Sunday, December 3, 2023

20 issues to do close to Tower Bridge with children

Most household journeys to London will go by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge no less than as soon as – however when you’ve had a glimpse of the 2 iconic landmarks, you’ll discover a string of different issues to do close to Tower Bridge with children.

View of Tower Bridge in London seen from across the river on a sunny day with red phone boxes in the foreground - the best things to do near Tower Bridge with kids
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So whether or not you’re trying to fill an hour or two in your London itinerary, or attempting to work out the way to spend an entire day round Tower Bridge with children, I’ve picked out my prime ideas.

Every little thing is inside round a ten minute stroll of one of many two websites and largely inside the world between Tower Bridge and London Bridge – so when you’re in search of issues to do close to London Bridge, you’ll discover loads of concepts right here.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is well essentially the most well-known of London’s bridges, and in addition to getting a view of its well-known blue and white paint and taking a stroll throughout Tower Bridge, you may head inside to find its historical past – together with the truth that it was a chocolate brown color when it first opened, repainted for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Head into the Tower Bridge Exhibition and you’ll cross its high-level walkways and expertise views down over the bridge and River Thames by means of its glass flooring. One for the courageous!

Do you know that when the bridge was opened in 1894, eight years after development started, it had high-level walkways so individuals may nonetheless cross even when the bridge itself was opened – though these closed 16 years later for lack of use!

And in addition to the possibility to face on the glass walkway and nervously benefit from the views, head into the engine rooms, and there are common household actions for youths too.

Take a look at the Tower Bridge Path for Little Explorers and household path, in addition to particular occasions throughout holidays and the possibility to some well-known occasions in its historical past, together with the time a double-decker bus jumped throughout the opening bridge.

To ensure entry purchase tickets to Tower Bridge upfront, though you too can get walk-up entry. A go to often takes round 60-90 minutes.

Tower Bridge in London with the bridge section opening to allow a boat through - one of the many things to do around Tower Bridge with kids if you time it right

See Tower Bridge rise

One of the vital well-known information about Tower Bridge is that the central sections will be raised to permit bigger boats to sail into the Higher Pool of London – and the instances are revealed upfront.

The bridge – which is technically a mixed suspension and bascule bridge – rises round 800 instances a 12 months, so time your go to proper and you’ll watch because it lifts open to let the river visitors by means of.

For among the greatest views of Tower Bridge opening there are viewpoints on each banks too. On the north financial institution, head close to the Tower of London and in the direction of St Katherine’s Pier – spot the lady with a dolphin fountain as you do – or on the south financial institution discover a spot close to HMS Belfast or round Butler’s Wharf.

Test the freshest schedule of bridge carry instances right here.

The Tower of London

The Tower is one in every of my very own private favorite days out in London with children, from the astonishing crown jewels to the well-known ravens, beefeaters and centuries of historical past.

You may discover former royal residences, embellished as they might have been when kings lived there, and uncover the Tower’s grim historical past as a jail too, together with a memorial to 2 of Henry VIII’s executed queens.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for the Tower of London and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for a visit to the Tower of London with kids, only 99p'

It additionally homes a part of the Royal Armoury, plus you’ll discover shows on the Tower’s menagerie of animals, uncover dwell performances throughout college holidays, and have an opportunity to stroll the partitions.

Prime tip: Should you’re visiting, head to the Crown Jewels first because the queues solely are likely to get longer all through the day – however shortly after opening, you may usually stroll in with out ready.

Tickets will be purchased on the day, though prebooking is strongly really helpful. Excursions with the beefeaters (correctly often called Yeomen Warders) are together with in entrance, and you’ll merely flip up on the day.

For a memorably uncommon night, you may go to within the night to watch the Ceremony of the Keys – take a look at my expertise of watching the Ceremony of the Keys with children right here.

A view of part of the Tower of London against a blue sky - the Tower is one of the unmissable things to do near Tower Bridge with kids

Gunpowder Expertise

This new immersive expertise close to the Tower of London is themed across the Gunpowder Plot, the place you’ll be whisked again to 1605 to see when you can foil Man Fawkes…

Appropriate for youths aged 12+, The Gunpowder Plot takes place within the Tower Vaults, beneath the Tower of London, the place Man Fawkes and his fellow trailers have been imprisoned and tortured after their plan was foiled.

