Skip to main content

London's Tower Bridge

During my all too brief visit to London in September 2014, I had set out to do a whirlwind tour of some of the big touristy sites in the city. The Tower Bridge wasn't initially planned to be one of the highlights of my time in London, although I knew I was going to see it because I had planned on spending time at the nearby Tower of London. While touring around the Tower of London was definitely worth the high price of admission, after walking around the historic fortress and palace, I had little interest in waiting on a long line to see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's crown jewels, so I opted to check out one of the crown jewels of the world of bridges.

While crossing over the River Thames by foot on the Tower Bridge, I discovered that there is a museum and exhibition inside the bridge's towers and the high level observation decks, so I had to check it out. While you visit the museum, you can watch a video about the bridge's design and construction, its opening over 120 years ago, visit an exhibit the observation deck and even visit the engine room. I certainly enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of the Tower Bridge, along with seeing the bridge both inside and out.

View of the Tower Bridge
The Thames has a fair amount of river traffic around the bridge.

The Tower Bridge as seen from the Tower of London. Despite the grand Victorian era design of the Tower Bridge's towers, the bridge is actually named after the Tower of London.

A little closer side view of the center towers and observation deck.

The Tower Bridge is open to both vehicles and foot traffic.

The Tower Bridge is also one of the more detailed bridges that I've visited.

A view of the Thames from the observation deck.

Standing underneath the observation deck of the bridge.

A view of part of London's skyline from the bridge.

Some views inside the bridge's engine room. The bridge was once operated by steam as the bridge's bascule lift was opened and closed. The power source of the bridge was converted to electricity in 1976. It takes about 1 minute and 15 seconds to open or close the lift.

Sources and Links
Tower Bridge Exhibition - Bridge History
Elite Travel Blog - How Long Does Tower Bridge Take To Open and Close? - Tower Bridge: 10 Facts and Figures About London's Tower Bridge You Probably Didn't Know
Tower Bridge Exhibition - Tower Bridge Engine Rooms
Flickr - Doug Kerr's Flickr Gallery on the Tower Bridge 


Popular posts from this blog

Old US 101; the San Juan Grade

While researching maps for California State Route 183 I noticed something interesting on the 1935 County Highway maps for San Benito and Monterey County.  From what it appeared it seems that there used to be a state highway running from US 101 south on San Juan Highway, through San Juan Bautista, south over the San Juan Grade to Salinas.  It turns out what I discovered was an a very old alignment of US 101 which was replaced by 1932.

The information relevant to the history of US 101 over the San Juan Grade is as follows:

-  The San Juan Grade was built in 1915 which presumably replaced Old Stage Road from Salinas to San Juan Bautista.  Presumably this was part of alignment adopted as Legislative Route 2 from San Francisco south to San Diego in 1909.  This history can be seen on 1931 edition of the California Highways and Public Works Journal and on

1931 Highways and Public Works Journal

CAhighways on LRN 2

-  By 1926 the San Juan Grade became part of US 101.  The San Jua…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierras in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack during the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared Tioga Pass, I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.

The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road east to US Route 395.  The Tioga Pass road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is also partially on California State Route 120 east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highest road mountain pass in California with Tioga Pass which lies at 9,945 feet above sea level.

The Tioga Pass Road is very old with the eastern section up Lee Vining Canyon to the Tioga Mine being built in 1883.  The connecting section of the Tioga Pass Road from Big Oak Flat R…

California State Route 49, The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north over Yuba Pass to CA 89)

After completing California State Route 124 I took CA 16 to the eastern terminus to start my first Trans-Sierra route; California State Route 49/Golden Chain Highway over Yuba Pass.

As stated I joined CA 49 from the eastern terminus of CA 16 in Amador County.  CA 49 actually begins in Madera County to the south in Oakhurst at CA 41.  CA 49 is about 295 miles long and travels most of the traditional 1849 Gold Rush Country north from Oakhurst to CA 70.  If you want history and old towns then CA 49 is one of the best routes on the West Coast to see both.

To the north of CA 16 the next major junction is Signed County Route E16 in Plymouth which is on Shenandoah Road.  E16 is a 33.2 mile route which travels northeast to US 50. 

Plymouth dates back to the 1850s and is mostly known for a winery that dates back to 1856.  These photos are from Main Street looking west.

CA 49 generally is very rural and doesn't deviate much from when it was first signed back in 1934.  While CA 49 isn'…