When Tower Bridge launched a competition via twitter on Friday to watch the London Marathon from the famous Tower Bridge Glass Floor, I replied immediately. I was planning to watch the marathon on Sunday anyway, but to see the runners from 42 metres up, above the Thames? That’s a once in a lifetime experience.
And lo and behold, on Friday afternoon, an email from the Tower Bridge team dropped into my inbox. It said I was one of 100 people who had won the prize to visit the Tower Bridge Glass Floor. So on a drizzly and cold Sunday, we set off along South Bank to get some unrivalled views of the marathon runners, from the dry – and not so cold – walkways of the Tower Bridge Exhibition Centre.
Here’s the experience in pictures, with a touch of ‘insta’ added to them…
Once inside the Exhibition Centre, the lift takes you up to the walkway level.
There are two walkways, both with glass floors. So you’re free to stroll around, read about the history of this Victorian era bridge, and marvel at the amazing engineering that went into creating such a famous London landmark.
The panoramic views over the Thames are fantastic…
At first, I was quite freaked out by the prospect of walking over a glass floor, 42 metres above the Thames. Logic just doesn’t come into it when you’re genuinely scared of heights.
But as the time passes, you do get used to it. Plus, the glass doesn’t run the full length of the bridge, so you can walk away from it if it all gets a bit too much.
Chances are though, like us and the visitors around us, you will quickly become obsessed with getting the best, most arty photo out there.
As the the hours passed, the people around us were getting even more adventurous with their photos.
So we joined in…
Being a draw bridge, the bascules of Tower Bridge do of course lift every now and again to let larger vessels through on the Thames.
One of the really cool things you can do while you’re up there in case you don’t experience the real thing, is to take advantage of the ‘Raise Tower Bridge’ augmented reality app. Once you download it, you can use the app to see an augmented reality version of the bascules raising beneath your feet. It’s really quite weird.
The vertigo all got a bit too much…
During the two hours we were up on the bridge, we saw some of the elite runners and I caught a very quick glimpse of Paula Radcliffe as she whizzed by and was chased by a reporter.
Here’s a quick video to give you an idea of what it was like…
Watching the world go by from up there was just truly amazing, and offered a different perspective to what is one of London’s most amazing sporting events.
Last year I was running it. This year I was watching it from up in the sky. Who’d have known.
But we made sure we did a bit of cheering for the runners when we were back on solid ground. Another year, another truly inspirational event. Well done to everyone who took part. I can’t wait for next year. Who knows where I’ll be watching from…
Thank you to Tower Bridge London for an amazing experience. For more information on the Tower Bridge Exhibition and Glass Floor, go to TowerBridge.org.uk. You can also follow them on twitter @TowerBridge and find them on Facebook.
Until next time x