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London Bridge is home to some of the city’s top landmarks, attractions, and restaurants. It’s also a few train stops away from where I live, so I end up meeting up with friends for a catch-up or brunch around the London Bridge area almost weekly.
I never get tired of exploring the area as there are so many things to do near London Bridge. And it seems new events, things to see and do keep popping up monthly!
The London Bridge area is the perfect place to explore if you’re visiting the city for the first time and want to tick off some of London’s must-see places on your UK bucket list.
From the Tower of London to The Shard, you’ll find it all near London Bridge.
If you’re wondering what to do in London Bridge, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will take you through everything you should see, where to eat and how to get to this iconic location.
Now here are the best things to when visiting the London Bridge area.
The HMS Belfast is one of the oldest existing wardships of the Royal Navy. She’s been around for over 80 years and played a crucial part in the allied forces regaining control during World War II.
Today the HMS Belfast is retired and is part of a display at the Imperial War Museum. Hop on board the HMS Belfast and learn more about her history and her role during the war.
Today she attracts thousands of visitors from across the world and gives them the opportunity to see what life was like for the brave soldiers who served in the Royal Navy.
The UK is known for being a nation that set out on numerous maritime expeditions, all with varying degrees of success.
The Golden Hinde is one of the vessels that helped navigators and sailors explore the world and pioneer the way forward.
It is one of the most famous vessels to set sail from England and was captained by Sir Francis Drake.
For centuries the Golden Hinde was inside a dockyard rotting away until a plan was drawn up in the 1970s to restore and rebuild parts of the ship. Then in 1973, she was fully restored to her former glory.
She once again set sail, navigating the globe as she did in the 16th century. Today, she sits inside a St Mary Overie Dock Museum near London Bridge.
You can discover your inner explorer by visiting the Golden Hinde and learning about her expeditions.
A cruise on The Thames Clippers, also known as UberBoat, is one of the most exciting things to do around London Bridge, and tickets start at around £4.
Mainly used as a commuter service by Londoners who work in the city, it’s a great way to travel up and down the Thames and see some of London’s greatest landmarks from a different perspective.
A River Roamer ticket allows you all-day access to hop on and off many riverside attractions like the Shakespeare Globe Theatre at your own pace.
A boat leaves every 20 minutes, and it’s a great way to take a self-guided tour of London.
Potters Field Park is an urban oasis located on the banks of the Thames River, near the Tower Bridge.
The park dates back to the 17th century and has been a popular place for Londoners to escape the busyness of the city.
It has spacious lawns, tons of shady trees, quiet walkways, and colourful gardens. If you’re looking for things to do around Tower Bridge, you may want to pack a picnic basket and spend your afternoon at Potters Field Park.
It’s a great place to hang out with family, friends and even by yourself if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
The gorgeous Sky Garden is the highest rooftop garden in London. Rising 160 metres into the sky, it is one of the best green spaces in the city.
From the top, you can take in breath-taking 360-degree views of London while being surrounded by an array of calming greenery.
And the best part? Entry to the garden is completely free. You just need to book your tickets in advance.
After walking around, you can get something to eat at the on-site restaurants and bars.
St Dunstan in the East church is a true hidden gem situated between London Bridge and the Tower of London.
This old Parish Church was built in the 11th century and survived the Great Fire of London, but was ultimately destroyed by intense bombing in WW II.
It was never restored after the war and remained abandoned until 1967, when the city of London decided to open it up as a public garden.
It’s a rather unusual but magical sight to see how the greenery has grown in between and around the old church.
There is no shortage of amazing afternoon tea venues in London, but if you really want to be blown away, try the high tea at The Shard.
The Ting restaurant at the Shangri-La restaurant takes the meaning of “high tea” to the next level and quite literally.
Located on the 32nd floor, the Ting is one of the best places in the city to enjoy a decadent afternoon tea with a stunning view to go along with it.
You can indulge in classics like cucumber sandwiches and Victoria sponge cake, as well as other sweet and savoury treats. Pair it with a cup of tea or a glass of champagne.
