grid.
      The number of steps may increase or decrease according to how the sand has been deposited on the beach.
      There were 9 steps visible at the time of our visit.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are not between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 24cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are not between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are not clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • Handrails are not at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is not a landing.
  • Comments View
    • There is a further access point to the river beach outside OXO Tower Wharf (shown in photographs 5-7).
    • This involves 4 deep steps up over the river wall then 17 very steep metal steps down to the beach.
    • There is also access from The Queen's Walk, to the east of Blackfriars Bridge.
    • This involves 6 deep steps up over the river wall, then 16 steps down to the beach (shown in photographs 8-10).
    • These stone steps are likely to be slippery with seaweed.