Built between 1886 and 1894, Tower Bridge is one of London‘s defining landmarks.

When it was built, Tower Bridge was the largest bascule bridge ever completed.

The word ‘bascule’ comes from the French word for ‘seesaw’. These bascules were operated by hydraulics, using steam to power the enormous pumping engines.

Today, the bascules are still operated by hydraulic power, but since 1976 they have been driven by oil and electricity rather than steam.

Tower Bridge lifts around 800 times a year. On the website you can find out when the next Bridge Lift will be and for which vessel the Bridge will be lifted.

You can visit inside Tower Bridge and take in stunning panoramic views from the high level West Walkway.

Images by Cool Places Britain

Try walking the south section of the Thames Path.

It starts at Tower Bridge and the trail connects some of the most evocative places on the historic riverside, culminating in the World Heritage Site at Greenwich.

Here the National Trail continues beyond Greenwich as far as the Thames Barrier, where it officially ends.

Cool Places to Explore: St Paul’s Cathedral | Tower of London | Maritime Greenwich | St Katherine Docks.

Cool Places to Eat: Skygarden | White Mulberries | The Ivy Tower Bridge.