Neal’s Dairy Yard is the most popular cheese shop in London, with shops in Borough Market and Covent Garden. They have over 70 different types of cheese from producers across the UK and Ireland.
Neal’s hosts a cheese tasting in the evenings where you can enjoy nine different kinds of cheese along with bread, chutney, and wine.
You’ll also learn about how the cheese was made and where it comes from.
Everyman Cinemas Borough Yards
Everyman is reinventing the cinema experience. Their cinemas are geared towards an innovative lifestyle model, where you trade your soft drink for a decent glass of red wine, and a slice of freshly made pizza served to your seat.
Their new cinema in Borough Yards near London Bridge has a very grown and sexy vibe. The cinema’s interior screams speakeasy with its posh suede seats and moody lighting and bar serving up the most devilishly delicious cocktails.
Everyman Cinema boasts a vast selection of popular, independent, and classic movies, as well as events, debuts, and a diverse calendar of live satellite broadcasts. There is something for everyone.
Borough Yards is new on the scene when it comes to places to visit near London Bridge.
It is a significant development in the Borough of London and is undoubtedly the most exciting cultural and retail-focused regeneration in the city.
The city’s historical urban fabric has created a one-of-a-kind social, cultural, and commercial centre. The once-forgotten warehouses and railway arches now house a dramatic double-height retail space.
If you’re looking for things to do near Borough Market, you might want to check out the Southwark Cathedral. It is over 1000 years old and one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in London.
While the outside of the church is pretty impressive, the inside will leave you speechless.
The cathedral has some of the most intricate features and details that have survived over the centuries. You can expect to see large archways as well at delicately decorated stained glass windows.
Hay’s Galleria is a 19th-century wharf situated on the doorstep of London Bridge. It was once the main port for importing tea into London. Today it is a multi-complex space.
It was designed to resemble the Chich Galleria in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan. It has a ton of quirky shops, bars, and restaurants.
Since it is located right on the South bank of the Thames, it offers some pretty good views of the area.
If you’re looking for things to do in London Bridge at night, then you might enjoy a trip to the Bridge Theatre. It’s a fairly new, innovative theatre that opened near the Tower Bridge in 2017.
While the theatre occasionally performs some of the classic plays like Julius Caesar, it is best known for its original productions.
They also have several interactive shows where members in the audience have been pulled out of their chairs and brought onto the stage.
There is also a restaurant and bar where you can grab something to eat and drink.
Another theatre that you should check out near London Bridge is the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre. It was a chocolate factory shop in the late 1800s.
The theatre is best known for showing plays like Tick, Tick Boom! and The Color Purple. It has been described as “one of the most dynamic venues in London” by the Evening Standard.
This theatre can accommodate 180 people and also has a restaurant and bar.
The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian-only suspension bridge that crosses the Thames River and links St Paul’s Cathedral on the north bank with the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark.
When it opened in 2000, it was nicknamed “The Wobbly Bridge” as it seemed very unstable and made it difficult for pedestrians to cross.
The bridge is a great place to take pictures of the Thames and also has some great views of other attractions in London.
The bridge has also been featured in movies like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 28 Weeks Later and Run, Fat Boy, Run, just to name a few.
While there are plenty of great things that you can do in London Bridge during the day, if you are keen on a little adventure, you can go out on a late-night crawl.
Many of London Bridge’s bars have unique stories behind them because of the area’s rich industrial, artistic and maritime history.
One pub that you can check out is The Anchor Bankside, which has been around for over 800 years, making it one of London’s oldest pubs.
According to some, it used to be the preferred pub of river pirates and smugglers.
It’s no doubt that William Shakespeare was one of the greatest poets and playwrights to have ever lived. To get a small glimpse of his world, be sure to visit the Shakespeare Globe Theatre.
You can take a tour of the theatre or purchase a ticket for one of his plays, which include classics like Romeo and Juliet.
The Tower Hill Pageant is filled with historic buildings and memorials, including the Poppy Memorial.
It commemorates those who lost their lives in WWI. It’s a great place to discover London’s history.
Glaziers Hall is a contemporary private venue that has outstanding views of the Thames and City of London. Keep an eye out for any events that are held at this amazing venue.
