Bridges of London, London

Image Courtesy of Flickr and damo1977
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Thirty-four bridges span the Thames in London. Each one has its own history and is worth seeing. Take this walking tour to appreciate the beauty of London bridges.

Walk Route

Guide Name: Bridges of London
Guide Location: England » London
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Author: clare

1) Lambeth Bridge

Lambeth Bridge spans the River Thames between Lambeth Palace on the East side of the river and Thames House (headquarters of MI5), Millbank Tower and Tate Britain on the West side.

This fine foot and road bridge was designed by Sir George Humphries, Sir Reginald Blomfield and G. Topham Forrest and built by Dorman Long. It was inaugurated by King George V in 1932.

The bridge is 776 ft long and 60 ft wide; its steel latticework is painted red – the same colour of the benches in the nearby...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Tagishsimon
Sight description based on wikipedia

2) Westminster Bridge

“Earth hath nothing to show more fair,” wrote William Wordsworth, while looking out over early morning London from Westminster Bridge in 1802. Of course, he was standing on the first bridge, constructed in 1750 by the Swiss architect Charles Labelye.

The bridge you can cross today was opened in 1862 and was designed by Thomas Page, who also worked on the designs for the Thames Embankment. The bridge spans the Thames from the County Hall and the London Eye on the East side of the river to...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Iridescent
Sight description based on wikipedia

3) Hungerford Bridge

In 1845 the Hungerford Bridge was a suspension bridge that farmers from the south of England used for crossing the River Thames when they freighted their produce to the Hungerford Market, which was the most important market in the south of the capital at that time.

In 1859 the bridge was bought by the South Eastern Railway Company, who wanted to build a railway bridge from the south of England to the capital. Businessmen working in London were leaving their city houses to live in the country...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and ChrisO
Sight description based on wikipedia

4) Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge crossing the River Thames in London, between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The name of the bridge is in memory of the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Thanks to its location at a strategic bend in the river, the views of London from the bridge are widely held to be the finest from any spot at ground level. The first bridge on the site was designed in 1809-10 by John Rennie and opened in 1817 as a toll bridge. From...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Adrian Pingstone
Sight description based on wikipedia

5) Blackfriars Bridge

To get to the Tate Modern from the Inns of Court, you will, of course, cross the Blackfriars Bridge, which received Grade II Listed status in 1972. The Bridge House Estates own the bridge and are responsible for its upkeep.

This foot and road bridge is 923 ft long with five wrought iron arches to match its sister railway bridge, now demolished. It was built by the P.A. Thom & Company firm to designs by Thomas Cubitt and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1869.

As you cross, you will...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Adrian Pingstone
Sight description based on wikipedia

6) Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge has three claims to fame: it is the newest bridge to span the Thames; it is the only pedestrian-only bridge in London and it holds the record for being the bridge with the shortest opening-closing time in history, as it was closed only two days after being inaugurated.

The bridge was designed, as its name suggests, to be opened in 2000, the start of the 21st century. In 1996 Southwark Council held a competition and invited architects from all over the world to design a...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Arpingstone
Sight description based on wikipedia

7) Southwark Bridge

Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge for traffic linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames, in London. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott. It was built by Sir William Arrol & Co. and opened in 1921. A previous bridge on the site, designed by John Rennie, opened in 1819, and was originally known as Queen Street Bridge, as shown on the 1818 John Snow Map of London. The bridge was notable for having the longest cast iron span, 73 m, ever made. The bridge provides access...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Steve F-E-Cameron
Sight description based on wikipedia

8) Cannon Street Railway Bridge

Cannon Street Railway Bridge spans the River Thames between Southwark Bridge upstream and London Bridge downstream.

The bridge isn’t very attractive – it has a rather utilitarian look about it with its steel girders and cast-iron Dorric pillars. When it was designed in 1863 by John Hankshaw and John Wolfe-Barry for South Eastern Railway, it had decorations and ornaments, but these were removed during the bridge’s complete renovation in 1979.

In 1989 the pleasure boat Marchioness sank...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and David Jones
Sight description based on wikipedia

9) London Bridge

We all know the children’s nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down”. Today’s London Bridge is not falling down, but its predecessors were all destroyed during wars or by fires.

The first bridge to span the Thames at this spot was a Roman pontoon bridge built in 50 AD, replaced in 55 AD by a piled bridge, which was destroyed in 60 AD by Queen Boudicca. The bridge was rebuilt but fell into disrepair when the Romans left. It was rebuilt in 990 and again destroyed – this time by...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and burge5000
Sight description based on wikipedia

10) Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Yorick Petey
Sight description based on wikipedia


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