There's nowhere better than London when the sun is out. Trouble is, everyone else in the city agrees! We escaped the crowds on the South Bank with a visit to the rooftop of Queen Elizabeth Hall. But it wasn't quite what we expected...
Look out for.... access. If you can find your way in, you're halfway through the battle, but we struggled at this first hurdle. Staff in both the Southbank Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall were stumped when we asked if there was a lift up to the roof garden (the yellow stairs directly from the South Bank are obvious though, if you don't have a buggy). Eventually, after half an hour of searching both buildings and scaling various lifts, we were directed out of the building, 'round the back' to what looked like a tradesman's entrance, towards the disabled lift.
What's not so good... Once you find the lift, you're left to operate it yourself and there's not much room to manoeuvre. Curious little ones would find it easy to drag or catch their fingers on the filthy wall on the way up, and two buggies (plus two Mummies) is a bit of a stretch. We managed, but were stuck at the top when we couldn't reach the door across the buggies. Thankfully a member of staff was there to 'man' the door so he could let us out. By this point, after nearly an hour, we felt really disappointed that our experience (and that of anyone needing disabled access) would be so different to a 'regular' customer.
When to go... despite our traumas finding the venue, it did look beautiful up on the roof in the sun, decorated with a real grass floor and lots of wild flowers. There's a handy bar up there too, for teas, coffees or something stronger.
Facilities include... not a lot. But there's everything you need in the nearby Southbank Centre.