Menu

"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Crossing Westminster Bridge, London.

Visit Westminster Bridge London.

May 2019. It had been a long, long time since I last felt the fresh River Thames air on my face at Westminster Bridge. In fact, racking my brain, it would have been something like fourteen years ago during a hectic afternoon ferrying Belgian teenagers around Central London. In fact, so stressful had it been that I don’t think I’d even taken the time to appreciate the bridge and its handsome city views. This time though it was different, a sunny afternoon in which I’d met up with my old friend Baddi and was at the beginning of my new life as a full-time travel blogger!

Crossing Westminster Bridge London.

Crossing Westminster Bridge, London.

May 2019. Westminster Bridge (in its current form) opened to the public on the 24th of May 1862, which also happened to be Queen Victoria’s 25th birthday. No coincidence there I guess, although Victoria didn’t actually attend the event as she was still in mourning over the death of Prince Albert.

Bus 211 to Waterloo Crossing Westminster Bridge.

Bus 211 to Waterloo, Westminster Bridge.

The bridge was named after the borough of Westminster in which it sits and after the Palace of Westminster that it overlooks on its western side. Its distinctive green coat of paint is a nod to the colour of the leather seats in The House of Commons. See the horribly disfigured block sticking out the back of the bus to Waterloo? That’s Elizabeth Tower, home to Big Ben, London’s iconic clock and great bell.

Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben covered in Scaffolding.

Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben under restoration, London.

May 2019. It must be a real bummer to fly across the world only to find Elizabeth Tower obliterated by scaffolding. But at the end of the day them’s the breaks and at least it was still possible to see the clock face itself.

The London Eye from Westminster Bridge.

The London Eye from the eastern side of Westminster Bridge.

May 2019. On the eastern side of Westminster Bridge the view takes in The London Eye and the Southbank, heralded by some as the heart of the city’s cultural scene. Head down here for The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal National Theatre, Gabriel Wharf, The London Studios and the London IMAX Super Cinema.

Couple cycling across Westminster Bridge London.

Couple cycling across Westminster Bridge.

No matter what side of the bridge you’re on it’s fun simply to stop for a moment and watch the traffic trundling by in both directions, from marching tourists, whooshing cars and rattling red buses to the amusing sight of locals bobbing past on wobbly bikes. I wouldn’t particularly fancy tackling Westminster Bridge on a bicycle.

Religious preacher on Westminster Bridge London.

“The end is nigh”, Westminster Bridge.

A true Westminster Bridge experience wouldn’t be complete without a board-waving religious nut telling everyone the end is nigh, Jesus is returning, we’re all doomed etc. Mind you, as religious nuts go this guy seemed alright in the sense that he wasn’t actually saying anything and seemed reasonably smiley. Good luck to him.

Souvenir shop Westminster Bridge London.

Souvenir tat central, at the western end of Westminster Bridge.

For all your kitschy London souvenir needs, Westminster Bridge offers a large stall at the end of it western side. A solid crowd of feverish tourists can always be found here filling their bags with postcards, keychains, stickers, t-shirts and red telephone box ornaments. This constant flow of visitors must provide the guy who runs the stall a very decent living, although to me it looked like he hated every single one of them.

For more on my home city, why not delve through my many reports from across London.

Or maybe search further afield with my articles from all around England.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: