Tower Bridge, London, England

Tower bridge and dolphin fountain, London, England

Seen from the north side with Butler’s Wharf and some good though pricey restaurants vaguely visible on the other side of the Thames (the South Bank); there’s also a pleasant drinkies spot near the leaping dolphin. The Tower of London is on this side of the Thames, 200m to the right.

What is Tower Bridge?

Tower Bridge seen from Tower of London, London, England

Tower Bridge seen from the Tower of London, North Bank. It was completed in 1892.

Tower Bridge is not the same as London Bridge! Don’t confuse the two. This is is the spectacular ancient bridge in central London that opens for tall ships and that tourists can visit. London Bridge is its plain and more modern cousin, next upstream. The previous London Bridge was bought by a wealthy American, possibly mistakenly, thinking it was this one! Old London Bridge is now installed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Tower Bridge underneath, London, England

Underside of Tower Bridge, though not the opening section. The Town Hall ‘Testicle’ and South Bank can be seen on the right.

No Swimming in the Thames

Don’t try to swim in the Thames even on a rare very hot day. It is not illegal but it is dangerous, with boats large and small traveling both ways throughout the day and it’s tidal which means it can be very deep and move very quickly.
It’s also not especially clean, though it’s certainly much, much better than it used to be and fish actually swim there new and survive without growing an extra head.

Tower Bridge pavement and traffic, London, England

Tower Bridge is, of course, free to walk and enjoy the views, not to mention crossing the Thames to get to and from the Tower of London (on the left side in this photo).

Inside Tower Bridge

* High Level Walkways with partial glass floor that can be used as an event space.

* A luxurious North Tower Lounge.

* Victorian Engine Rooms that power the bridge opening.

* Bridge Master’s Dining Room.

* Tower Bridge Exhibition.

St Katherine Dock

St Katherine dock and Dickens Inn, London, England

St. Katherine Dock and the Dickens Inn.

On the north bank a couple of minutes downstream of the Tower of London is a large tranquil marina, St Katherine Dock, that used to be a tributary of the Thames River. It’s not a must-see though yachties will like it and the Dickens Inn is very old, colourful and popular.

Getting to Tower Bridge

Also see City of London Map

On Foot: North Side – 1 minute walk to the Tower of London, 20 minutes walk from St Paul’s Cathedral, 5 minutes from the monument to the Great Fire of London. South Side – you can continue walking downstream on the South Bank but it offers less attractions than heading upstream to London Bridge station and the London Dungeon experience, Borough (food) Market, and about 15 minutes away Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern art gallery.

By Bicycle: There are docking spaces at Tower Gardens and Crosswall for Barclay’s Bikes.

By Tube/Underground: Tower Hill tube, London Bridge mainline station on the South Bank or DLR (Docklands Light Railway from east London) stop at Tower Hill.

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

By Car: Very expensive but available at Lower Thames Street, 2 minutes walk from the Tower.

By Boat: Head for Tower Pier, which is very close to the Tower. Thames Clipper ferries or riverboats from Charing Cross, Westminster, Greenwich and many other piers.