Young Londoners everywhere will love walking high above the traffic with only glass to separate them from the Thames and the cars below them.
This is one instance where we should thank our lucky stars for the social distance. Tower Bridge is surprisingly only 134 years old but during this time it has racked up quite the reputation and remains one of London’s most famous landmarks to date.
2020 is your opportunity to visit this historic site without the crowds. If there is one thing that us Londoners should be grateful for in 2020 it is the lack of tourists at otherwise packed attractions. So grab the family and head on down (or rather climb up 206 steps as the lift is only used for disabled people post lockdown).
On the climb up you will encounter various interesting facts about the building process (which began in 1886 and finally finished in 1894). It took 432 men and women to build it and 11,000 tons of steel make up the entire structure (the majority of which is hidden beneath Cornish granite and Portland stone). A gigantuous 31,000,000 bricks and 2,000,000 rivets make up the entire structure and these are covered in 22,000 litres of paint. You can also learn about the miracle of Victorian engineering and how it was initially steam powered (you can still see the engines inside the engine room…although we missed this bit because the toddlers insisted on ice cream).
The highlight of the visit, other than the spectacular view of London, is indeed the 11-metre glass floor which looks out onto the road below. Any car enthusiast will appreciate this view and can take part in the accompanying children’s trail. There is also an app which sees your phone turn a coal shovel or a bolt tightener but the paper trail went down a real treat with this young Londoner.
There are films to enjoy, sculptures to try and spot and large box filled with various sensory materials too. The staff were very friendly and the Covid-19 measures include a one way system, plenty of hand sanitiser, staff with face visors and contact tracing should they need to get in touch to let you know you may be at risk.
Learn little known facts about it like how Tower Bridge was once London’s red light district and prostitutes used to walk the walkways or how in 1952 a double-decker a bus ‘leapt’ over the gap when the bridge started to lift without warning.
Now is your time to visit this iconic London landmark and learn all about its history whilst making history (we will never see it so empty again in our lifetimes).
A visit to Tower Bridge costs £10.60 per adult and £5.30 for children aged five and above. Children under five are free and Tower Hamlets, City of London and Southwark residents all benefit from reduced entry of £1. More info and booking here.