Exploring the Tower Bridge Viewpoints

Tower Bridge in London is not just a functional piece of infrastructure but a destination that offers some of the most spectacular viewpoints in the city. These viewpoints provide a unique perspective on both the bridge itself and the surrounding iconic landmarks. Here’s an in-depth look at the various viewpoints at Tower Bridge and what you can expect from each one.

The High-Level Walkways


The high-level walkways, suspended 42 meters (138 feet) above the River Thames, connect the two towers of Tower Bridge. These walkways were originally designed to allow pedestrians to cross the bridge even when the bascules were raised for river traffic.

Glass Floor Walkways

A standout feature of the high-level walkways is the glass floor sections, which offer a thrilling view straight down to the bridge and the river below. These glass panels span the width of the walkway and provide a dramatic perspective of the traffic and boats passing underneath.

  • Experience: Walking on the glass floor can be both exhilarating and slightly nerve-wracking, as you watch the bustling activity far below. This unique perspective allows you to appreciate the scale and engineering of the bridge.
  • Views: From the glass walkways, you can enjoy panoramic views of London’s skyline, including landmarks such as the Tower of London, the Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Canary Wharf financial district.

North and South Towers

Both the North and South Towers house exhibitions detailing the history and construction of Tower Bridge. The towers provide access to the high-level walkways and offer their own unique viewpoints.

  • North Tower: This tower often features exhibits on the planning and construction of the bridge. The windows in the tower provide stunning views of the Tower of London and the cityscape to the north.
  • South Tower: The South Tower typically focuses on the social and historical context of the bridge. The windows here offer views towards the south bank of the Thames and the modern skyline dominated by the Shard.

The Engine Rooms


The Victorian Engine Rooms, located at the southern end of the bridge, house the original steam engines that once powered the raising of the bridge’s bascules. Although these rooms are primarily focused on the machinery, they also offer interesting perspectives on the bridge’s engineering marvels.


  • Historical Insight: The Engine Rooms provide a fascinating look into the industrial heritage of Tower Bridge. Visitors can see the coal-fired boilers, steam engines, and accumulators that were essential to the bridge’s operation.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Modern displays and interactive exhibits help to explain how the steam engines worked and how the bridge’s lifting mechanism operates today.

External Viewpoints

While the internal viewpoints of Tower Bridge offer incredible sights, there are several excellent external viewpoints where you can appreciate the bridge’s architecture and its place in the London landscape.

River Walks

  • The South Bank: Walking along the South Bank of the Thames, especially from More London Riverside to City Hall, provides unobstructed views of Tower Bridge. This walk is particularly scenic in the evening when the bridge is illuminated.
  • The North Bank: The area around the Tower of London offers fantastic views of Tower Bridge. The juxtaposition of the historic Tower of London with the Victorian bridge makes for striking photographs.

Nearby Parks and Rooftop Bars

  • Potters Fields Park: Located just to the west of Tower Bridge on the south side, this park offers green space and clear views of the bridge. It’s a great spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.
  • The Shard: For a high-altitude perspective, visit the viewing platform at the Shard. From here, you can look down on Tower Bridge and get a broader view of London.
  • Sky Garden: Another excellent elevated viewpoint is the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street. Offering 360-degree views of the city, it provides a unique vantage point of Tower Bridge and the surrounding area.

Special Viewing Experiences

Bridge Lift Viewing

One of the most exciting times to visit Tower Bridge is during a bridge lift. The bascules are raised to allow tall ships and boats to pass through, and witnessing this event from the high-level walkways is a memorable experience.

  • Schedule: Bridge lifts occur around 1,000 times a year. The schedule is published in advance on the Tower Bridge website, so you can plan your visit to coincide with a lift.
  • Views: During the lift, you can watch the bascules rise and the boats pass through from the glass walkways, providing a unique and dynamic perspective.

Practical Tips for Visiting the Tower Bridge Viewpoints

  1. Check Opening Hours: The Tower Bridge Exhibition is open daily, but hours can vary, especially on public holidays. Check the official website for the most up-to-date information.
  2. Purchase Tickets in Advance: To avoid long lines and ensure entry at your preferred time, it’s best to buy tickets online in advance.
  3. Visit Early or Late: To avoid the largest crowds, consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
  4. Bridge Lift Times: Plan your visit around the bridge lift schedule for a chance to see the bascules in action.
  5. Photography: Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the stunning views. The glass walkways and panoramic cityscapes offer plenty of photo opportunities.
  6. Accessibility: Tower Bridge is accessible to visitors with mobility issues. Lifts are available to the high-level walkways and the Engine Rooms, and accessible toilets are provided.


The Tower Bridge viewpoint offers a unique and multifaceted experience for visitors. From the thrilling glass walkways to the educational exhibits in the towers and engine rooms, and the stunning external viewpoints along the river, there are countless ways to appreciate this iconic London landmark. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for breathtaking views of London, Tower Bridge has something to offer. By planning your visit and taking advantage of the various viewpoints, you can make the most of your trip to this extraordinary piece of British heritage.