When you visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition, you get two things – great history and nice views. It doesn’t take up a lot of time to experience this, and it’s a very good value.
The bridge was opened in 1894. At the time, London desperately needed another bridge to handle the traffic. It was critical, though, that the bridge be able to accommodate both pedestrian, vehicle and boat traffic. So, a competition was held and the winner came up with a scheme that was an engineering feat. It took around 10 years to build the bridge.
The high level pedestrian walkway was actually used until 1910. It was closed due to decreasing use and increasing crime, and remained closed until 1982 when this exhibition opened. Now you can go up to the walkway and get nice views of the city. Considering that London does not have many skyscraper viewing points, this vantage point fills that void in a unique way.
The exhibition has a nice mix of photos, interactive media, and artifacts that give you the history of the building of the bridge and show you how the bridge actually opens for boat traffic.
I read that for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, they painted the bridge red, white and blue. For the Diamond Jubilee, they have installed new lighting which enhances the bridge’s architecture and enables the lights to change in intensity and color. The new lighting will also be put to good use to show off the Olympic Rings come July when the summer games begin.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the bridge open. The scheduled openings are published on the Tower Bridge’s website.
This is the perfect venue to take in once you’re done with visiting the Tower of London. It shouldn’t take up much more than an hour and it’s great. Kids love it but it’s not just for kids. So I say, go and enjoy!