The neo-Gothic Westminster Bridge connects Lambeth and Westminster. Though popular for its panoramic views, the Victorian bridge’s decorative details and cultural importance make it an attraction in its own right. The present-day structure opened on Queen Victoria’s birthday in 1862, though its history reaches back to the 17th century.
Many city tours cross Westminster Bridge on their way between the South Bank and the Palace of Westminster. Open-top hop-on hop-off buses offer a unique vantage point of several Thameside landmarks, while bike or walking tours allow time to admire the bridge’s decorative features and pose for pictures against the scenic backdrop. Cruise tours often pass beneath, providing panoramic vistas of both banks, as well as an intimate glimpse of the iconic structure itself.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Film and TV buffs may recognise the landmark from Doctor Who, James Bond, or 28 Days Later.
- The V&A–crested lamps and neo-Gothic features are popular with architectural enthusiasts.
- The bridge’s flat, wide paths are wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
Westminster is the closest Underground station, within a minute of the bridge, while Waterloo is the closest mainline station. River-bus tours stop at Westminster pier, and the bridge is also served by many local and sightseeing-bus services.
When to Get There
Visit in the late afternoon to enjoy some of the best sunset views across the Thames. Visitors to the capital around New Year can purchase tickets ahead of time to watch the annual firework show from the bridge.
The Green Arches
As you explore, notice the green coloring of the Grade II–listed bridge, which corresponds to the green leather seats in the House of Commons. The next bridge south, Lambeth Bridge, is painted red, to match the red leather seats in the House of Lords. It’s possible to see these, and learn more about the unusual structure of British parliament, on a tour of Westminster Palace itself.