Tower Bridge, London
Tower Bridge London is a historical and fascinating English icon and is one of the most famous bridges in the world. It amazes though how many people mistake it for London Bridge, which is actually near London Bridge Tube station.
I think Tower Bridge is one of the prettiest bridges that I have seen in my travels and one of my favourite places to visit in London.
Here are 5 cool facts to help get you started on your journey of Tower Bridge, London.
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1 – Tunnel under the Thames
Before Tower Bridge London was opened to the public, the only way to cross the Thames in the area which was through a tunnel under the Thames called the Tower Subway. I believe that it was 1 penny to use this tunnel and the traffic between the two boroughs was monitored. Unfortunately, this tunnel and others were closed down and bridges replaced them. However, there is still two left in London that can be used by the public.
- If you ever want to experience walking under the Thames there is one, which goes from Isle of Dogs to Greenwich. I definitely recommend it as something different to do while in London. You can get there via the DLR.
2 – Glass floor in the walkway
A glass floor was recently installed in the Walkway of the Tower Bridge, which you can walk out on and stand 42 metres above the River Thames. Apparently, if you are there at the right time (or just plain lucky enough), you can watch the bascules being raised beneath your feet. If you are anything like me, l cannot stand on glass and look down as it scares me senseless!
- Visit the exhibition that is in Tower Bridge and walk across the glass walkway at the same time.
3 – Double-decker jumping
In 1952, a number 78 double-decker bus was crossing Tower Bridge when the bascules began to rise. Instead of slowing down and stopping, Albert Gunton accelerated and jumped over from the south bascule to the north bascule which had not started to rise yet.
Fortunately, the driver and passengers on board the double decker bus came away with only a few injuries.
4 – The 2012 Olympic rings on Tower Bridge
To celebrate the Olympics being held in London in 2012, the Olympic rings were suspended from the Walkway on Tower Bridge. To achieve this, the bascules needed to be fully opened and the bridge was closed both under and over for 12 hours while the 12-tonne rings were put in place. They did look pretty amazing when they were lit up at night.
5 – River traffic
River traffic on the Thames takes priority over people or vehicles crossing over Tower Bridge London. However, if you want to go under the bridge with your tall boat and need the bascules to be raised you have to give 24 hours’ notice. This boat, however, didn’t have to worry about bascules being raised (refer to the below picture).
You have to check of course the height restrictions to determine if you need to notify the bridge.
- If you want some great views of the bascules being raised, then head up The Shard.
Thank you for reading my article, ‘5 Cool facts about Tower Bridge, London England’ I hope it gave you some interesting and fun insight to the history of Tower Bridge. If you are interested in discovering more of London you can read London Old Docks – Historic Pub, Food & Beer Tour or London in Winter – Things to do and Where to Stay
Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other facts about the Tower Bridge. I would love to hear them 🙂
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Disclaimer: All views are my own based on my own experience.
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