- 1 Tower Bridge Glass Walkway- Scary for Kids? Or not?
- 2 Make a friend or two…
- 3 Landmark Spotting
- 4 Visit the Engine Rooms
- 5 World Schooling – teaching your kids as you travel!
- 6 Stuff for Kids to Do at Tower Bridge Glass Walkway Exhibition
- 7 The Inside Scoop
- 8 Eat and Drink
- 9 Our Top Tips
- 10 Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
- 11 Instagram: Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
- 12 Click here to follow us!
Tower Bridge Glass Walkway- Scary for Kids? Or not?
We tossed up between the Tower of London or the Tower Bridge Experience. What got my boys over the line was the Tower Bridge Glass Walkway – the kids and I were intrigued! Upon arrival, and with City Cruises Combo Ticket already in hand, we were ushered into a group and taken directly to the lift. (I’m not sure if the ‘fast pass’ letting us through was because of our pre-bought ticket, or the fact I had two busy active boys with me). If you don’t like lifts, you can walk up the grand Victorian staircase instead.
The kiosk lady handed both boys a Tower Bridge Exhibition Passport, and one set of stickers and explained to me that we should collect the rest of the sticker packs (3 more to complete the passport properly) at locations further on. (If we missed any, we were instructed to collect the rest at the gift shop before we left.)
Once at the top, we headed out along the High Level Walkway straight to the SUPER DOOPER FUN Tower Bridge Glass Walkway! We stood 42 metres above the River Thames, watching as iconic Red London buses, Black Cabs and tiny people traversed across the bridge in peak hour traffic. We waved as City Cruise ferry boats sailed beneath. We also promptly forgot all about the sticker activity!
My boys showed NO fear at all. They, along with other children, LAID DOWN on the floor almost immediately to get the closest view possible. Paradoxically, there were quite a few adults who had to be coerced to put even a foot on the glass. Self preservation perhaps? There is something innately wrong with stepping out onto a glass floor. It’s kind of freaky but super fun at the same time!
Obligatory ‘Scared’ Photo!
Make a friend or two…
There’s something unique about this Tower Bridge Glass Walkway though- I heard quite a few people share their stories of how they came to be afraid of heights. The glass walkway acted as a conductor of friendship under the most unlikely circumstances. There were many glances of recognition, and ‘hiya’s’ with fellow Tower Bridge glass walkway achievers as we continued on with our explorations. I have to say, it was SUCH a nice change to move through a tourist destination with some personable interactions, laughter and storytelling with fellow explorers rather than just staring past one another as often happens.
There’s so much else to see from the walkways too – iconic London landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, being the two most famous. There’s also an information display showing the 40+ great bridges in the world.
One thing we did NOT know was that numerous times during the day, the bridge opens for passing boat traffic, and if you time your visit right, you can be standing on the glass walkway when it does! Now, we’ll have to go back!
Visit the Engine Rooms
Following the visit to the walkways, it’s time to head down to the Victorian Engine Rooms. For the kids, this might actually be the highlight. There’s huge steam engines, furnaces and other machinery that were once used to power the raising of the Tower Bridge ‘roads’. There’s some hands-on stuff for the kids here too, and a gift shop.
World Schooling – teaching your kids as you travel!
- It took eight years, five major contractors and the relentless labour of 432 construction workers to build Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge finally opened in 1892.
- The glass floor measures 11 metres long and 1.8 metres wide and comprise of panels weighing 530 kilograms each – the installation took a 20-strong team to construct it!
- In 1952, a London bus driven by Albert Gunter had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the number 78 bus still on it.
- In 1977, Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. (Before that, it was painted a chocolate brown colour).
- In 1982, Tower Bridge opened to the public for the first time since 1910, with a permanent exhibition inside called The Tower Bridge Experience.
Stuff for Kids to Do at Tower Bridge Glass Walkway Exhibition
While we collected stickers for a Tower Bridge Exhibition Passport, visitors to Tower Bridge now have a BRAND NEW APP to explore Tower Bridge like never before! Designed especially for families, this app is all about hands-on interactive learning about Tower Bridge. SUPER FUN! Check out some of the features below:
- Transform your mobile device into a working wrench and tighten the bolts of a shaky engine
- Shovel coal into the boiler to power the bridge
- Steer your boat to safety along the Thames by tipping your phone from side to side!
Available on Apple iOS and Android now.
There’s also a new Family Trail booklet for those who like old-school paper-based fun! The booklet aims to entertain, encourage imaginative learning, and ensure everyone in the family has a modern day of fun and laughter.
- Unearth amazing stories from the Bridge’s history as well as discover the way Tower Bridge functions.
- Instructions to build your very own paper boat
- Join in a game of eye-spy using the panoramic views of London from the high-level Walkways,
Ask one of the helpful hosts for your copy of the Family Trail booklet.
The Inside Scoop
- Summer Opening Hours: April – September 10:00 – 17:30 (last admission)
- Winter Opening Hours: October – March 09:30 – 17:00 (last admission)
Tower Bridge Exhibition is closed 24 – 26 December and open from 10:00 on 1 January.
- Visitors are advised to allow additional time for validating their online booking, security checks and lift access up to the Walkways.
- Entry into the Walkways cannot be guaranteed for a specific time at peak times or during bridge lifts.
- Be sure to catch a BRIDGE LIFT. Check here for Bridge Lift Times.
- £9.00 adults, £3.90 for children (ages 5 -15), Seniors £6.30, under 5 FREE!
- Buy tickets online (at least 24 hours in advance) here and save a few pennies on each ticket.
- Phone: +44 (0) 20 7403 3761 (09:30 – 17:00 GMT Mon-Fri)
- Tower Bridge Website
- Email (guest relations): email@example.com
- The following bus routes will take you to Tower Bridge: 15, 42, 78,100, RV1.
- Tower Hill station can be accessed from the District and Circle lines to the north side of the Bridge.
- London Bridge station is served by the Northern and Jubilee lines and brings you to the south bank of the River Thames. Tower Bridge is just a short walk away.
- Reach Tower Bridge Exhibition from either London Bridge, Fenchurch Street or Tower Gateway DLR Stations.
- Riverboats stop at St Katherine Pier and Tower Pier on the north bank and at London Bridge City Pier on the south bank. All are a short walk from Tower Bridge Exhibition/
- Cycle hire docking points are available at St Katherine Way on the north bank of the river and on Tooley Street and at One Tower Bridge on the south side of the river. Tower Bridge Exhibition is a short walk from each of these points.
- The nearest car park is Tower Hill Coach and Car Park situated at 50 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6DP, situated next to the Tower of London.
- Download the Tower Bridge Local Parking Information for Cars and Coaches.
- PLEASE NOTE: From 1st Oct – 30th Dec, Tower Bridge Road will be closed for essential maintenance works. The Exhibition will remain open throughout the works. For more information, please visit the City of London website.
Location and Map
- Address: Tower Bridge Exhibition, Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP, United Kingdom.
Eat and Drink
- Head over to the food outlets outside Tower of London and grab yourselves some hot chips, wrapped in faux newspaper. A very touristy thing to do, but delicious all the same, and the kids will think it’s great!
Our Top Tips
- Due to popular demand, Yoga is back at the Bridge! Experience something truly unique by joining in a sunrise yoga classes along the high-level Walkways, 42 metres above the River Thames. Enjoy stunning London views out to the west and even down below through our spectacular glass floor. Classes will take place once a month, beginning Wednesday 17 August 2016.
- Tots at Tower Bridge. Take your kids to join in a live storytelling session in the Tower bridge Glass Walkway area! For details of the next session, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7940 8397.
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome