Tower Bridge is probably the most photographed bridge in London as it sits majestically over the River Thames. As one of London’s icons, it is this week’s Foto Friday.
It looks great during the day, but even more spectacular at night when it’s lit up (as in the photograph above).
It was built in the 19th century, not to add a bit glamour to the Thames but for commercial reasons. Due to an increase in commercial development in the East End of London, another river crossing was required. They had a dilemma because tall ships needed to pass, so a fixed bridge wasn’t an option. This is where the idea for a bridge, split into two equal parts, was conceived. It meant the two halves of the bridge could be raised to allow tall ships to pass. This was the perfect solution. It was finally opened at the end of the 19th century by the then Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII), not to be confused with Prince Charles, the current Prince of Wales.
Apparently, over 40,000 people cross this bridge every day. I knew it was busy; I just didn’t realise it was that busy.
Apart from admiring the bridge from afar and using it to cross from one side of the Thames to the other, you can pay to go up to the high-level walkways. That gives you access to an exhibition where you can learn more about the tower and even see the original steam engines that used to power the bridge. I have never been up on the walkways, but I’m really interested, especially now. That’s because of the latest addition – a glass floor
. It looks amazing! I just wish I had known about it while I was in London recently. It’s definitely going on my list of things to do. Thankfully, I’m not scared of heights. If you are, like a friend of mine, this is probably the last thing you would wish to do.
Just in case you aren’t sure where Tower Bridge is, I have located it on the map for you. If you are travelling via public transport, the nearest tube stations are Tower Hill and Tower Gateway. For information on how to get there or anywhere else in London, for that matter, look at the Transport for London website. I use it all the time when I’m in London.
Have your say
Have you been on the glass floor walkways? I’d be interested to know what you think of it.