Westminster Bridge is one of the oldest bridges spanning London’s River Thames. Walk across the bridge and admire picturesque views of London and see the iconic South Bank Lion.
Constructed in 1862, the Westminster Bridge is one of the oldest of many bridges spanning the River Thames. This site’s first bridge was built in 1738 during the reign of King George II. This original bridge was said to sway frequently and began sinking within the first decade after its construction. View the current bridge stretching 827 feet (252 metres) long and consisting of seven arches.
Notice the bridge’s colour, a reference to the green leather seats in the House of Commons, located nearby on the bridge’s Westminster side. The wrought iron detail of the bridge was created by Charles Barry, the same architect who designed the Parliament building.
As you walk across the bridge, admire the views of the parliament building. Looking upstream, you can also see the Lambeth Bridge, colored red to match the seats in the House of Lords. Downstream, spot the Hungerford rail bridge and the London Eye’s rotating capsules.
Try to stop here at night, when the scene is particularly enchanting with many of the surrounding landmarks illuminated against the dark sky. The view was memorably described by William Wordsworth in his sonnet Upon Westminster Bridge.
Don’t miss the South Bank Lion on the southwest corner of the bridge. Designed by William F. Woodington in 1837, the lion is one of three once guarding the entrance to the Old Lion Brewery. Weighing 14 tons (13 tonnes), the lion is made with a ceramic stone called coade, which is known for being extremely durable. When the brewery was demolished in 1949, the lion was moved to Waterloo Station and to this spot on the bridge in 1966.
The Westminster Bridge connects the Palace of Westminster on the north side of the river with County Hall on the south side. To walk across it, take the Tube to Westminster station, which will bring you close to the north bank of the Thames. There is no fee to access the bridge.