A place of suspense
Tower Bridge is a Victorian bascule suspension bridge crossing the River Thames. Designed by Horace Jones in 1884, it is a beautiful construction with two tall fortified bridge-towers: this distinctive silhouette has become one of the major emblems of the city. The bascule operating machinery which raises and lowers the bridge to allow river traffic through is located in the base of each tower.
One famous incident occurred in 1952 when one of London’s red buses became stuck on the bridge as it began to lift, forcing driver Albert Gunton to make an audacious jump across the rising levels. The 3ft leap resulted only in minor injuries for some passengers, and Gunton received a £10 award for bravery.
Climb on top and get inside
Since 1982, the Tower Bridge Exhibition has offered visitors the chance to climb up to the walkways at the top level of the bridge which connect its twin towers, as well as to learn the history of the bridge and take guided tours of the various rooms. From the high walkways you will be treated to amazing panoramic views of London which rival even those from the London Eye
With the recent addition of the glass floor on the walkways visitors can watch life go by literally beneath their feet, adding to the thrilling experience of being above the city. The walkways are also available to book for private receptions, corporate dinners and weddings: the maximum capacity over both halls is 250 people.
The Exhibition also includes the Victorian Engine Rooms, which house the bridge’s original steam engines and hydraulic machinery (now replaced by modern motors), and also may be reserved for special functions of up to 120 guests. The beautifully decorated North Tower Lounge, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, likewise offers a truly unique venue for daytime and evening events. This is a smaller space with spectacular views of the city and river which can hold about 50 guests and is licensed to host wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.
Tower Bridge is a London icon; even if you don’t fancy the height of its famous gangways, it is well worth a trip to the riverbank for a glimpse before you leave the city.