Photograph of the week: Tower Bridge, London, UK


Tower Bridge is not London Bridge. (And neither of them are falling down.) In spite of London Bridge being given the fairly dubious honour of starring in that famous English nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge is falling down’, sung the world over, it is undoubtedly Tower Bridge which is the more iconic of the two bridges. Tower Bridge is by far the prettier of the two, and where London Bridge may have the more famous name, it is Tower Bridge that often lays claim to being a stunning symbol of London.

And then, of course, Tower Bridge can boast of being neighbours with that exquisite piece of in-the-know London whimsy: the ‘Girl with a Dolphin’ sculpture.

Photo of the week: Tower Bridge, London, UK

It would be easy to miss ‘Girl with a Dolphin’ given the dazzling grandeur of Tower Bridge overhead. That would, however, be a mistake. This stunning, delicate piece of art was created in 1973 by artist David Wynne, a British sculptor with very little formal artistic training. Nearly all of Wynne’s artistic works show the special connections often found between humans and animals and are created from simple experience rather than conceptual design. In fact, his celebrated dolphin pieces (he produced a number of them) were based on hours of actually swimming with the animal himself.

You can find ‘Girl with a Dolphin’ outside the Guoman Tower Hotel at St Katharine’s Dock on the banks of the Thames River, on the North East side of Tower Bridge. To get there, take the underground to Tower Hill station then walk towards Tower Bridge. Instead of climbing up the stairs to the bridge itself, pass underneath it to find the fountain and sculpture on the other side.

Top tip: If you love ‘Girl with a Dolphin’ be sure to visit her 13-foot ‘brother’, unveiled just one year later in 1974. David Wynne’s ‘Boy with a Dolphin’ can also be found along the banks of the Thames River, this time next to Albert Bridge on Chelsea Embankment.

Still more interested in the bridge itself rather than the art beneath? Here are a few quick facts to tide you over:

At the time of its construction – between 1886 and 1894 – Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever completed. (The central span of the bridge can be raised to allow ships to pass.)

Tower Bridge is built to look even older than it is – the huge grey stones were specifically selected to give the bridge a medieval feeling.

More than 400 workers helped build Tower Bridge and over 70000 tons of concrete were sunk to the bed of the River Thames during construction.

Tower Bridge is 244 metres long and each tower is 65 metres high.

Originally painted chocolate brown, in 1977 Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.

More than 40,000 people use this iconic symbol of London every day. If you’re given the chance to be one of them, take it.

If you have a really special photograph you would like to share with A Luxury Travel Blog‘s readers, please contact us.


Comments (6)

  1. Tony says:

    All these bridges crossing the Thames in London are confusing and didn’t the Americans buy an old one and relocate it in a state somewhere out in the west?

    No doubt someone has written a history of them all but it’d be nice to get a concise history one day.

  2. Abbie Hurst says:

    As it took 14 years to complete Tower Bridge it must have been a major capital project of its day. From the description of the construction it was also pushing the bounds of building ability back then. Today, though, the Thames without Tower Bridge would be unthinkable but there must have been big debates about whether to spend that sort of money.

    Fast forward more than a century and shouldn’t we in Britain today be investigating in infrastructure such as HS2 for our grandchildren?

    • Mo says:

      Queen Victoria’s politicians lived in simpler times and their decisions were not subjected to constant ongoing quantitative cost-benefit analysis nor bashing on social media.

      The real issue on these projects is not going to be the infrastructure benefits but the potential damage to the environment.

  3. Jody Reid says:

    Great shot to capture the statue. I’ve seen that up close and I think this angle makes her look far more elegant. From the other perspective just further around it looks more like she’s being flung up in the air, or at least that’s what I remember thinking at the time. I do love Tower Bridge; even though I’ve been to London countless times I always want to see it again.

  4. Chris says:

    I lived in London for a while and this place can get very busy during events like around Christmas, and in the summer when tourists are sightseeing. Great bridge though, really something to look at. And it is a shame some of the brilliant statues get overlooked so I’m glad they’ve been given a mention. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen the bridge and figures but I’m yet to have got a photograph this good.

  5. Valerie says:

    There are some good restaurants along the south bank of the Thames, just to the west of Tower Bridge. We don’t visit London that often but when we do the south bank is one of our favourite spots. It’s good to enjoy the views across the river towards Tower Bridge for a couple of hours. It certainly is one of London’s most iconic sights.

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