London Visit: Tower Bridge. We recently moved a short walk from Tower Bridge which is pretty awesome! Now that we’ve finished renovating our apartment it was time to get out and explore more. This iconic bridge was the first thing on our very long list. Homeboy and I were honoured to be joined by eight-year-old Vivi Cochrane Luck who helped me with this article.
View From Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge Views
Start off your visit with a takeaway breakfast which you can eat alfresco at London Bridge City. This is the pedestrianized area which runs along the River Thames in between London Bridge and Tower Bridge where the Mayor of London’s office is situated. We munched our chocolate muffins and almond croissants with a bird’s eye view of Tower Bridge (or perhaps I should say a pigeon’s view!). Take a good look at the bridge because it’s absolutely spectacular. When you get inside and discover the history, you’ll be very impressed.
Vivi’s Picture of Tower Bridge
Walk up the staircase to the bridge and head towards the entrance which you’ll find located at the North West Tower. This is another opportunity to drink in those views before you venture inside. After the bag search and ticket purchase you can either walk upstairs or get in the sizeable lift, we decided on the lift. You then get to sit down and watch a black and white historic video of the bridge being built. The narrator on our visit was Nathan Mullins who told us tales about a bus jumping over the bridge (Vivi’s favourite story) and President Clinton getting separated from Tony Blair and his security team when the bridge opened.
You can then walk along part of the bridge where you get amazing panoramic view across London. If you’re feeling brave, you can stride across the eleven-meter-long glass walkway where you can see the road below. I wasn’t brave, so I didn’t get a sticker saying I’d walked across the glass, but Vivi did! If you’re not keen on heights, you may want to avoid looking down at this point!
Tower Bridge Highlights
The highlights for me were the breathtaking panoramic views and finding out more about the history. Those involved in the construction risked their lives in the process, there were no safety regulations or hard hat back then!
View From Inside The Bridge
We bought Vivi the Virtual Reality Headset which you can use in conjunction with a free app. The Timelooper allows you to experience London’s history through virtual reality. The sales lady kindly helped Vivi download the app and showed her how to put the headset together. Vivi enjoyed making a commemorative coin in a machine and a postcard which featured us all! We couldn’t figure out how to use the postcard machine or the penny machine, but Vivi did. It just goes to show that taking a child with you is always helpful!
Virtual Reality Headset
Visit the Victorian Engine Room (separate building) where you get to see the original steam engines, coal burners and accumulators which were used to raise the bridge. You can also discover stories about those involved with the building of Tower Bridge. Finish with a spot of shopping in the gift shop which had some lovely souvenirs.
Tower Bridge Information
This iconic bridge was built between 1886 and 1894. It spans the River Thames and is very close to The Tower of London. The bridge is distinctive thanks to the two towers which are joined together by horizontal walkways. It is a combined bascule and suspension bridge which lifts up about 850 times a year to let tall ships pass. You can check online for the opening times for the bridge lifting which are booked in advance.
The Tower Bridge Exhibition summer opening hours are 10am until 5.30pm while winter opening times are 9.30am until 5pm. Tickets vary in price; the advanced adult ticket is £8.70, and for children aged 5-15 the price is £3.80. They also have various guided tours which include a Behind the Scenes and Night Visit options. The address is Tower Road Exhibition, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP. The nearest stations are London Bridge or Tower Hill. To find out more about the go to the Tower Bridge Website.
Author: Homegirl London with a lot of help from Vivi Cochrane Luck. Photographs: Homegirl London and Vivi Cochrane Luck. Thanks: Vivi for taking notes and asking questions. Thank you to Nathan Mullins for giving us information about the bridge. Thanks to Homeboy for visiting with us. Disclosure: The tickets were free.