Sightseeing from Tower Bridge

Two weeks into 2015 and I think I’ve just about got into 9 to 5 working life. Last weekend was the first weekend which felt ‘normal’ in the sense that I didn’t have anything specific to do and James and I found our first flat together during the week (hooray!) so no more flat hunting. As I mentioned in my last post I had a trip to Tower Bridge on my radar for this year so on Sunday, after proudly making my first ever set of american pancakes (evidence here), I saw the opportunity to explore one of the capital’s most iconic sites.

To me, there are are those times when London could be any city in the world, and those when it’s unmistakable. Tower Bridge is a great example of those sights that really make you feel like you’re in London. The evidence of which is probably all of the pictures I managed to find in my collection.

Tower-Bridge---collage

It just draws the camera in!

I was completely ignorant of the fact that you could get inside the bridge itself until I heard about the new glass walkway they’d unveiled towards the end of last year. Obviously I couldn’t resist the idea of being able to see some new city views from an icon itself and peer down to the crazy world below. So on a leisurely Sunday afternoon James and I made our way to London Bridge and enjoyed a wander along the river, hot drinks in hand, until we reached our destination.

Tower-Bridge

The entrance is based in the tower to the left of this picture so you can reach it from Tower Hill or Tower Gateway too. It’s £9 entry for adults and £3.90 for childen (£8 and £3.50 if you book online).

After a lift up and a short video explaining the history of the bridge, you can wander the viewing galleries at leisure.

Tower-Bridge--gallery

You can learn about the bridge’s 120 year history after opening in 1894 as you walk along (you’ll definitely pick up some new facts). Did you know that up until 1910, you could walk along the high level walkways? I wonder how different the view was back then to now!

After the Ripper tour (and a new addiction to Ripper Street), it was also interesting to piece together different parts of London history in the same era.

Alongside facts about the bridge, there’s an exhibition ‘Great Bridges of the World’ – I thought this one in the Netherlands was pretty clever.

The-Moses-Bridge

Image credit:  Amazing World Destinations

Aptly named The Moses Bridge.

And of course if you’re not interested in facts or history, the views aren’t bad 🙂

Tower-Bridge---south-of-the-rive-

 

Tower-Bridge---North-river

Of course the main attraction is now the glass walkway and you’ll find this where there’s a huddle of tourists. I’m not usually afraid of heights but standing on this did make my knees wobble a bit.

Tower-Bridge---glass-walkway

Being in the selfie era, there were a lot of people lying down on the glass with a selfie stick, so if you got one for Christmas you can test it here! I prefer the vintage take-it-with-your-arm approach, but not being pros at selfies we abandoned our attempt and enjoyed the horizon instead.

Tower-Bridge---panoramic

There are two walkways to explore, the second feels like it takes your sights much further out the city.

Tower-Bridge---east-view

Embracing the tourist spirit we payed a pound for a tourist penny. After a bit of confusion over the pattern, this is how it turned out!

Tower-Bridge---souvenir-coin

Once we’d taken in all the views we made our way back down the stairs, where you’ll find one of the other perks of the visiting the bridge – getting up close to its historic architecture and design.

Tower-Bridge---glass-panes

Then it’s down to the engine rooms.

Tower-Bridge---engine-rooms

I tried to be enthusiastic…

Tower-Bridge---Engine-room-2

But I had reached the peak of engineering facts at this point so we quickly wandered around and then headed home to get back into the January essentials – warm clothes, hot drinks and films.

I’m not sure if it was the weekend we chose but it was one of the quietest tourist spots I’ve ever been too. Although it doesn’t take you much more than half an hour to explore I thought £9 was quite reasonable and good value for money for the views on offer.

Maybe one for your 2015 list too?