Tower Bridge | A Visit to London’s Defining Landmark

Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in London. It’s famous all around the world and when you think of London an image of Tower Bridge will usually come to mind. It was built between 1864 and 1894 and is one of many bridges that cross the River Thames. The bridge is tied together with two upper walkways which you can visit and walk along.

They now have glass floors and you can see traffic, the river and people passing underneath your feet. These walkways reopened in 1982 but the attraction, in general, has seen a lot of recent investment. Read on for our review of our visit below.

*Disclaimer. We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of my review.

Tower Bridge | A Visit to London's Defining Landmarkv
The Iconic Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is located next to the Tower of London
Tower Bridge is located next to the Tower of London – we managed to visit both in one day

A Visit to Tower Bridge – A Review

The road that crosses Tower Bridge can be raised to allow boats and ships to pass through safely. In the past, it was raised many times a day and there were many men that worked here. Nowadays it’s all done electronically but they do still employ a few people each day to make sure everything works. Every year the bridge is raised around 1,000 times. If you want to see the bridge lift the times and dates are announced online. Although do be aware that it can get very busy, especially on the glass walkways as you can see the road rise beneath your feet.

Tower Bridge | A Visit to London's Defining Landmark
The two walkways

As Tower Bridge is so iconic it attracts a lot of visitors. We arrived for opening time at 9:30 am which meant that it wasn’t too busy but people soon started arriving. My Mum and I had never been inside the bridge before so we were keen to explore. You start the tour in a lift which takes you up to the same level as the two walkways. Here you watch a film from the late 1800’s showing life back when the bridge was first in use. Apparently it was so busy it used to take 2 hours to cross the bridge. It was a lovely nostalgic film with a live commentary explaining what we were seeing.

Vintage film with commentary
Vintage film with commentary

It was now time to cross the first walkway. In both walkways there is a glass floor where you can stand and watch life below your feet. We loved this and it amused me watching those who were brave enough to walk on it and those that weren’t. There are six layers of toughened glass, it’s certainly safe. They also have plenty to look at and to read about the history of the bridge and its design. You can also look out at some wonderful views of London.

Looking out at the second walkway
Looking out at the second walkway
One of the many wonderful views
One of the many wonderful views across to Tower London, Sky Garden and the Gherkin

In the second of the walkways, you will also have a mirror above you when you walk on the glass floor. This is really good fun and makes for some interesting selfies. One of the guides recommended we lie down on the glass and lookup. Needless to say, not everyone was up for this but you get a sticker if you do.

Walking on one of the two glass walkways
Walking on one of the two glass walkways
Looking down
Looking down
Lying down
Lying down
Looking up
Looking up

Between the two walkways, we met another guide who was keen to tell us about the history of the bridge and pointed out ‘statue’ workmen high above our heads. There were no safety regulations back in those days.

Looking up at how the workers used to have to balance to work on the structure
Looking up at how the workers used to have to balance to work on the structure

If you want to return via the lift you will need to go back to where you started. The walkways are accessible to wheelchairs. We chose to walk down the stairs which there were a lot more of than we were expecting. It was interesting though seeing the Victorian structure as we walked back down.

Walking back down
Walking back down

Once at the bottom you can then follow a blue line which takes you to their shop and also the engine rooms. A visit to the engine rooms is included with your entrance ticket. Inside the engine rooms, you can see and watch the old original steam engines that once raised the bridge.

There are also a few interactive displays which include some child-friendly exhibits. If you are visiting as a family you might be interested in one of their family learning events, autism-friendly events and their family trail app that has fun and engaging games and activities. Our visit lasted around an hour but you could certainly spend longer with the app.

In the old engine rooms
In the old engine rooms
Tower Bridge | A Visit to London's Defining Landmark

Important Information

You will receive a discount on your tickets if you purchase them online in advance. An adult ticket purchased online costs £9.80 and £3.80 for a child aged 5-15. Under 5’s are free. Family tickets are also available plus combined tickets with The Monument. The Monument to the Great Fire of London is a 311 spiral step walk to the top where you are rewarded with one of the best views of London from the public viewing platform. The Monument and Tower Bridge are an approx. 13 minute walk from each other.

UK Family Days Out

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Tower Bridge | A Visit to London's Defining Landmark

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