London Bridge and Tower Bridge: How to Not Confuse

It’s so easy to mistake the iconic London Bridge for the striking Tower Bridge. Is it? Let’s dispel some confusions about these favorite landmarks of London.

Last updated: September 3, 2023

London Bridge vs. Tower Bridge. Dispelling Confusions - Roads and Destinations
London Bridge vs. Tower Bridge: How to not confuse them

Meet the Two Most Popular Bridges in London

“London Bridge is falling down” was playing on TV while Dylan and I were picking up his toys. Roshan just came back home for lunch. It was an easy day for him, and he was in the mood to reminisce about our trip to London, “We took a walk across this bridge”.

I was confused, “We never walked across the London Bridge. Our tour boat did go under this bridge. But this was the only time we got close to the London Bridge.” And then it struck me. Roshan was talking about the Tower Bridge assuming that it was the London Bridge.

Confusions about London Bridge and Tower Bridge

My husband was not the only person confusing these two popular bridges over the River Thames in the capital of the United Kingdom. The popularity of the name London Bridge goes beyond the borders of the country. Kids all over the world along with their parents sing uncomplicated words of the song London Bridge Is Falling Down. Moreover, some of these nursery rhymes on YouTube depict nothing else but the Tower Bridge, calling it the London Bridge. How can’t you get confused here?

On the other hand, you rarely hear the name Tower Bridge. Yet a combined bascule and suspension bridge with two iconic towers has certainly become a symbol of London. Matching the most common name with the most popular images, many people mistake the Tower Bridge for the London Bridge.

London Bridge vs. Tower Bridge. Dispelling Confusions - Roads and Destinations
London Bridge

London Bridge

The London Bridge, to be exact, the name London Bridge, is one of the oldest in London. It dates back to 43 A.D. when the first London Bridge was built. In fact, throughout all these years several bridges have had the same name.

The modern London Bridge came into existence in 1972. And already on March 17, 1973, Queen Elizabeth II opened it, acknowledging that it was one of the most famous bridges in the world.

As the Queen agrees, the London Bridge is not the tallest, longest, or widest bridge. On top of that, it doesn’t boast many architectural details. With the exception of a spike sculpture on the southern side of the bridge, the current London Bridge is simple and restrained in design. It perfectly aligns with the architectural style of the 1970s, a period when the bridge was built.

London Bridge vs. Tower Bridge. Dispelling Confusions - Roads and Destinations
Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

As opposed to the London Bridge, people around the world recognize the Tower Bridge as an iconic site of London. The bridge was opened in 1894. Despite its long history, the structure has had little to none changes except for new paint.

The design of the structure is another characteristic that differentiates the Tower Bridge from the London Bridge. The Tower Bridge is all about architectural details and impeccable style that makes it look older than it is. The main features of the bridge are two neo-Gothic towers with two walkways at the upper level.

On top of that, the Tower Bridge offers the unforgettable Tower Bridge Experience with emphases on creation and history of the structure. Walking on glass floor at 131 feet above the river is definitely not for faint-hearted. Yet if you’re able to conquer your fear of heights, this can be your best London experience ever.

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  1. Justin
    June 25, 2020 / 7:55 am

    Interesting note: The London Bridge the song is about was dismantled and shipped to Arizona And stands there today

    • Zhanna
      June 25, 2020 / 12:21 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Justin. I had to google it. Indeed, the former London Bridge is located in Lake Havasu City. But the song I meant really portraits the Tower Bridge. However, there are so many variations of the kids rhymes with this bridge, that it’s easy to get confused.

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