One of the reasons Tower Bridge is so renowned is because of its impressive bascules that lift to allow the passing of vessels up and down the River Thames. It has long been one of the most popular landmarks in London because of its striking exterior and historical story, so if you’re visiting the capital this year, try and catch Tower Bridge’s roadways in action. If you’re interested in London’s famous bridges, this spectacle is a must-see.

Tower Bridge schedules lifts on request, and the coming months hold plenty of opportunity for you to catch it in motion; there are seven lifts scheduled on October 1st alone. While the best time to catch a lift would generally be in the morning or the evening, there are many planned lifts to choose from throughout the day – you can see the full schedule here. As viewpoints of London go, this is a pretty spectacular sight that you should make some time to see, especially if it’s your first time visiting the city. You can even watch the bridge being lifted through Tower Bridge’s incredible glass floor walkways.

Many people might not realise that, actually, anyone can request a bridge lift if they have good reason to. In order to qualify to lift the bascules of one of the most famous landmarks in London, the requirements of the Corporation of London (Tower Bridge) Act 1885 and certain other conditions must be met. Furthermore, in order to pass through, your vessel’s height must exceed 30ft (9m). All bookings must be made in writing and arrive at Tower Bridge at least 24 hours in advance of the requested lift. There are more in-depth details about booking a bridge lift on the Tower Bridge website.

The safety of Tower Bridge’s operation is paramount, however it’s not always been so smooth. There’s a famous story from Tower Bridge’s history that tells of a bus driver who had to jump his vehicle from one bascule to the other as they were lifting, and it is astonishing that he – along with his passengers – lived to tell the tale. This event on the most celebrated of London’s famous bridges took place way back in 1952, and while there’s no chance of a repeat scenario, it’s a story that will always be remembered in the history of Tower Bridge.

Every day, more than 40,000 people cross over Tower Bridge, including 21,000 vehicles, making is one of the most important of London’s famous bridges. Many rely on it for day-to-day use as well as those who come to Tower Bridge specifically just to see one of the best viewpoints of London in all its glory. Some even come to Tower Bridge for formal events as well as those who come for educational trips. No matter what your reason to go is, Tower Bridge is undoubtedly one of the greatest landmarks in London and no trip would be complete without a visit.

Tower Bridge has always been a popular tourist attraction, whether it’s to witness the lifting of the bascules, discover the Tower Bridge Exhibition or experience the glass walkways for one of the most breath-taking viewpoints of London. As well as seeing one of the most famous landmarks in London in action, there’s plenty to do, see and learn at Tower Bridge – not to mention it’s easy to get to – so make sure you schedule some time in for it if you’re visiting our capital city in the near future.