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Things to Do in Tower Bridge & Tower Hill | What to See & Where to Shop, Stay, & Eat

Tower Bridge is a London icon – and is located right by the famous Tower of London. So it’s no surprise that just about every visitor to London will spend time here at some point. If you’re wondering what to do at Tower Bridge, this guide will walk you through the bridge, the tower, and the area in general. 

Kicking off with the top things to do in Tower Bridge, we’ll show you where to go. Also covered are accommodation options, places to eat, and how to get there. Plus insider tips, and the answers to frequently asked questions. 

There’s lots to do in this part of London. It’s right by the River Thames, and close to the City of London and the docklands. Visit here and you can see Roman remains, Victorian warehouses, a Royal Navy warship, a churchyard garden, and one of the world’s most famous cathedrals. You can also climb several major landmarks for unparalleled, panoramic views over the city and beyond. 

Whether you have the Tower of London in your sights, are considering staying close to Tower Hill tube, or are wondering what other attractions near Tower Bridge you could visit, read on. This is the complete guide to what to see and do in Tower Hill, London. 

My favourite Yeoman warder Chris (now retired) showing Walks tour guests around the Tower of London for the Opening Ceremony
  • Foodies 
  • History buffs
  • Fans of being by the river
  • People seeking panoramic viewing points

Tower Bridge is probably the most famous of all the arches across the Thames. Dating back to Victorian times, it opened in 1894. The two towers and lifting mechanism make the bridge one of London’s most instantly recognisable landmarks. 

Standing on a glass ceiling just one of the many things to do in Tower Bridge.

It’s worth taking a closer look at Tower Bridge. Inside you can cross the high-level glass walkways, suspended more than 40 metres above the Thames. This gives you spectacular city views. 

And don’t worry – they’re very safe indeed, as they were designed to support up to half-a-dozen elephants! There are useful, integral camera windows here to help you snap the perfect picture. 

Enter the engine rooms to see inside how the Tower Bridge lifts were kept moving for the best part of a century. You can also find out all about the 432 people who worked here, keeping the bridge in motion. 

The Blue Line stretches between the engine rooms and the towers. It shows the names, roles, and dates of those who worked in the former, thereby commemorating their efforts.

Click here to buy your Tower Bridge entry ticket (Tower Bridge is also included in the London Pass)

The Tower of London is one of the city’s biggest-hitting attractions, and as such not to be missed! It’s played an important role in the history of the monarchy, and in its time has been used as a prison, a mint, a treasury, and of course as a means of defence. 

This is number one among things to do near Tower Bridge, so avoid weekends and get here early if you can. Expect to walk up lots of stairs, and if possible allow about four hours for your visit. There’s a lot of buildings, armour, ravens, and more to see!

Booking a tour can be a good way to beat the crowds at the Crown Jewels, after seeing the historic opening ceremony. Find out more in our complete guide to visiting the Tower of London.

Click here to book Tower of London entry tickets

Click here to book a Walks tour including early access and a river cruise

Right by the Tower Hill tube station entrance you can find the remains of the Roman city wall. Look for the little garden southeast of the station, about midway down the stairs to the Tower Hill underpass and off the path to the Tower of London. It’s relatively little known, and pretty well preserved. 

This museum, based on a former Royal Navy warship, is good fun for all the family. It’s permanently moored on Queen’s Walk by the Thames. You can visit nine decks on this vessel, so again expect lots of stairs. The ship is now run by the Imperial War Museum.

In contrast to the better-known sights, Shad Thames is something of a hidden gem. It’s a historic street in Bermondsey, close to Tower Bridge. 

The industrial buildings include 19th century warehouses, many of which have since been converted to upmarket flats. A series of walkways connecting the buildings overhead make this one of the city’s most Instagrammable spots. 

This 72-storey skyscraper is also in Bermondsey, and is home to a hotel, apartments, restaurants, and a viewing gallery. The View from the Shard is one of London’s leading attractions, and is near Tower Bridge. On a clear day, you can see up to 40 miles away. 