If you’re not into doing mainstream things, here are a few quirky things that you can do in and around London Bridge.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a pirate, you’ll get the perfect opportunity to do so, even if it’s just for a few hours at the Pirates of the Hidden Spirit.
This unique cocktail experience may not be everyone’s cup of tea but is still fun, nonetheless.
Set on board an actual ship docked in London Bridge, you can embark on an interactive evening. You’ll be transported back in time when pirates ruled the seas.
After your adventure that should last between one and two hours, you’ll be able to enjoy three cocktails of your choice.
The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is one of the oldest museums near London Bridge. Here you can gain insight into some of the medical procedures of the 19th century.
The theatre has a variety of free exhibitions, events, and experiments. After a visit, you’ll be able to appreciate the advancements made in the medical field.
Most people consider a visit to a museum as nothing more than an uninteresting experience.
Quite the opposite is true at the Clink Prison Museum. It’s one of the quirkiest museums in the London Bridge area.
Between 1144 and 1780, the Clint Prison was the most notorious prison in England. Today you can discover the history of the prison, which is brought to life by its weird and wonderful guides.
The Great Fire of London swept through the central part of the city in 1666. The monument is one of the tallest in the city, standing at 62 metres.
It was built between 1671 and 1677 in Pudding Lane to commemorate this significant event.
There are 311 steps that lead up to the top of the column. All who are brave enough to venture to the top are awarded a certificate for proving that they made it all the way.
If you can handle a bit of a scare, then check out the London Bridge Experience and Tombs, which was voted the UK’s scariest attraction.
In 2007, construction workers dug up a plaque pit filled with hundreds of skeletons. The pit now makes up the London Bridge Tombs.
Take a journey under London Bridge to learn more about the city’s spooky history at this truly unique attraction.
Bermondsey Street was once London’s industrial hub, as it is located near the London Docks. It has a long and interesting history and has undergone quite a drastic transformation in the 20th century.
It has a great mix of historic buildings, traditional pubs, and quirky restaurants and cafes.
You’ll find a restaurant for any kind of food craving you have, including tapas and pasta.
Love Gin? Head over to the 214 Bermondsey Bar, where you can try out over 100 types of gin.
London has an incredibly diverse food scene. A food tour in London Bridge is one of the best ways to discover a vast array of wonderful food.
In Borough Market, you can book the Taste of Borough Market tour through Celia Brooks Gastro Tours.
Celia Brooks is a chef turned media personality who is extremely passionate about London’s food scene.
Through her exclusive tour, you’ll discover hidden delights in the market. You’ll get to learn about the market’s history and discover a range of delicious food.
Come hungry as you can expect to indulge in some of the finest cheeses, Sicilian cannelloni, fresh oysters, chocolate, wine and more.
Here are some of the top markets in London Bridge.
The Borough Market is the largest and arguably the best food market in London. It is believed that Borough Market came into existence in the 12th century.
You can buy anything from fruit and veggies to seafood, cheese, and fine wine. It also has a ton of food stalls, cafes, restaurants, and shops selling everything from coffee and cake to hearty Italian dishes.
There’s food for all taste buds, and you’re in for a special sensory and taste awakening at the Borough Market.
Nestled away next to the railway arches near London Bridge, the Maltby Market went from being a cool spot to hang out over the weekend to being a fulltime market open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Along with a ton of fresh produce stalls, you’ll also find over 30 stalls and restaurants serving up everything from artisan coffee to steak frites and egg waffles.
If you’re looking for a place to grab some great food and drinks, and enjoy live music, then Flat Iron Square is the place for you.
The restaurants and stalls in the square have something for everyone. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and even catch a live footy game over the weekend.
There are several tours that will take you in and around London Bridge and allow you to explore some of London’s top sights.
Many cafes and restaurants in and around London Bridge offer a delicious Sunday Brunch menu, where you can enjoy sweet and savoury treats along with drinks.
Some of the most popular places include Neal’s Dairy Yard, The Grind London Bridge and Tanner & Co.
London Bridge is one of the best places to enjoy bottomless brunch. A few places to try out include Lantana Cafe, the Breakfast Club London and Where the Pancakes Are.
You’ll find everything from a full English breakfast to avocado on toast and tacos. From around £30, you can enjoy any food of your choice with unlimited mimosas, prosecco, and other drinks, including non-alcoholic options.
The Vinegar Yard is an eclectic market made up of food and drinks stalls as well as art and souvenir stalls.
It’s the perfect place to hang out especially, during the summer. Here you can enjoy the warm night surrounded by good vibes, good food and good people.
Here are some of the top places to eat in London Bridge:
The Aqua Shard on the 31st floor of The Shard London serves up modern British dishes using the finest ingredients.
They have an equally impressive drinks menu with carefully crafted cocktails which can all be enjoyed with stunning 360-degree views of London.
Gaucho is an Argentinian restaurant in London that serves up some of the greatest steaks you’ll find in the city.
They only serve the best quality steaks like premium Black Angus beef that comes straight from Argentina. You’re guaranteed to have a tasty meal once you sit down here.
The George is a 17 century Inn and pub located just 250 metres away from the South Bank of the Thames. This is the only surviving galleried coaching inn in London.
You can enjoy a hearty meal like a Sunday roast or something lighter like nachos along with a drink in a cosy environment.
The Mudlark Inn is a popular pub and restaurant serving up a mix of hearty food, drinks, and scrumptious desserts.
It is located along the Thames banks and nestled in the heart of the London Bridge area.
After exploring some of the area’s nearby attractions, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite and recharge after a day of sightseeing.
Places Near London Bridge — Top Sights
Here are some of the top sights near London Bridge that you should visit.
While the Tower Bridge might be London’s most recognisable sight, it is a very different bridge to the London Bridge, which is a little further up the Thames River.
Built over 125 years ago, the Tower Bridge is a tall, elegant structure that has shaped London’s skyline ever since it was built. It’s a staggering 244 metres tall and about 76 meters long.
While you could walk over the Tower Bridge and get a photo to prove that you were there, spending a little extra money and booking a tour of Tower Bridge is well worth it.
There is an actual glass walkway where you can look down and see people walking on Tower Bridge beneath you. However, this is not for the faint! But the views of London and The Thames are absolutely and is definitely worth the climb.
You also discover the bridge’s fascinating history and learn about the intriguing stories of the people who helped build it.
You’ll also get to see the Victorian Engine Rooms that house the steam engines that once powered the bridge’s lifts.
Tower of London
Visiting the Tower of London is still one of the best things to do around London Bridge. Here, you can learn about the Royal Family’s history, the towers armoury, and the powerful fortress that protected the city.
On a guided tour, you’ll get to see the stunning Crown Jewels, The White Tower, the Chapel of St Peter and Vincula, the medieval palace, and various battlements.
This stunning 310-meter glass building has earned the title of the tallest building in the UK.
This spectacular building is home to offices, private residences, restaurants and the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel.
It also has the highest viewing platform in Western Europe on the 72nd floor, and as you can imagine, the view is breath-taking.
The View from The Shard entrance ticket provides you with access to the 72nd floor, where you can learn about London’s history through a multimedia exhibit and admire views of London’s famous landmarks such as the London Eye.
I also recommend dinning at one of the restaurants or grabbing a drink at one of the bars in the Shard like the Oblix or Aqua. In these bars some of the tables are right next to the glass which gives you some stunning views of the city.
The bars also have a super sexy vibe, so they are great for romantic’s dates as well.
When many people hear about The Gherkin, London, for the first time, their initial thought might be that it’s a restaurant or bar. However, The Gherkin is one of London’s most recognisable landmarks, found in the city’s financial district.
This incredible tower is an impressive 180 meters tall and rises 41 floors over the city.
But why is it called The Gherkin? This distinctive building got its nickname due to its round, vegetable-like design.
It houses numerous offices, and while it is not usually open to the public, you can visit the Searcys Helix Restaurant and Iris Bar located on the 39th and 40th floors.
You can enjoy afternoon tea or lunch during the day with a stunning view of London.
