When you’re staying at the Grand Royale Hotel London with a desire to see the most iconic sights of the city, Tower Bridge is no doubt on your list of places to visit. The great news is that it makes for a perfect morning destination and you can then enjoy all the attractions that are on offer close by in the afternoon.
London’s most famous bridge was completed in 1894 and since then it’s become an iconic part of the capital’s skyline. The distinctive two towers design was selected after a public competition saw over 50 concepts submitted. The two horizontal walkways give a great view of the Thames and built up banks and are still accessible as part of an exhibition today.
Here’s some facts about Tower Bridge you might not have come across:
• Over 40,000 people use Tower bridge to cross the Thames every day.
• River traffic is given priority over road uses and the bascules are raised around 1,000 times a year.
• In 1952, the bridge began to open when a bus was still on it. The driver had to accelerate to jump a three-foot gap and was awarded £10 for his bravery.
• Bill Clinton’s presidential motorcade was split crossing the bridge, proving that ships have right of way.
• The high-level walkways were closed in 1910 in part due to them earning a reputation as a haunt for pickpockets and prostitutes.
• It’s played a role in several national celebrations, including displaying the Olympic rings in 2012, being painted red, white, and blue to note the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and being lit up following the announcement of a royal baby arriving.
What to do at Tower Bridge?
Tower Bridge is far more than a place to simply cross the river and take a holiday snap.
The recognisable structure also holds the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which gives visitors access to the high-level walkways, which now have glass floors, and impressive views of city, including the famous Tower of London. The experience also uses films, photos, and interactive displays to show just how the Victorians constructed the bridge, you can even glimpse into the Victorian Engine Rooms that used to lift the bridge.
Did you know that while river traffic takes priority, vessels must give at least 24 hours notice? When the bridge will next open is listed on the official website so if it’s a sight you want to see, it’s simple to plan into your London trip. If you time it right, you can look down from the glass walkways too.
After a morning exploring Tower Bridge, you might found you’ve worked up at appetite. Luckily there’s lot of places offering delicious brunch or lunch options close by, including Village East, Café Rouge, Blue Print Café, and Bill’s Restaurant.
It’s not just about food around Tower Bridge either, there are plenty more attractions to explore. Of course, just over the bridge you can find the Tower of London but you’ll also find HMS Belfast, iconic skyscrapers, galleries, museums, the Fire of London Monument, and plenty of walking tours departing to keep you entertained all day.
Following a morning at Tower Bridge and the rest of the day exploring the local area, heading back to the Grand Royale Hotel London will be a welcome opportunity to put your feet up and relax.