Westminster Bridge, London

Westminster Bridge, London

Westminster Bridge faced staunch opposition from the Church, the City, and the watermen when it was initially proposed due to concerns about potential losses in ferry traffic and trade. However, upon its completion, the bridge, featuring fifteen semi-circular arches, was hailed as a remarkable achievement, marking the first stone bridge to span the Thames in 500 years. Numerous artists, including Samuel Scott, Canaletto, and Claude Monet, found inspiration in the Old Westminster Bridge and depicted it in their works.

In 1831, the dilapidated old London Bridge was demolished, leading to increased water flow that resulted in erosion, undermining the foundations of Westminster Bridge's piers. In response, a Parliamentary Act was passed in 1853, transferring ownership of the bridge to the Commissioners of Public Works and permitting the construction of a new bridge. Thomas Page, the Commission's engineer, was tasked with its design. To ensure harmony with Sir Charles Barry's new Houses of Parliament, built after a fire in 1834, Barry was enlisted as an architectural consultant. The new bridge was inaugurated on Queen Victoria's 43rd birthday, May 24, 1862, accompanied by a 25-gun salute to commemorate her 25 years on the throne.

Measuring 827 feet (250 meters) in length and featuring seven elliptical cast-iron arches with abutments made of gray granite, Westminster Bridge boasts the highest number of arches among all Thames bridges. The Gothic revival ornamentation on the cast-iron parapets and spandrels was crafted according to Barry's designs. The bridge's verdant green paint pays homage to the leather seats in the House of Commons, the nearest part of the Palace of Westminster to the bridge. Decorative ironwork showcases symbols of parliament and the United Kingdom, including a portcullis, the cross of Saint George, a thistle, a shield, and a rose.

Why You Should Visit:
What truly sets this bridge apart are the breathtaking views it offers. The Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, County Hall, and the majestic Thames itself create a magnificent backdrop. The vistas to the north, east, and south are all exceptionally stunning.

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.

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Westminster Bridge on Map

Sight Name: Westminster 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.
Harry Potter Walking Tour I

Harry Potter Walking Tour I

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 I of the self-guided Happy Potter Walking Tour, you...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 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
London's Historic Pubs Walk

London's Historic Pubs Walk

If there’s any more iconic symbol for London than Big Ben or the London Eye, then it must be the traditional English pub. And London sure is full of them, dating from pre-Victorian times to just about five minutes ago.

With so much history surrounding London there is no shortage of historic pubs to choose from. Whether you fancy half-timbered, rambling watering holes or small but perfectly...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 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
Beatles London Walking Tour

Beatles London Walking Tour

Perhaps one of the most famed and influential bands of all time, whose music has transcended generations, The Beatles continues to be a source of entertainment many decades after the group was formed (1960) and split up (1970).

"The Fab Four" – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – all came from Liverpool, but London was indeed their home-base. As the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

Jack the Ripper, an unidentified serial killer who terrorized the British capital in 1888, became notorious for the series of brutal and gruesome murders that he carried out in the East End of London. The primary setting for the Jack the Ripper attacks was Whitechapel, at the time a poverty-stricken and crime-ridden district, known for its dark alleys and narrow streets.

The name "Jack the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 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...