While The Gherkin is a pretty impressive sight during the day, it’s even more beautiful at night when the tower is lit up. It’s also the perfect place for a romantic dinner as you’ll be able to enjoy the best food and drinks with the best view.
At first glance, the City Hall of London looks like something that came straight out of a sci-fi movie. Many people mistake it for a museum or concert hall and are shocked to learn that it is the headquarters of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
This extravagant glass building is 45 meters tall and was designed in the shape of an egg.
While only small parts of City Hall are open to the public, it’s still worth visiting this impressive structure, even if it’s just to get a picture in front of it.
The Unicorn Theatre
If you’re wondering what to do around London Bridge with kids, why not take them to see a show at the Unicorn Theatre?
The theatre is located in Southwark and opened in 2005. It is currently the largest children’s theatre in the UK. Unicorn Theatre creates a range of innovative productions that encourage and inspire children to explore the world.
Their productions are aimed at children between the ages of 6 months and 13 years old. The theatre’s line-up includes adaptations of classic children’s plays and a range of original material.
The Tate Modern
If you enjoy art, then visit the Tate Modern. It is one of four galleries in the UK that collect and display both British and international artwork.
The Tate organisation was founded back in 1897, and it has played a huge role in opening its visitors’ minds to new concepts and pieces of art.
It regularly changes its exhibitions, so there’s always something to look forward to. Plus, entry is free, so you can go back as many times as you like.
The OXO Tower
The Oxo Tower is one of the most recognisable attractions near London Bridge. It is located on the South Bank of the Thames River and has been around since the early 1930s.
It was a former meat product factory and cold storage facility.
Today this iconic British landmark sits inside the OXO Tower Wharf. The tower is a multi-use space. Inside you’ll find shops, galleries, and design workshops.
It even has a restaurant and bar where you can grab something to eat and drink after exploring the tower’s other spaces.
The OXO Tower restaurant on the highest floors has a fantastic view of the London skyline.
Minerva House is a mixed-used building on the South Bank of the River Thames. It’s a four-minute walk away from London Bridge.
Minerva House was built between 1979 and 1983. It is one of the most interesting-looking buildings in London, with yellow bricks and narrow windows in between closely paired piers.
While Minerva House is not the most exciting building in London, it is still an architectural wonder.
And, if you’re looking for a place to take some great pictures to spice up your Instagram account, then this is the perfect building.
Winchester Palace Ruins
Nestled in a quiet street behind Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market lies a hidden gem in London, the Winchester Palace Ruins.
Built in the 12th century, Winchester was a palace that served as a townhouse for the Bishops of Winchester.
It was a prominent building in London for over 500 years until a fire destroyed it in the 18th century.
Today there is not much of Winchester Palace remaining. However, you’ll still be able to see some of its impressive architecture and the remaining Great Hall. Some of its features include a magnificent rose window on the west gable.
The Needle Sculpture
The Needle Sculpture is by far one of the most peculiar buildings in London. Rising 16 metres into the sky at a slanted angle, it is a structure that has left millions of Londoners puzzled as to why it exists.
There is no plaque indicating when it was built or who constructed it. Naturally, many people have come up with numerous theories over the years, none of which anyone can seem to agree on.
One thing that everyone is certain of is that the trajectory of the needle points downward to the riverside, opposite the Church St Magnus the Martyr. It happens to be the exact point where the old London Bridge crossed the river.
Here are some fascinating things that you might not have known about London Bridge:
- The Romans originally built London Bridge in 55AD
- The nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down” got its name based on the shady construction of the bridge.
- In its early days, London Bridge used to be a red-light district, sassy!
- The current London Bridge was built between 1968 and 1972
- London Bridge is 244 metres high and 32 metres wide
London Bridge can be easily accessed by the London Underground, overland railways, and buses with daily services. The direct station that services the area is the London Bridge Station.
Alternatively, you could sail down the Thames River by using an UberBoat and take the scenic route. You could also take an uber or ride in one of London’s famous black cabs.
London Bridge is a great place to explore some of the city’s best attractions, restaurants and markets. It’s filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
It’s also one of the best places to admire some incredible views of London.