If you are a first time visitor to London, you’ll know you’re in Europe’s most dynamic city when you’re on Westminster Bridge. One of London’s most iconic structures, Big Ben, towers over the bridge along with Westminster Palace in full view. Both are in full view so you can’t miss them. The east side of the bridge offers brilliant views of the London Eye and Southbank London.
Did you know that Westminster Bridge is painted the same colour green as the leather seats in the House of Commons? Today’s bridge is also the second as the first crumbled a bit, and had to be replaced. There is a bit of trivia for you, though there is much more to know about this stretch of road elevated above the Thames River.
– The bridge famously appeared both in James Bond movies and Dr Who. But, you’ll also recognize the bridge in Mission Impossible, 101 Dalmatians and 28 Days Later.
– Westminster Bridge is 252 meters long and 26 meters wide. There are seven elliptical spans; the most spans of any bridge along the Thames bridges.
– The bridge opened on Queen Victoria’s birthday, 24 May 1862. She was scheduled to attend but missed the ceremony because she was still mourning Prince Albert’s death.
– Westminster Bridge is the oldest surviving road bridge across the Thames River in Central London.
– The bridge was funded by a lottery, which at the time was subject to fraud. During the 1860’s a lottery was also considered immoral; thus, the bridge is also referred to as “The Bridge of Fools.”
– Westminster Bridge took more than eleven years to complete.
With regard to London Night Photography, Westminster Bridge offers incredible views of Westminster Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye, and County Hall. You will often find crowds along the bridge snapping away with their cameras, so do be cautious if you plan serious photography here, especially with a tripod. Also be aware of errant selfie sticks!
I often walk down onto Albert Embankment to take photos from there. Albert Embankment is the side of the river opposite the House of Parliament. Arrive here via the steps on the Southwest corner of the bridge. The unobscured view of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Bridge are unparalleled.
Plan to spend an hour or more on and around this area. Being on Westminster Bridge is quintessentially London and a must-do for anyone.
If you are a photographer, you might also like the views from Millennium Bridge or Waterloo Bridge.