Millennium Bridge, London

Millennium Bridge, London

The Millennium Bridge boasts three noteworthy distinctions: it stands as the Thames River's newest crossing, serves as London's exclusive pedestrian-only bridge, and has earned a place in history for having the shortest duration of operation before closure, shutting just two days after its grand inauguration.

The bridge was conceptualized to coincide with the year 2000, symbolizing the dawn of the 21st century. In 1996, Southwark Council conducted a competition, inviting architects from around the globe to devise a new structure that would embody the spirit of the new era. The winning designs, submitted by Foster & Partners and Ove Arup & Partners, marked the commencement of construction in 1998.

This strikingly contemporary suspension bridge spans a length of 325 meters and is supported by eight suspension cables intentionally positioned low to preserve unobstructed views of Saint Paul's Cathedral and Tate Modern. These cables are precisely tensioned to exert a formidable 2000-ton force against the sturdy piers rooted on each bank.

The bridge was formally inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II and originally opened its gates in 2000. However, an unforeseen oscillation, brought about by the immense pedestrian throng (comprising 90,000 individuals) on its opening days, earned it the 'Wobbly Bridge' moniker. This issue was rectified by retrofitting 37 fluid-viscous dampers, designed to dissipate energy and control horizontal movement, as well as installing 52 tuned mass dampers to regulate vertical movement. Consequently, the bridge was reinstated in 2002 and has since remained free from significant vibrational disturbances.

***HARRY POTTER MOVIE***
It might have been this bridge's association with instability that led the filmmakers to depict it as a target of Death Eaters in the film adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", deviating from the book where the Brockdale Bridge suffers a similar fate. Thankfully, despite its dramatic destruction in the harrowing opening scene of the film, where it snaps and crumbles as Death Eaters wreak havoc across London, the now iconic Millennium Bridge was not harmed during filming and you can safely walk on it today.

Why You Should Visit:
An excellent connection between the Tate Modern and Globe Theatre on one side and Saint Paul's Cathedral on the other, making it highly convenient for those exploring both riverbanks. This pedestrian-only bridge offers a delightful walking experience, with the cathedral serving as a picturesque backdrop.

Tip:
Wear comfortable shoes. Take an umbrella or a rain-proof jacket, just in case.
Also, note the paintings or stickers that are on the floor of the bridge.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in London. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Millennium Bridge on Map

Sight Name: Millennium Bridge
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sherlock Holmes Tour in London

Sherlock Holmes Tour in London

Among a myriad of other, real-life celebrities who have ever called London their home, perhaps the most famous is the fictional consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, created by Conan Doyle. Indeed, the ingenious sleuth has left an indelible mark on the literary and cultural landscape of London ever since the appearance of the first stories about him in the late 1880s. Years on, there are several...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
South Bank Walking Tour

South Bank Walking Tour

The South Bank is a stretch of the Thames in London that is beautiful to walk through because there are so many iconic and magnificent things to see along the way. A lively and ever-changing area at the heart of London’s cultural scene, it also has the advantage of offering views across the Thames to some of the most famous buildings anywhere. The Palace of Westminster is the major feature in...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
London Introduction Walking Tour

London Introduction Walking Tour

After the Roman invasion of 43 AD, the settlement of Londinium came into being. Things went well enough until 61 AD. Then Queen Boudica and her Iceni warriors arrived. They burned the town to ashes. They were not just rowdy tourists. Londinium had died but it rose again and it flourished until the Romans left in the 5th century.

With the Romans gone, Londinium was Anglo-Saxon Lundenwic. Until...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Covent Garden Walking Tour

Covent Garden Walking Tour

A shopping and entertainment hub on the eastern fringes of London's West End, Covent Garden is a district historically associated with the former fruit-and-vegetable market – currently a shopping spot popular with locals and tourists alike.

Once a slum area, today the north of the district is given over to independent shops centered on Neal's Yard and Seven Dials. Both places offer...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Often called England's national poet or simply "the Bard", William Shakespeare is revered as one of, if not the greatest playwright this world has ever seen. The dramas, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth are among the finest creations in the English language, translated into every major language and performed more often than those of any other author....  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Harry Potter Walking Tour II

Harry Potter Walking Tour II

The arrival of Harry Potter books, followed by tremendously successful Hollywood adaptation, has made London an even more popular destination now with the Harry Potter fans all over the world. The list of attractions in the city associated with Potter’s journeys includes both, newly-invented as well as some long-standing locations.

On Part II of the self-guided Happy Potter Walking Tour, you...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of their must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades to snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street, there are a host of shops selling items which typically represent this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs...