Newest Review: ... buildings were demolished and some narrow arches were replaced by a wider one to facilitate navigation. The modern bridge is pretty u... more
Borough & London Bridge (London)
Member Name: MagdaDH
Borough & London Bridge (London)
Advantages: good viewpoint
Disadvantages: not a spectacular building
The current London Bridge dates to 1970s and is a functional, efficient construction that links The City to Southwark (near to Southwark Cathedral and the Monument) and replaced a Victorian bridge that lasted for 140 years until it was sold to an Arizona oil magnate.
The most famous of the London Bridges - the one that quite possibly the song referred to - was the stone one built in the end of the 12th century by Peter de Colechurch. That one consisted of 19 small arches and included a drawbridge, but it was particularly well known for tall houses that were built on it (to raise revenue). These, despite causing a lot of problems and contributing to several disasters (including fires and collapses) were not removed until 1756, where reason won and the buildings were demolished and some narrow arches were replaced by a wider one to facilitate navigation.
The modern bridge is pretty unremarkable, really, without being ugly (though bridges rarely are, or is it just me?). I crossed it numerous times during the afternoon rush hour when City commuters walk across to the London Bridge station; though I walked in the opposite direction as I worked in south-east London and lived in Islington on the City borders. It is correctly classified here on Trivago as a lookout, and indeed it does make a good viewpoint. All central London bridges do, actually, and one of the joys of walking along and across the Thames is the changing panorama of the river and the city that spreads on both banks.
From London Bridge, looking downstream, you see the London Pool and get a great view of that London icon, the Tower Bridge, with HMS Belfast moored on the southern side. From certain points you also get a view of the futuristic City Hall, behind the Belfast.
Looking upstream, you can see the Southwark Bridge, Cannon Street station towers, the dome of St Paul's and, on the south bank, the towers of the Southwark Cathedral and the Bankside power station (now Tate Modern).
The southern end of the Bridge is flanked on one side by the rather ridiculous cathedral of management (formerly PriceWaterhouseCoopers headquarters, but they moved to even swankier quarters at More London), no 1 London Bridge. This will be - quite a good thing, really - eclipsed by the soon-to-open Shard London Bridge, 304m high glass-clad skyscraper that will feature a highest UK observation deck and look like, well, a shard of glass. I am not quite sure what the deeper cultural significance of this is. The preceding decade gave us the phallic, bullet-like, space-ship like, and - obviously - gherkin-like 30 St Mary Axe which, although faintly ridiculous, in a very self-conscious, post-modern way, still exuded a certain dynamic, focused, thrusting one is tempted to say, energy and hope. This decade, we have a piece of broken glass - also a dynamic, but somewhat painfully so, shape.
Leaving such speculations aside, though, the Shard will be an exciting addition to the London skyline and already gained a landmark status. Its presence will make London Bridge area even more popular among the tourists (currently they seem to be drawn largely by the ludicrous and overpriced wax circus of the London Dungeon: it's probably my age but I will never understand what the attraction of such places is).
Summary: interesting area
More reviews in the field of Destination National
- A day in paradise..
- Rye - A lovely place to spend the weekend
- An Eccentric's Gift To Future Generations
- Take a walk in the 'University' Parks
- Wakefield - the Turd of the North!
- Rude and unwelcoming
- My kind of heaven
- Nothing is certain in London but expense.
- Getting the 'Finger' from Northampton!
- There's no place like home
- Fantasy Island Fun Park (Weymouth, Dorset)
- Sandworld International Sand Sculpture Park (Weymouth, Dorset)
- Come into Play (Stone, Staffordshire)
- Wiseman's Bridge Campsite (Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire)
- Alsop en le Dale (Derbyshire)
- Strathmiglo (Scotland)
- Thornton (Scotland)
- Strathpeffer (Scotland)
- Tain (Scotland)
- Thurso (Scotland)