The Tower Bridge is a world-famous bridge, thanks to the 2012 London Olympics, but few know its ins and outs. Here’s everything you need to know about the bridge:
The bridge was built over a period of eight years, from 1886-1894. It connects the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Southwark across the River Thames. The current colour scheme is a result of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, where the bridge was painted red, white, and blue in celebration.
The bridge has a history of stunts, both intentional and accidental, performed by planes, buses, motorbikes, jets, and helicopters. Most of the intentional ones involve airplanes, perhaps the most notable instance being when Frank McClean flew under it in 1912. The most impressive out of these incidents was when a bus driver drove from one bascule to the other just after the bascules had started to rise.
Olympic rings were hung on the bridge in June 2012 and were replaced by the logo for the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games following the Olympics.
The road that runs through it is currently closed until 30 Dec 2016 for conservation works, but the pedestrian walkways and the Tower Bridge Exhibition remain open. The walkways were closed to the public in 1910 because of a lack of use but were opened again in 1982 with the new Tower Bridge Exhibition.
There are many attractions part of the Exhibition that are currently open. The newest one is the Tower Bridge Glass Floor, which is just what it sounds like. Visitors can walk onto a glass floor that is 42 meters above the Thames. If walking across it isn’t enough for you, there is also the option of participating in a yoga class on the walkway. Engineering tours are also available, where the history of the bridge’s construction and the details of its inner operations are revealed and supplemented with visits to the rooms such as the Engine Rooms. The Tower Bridge also features local artists through their Art at the Bridge exhibitions.
ADDRESS: Tower Bridge Exhibition, Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP
PHONE: +44 (0) 20 7403 3761