Built in 1894, when London was still a busy port, Tower Bridge was designed to raise up to let tall ships pass through. The London landmark famously comprises two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the towers. The bridge is 800 feet (244m) long with two towers, each 213 feet (65m) high, built on massive piers containing over 70,000 tons of concrete and sunk deep the riverbed of the Thames. The pedestrian walkways are 143 feet (44m) above the river at high tide.
Though the views were fantastic, the high level walkways weren’t much used after the bridge was built because they weren’t enclosed, the stairs were steep and pickpockets and prostitutes lurked up there. Today, a lift takes you up from a modern visitors facility to a sumptuously decorated corridor of light and glass – and the views are even more breathtaking!
Tel: 020 7403 3761. www.towerbridge.org.uk