As the beginning of the year I couldn’t imagine taking Adam to London. However, we have just completed our third trip there since July. To date we have explored London Eye, London Aquarium, Natural History Museum, Shrek’s Adventure, visited KidZania and been for a cruise down the River Thames. However, there has been one place that Adam has asked frequently to go to – the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
The Tower Bridge is an iconic London landmark that is 122 years old. The exhibition opened to the public in 1982 and is pictured in every London book that Adam owns. On our last visit we walked across the Tower Bridge and Adam was captivated by its size. Thanks to 365 Tickets we got to take Adam along with our friends.
Normally we go London by train but due to engineering works I drove down and we parked at Westfield, Stratford. Unfortunately both the Circle and District underground lines were closed so we had to make a diversion to London Bridge underground. One advantage, is that we got a great view of Tower Bridge, the Shard, HMS Belfast and City Hall as we walked along the river.
The walk didn’t take long from London Bridge. We enjoyed seeing the Sky Garden from afar and discovered the 3D Map near City Hall.
I knew beforehand that Tower Bridge Road would be closed to traffic from 1st October until the end of the year. This “once in a generation event” is to restore timber decking of the bridge. Although Adam had been excited to watch a London bus travel across the bridge the road works did not impact on our experience.
The entrance to the Tower Bridge Exhibition is small and I can imagine it would get extremely busy during peak season. You have to join two lines – the first to validate your online book and the second to go through security checks. A lift takes you up to the start of the exhibition. Ensure you allow additional time to go through this process.
Once we left the lift we watched a short animation about the history of Tower Bridge. We then got to walk along the East Walkway. Here we could see out towards St Katharine Docks and Canary Wharf. There wasn’t any child friendly platforms in order for Adam to take in the sights independently so he had to be lifted up.
However, Adam made a beeline towards the crowd half way down the walkway. I hadn’t told Adam about the glass floor as I didn’t know how he would react due to his Sensory Processing Disorder. However, the second he saw the glass floor and looked down he wanted to lay on it. He then spent the majority of the time break dancing on the glass floor!
The glass floor measures 11 metres long and 1.8 metres wide and comprise of panels weighing 530 kilograms each. It is 42 metres above the River Thames and you get a very good view of the road below. For the fainthearted there is a walk way either side so you are not made to walk on the glass.
The crowd soon dispersed and we had the glass floor practically to ourselves. Adam encouraged the girls to lay down too. I am pretty sure Adam would have spent all day on the glass floor given half a chance. Sadly we missed out on seeing the bridge raise to allow large vessels along the Thames. You can check online when the bridge will be lifted beforehand.
In the South Tower we had the opportunity to watch another short film about the Tower Bridge. It is hard to believe that 432 men were employed to build the bridge, which took eight years to complete. Only ten men died despite no health and safety regulations. Unfortunately the Victorian Engine Rooms were closed for refurbishment works but it gives us a great excuse to visit again.
Along the North Walkway we got panoramic views of popular London landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Monument. Adam was over the moon to discover another glass floor. However, this one had a mirror above it. It took Adam ages to spot the mirror as he was so preoccupied watching the people on the road below.
I was extremely pleased that the Tower Bridge Exhibition didn’t disappoint. We got amazing views of parts of London we didn’t get to see from the London Eye. Adam hasn’t stopped talking about dancing on the glass floor and I will never forget his sheer excitement of the experience. The Tower Bridge Exhibition is one of the cheaper attractions in London so it is cost effective too. We shall certainly be back to experience the Engine Rooms and we aim to be there when the bridge raises next time.
You can watch more of our Tower Bridge adventure here:
Disclaimer: We were asked to review the Tower Bridge Exhibition by 365 Tickets. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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