With more than 2,200 miles of waterways, canals, and rivers, it’s no wonder why the United Kingdom has so many bridges.
In our latest blog series, we’re visiting some of the country’s most beautiful and interesting bridges. In our final installment, we learn more about Tower Bridge.
You didn’t think we’d forgotten about Tower Bridge did you? There was no way we could write a blog series about British bridges and ignore the big kahuna, the grandest bridge of them all. While we know you already know about Tower Bridge, and we know you’ve seen it a billion times on postcards and souvenirs, we want to share a few things you might not know about one of London’s most famous attractions.
Tower Bridge, built in 1886, gets its name from the nearby royal palace Tower of London, where the crown jewels are kept and where the notorious Anne Boleyn was executed. Tower Bridge is often confused by tourists for London Bridge, just one bridge over, but make no mistake: this powerful combined bascule and suspension bridge has never fallen down.
Tower Bridge is 800 feet long and its raising mechanism, which allows tall ships to pass through, is powered by an electro-hydraulic system. The bridge across the Thames took eight years to build, and was originally painted a chocolate brown colour before it was given a facelift for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, when it was repainted a more patriotic red, white and blue.
If you’ve never seen Tower Bridge in person before, it’s worth a visit. Don’t forget, visitors coming to London can stay at any one of our 10 centrally located hotels nearby. The closest to Tower Bridge is the Thistle City Barbican, just a short walk away.