London Bridge: A Historic Landmark and How to Experience It

London Bridge, steeped in history and lore, stands not just as a functional crossing over the River Thames but as a symbol of London's enduring spirit.

Let's look into the rich history of London Bridge and provide practical information on how to experience best this iconic landmark, including details on purchasing tickets for nearby attractions.

The History of London Bridge

london bridge in history

A Bridge Through Time

The story of London Bridge spans nearly 2000 years, tracing back to Roman times. The bridge has undergone numerous transformations, from a wooden bridge built by the Romans to the medieval stone bridge that stood for over 600 years, and finally to the modern concrete and steel structure that exists today.

A Site of Historical Significance

London Bridge has been a witness to many pivotal moments in history. The medieval bridge, famous for having houses and shops built upon it, was a bustling centre of London life. It also had a darker side, displaying the heads of traitors on spikes, the most famous being that of William Wallace. The current bridge opened in 1973, is more functional in design but carries the weight of centuries of London’s history.

Visiting London Bridge

An Iconic Landmark Open to All

One of the best aspects of London Bridge is that it is open to pedestrians and traffic free of charge. Visitors can walk across the bridge, enjoying views of the Thames, the Tower Bridge to the east, and the Shard to the south.

Nearby Attractions: The London Bridge Experience

For those interested in the bridge's history, The London Bridge Experience is a must-visit attraction. This award-winning interactive experience takes you through the bridge's history, from its Roman origins to modern times.

How to Buy Tickets for The London Bridge Experience

Online Ticket Purchase

  1. Official Website: The best way to purchase tickets for The London Bridge Experience is through their website or London Bridge Tickets. Here, you can find information on ticket prices, opening hours, and any special events or tours.

  2. Third-Party Websites: Websites like Viator, TripAdvisor, and GetYourGuide also offer tickets for The London Bridge Experience. These platforms often provide discounts and combo deals, including other attractions in London.

  3. Purchasing Tickets On-Site: Tickets can also be purchased at the entrance of The London Bridge Experience. However, buying tickets online is recommended to avoid waiting in lines, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Tips for Visiting London Bridge and The London Bridge Experience

  1. Plan Your Visit: Check the opening times and schedule your visit to avoid the busiest times, usually midday and weekends.

  2. Explore the Surrounding Area: The area around London Bridge is rich in history and culture. Visit the nearby Borough Market for a taste of London’s diverse food scene.

  3. Dress Appropriately: London’s weather can be unpredictable. Wear comfortable walking shoes and carry an umbrella or raincoat.

  4. Photography: While photography is generally allowed on London Bridge and in many parts of The London Bridge Experience, certain areas may have restrictions.

  5. Accessibility: London Bridge and The London Bridge Experience are accessible to visitors with disabilities.

London Bridge is not just a crossing over the River Thames; it's a journey through the history of one of the world's most famous cities. Walking across the bridge is a free and accessible experience for all, offering spectacular views and a connection to the past. For a deeper dive into its rich history, The London Bridge Experience offers an interactive and informative journey.

What is the difference between London Bridge and Tower Bridge?

the real london bridge

London Bridge and Tower Bridge are two iconic bridges in the city of London, England, but they serve different purposes and are architecturally distinct. Here are the key differences between them:

1. Location and Purpose:

  • London Bridge: London Bridge is a historic bridge that has existed in some form for nearly 2,000 years. It crosses the River Thames and connects the City of London with Southwark. It was originally a simple bridge used for transportation and trade.
  • Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is a more recent structure, built in the late 19th century. It also spans the River Thames, but its purpose is primarily to allow large ships to pass through, as it has a movable section that can be raised.

2. Architecture:

  • London Bridge: In its current form, London Bridge is a modern concrete structure that opened in 1973. It replaced an earlier bridge, which was sold and relocated to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA.
  • Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture and engineering. It has a distinctive look, with its two towers and drawbridge mechanism. The towers house an exhibition exploring the history of the bridge and providing panoramic views of London.

3. Historical Significance:

  • London Bridge: Throughout its history, various versions of London Bridge have been important symbols of the city and its commerce. The nursery rhyme "London Bridge is Falling Down" refers to the numerous times the bridge has been rebuilt or repaired.
  • Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is one of London's most famous landmarks. It has appeared in countless films, TV shows, and works of art, often as a symbol of London or England.

4. Accessibility:

  • London Bridge: London Bridge is a primary transportation route in the city, carrying both vehicles and pedestrians across the River Thames.
  • Tower Bridge: While Tower Bridge is accessible to vehicles and pedestrians, its primary purpose is to allow large ships to pass. As such, the drawbridge is raised approximately 1,000 times a year.

5. Art and Decoration:

  • London Bridge: The current London Bridge is a functional structure, without much in the way of artistic or decorative features.
  • Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is an architectural marvel, with intricate detailing and decorative elements. It is often lit up at night with coloured lights, adding to its aesthetic appeal.

In summary, London Bridge and Tower Bridge are both significant landmarks in the city of London, but they serve different purposes and have distinct architectural styles and histories.

Whether you are a history buff, a curious traveller, or simply seeking to explore the heart of London, London Bridge and its surrounding attractions offer a memorable experience. Remember to plan your visit, book tickets in advance for nearby attractions, and immerse yourself in the enduring legacy of this iconic landmark.