Tower Bridge Behind The Scenes Tour

Huge numbers of people walk over the world famous Tower Bridge every day. Lots of people visit the Tower Bridge experience and its famous glass floors. But only a fortunate few get to go on an engineering tour of Tower Bridge, going deep into the very foundations of the historic structure. The Tower Bridge website has a page listing when the bridge will open and what ship/boat is coming through.

The Behind the Scenes Tour

The Behind the Scenes Tours are popular, really popular. If you want to go on tour, and see there are tickets are available, then you need to quickly book the tickets.

The tour is something else, taking you behind the scenes to see the modern day workings of the bridge. The unique part of the tour starts enter one of the control cabins. The cabin on the SE corner is preserved with the original workings.

Descending a staircase within the cabin, you end up in a room full of pumps and machinery below the level of the pavement.

Down to the Bascule Chamber

Then the real climb down begins, into the bascule chamber. The part of the road that everyone sees lift up is only half the story of the lifting mechanism. To reduce the size of the motors needed to raise and lower the bridge, each bascule is attached to a large counter-weight.

The whole thing works like a seesaw. Which leaves only one problem – when the bascule goes up, the counter-weight must go down so where does it go.

The big surprise of Tower Bridge is that the piers on which the two towers are built are not solid – they are hollow. The reason they are hollow is to accommodate the huge counter-weight as it moves opposite to the bascule.

This means that the space has to be big – it seems vast when you enter it. Standing in the bottom of the bascule chamber, you are well below the high water mark.

The Tour Group

At all times the small groups are escorted by a very knowledgeable guide who tells you about the history and engineering. The tours are worth every penny.

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