Published: Tuesday 25th of January 2011
Tower Bridge is one of the best-known landmarks in London and although the structure may have an impressive appearance, there is far more to this London attraction than meets the eye.
If you are planning to visit the capital then you should certainly allow an afternoon to explore the bridge and learn all about its history.
The first port of call for many visitors are the walkways at the top of the bridge, where you will be able to see many of the other famous London attractions, including St Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye and the towering buildings of Canary Wharf.
On your way up to this high-level vantage point, you will be able to admire the structure of the towers from within and marvel at the Victorian architecture.
The bridge was constructed in the late 19th century and it has become known the world-over as an iconic London sight.
Even at the time of its completion in 1894, people were impressed by the engineering used in its construction and to operate the bridge, which can open to let tall ships pass down the River Thames.
An exhibition housed within the bridge will provide you with a good idea about its history and the lengths the Victorians went to in order to create the crossing.
But while Tower Bridge may be one of the most photographed London attractions that spans the Thames, there are other structures that have an interesting past dating back hundreds of years.
One example is London Bridge, which has undergone numerous incarnations since the first structure was constructed by the Romans in around 50 AD.
Over the years, the bridge has been destroyed and rebuilt on many occasions and at one time shops and houses even lined the river crossing.
If you want to find out all about the most fascinating aspects of this attraction's past then you should visit the London Bridge Experience.
Here you will be taken on a journey through time, with real actors playing the parts of some of London's former residents and telling you the tales of how the bridge was used in days gone by.
This is a truly interactive experience - with old versions of the bridge recreated in parts and even authentic smells to get you in the right frame of mind.
After your immersive trip through some of London's history, you can then move on to an even darker chapter in the city's past - the London Tombs.
This venue is known as one of the most frightening in the capital and the combination of the London Bridge Experience with the London Tombs has been voted the UK's best scare attraction for two years running by Hauntedattractions.com.
The London Tombs were once a plague pit and you'll experience a number of thrills and surprises from our actors as you make your way through the underground chambers.
Once you emerge from the scary attraction, you may need some time to calm your nerves before continuing with your sightseeing.
The Museum of London Bridge could provide the perfect antidote, featuring exhibitions about the history of the structure with all manner of memorabilia from the private collection of Peter Jackson, who had an avid interest in the capital's past, particularly that surrounding London Bridge.
With the River Thames playing such an important role throughout London's development, you could find that taking the time to explore some of its many bridges is more interesting and entertaining than you may have imagined.
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