Tower Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames in central London. It is a landmark and the most photographed object in London. Read why in this article.
What is interesting about Tower Bridge in London?
The carriageway of Tower Bridge is only a few meters above the water of the Thames. If a larger ship wants to pass the bridge, the traffic is stopped and the drawbridge section between the two pillars is pulled up. In order to save time, the roadway is only partially raised on medium-sized ships. In the case of very large ships, the carriageway can be set up at an angle of more than 80 degrees (i.e. almost vertical). In earlier times, when the capital of England was one of the most important seaports in the world, this sometimes happened several times an hour. Today only a few cargo ships pass Tower Bridge, traffic on the bridge is only interrupted 2-3 times a day due to a ship passage. So you have to have a lot of luck or patience if you want to photograph or film this process.
Contrary to what the Gothic style of Tower Bridge would suggest, the structure was not completed until 1895. Tower Bridge is a drawbridge and was an engineering marvel when it was completed.
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The best city ticket for tourists. It includes free entry to the Tower, London Zoo, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle and The Shard skyscraper. Plus a city tour by bus and a great boat trip on the Thames. A total of about 85 attractions included! The London Pass is available for 1 day or several days (up to 10 days). Pays off for almost every tourist who wants to visit the sights and the city of London. Our recommendation for a city trip to London!
The most popular boat trip on the Thames
A large proportion of London tourists now take a boat trip on the Thames. Of course, everyone wants to see central London from the ship. The most popular boat tour is therefore from Westminster to Greenwich, i.e. across central London. Very frequently booked tour, you should book online beforehand:
As a pedestrian at the top of the bridge
The upper crossing on the bridge is purely a pedestrian crossing. This cannot be pulled up. The purpose of the upper transition is that at least pedestrians can use Tower Bridge when passing a ship. From the top you have a great view of the Thames, Docklands and central London. A museum about the construction of the bridge is housed in one of the two bridge towers.
Where to photograph the bridge from?
Tower Bridge is best photographed from the banks of the Thames between the Tower of London and the river. Tower Bridge is still an important transport bridge in London today. Several thousand cars cross Tower Bridge every hour during the day. Crossing and driving over the bridge is free of charge or toll-free. The small museum costs a few pounds to enter.
Nearby: Next to Tower Bridge is the famous Tower of London (ex-prison, today exhibition of the Crown Jewels among other things). It is one of the most visited sights in England, tickets should definitely be booked in advance, more on this page ».
Information as of early 2019, partly updated from 2020 to 2023
One of the popular trips in London is to the movie studios where the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Warner Brothers studios are located approximately 30 kilometers north of London near the town of Watford. The tour includes a bus transfer from central London and has very good reviews. A “must” for every Harry Potter fan on vacation in London. The trip by bus and the visit to the film studios takes about 7 hours. You should book early, the popular Harry Potter excursion from London is often sold out. The alternative arrival by public transport is not very easy. The trip to the Warner Brothers Studios is the highlight of the trip for many London vacationers.
On this page you can find more information and book the tour.
More information about Tower Bridge London
What is Tower Bridge?
Tower Bridge is a combination of a drawbridge and a suspension bridge that spans the River Thames. It is 244 meters (800 feet) long and its two towers are 65 meters (213 feet) high. The bridge is also known for its Victorian Gothic style with its ornate turrets and decorative ironwork.
History of Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894 and designed by architect Sir Horace Jones and engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry. The bridge was created to decongest the Thames and improve access to the east side of the city.
Visitors can take a guided tour of Tower Bridge and visit the exhibition about the twin towers on the bridge. This exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the history, construction and operation of the bridge. Visitors can also walk the glass walkway that runs along the bridge’s elevated footbridge, offering great views of the river and city.
Tower Bridge Experience
The Tower Bridge Experience is a 90-minute guided tour that gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the bridge’s operations. You see the control room, engine room, flaps up and down, etc.
Victorian Engine Room
The Victorian Engine Room is on the south side of the bridge and contains the original steam engine that once powered the bridge. Visitors can see the machine in action and learn how it works.
The best places to see Tower Bridge from the outside are from the South Bank of the River Thames, from the Tower of London or from the Bridge Bridge itself. Visitors can also take a river cruise to see the bridge from the water.
Route to Tower Bridge
The closest underground stations to Tower Bridge are Tower Hill and London Bridge. Visitors can also take a bus or walk to the area.
The best time to photograph Tower Bridge is early morning or late evening when there are fewer people around. The lighting is good at this time of year. The south bank of the Thames offers the best views of the bridge.
Tower Bridge has become a landmark not just in London but around the world. It has been featured in countless films and TV shows and is considered a symbol of the city.
Tower Bridge is often confused with another bridge, London Bridge. The bridge was originally painted brown, but was later painted its current blue and white colour.
The bridge was originally designed as a drawbridge, but was then converted into a drawbridge.
The bridge has a footpath and was closed in 1910 due to dilapidation. It was reopened in 1982 as part of the Tower Bridge experiment.