London is well known for being a riverside city. Indeed, the River Thames is one of the main reasons that the city was built here all the way back in 46 AD. Thanks to wide river routes into the North Sea, maritime trade into London was a large part of its formation. Guests of the Signature Townhouse Hyde Park London can find out more about the riverside industry of the city via the London Docklands Museum and the Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
But a river city demands bridges, and it’s astounding to think that the city of London once functioned with just one. Over the 19th and 20th century though, London has expanded its borders to encompass a whopping 1500 square kilometres, creating transport networks over and under the river to ease travel and navigation. Guests of London family hotel special offers have probably used some of these bridges during their visit but if not, here are some of the bridges that define the modern city.
Tower Bridge was completed in the late 19th century and is probably the most iconic in London. A large suspension bridge, Tower Bridge connects Southwark to the Tower of London in Tower Hamlets and has its own exhibition space on the upper floors. Tower Bridge, London can be crossed by foot and road, and its two towers peak at a whopping 65 metres. The upper level exhibition space comes with a glass walkway connecting the towers, boasting stunning views over Central London.
Whilst London Bridge may not be much to look at, it represents more than a thousand years of previous bridges on this spot. Once festooned with houses before the Great Fire of London in 1666, London Bridge was rebuilt twice after. Before the 19th century, it was the only bridge crossing in the entirety of the city, and so a lot of industry has developed around it. Guests of accommodation near Hyde Park London can still enjoy markets, theatres and business hubs around the bridge.
Built to mark the year 2000, the Millennium Bridge is a foot bridge crossing between the Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre and on its other side, runs up to St Paul’s Cathedral. Though closed after its initial opening for almost two years, the “wobble” experienced by pedestrians crossing the bridge on its opening has long been fixed!
Golden Jubilee Bridges
These three bridges serve rail, road and pedestrian and are situated on the South Bank and the rail bridge was originally designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 19th century. Though all that remains of his design is its stone foundations, the bridge is still incredibly useful to this day, connecting to Waterloo Station and the South Bank on one side, and up towards Embankment and Trafalgar Square on the other.
Connecting Chelsea to Battersea, this beautiful bridge dates back to 1873 and has distinctive cable stays that give it elements of a suspension bridge. This one stands out thanks to its contrasting design elements, all of which make a striking feature to the western banks of the Thames.