One of the best ways to enjoy London to the full is to get a great aerial view of his wondrous city. Yes, you can go to the likes of the London Eye, cocktails in the Shard or up to Parliament Hill in north London, but for a view with a difference, you might want to just go straight to Tower Bridge.
Indeed, the new exhibition there is one of the best in the city at the moment, but a word of warning, it’s not for the faint of heart. Now, for the first time, you can walk across the famous bridge’s higher levels while gazing at the street below. No, it’s not some sort of tight rope experience; the tower is now fully fitted with glass walkways. Read on to find out more about one of London’s most sought after and talked about exhibitions.
What is it?
The main aim of the display isn’t actually the hair-raising walkway; it’s actually to educate you about the rich history of this iconic bridge. You will learn just how it was built back in 1894 through videos and other interactive media.
Only now, you can also experience the exhilarating thrill of walking across the bridge with only glass beneath your feet – special, reinforced glass mind you, but you won’t be thinking that when you’re that high up. The floor is 11 metres in length and 1.8 metres wide and each individual panel weights 530 kg.
As well as this unique experience, you will also be afforded some of the best panoramic views in London and the fascinating “bascule” bridges as they are lifted to let passing vessels through beneath the might structure.
Now, there’s also an added novelty. You can download the free “Raise Tower Bridge” app which allows you to watch an incredible 360-degree panoramic video of the bridge being raised.
In one of the inclusive “Ask the Techie” sessions, you can ask an engineer all the things you’ve ever wanted to know about the bridge. Find out how it works, why it does what it does, why it was built where it is and much much more.
To add to this novel experience, there is also a mini art gallery in the engine rooms of the bridge. Now in its 6th stage, the room plays host to a number of different art works designed by people in London’s local community.
The prices below are as they appear on the official Tower Bridge website:
- adults – £9.00
- children (aged 5 to 15) – £3.90
- students – £6.30
- seniors (aged 60 +) – £6.30
- one adult and two children – £14.10
- two adult and one children – £18.00
- two adults and two children – £20.30
- two adults and four children – £22.50
- Under 5 – free
- Disabled person and carer – free
If you book tickets online for some of the exhibitions, you may be able to get a discounted price.
As well as all the excitement with the glass floors, you can also take an exclusive tour of the bridge which will see you learn about its amazing Victorian engine rooms, the bridge’s structure and the exhibitions. You can do this as a personal tour or as a part of a larger group. There is also a behind the scenes tour, which will see you descend way beneath the Thames’ river bed, accompanied by one of Tower Bridge’s Senior Technical Officers.
From April to September, the exhibition is open from 10am until 6pm every day. From October to March, it closes half an hour earlier at 5.30pm. Last admissions are 5.30pm and 5pm respectively.
Where is it?
Tower Bridge is right in the heart of London, surrounded by a veritable plethora of other fabulous attractions. The address post code is SE1 2UP, for those people using smartphones to locate this fine piece of infrastructure and the exhibition within.
You’ll see it before you know it and you can even walk to it along the Thames, if you fancy a good walk out in London.
The best option for getting to the Tower Bridge exhibition is to take the London Underground to Tower Hill Underground Station and then walk from here. You can use either the District or Circle lines to reach this station and it’s a mere five minute walk away. To walk from here: head east until you reach Minories/A1211 and then turn right here. Continue onwards to Tower Hill/A100 and then turn right onto Tower Bridge Approach/A100 – you can’t miss it from here.
When visiting London, it’s unlikely that you’ll spend all day at just one attraction. With the city being as big as it is, it’s easy to combine a few attractions that are located within walking distance or a short tube journey from one another.
Tower Bridge is very close to a number of great things to see so you can shape a day’s itinerary around it with very little hassle. On the south bank of the Thames, you have the wonderful Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern all with in reasonable walking distance from the bridge.
On the north side, you have the iconic Tower of London, a sight that must be seen on any trip to the Big Smoke. It’s worth dedicating a sizeable chunk of time to the Tower – it really is that good. You are also very close to the Shard, which you can ascend if you haven’t had your fill of heights and incredible views. St Paul’s Cathedral is also within walking distance, although this is further away than the other sights.
Once you have booked your accommodation at one of the many holiday hotels in London, you can start to plan a fantastic itinerary around the Tower Bridge.
Don’t go to the wrong bridge
It might sound a little silly, but there has been some confusion over the years between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. Indeed, many tourists that come to the city actually think that the iconic Tower Bridge is actually called London Bridge.
Of course, this is not the case. London Bridge is further west along the Thames, but there is little more to do there than walk across the famous river. If you follow our directions above, you should be fine. Just don’t make the mistake of heading to London Bridge when it is the Tower Bridge that you want.