It is often said that London is a city made up of many villages and it’s true that in a city this large that each area needs a guide of its own so today I thought I’d start by introducing you all to the area of London Bridge. Its position on the Thames means it is a thoroughfare of activity and I’ve had a huge list of ‘must visit’ museums, places to eat and beautiful buildings to see here for such a long time so I took this opportunity to head into the city and tick a good chunk of them off my list to share with you all. Here’s how you can spend an awesome few days exploring London Bridge on a budget:
There’s more than enough to do in London Bridge alone to warrant at least a couple of days stay, so finding a place to stay is a good idea. Thankfully it’s really easy to pick a London Bridge Hotel on a budget and with a great view as the Thames, Tower Bridge, The Shard and the city buildings are all on the doorstep. Also as it’s a transport hub there are tons of hotels nearby. Speaking of transport…
London Bridge Station is one of the biggest transport hubs in London, so it’s a great focal point for a weekend away. The station has train links that reach out all over the country as well as the London Underground servicing both the Northern and Jubilee line for easy cross London travel. Add to that the multiple bus routes and there’s even the Thames Clipper River Boat station nearby, making a trip to this area super easy.
Check out the view from London Bridge
London Bridge itself has some of the best views in London where you amazing shots of Tower Bridge as well as The Shard and the Tower of London. Londoners get very annoyed when people get London Bridge and Tower Bridge mixed up! London bridge is a rather functional-looking concrete 1970’s bridge, whereas Tower Bridge is the stunning and architecturally beautiful Victorian bridge with the ability to lift up when tall ships come by. They are close together so they are often mistaken and whilst London Bridge might not be the prettiest bridge in London it’s one of the most historic. While the current bridge only opened in 1973 there’s been a bridge in this location since Roman times, so it’s always been an important transportation route across the river.
Set sail on the Golden Hind
The Golden Hind is famous for being the galleon ship of Sir Francis Drake during his famous worldly and adventures travels. This current ship is a replica after the original was broken up in the 17th century and it has had its own sailing history before becoming the museum ship it is today. Entry to the ship is just £5 and whist tours are self-guided staff are on hand throughout the ship to give talks or answer questions. I really loved exploring the interior of the ship, it’s fascinating to see how people lived at sea.
See a show at The Globe
I always love walking by The Globe when exploring London Bridge as it’s such a beautiful building. If you are in the mood to grab a show you can get standing tickets to every show for just £5, making it one of the best deals in the city! I’ve done it a few times and it’s always worth it if your feet can handle it, you stand right by the stage so get the best view in the house! Nearby if an often overlooked place, the original site of the Globe Theatre. The rebuilt Globe theatre isn’t quite where the original once stood, but it’s only a few minutes walk away. It’s now a residential area but there are some really interesting signs up about its history and architectural nods to the Shakespearean past so it’s worth a visit for a theatre nerd like me.
Get locked up in the Clink Prison Museum
A great nearby attraction nearby is the Clink Prison Museum, which I visited on another trip to this area recently. The Clink Prison Museum is one of the oldest prisons in England, and this little museum is well worth a visit, tickets are £8.
Explore some unique medical history at the Old Operating Theatre Museum
The Old Operating Theatre is one of the oldest remaining operating theatres in the world. The operating room itself was used for educational purposes so doctors could watch live operations, when you realise that this was before anaesthetic it really makes for a harrowing and slightly creepy experience. A lot of the original medical equipment is on display and it’s seriously fascinating. The hospital herb garret is also part of the tour which shows a lot of information on the history of medicine, it’s unnerving and fascinating in equal measure. Tickets to the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret are £6.50.
Walkthrough the sky across Tower Bridge
Have you ever noticed that there are walkways above Tower Bridge? Well, you can walk through them as part of the Tower Bridge museum. The experience takes you through the history of the bridge and as it is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world finding out how it was built was fascinating. Part of the walkway is made of glass and walking over it so far up is a serious feat of bravery! The second part of the experience is in the Victorian Pump Rooms which shows all technology used to open and close the bridge before the introduction of electricity. Seeing all the amazing equipment and manpower it took to make this happen is really incredible, and it’s sad that a lot of these technologies are now lost to the past. Tickets to Tower Bridge are £9.80 and you can get a combined ticket with the nearby Monument, a landmark which commemorates the fire of London and offers amazing views of the city for £12.
Places to Eat
If you are in exploring London Bridge you have to visit the famous Borough Market. It hosts some of the best foods in London, one-half specialised in ingredients, the other in meals and snacks you can buy directly. The food is all amazingly fresh and to me it always looks like a market straight out of a storybook. I love the seafood, vegan cakes, artisan cheeses and other amazing foods on offer, it’s great to explore even if you don’t buy anything! It’s worth a wander even just to take in the sights, sounds and smells of this amazing market.
The Breakfast Club
One of my other favourite places to eat nearby is The Breakfast Club. This is a place that specialised in all-day breakfast foods and American dining. The pancakes are a particular joy as well as the buffalo wings, chicken and waffles. It was all seriously delicious, and I love the Americana decor.
I really enjoyed exploring London Bridge, let me know below if you’d be interested in seeing similar posts on other London areas and any you might want to see first!
This is a collaborate post, The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own