Click here to buy tickets for The View from the Shard (The View from The Shard is also included in the London Pass)

Another top place for panoramic city views is the Sky Garden. Housed in the distinctive Walkie Talkie building, this is one of the best free things to do in the Tower Hill area. The garden is under a glass dome, and there’s also two restaurants and a couple of bars here. Pre book your ticket online in advance of your visit. 

Climb this fluted, columnar monument for sweeping views over the city from the purpose-built platform. It’s close to the northern end of London Bridge, in the Pudding Lane area, and was designed by Christopher Wren. 

Mighty St Paul’s is also close to Tower Bridge, and is so much more than merely a cathedral. It’s also a major art depository, home to the Whispering Gallery, and has even starred on the silver screen. 

Find out more about it in our ultimate guide to visiting St Paul’s Cathedral.

Click here to buy tickets for St Paul’s Cathedral

Though this Wren church between Tower Hill and London Bridge was badly damaged during the Second World War, there’s a pretty public garden here with seating, fountains, and lots of greenery. 

Citizen M – our only complaint was the lack of a kettle!
Great view of the Shard from the bar at the top of Citizen M
With my favourite raclette from Kappacasein at Borough Market – you can see how happy I am to be eating this again!

Borough Market is a famous foodie destination, so where better to eat while you’re close to Tower Bridge? Selling fresh local produce, deli items, and food from all over the world, you can pick up a posh picnic here, or dine in at one of the many eateries. 

Leadenhall Market featured in the first Harry Potter film, when the boy wizard discovers the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley. It’s also home to lots of shops – plus a range of restaurants, cafes and bars you can dine at. 

If you want to dine at this London landmark, there are several options.

  • Tower of London Cafe | Meals, snacks and soft or alcoholic drinks at Tower Wharf
  • New Armouries Cafe |  Hot meals, soup, sandwiches, salads, kids’ meals, and pastries
  • Ravens Cafe | Snacks, loaded hot dogs, cakes, and more
  • Jewel Kiosk | Snacks and hot drinks

Book ahead if you want to enjoy spectacular Tower Bridge views from the famous Coppa Club igloos! Still on my bucket list this is the perfect place for special occasions at any time of year (they provide blankets in winter)

  • Tower Hill – Circle and District lines
  • London Bridge or Fenchurch Street
  • Tower Pier

Sightseeing buses, as well as regular London buses, stop by Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

This particularly applies if you’re planning to visit the Tower of London. It’s always popular, and gets more packed as the day wears on. 

This applies all over London, really, but especially here. There are many stairs at the tower, and the bridge, and other spots like the Monument to the Great Fire of London, HMS Belfast, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Old pathways and buildings can also be uneven underfoot. 

While you’re in this part of London, don’t miss out on Borough Market and Leadenhall Market. They’re the city’s top two food markets. You can pick up a picnic here, try all sorts of samples, and dine in at the cafes and restaurants. 

London’s Roman Wall and Shad Thames are lesser-known tourist sights. If you want freebies, don’t forget to book your ticket for the Sky Garden ahead of time, too. Then you needn’t pay a penny for panoramic city views!

No, London Bridge and Tower Bridge are not the same structure. London Bridge is the city’s oldest and original bridge, hence the name. While London Bridge is pretty uninspiring to look at, Tower Bridge is the photogenic, iconic lifting bridge with two connected towers. 

To beat the crowds, visit the Tower of London early in the day, on a weekday, or during winter. The Tower is busiest later in the day, on weekends, and during the peak summer tourist season.

It’s worth going into Tower Bridge to see the Victorian engine rooms, and cross the glass walkways for views that are breathtaking in more than one way! You’ll get so much more from the experience than by simply seeing it from the outside. 

There’s plenty to keep you busy in Tower Hill – beyond Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. With panoramic views and so much history and heritage, this part of the city is not to be missed.

Tower Hill also offers some lovely, central places to stay – plus two of the most fabulous food markets in the capital!

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