This world-famous landmark is at the heart of modern London life, and a testament to the city’s rich engineering and commercial history.
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.