The Tower Bridge Experience (Review)

What’s included

In short, the Tower Bridge experience allows you to climb (well, take a lift) up to the top of Tower Bridge to see some stunning views of London and have a sneak peek into the old engine rooms to learn a bit about how the bridge was powered and its many changes over the years. All tours are self guided unless otherwise booked. Prices are as follows and are cheaper if you book ahead online

You can pre-book your tickets here just make sure to read the terms and conditions (basically you aren’t given fast track entry if you book ahead, you must be accompanied by an adult if you’re under 15 years old and online tickets have to be booked over 24 hours in advance). The experience is fully accessible with lifts and a separate entrance for prams and wheelchairs.

Our Verdict

Where to go
It was about a ten minute walk from Tower Hill station, I’m sure there’s a step free walk from the station which takes a bit longer but we decided to use the underpass route that had a ridiculous amount of stairs that for some reason my little one wanted to jump down making us almost fall to our deaths many times. London bridge station is also pretty close too.

The Concourses
We stayed on the right side of the bridge which luckily enough was the side of the entrance (if you’re on the wrong side you’d probably end up having to walk back on yourself or almost the full length of the bridge and back again to be able to cross). The entry process was pretty simple, a quick bag check and a reception area to buy tickets as we hadn’t paid in advanced. There was then a short wait for the lift to come to collect us and we were off. All of the lifts are manned and the very lovely staff members explain the next steps of the process to you as you ascend/descend. In the first lift it was explained that we would be taken up to the two viewing platforms where we can stay for as long or as little as we liked but note that once you leave the two viewing bridges and enter the lift that takes you down to the main road there’s no turning back. Once up on the platforms everything was pretty straightforward – there were posters doted around with plenty of information about the sights as well as various screens and two photo stations that printed out Tower Bridge themed postcards. 

The highlight up there really is the glass floors which you have the option of walking around if you really don’t want to walk over them. In the second concourse the ceiling was mirrored so it made for some really great pictures. For the photographer looking for a more professional picture there are mini windows along each concourse that open which allow you to pop your camera out of, so you don’t get the glare from the glass. There’s also a really handy interactive VR app that you can download on your phone which works with your devices camera to bring the experience to life.

The Engine Room
After descending in the lift to the main road and walking along the rest of Tower Bridge we made our way to the engine rooms which are in a separate area. Again, it’s fully step free as there are lifts. You have to hold onto your main ticket or else you won’t be granted entry into the engine rooms. This part is geared more at offer children and adults as there isn’t much in the way of interactivity as its mainly information based but there was a lovely (although temporary) activity table at the end of the very short tour with colouring activities themed around the 100th birthday of the man whose idea it was to construct the bridge. At the end of the walk you walk through a small gift shop offering a wide variety of the usual touristy items you'd find in central London.

Overall, it was a lovely experience. I think when you book the experience you know what you’ve signed up for – they don’t over promise and under deliver on anything, it’s simply an information based sightseeing tour from the top of Tower Bridge. Would it be nice if there was more interactivity for the younger ones? Yes. But its not the kind of attraction that is intended for loooong visit anyways. They get given a little activity booklet at the start of the experience but it was filled with games like spot the difference. I’d like to visit during some of the events that take place on the bridge at some point too. I’d say it was worth the trip, mainly because it worked out very cheap as my LO was free.

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