In the late 1800s, there was no bolder display of a country’s technological prowess than a spectacular bridge; consider the Brooklyn Bridge or the Firth of Forth Bridge. This exhibit celebrates one such triumph, Tower Bridge. You may wonder: How did such a monument survive the Blitz when everything around it got flattened? Simple: The Luftwaffe needed its proud towers as a visual landmark. It’s always free to walk across the bridge on your own, but visiting this museum is like getting two attractions in one. The first satisfies sightseers who dream of going up in the famous neo-Gothic towers and crossing the high-level observation walkways—it’s a close encounter with a world icon. The second aspect delves into the steam-driven machinery that so impressed the world in 1894; those displays will hook the mechanically inclined. The original bascule-raising equipment, representing the largest use of hydraulic power at the time, remains in fine condition despite being retired in favor of electricity in 1976. The raising of the spans is now controlled by joystick from a cabin across the road from the entrance (check “Bridge Lift Times” on the website to find out when). Recently, a glass floor was installed in a portion of the upper walkway so visitors can get giddy to the sight of the river 42m (138 ft.) below their feet. Note: Tickets are discounted if you also buy entry to the Monument.
Tower Bridge Exhibition
Tower Bridge (on the Tower of London side), SE1
Our Rating Hours Apr–Sept daily 10am–6pm; Oct–Mar daily 9:30am–5:30pm; last admission 30 min. before closing Transportation Tube: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway DLR Phone 020/74033761 Prices £9.80 adults, £6.80 seniors and students, £4.20 children 5–15; about £1 cheaper online Web site Tower Bridge Exhibition
MapTower Bridge London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.