Hi everyone, Maisie here! I hope you are all having a lovely summer so far. Lily and I had a brilliant day out in London a few weeks ago and one of the highlights was visiting Tower Bridge.
Tower Bridge is a true feat of engineering and I loved seeing all the details and inner workings. We also learned a bit about the people that were there when the tower was built from engineers to operators to cooks!
It was such a fun day and I would highly recommend visiting Tower Bridge, it would be perfect for families or just by yourself.
Keep reading if you want to find out a bit more about Tower Bridge!
One of our favourite summer activities so far was a fantastic visit to Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and Lily and I had never visited. Lily suggested we go on a tour and I was very much up for it! Have a look at their website to look at planning a visit and buying tickets here!
Tower Bridge is a Bascule bridge meaning it uses counterweights to raise and lower the two bridge sections.
The Tower Bridge tour is split into 5 sections:
- North Tower
- The Walkway
- South Tower
- The Blue Line
- Engine Room
I’ll take you through each of these parts of Tower Bridge in the following sections.
The first area you enter of Tower Bridge is the North Tower. As you climb the steps to the top there are facts and displays informing visitors of the engineers, technicians and creators of Tower Bridge.
There were some amazing films playing all throughout the North Tower showing you what Tower Bridge was like when it was first built. The hustle and bustle of life in Victorian London is shown and it’s incredible seeing how Tower Bridge slotted into London life.
As you reach the top of the North Tower the many steps climbed are worth it because there are also some amazing views from the walkway area. You can see across the whole of the city of London area, it is a view of London I have never seen before so was great to experience!
The glass floor section in tower bridge was really extraordinary. You can see down to the river and road below. Lily is a little scared of heights so was a bit apprehensive at first!
There is even the chance of doing a yoga class on the glass floor hehe! Find out more here!
The glass floor was installed in 2014 and is 11.5m by 1.8m – which is actually smaller than I thought it would be! I kind of assumed the whole floor of the walkway would be clear but it’s only a small section – which Lily was quite thankful for. There is also a mirror in the ceiling just so you can get that perfect picture for Instagram!
After the amazing walkway you then descend the South Tower and discover the stories of the people who worked and maintained Tower Bridge.
The image to the left here is the inner workings of the original bascule chamber. It was incredibly interesting to find out that over 14,000 tons of steel and iron were used in the construction of the bridge.
We also found out that the bridge used to be a chocolate brown colour but was painted it’s iconic blue for the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977.
The Blue Line
The Blue Line links the South Tower to the Engine Room and it celebrates the ‘ordinary’ people that worked on Tower Bridge from its construction and throughout the years.
Research was conducted to find people that built, operated and worked on the bridge over many years, it was fascinating seeing people’s names, job roles and how long they did that job.
After the bridge we ventured into the Engine Room which is a bit of a hidden treasure! The original Victorian Tower Bridge steam engines and coal burners are situated in the Engine Room. We found out that the bridge used 20 tons of coal a week in its prime and would be raised 20-30 times a day – now it is only raised between 2 and 3 times a day.
Now Tower Bridge has been switched to electric power from the original steam power – in 1976 the switch was made. Now the original steam engines are just for display only!
I loved being in the engine room after seeing the whole bridge and understanding the inner workings of it. We were informed that the original steam engines could raise the bascules in only 60 seconds! We also got to learn a bit about the original engineers who worked in the engine rooms in the late 1800s.
All in all our visit to Tower Bridge was a fantastic day out and you should definitely consider a visit to the bridge! I hope you are having a lovely summer and making the most of all the museums and STEM venues that have reopened across the UK!
Where are you hoping to visit this summer?
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