Utilizing a mixture of VR expertise, particular results, immersive theatre, and bodily sensations (together with darkish and loud noises), your problem is to cease the notorious plot to explode the Homes of Parliament. 

Lasting round 1 hour 40 minutes, together with a 20-minute interval within the recreated Duck and Drake – solely open to these collaborating (and plotters!), the Tower Vaults are proper subsequent to the Tower of London itself, though they’re separate entrances and tickets.

As an added bonus for Harry Potter followers, Man Fawkes himself is performed by actor Tom Felton (though no, you received’t get to fulfill him on the day).

View of some of the plants and the glass ceiling of the Sky Garden, London's highest public garden and one of the many things to do around Tower Bridge with kids

The Sky Backyard

London’s highest public backyard, the Sky Backyard is likely one of the metropolis’s most uncommon viewpoints – and the most effective free issues to do close to Tower Bridge.

Set within the skyscraper often called the Walkie Talkie (when you’re scuffling with instructions, it’s not difficult to identify), the terraces are full of Mediterranean and South African vegetation, so it feels such as you’re removed from town beneath.

Till you take a look at the nice 360-degree views of London, that’s! With a coated terrace, you will get some superb views throughout to the Shard, St Paul’s, Tower Bridge and alongside the Thames, with views by means of the glass when you want to not go exterior.

Whereas tickets are free, it’s important to e book upfront (and adults want ID to enter), with tickets getting snapped up shortly for weekends and college holidays.

They’re launched three weeks upfront, though there are often some walk-in areas when you’re comfortable to queue on the day – it’s greatest to reach early although. You may also e book tables on the two eating places as a substitute method to go to (though clearly it’s not then free).

For extra free issues to do in London with children, take a look at my prime picks

View along the river Thames including City Hall and the Shard - the View from the Shard is the highest viewpoints in the city, and easy to visit if you're spending time around Tower Bridge with kids

View from the Shard

The View from the Shard is likely one of the costlier London viewpoints, but it surely’s additionally deservedly one of the memorable.

The massive viewing platform sits on flooring 68 and 69 of London’s tallest constructing, a whopping 310m above the bottom, making it London’s highest viewpoint.

The 360 diploma view over the capital permits you to see for as much as 40 miles on a transparent day, and The View from the Shard is the one place the place you may actually see the entire metropolis without delay.

There’s additionally an Open-Air Skydeck on flooring 72 so you may really feel nearly as when you’re floating within the air above London. Click on right here to e book tickets.

Take a look at these different nice views in London with children for extra methods to absorb the skyline

St Katherine’s Dock

Only a stone’s throw from the Tower of London, St Katherine’s Dock is a good chilled out place to flee the bustle of London – and ideal when you’re in search of locations to eat close to Tower Bridge with children.

As soon as the docks the place a few of London’s most respected cargo was unloaded, at this time it’s a marina – you may even sleep overseas among the yachts, together with Sea Dancer – with an entire string of eating places, plus an everyday avenue meals market, Kerb.

The Dickens Inn is a reconstructed 18th century pub, at this time serving nice pizza and with tables open air overlooking the water for sunny days. Or there are family-friendly chains together with Cote Brasserie, Zizzi and Cafe Rouge, plus dim sum at Ping Pong amongst others.

Preserve an eye fixed out for occasions as nicely, plus the Horrible Thames boat tour additionally departs from Tower Bridge Quay, by the marina, as does the Thames Tigers speedboats.

View of the Terrible Thames boat tour from Horrible Histories on the Thames with the Shard in the background - starting by St Katherine's Dock, it's one of the best things to do near the Tower of London with kids

Horrible Thames boat tour

What do you get once you cross the creators of Horrible Histories with 2,000 years of drama alongside London’s riverbanks? The fantastically child-friendly Horrible Thames cruise.

With tales of revolution, beheadings and pirates (and the stomach-turning purpose why Queen Victoria’s pleasure cruise lasted solely minutes), you sail from close to Tower Bridge to Westminster and again by way of Execution Dock, whereas prizewinning school-child Billy (or Billie) and their trainer carry out and supply the commentary.

The cruise itself solely takes 45 minutes however with songs, simply the correct quantity of viewers participation, plus an ideal stability of enjoyable and information, it feels such as you get twice as a lot packed in – all together with the same old Horrible Histories recipe of gruesomely ridiculous, gory sound results, plus loads of rest room humour.

Some genuinely quirky information, plus it doesn’t draw back from the tough matters, together with London’s function within the slave commerce. Departs from Tower Bridge Quay close to St Katherine’s Dock, from early April to late October – purchase tickets or reward vouchers right here

Take a look at my overview of the Horrible Thames boat tour right here

Open-topped boat sailing towards Westminster bridge with the Houses of Parliament and the tower containing Big Ben in the background - you can board boats at Tower Pier if you're looking to travel from near Tower Bridge into central London

Boat journey alongside the Thames

The Horrible Histories boat tour isn’t the one method to see London from the river, with an enormous alternative of boat excursions in London with children too.

You may select from sightseeing cruises and hop-on hop-off choices departing from Tower Pier, whether or not you fancy heading all the way in which to Greenwich after your day trip round Tower Bridge with children, or alongside the Thames in the direction of Bankside and Westminster.

For sightseeing, take a look at Metropolis Cruises which runs numerous excursions alongside the river, or when you’re not bothered about commentary, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is usually a cheaper possibility, and a great way to get from A to B.

Or head over to Tower Bridge Quay, by St Katherine’s Docks, for a extra adventurous boat journey alongside the river with Thames Tigers speedboats (appropriate for ages 7+).

Click on right here to take a look at the whole set of boat journeys in London with children

View of HMS Belfast warship museum on the Thames with Tower Bridge just seen in the background - one of the best things to do near Tower Bridge with kids

HMS Belfast

As soon as a Royal Navy mild cruiser, now a museum ship completely moored on the Thames, HMS Belfast is essentially the most important surviving Second World Battle Navy warship – current on the D-Day landings and within the Korean Battle.

Reopened after main renovations, you may uncover what life would have been like on board for the crew who served aboard – and with 9 decks to discover, there’s lots to see aboard.

Interactive experiences vary from a sound set up inside a gun turret to an opportunity to see simply what it takes to feed the 950 males aboard (trace: which means peeling a LOT of potatoes) and steering the ship.

There are additionally recollections from veterans who served on HMS Belfast, in addition to common household trails and actions throughout college holidays.

Prebooking tickets is really helpful however not important.

Stroll the Thames Path

The Thames is the guts of town, so a stroll alongside the river is at all times the most effective issues to do in London with children. 

It’s simple to walk alongside the banks of the river alongside the Thames Path – or when you’re feeling energetic, it stretches off for miles in every path from round Tower Bridge.

Look out for among the quirky particulars just like the dolphin lampposts – when you don’t suppose the ornament appears very like dolphins, you’d be proper, they’re really sturgeon.

One of the decorative fish carved on the base of the lampost along the Thames - head along the Thames path to spot these if you're around Tower Bridge and London Bridge with kids

And as you benefit from the views throughout the river, you possibly can consider among the highlights from by means of its historical past. Roman artefacts have been dug up on its banks by archaeologists and mudlarks for hundreds of years, together with an oil lamp and bone hair pin inside the previous decade alone, because the tides and wakes of the boat visitors fire up the silt.

Preserve going a bit additional past London Bridge and you’ll see the Golden Hinde, a recreation of the ship through which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe, in addition to Borough Market, plus all of the points of interest of the South Financial institution and Bankside, together with the Clink jail, the Globe Theatre and Tate Trendy

Go to London Bridge Metropolis

Head throughout the river from Tower Bridge to find the world referred to as London Bridge Metropolis – stretching all the way in which from Tower Bridge to London Bridge, there are often family-friendly occasions and trails to comply with.

In the summertime, take a look at the fountains close to The Scoop at Extra London, 200 jets organized in traces which spring as much as catch the unwary, in addition to free theatre performances, dwell music and movie and sports activities screenings at The Scoop itself.

In winter, there’s the Christmas by the River Christmas market, with twinkling lights and festive decorations alongside the riverside.

There’s usually free public artwork to find, together with the Chimps Are Household path, with statues and details about chimpanzees dotted across the space, together with at Hay’s Galleria with its outlets and eating places.

Statue with the head of the emperor Trajan in front of a section of Roman wall and blue sky in London - close to Tower Hill station, it's one of the easiest things to see near Tower Bridge with kids

Uncover Roman London

There are many reminders of the Roman metropolis of Londinium if you already know the place to look together with a part of London Wall close to Tower Hill tube station.

You may also spy a statue of the emperor Trajan in entrance of the stone and tile wall, inbuilt 200AD. The emperor’s head and physique initially got here from utterly completely different statues.

The residents of Londinium had their very own public bathhouses, whereas the rich loved non-public baths hooked up to their home – utilizing both was as a lot of a social event as an opportunity to get clear – together with the Billingsgate Roman Bathhouse at 101 Decrease Thames Road.

Tucked away within the basement of an workplace block, it consists of the stays of a number of of the completely different rooms – the chilly frigidarium, the tepidarium and the warmer caldarium the place iron scrapers referred to as strigils would take away the dust and sweat, with perfumed oils utilized. Usually open to the general public on Saturdays between April and November.

Stroll a bit additional to the Mithraeum, the place you may uncover the Roman temple of Mithras – based within the third century, it lay hidden for hundreds of years however since 2017, it’s been open to the general public. Free to enter however prebooked tickets are really helpful.

Climb the Monument

Standing 202 toes excessive, the Monument is 202 toes from the spot the place the Nice Fireplace of London began on Pudding Lane – when you laid it down, it will attain proper to the bakery.

Sitting on the junction of Monument Road and Fish Road Hill, the pillar with its flaming orb on prime was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1677 to commemorate the well-known hearth in 1666.

And in addition to studying the plaque on the backside, you too can climb the 311 steps to the gallery on the prime to look out throughout town.

For extra Nice Fireplace of London areas, take a look at this submit to plan a strolling tour to among the key websites

The Monument to the Great Fire of London against a blue sky, surrounded by office blocks - one of the best things to do near London Bridge with kids or if you're visiting the Tower of London

Solely 33 persons are allowed inside at any time, with a free certificates for these which make the climb. For sure, it will get very chilly on the highest when you’re visiting in winter!

If you wish to climb the Monument, tickets are solely out there on the web site itself (carry money to be on the protected aspect), with grownup entry costing £5.40, and £2.70 for youngsters aged 5 to fifteen. You may also get joint tickets for the Monument and the Tower Bridge Exhibition, in addition to household tickets.

It’s open each day from 9.30am-6pm, with admission half-hour earlier than closing and it’s closed solely from December 24-26.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for the Great Fire of London and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for exploring the locations of the Great Fire of London with kids, only 99p'

Go to London’s oldest church

Courting again to 675AD, All Hallows-by-the-Tower is believed to be the oldest surviving church in London, overlooking the Tower of London from Byward Road.

Based by the Abbey of Barking, it’s greater than three centuries older than the Tower itself, and you’ll nonetheless see an arch from the Saxon church at this time.

Head right down to the crypt, with its little museum tracing the historical past of the church, and there’s a Roman pavement that’s even older, relationship from the 2nd century.

With such a protracted historical past, it has hyperlinks to a string of well-known individuals. Samuel Pepys watched London burn from its tower (although fortunately the blaze didn’t attain All Hallows), whereas lots of these beheaded on Tower Hill have been dropped at the church, together with Thomas Extra.

John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the USA, was married within the church in 1797, whereas William Penn, founding father of Pennsylvania was baptised within the church.

There are guided excursions in addition to a free audio tour out there.

The ruins of the historic St. Dunstan-in-the-East church in the City of London with plants growing over the stone - if you're looking for things to do near Tower Bridge with kids, it's a short walk away

Go to a park in a church

There’s been a church of St Dunstan on this web site since round 1100, added to by Sir Christopher Wren after the Nice Fireplace of London earlier than being broken within the Blitz in the course of the Second World Battle.

However whereas the bombing left the church in ruins, it additionally led to one of the exceptional inexperienced areas in the entire of London – and simply one of the uncommon issues to do close to the Tower of London.

Remodeled to a public backyard, you may nonetheless see the arched stone home windows of St Dunstan within the East, now with ivy entwined across the stone and moss rising.

On the coronary heart of the church, bushes develop and there are benches set in a circle to chill out amid this busy part of town between the Monument and the Tower of London (though it’s much less of a quiet oasis than it as soon as was on a sunny day).

Enter from Idol Lane or St Dunstan’s Hill, from 8am to 7pm/nightfall (until there’s an occasion going down).

For extra uncommon issues to do in London with children, take a look at my prime picks

See a part of outdated London bridge

The church of St Magnus the Martyr stands on the head of the outdated London Bridge, and is house to a 4 metre mannequin of the outdated bridge in addition to components of town’s early river crossings.

Constructed round 900 years in the past, presumably longer, the churchyard can be house to a number of historical sections of earlier London Bridges, together with medieval stones, in addition to a timber thought so far again to 75AD inside an 18th century archway.

Discovered on Fish Road Hill, one of the essential streets in Roman Londinium, it’s a reminder of simply how lengthy Londoners (and guests!) have been crossing the Thames at this level, when London Bridge was as soon as the bridge downstream of Kingston for hundreds of years till Putney Bridge was inbuilt 1729.

The dragon statue on London Bridge, marking the boundary of the City of London - if you're near Tower Bridge with kids, it's easy to cross London Bridge to see it

Cross London Bridge

London Bridge has spanned the Thames because the Romans constructed the primary one in 55BC – through the years, it has usually ‘fallen down’ (because the nursery rhyme has it), been destroyed by hearth and repeatedly rebuilt.

The early pontoon-style bridge was changed by timber bridges then a thirteenth century stone bridge, with outlets and homes constructed alongside the bridge – it was as soon as one in every of London’s busiest purchasing streets.

It even had public bogs, or latrines, at one stage… although it was distinctly dangerous to make use of them at instances, with one set falling into the Thames within the late fifteenth century.

The ‘new’ bridge, changing the medieval crossing in 1831, was later offered and now stands in Lake Havasu Metropolis in Arizona.

The current-concrete day bridge, linking the Metropolis of London and Southwark, is unquestionably not essentially the most thrilling one – however on the plus aspect, it’s an ideal place to get view again over to Tower Bridge (and a reminder that the 2 are usually not the identical!) and the Shard.

Look out for the dragons as you attain the southern financial institution, marking boundary of the Metropolis of London, the place you formally cross from the outdated Liberty of Southwark. Usually mistaken for griffins, there are 13 across the metropolis – this pair is a later smaller recreation of the nineteenth century originals close to Temple Gardens.

The London Bridge Expertise & London Tombs

Journey again in time to find over 2,000 years of the world’s darkish and grotesque historical past as a part of The London Bridge Expertise. The spooky interactive walk-through journey options dwell actors taking part in a few of London’s most notorious characters, together with Jack The Ripper, William Wallace, and lots of extra. 

Then, for a very terrifying Halloween expertise in London, you may make your means right down to the scare maze that’s the London Tombs. Right here you’ll must squeeze your means by means of the confined catacombs, trying to flee the zombies, spiders, clowns, bloody butchers, and different creatures of nightmares round each nook.

The London Bridge Expertise is for youngsters 4+, whereas the London Tombs is barely appropriate for youngsters 11+ – however be warned, the Tombs have been topped the UK’s scariest attraction for the final 13 years, so the attraction undoubtedly isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The stalls of Leadenhall market lit up at night - one of the filming locations from the Harry Potter films, it's easy to visit if you're looking for things to do near Tower Bridge with kids

Go to Leadenhall Market

Who wouldn’t wish to step by means of the magical entrance into Diagon Alley? The true life filming location from Harry Potter shouldn’t be off Charing Cross Highway – as a substitute the Victorian coated market within the Metropolis of London was used for the road of wizarding outlets within the first film.

For extra Harry Potter areas in London, take a look at this submit

You’ll additionally discover pop-up outlets, performances and artwork installations – tentacles have been seen entwining from the ceiling at Halloween – in addition to common family-friendly occasions going down.

And the way in which in to The Leaky Cauldron? You want the curved door subsequent to the optician in Bull’s Head Passage… beforehand blue, it’s now been painted white.

For extra concepts of issues to do in London with children, take a look at my prime ideas

Disclosure: This submit accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Tower of London/Sky Backyard/Horrible Thames/lamppost/dragon statue copyright MummyTravels, all different photos courtesy of Depositphotos


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