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.

Download The GPSmyCity App

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.
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
Jane Austen’s London

Jane Austen’s London

The celebrated English novelist Jane Austen primarily lived between Bath and Hampshire. However, London also held a special significance in Austen's life. Many of her novels drew inspiration from the capital, like Lydia Bennet and Mr Wickham’s elopement in “Pride & Prejudice.”

One of Austen's cherished spots in London was Twinings, a renowned tea shop. Jane Austen was known...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 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
Walk around Buckingham Palace

Walk around Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, the British monarch's official residence, is a must-see for anyone visiting London, but so are the adjacent royal establishments that give a unique window into the royal way of life. On this self-guided walking tour, along with Buckingham Palace and its memorable fountain, you will visit the St. James's private royal residence, the wonderful Queen's Gallery, and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
City of London Walking Tour

City of London Walking Tour

The City of London, widely referred to simply as the City (with the capital C), is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, for being just 1.12 sq mi in area. Situated on top of the original Roman center of commerce, called Londinium, established in 43 AD, this neighborhood is the historic and financial heart of the British capital. It has been a major meeting point for international business...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
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

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...