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Tower Bridge is undoubtedly the most recognisable of the 33 bridges that cross the River Thames in London. The two-towered structure is frequently used as a symbol of London, and was prominently used in the campaign to promote the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. A giant set of Olympic rings were hung from the bridge in the last month before the opening of the games, and as part of the opening ceremony, the Olympic torch was carried under the bridge on a speedboat driven by celebrity footballer David Beckham.
Finally completed in 1894 after 8 years of construction, the bridge was heralded as a triumph of design and engineering. To this day, the sight of the two halves, or “bascules”, of the roadway lifting up to allow a ship to pass underneath is a real spectacle. When commercial shipping on the River Thames was at its busiest, Tower Bridge was sometimes raised over 50 times a day. Currently, this happens approximately 1,000 times per year. Check the official website for the exact timings on each day, so you can make sure you get to see the bridge in action.
To get a behind-the-scenes view of how this amazing bridge works, visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition. Here you can explore the original lifting machinery used in the Victorian Engine Rooms when the bridge was powered by steam, and see how it works today, thanks to the virtual bridge lift experience.
Access the high-level walkways built above the mobile sections of the bridge, 42 metres above the surface of the river. Here you will be treated to some of the best views of London, including such landmarks as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Canary Wharf. Whatever you do, remember to bring your camera!
The Tower Bridge Exhibition is open daily except between 24th and 26th December. Tickets can be bought online, or on site. The closest Underground station is Tower Hill.
You could easily spend an entire morning at Tower Bridge. Here are just some of the things you can try here:
If you're seeking even more activities, take a look at our London things to do page.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tower Bridge, Tower of London and HMS Belfast. Tower Gateway Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tower Hill Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Gherkin and Tower of London. Royal Exchange and Liverpool Street are also within 15 minutes. London Fenchurch Street Station is only a 2-minute walk and Tower Hill Station is 3 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps away from St. Paul's Cathedral and London Stock Exchange. Old Bailey and Museum of London are also within 10 minutes. Blackfriars Underground Station and St. Paul's Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Borough Market and St. Paul's Cathedral are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tower Hill Station is only a 2-minute walk and Tower Gateway Station is 3 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tower of London and London Bridge. St. Paul's Cathedral and Covent Garden Market are also within 3 mi (5 km). Tower Hill Station is only a 2-minute walk and Tower Gateway Station is 2 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Gherkin, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Royal Exchange and Liverpool Street are also within 15 minutes. Tower Hill Station and Tower Gateway Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.