Days Out: Tower Bridge walks


The venue

One of London's great landmarks, Tower Bridge was completed in 1894. Built of 11,000 tons of steel and two million rivets, its stone facade is only for show. Its original designer, Sir Horace Jones, wanted red brick. It was his partner, John Wolfe Barry (son of the architect of the Houses of Parliament), who took over after his death and gave it its present look. The arms of the bridge, known as bascules (French for see-saw), are raised for shipping hundreds of times a year. Two high walkways, open to paying visitor, have marvellous views.

For children

Outside, stand with one foot on each bascule and watch the boats go by below. Up on the walkway, have a £1 coin ready for the talking telescope. Pick out Jacob's Island, Dickens's model for Fagin's lair. In the Engine Rooms, there are a number of low-tech interactives (shortly to be made more high-tech) demonstrating the science and workings of the bascules, as well as the biggest spanners you ever saw. To time your visit for a bridge lift go to towerbridge.org.uk (020-7940 3984).

For adults

Two short videos about the history and building of the bridge are a 140ft lift ride up the north tower, where a couple of models of alternative designs demonstrate the wisdom of the bridge-commissioning panel. On the walkways, little windows can be opened in order to take glass-free photos, and information panels identify key buildings ranging from St Paul's to the Gherkin. A section on how the bridge works is a useful introduction to the Victorian engine rooms below, in which you can see the two large steam engines that lifted the bridge until electrification in the 1970s.

Refreshments

A café is due to open at the bridge next year. For now, there are plenty of eateries in the area.

Access

The tour is accessible to those in wheelchairs and a motorised wheelchair can be borrowed. Hearing loop.

Admission

Open daily (except 24 and 25 December) 10am-6.30pm (April to September), 9.30am-6pm (October to March). Adults £5.50, child 5-15 £3, concessions £4.25.

How to get there

Tower Bridge, London SE1 2UP (020-7403 3761; towerbridge.org.uk).

By Tube: Tower Hill (District and Circle lines).

By train: Fenchurch Street, Tower Gateway DLR.

By bus: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1.

By boat: from Westminster Pier, Waterloo or Embankment to Tower or St Katharine's Pier.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea