A City Bridges Walk

Route & what to see


Until the construction of Blackfriars Bridge in the 1760s London Bridge was the only river crossing within the City and was lined with shops and houses. Southwark Bridge was opened in 1819 but all these have been rebuilt over time. The iconic Tower Bridge was constructed in the 1890s and the infamous 'wobbly' Millennium Bridge is the newest crossing, designed for pedestrian use.

A 3 mile walk crossing the five bridges maintained by the City of London. It also includes other crossings of the river (ie railways and ferrys) in the area. It begins at Tower Hill tube station (Circle & District lines) and finishes at the south end of Blackfriars Bridge (National Rail). Nearest tube station is Southwark on Jubilee line. There are several flights of steps.

Note: an up or down stream crossing is suggested for each bridge but you may need to swap if there is work going on. Capital letters indicate there is more info or pix on the Additional Information page.

From the (entrance) station use the pedestrian underpass towards the Tower then go around the moat following signs to St Katherine's Dock.

Cross TOWER BRIDGE on the downstream side.

Follow the Thames Path upstream past More London. Go through Hays Galleria, the Cottons building or the footpath alongside St Olaf House to Tooley Street and continue westwards. Just before the bridge look for glass & metal STRIPS in the pavement showing the position of old London Bridge. Go under the bridge with stone facing remaining from the RENNIE BRIDGE (note pavement light features).
Opposite Southwark Cathedral are some granite STONES. One shows profiles of London Bridge at various dates.
Return and go up the steps just before the bridge. A plaque records the construction of the new bridge, financed by the BRIDGE HOUSE ESTATES TRUST.

Cross the road (noticing Colechurch House) then cross LONDON BRIDGE on the downstream side.

Go down the steps by Adelaide House taking steps to the right into Lower Thames Street. Go along to ST MAGNUS THE MARTYR CHURCH. A plaque refers to the old bridge and there are some stones in the churchyard. There is a model and information on old London Bridge in the church. Just beyond the church go right to the Thames Path and follow this upstream. There are STEPS by the Fishmonger's Hall. The path goes under the RAILWAY serving Cannon Street Station (sound & light installation). Under Southwark Bridge there are some TILED PANELS.

Cross SOUTHWARK BRIDGE on the upstream side. Under the south end of the bridge are slate panels depicting the FROST FAIR. Continue along Bankside towards the Globe. Detour into Bear Gardens to view the FERRYMAN'S SEAT.

Cross the MILLENNIUM BRIDGE. Follow the Thames Path upstream. Two railway bridges served BLACKFRIARS STATION. The station has been rebuilt to span the bridge.

Cross BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE on the upstream side. Go down to the Thames Path. TILED PANELS under the bridge show its construction. There is an entrance to Blackfriars National Rail station. For Southwark tube station go back up to the bridge and take Blackfriars Road southwards to the junction with The Cut.

[Additional Information] [walkslist]

london-footprints.co.uk 2012