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Getting To Know Tower Bridge – Cruise port Guide London
Our Tower Bridge cruise port guide is a quick and easy introduction to everything there is to see and do in the nations capital city, London.
Located in the heart of London, this is one of the most iconic and unique cruise ports in the world. Berthing alongside HMS Belfast and tendering via river shuttle boat across the Thames – beneath Tower Bridge – is one of the most spectacular ways to embark your cruise ship, and this wonderful experience is reserved exclusively for those much smaller vessels. The sailaway from Tower Bridge is spectacular and you’ll find spectators lining the pavements to bid bon voyage as your ship leaves this iconic landmark behind.
Of course, no embarkation or disembarkation at Tower Bridge would be complete without spending time in the UK capital. London is bursting with things to see and do, so why not add a short stay into your holiday plans. You can delve deep into London’s history; sample some of the finest food in the world; enjoy a show in the West End, splurge on Oxford Street; take in many of the typical tourist sites; relax in one of the cities many public parks; take a ride on the famous London Underground; enjoy the city view from the top of The Shard; and many, many more.
Don’t forget to stop by our cruise blog for updates on Tower Bridge (London) cruises.
London is easy to explore on foot and via public transport, and the quickest way to get around is via the London Underground. TravelCard tickets are the most cost effective and they cover all public transport within the city, including the DLR, bus services, London Overground, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and National Rail Services. If you’re only in the city for one day, we’d recommend using the pay as you go system. If you’re staying for 2 or 3 days, purchase the Visitor Pass.
These are some of the things you can do and places you can enter in the city for FREE: British Museum, Museum of London, Natural History Museum, IWM London, National Portrait Gallery, all public parks, London Mithraeum, Queens House, walking tours, Museum of London Docklands, Science Museum and the British Museum.
Key highlights of London
- Tower of London – located opposite your ships berth
- Tower Bridge
- HMS Belfast
- Buckingham Palace
- London Eye
- Westminster Abbey
- Hyde Park
- The British Museum
- Covent Garden
- Oxford Street
- Camden Town and Market
- Emirates Air Line
- Royal Albert Hall
- The O2
- London Transport Museum
- Westminster Bridge
- Palace of Westminster & Big Ben
- Portobello Road
- Tate Modern
- Piccadilly Circus
- Leicester Square
- The National Gallery
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Trafalgar Square
Regular cruise line visitors
Cruise Expert Insider 🔎 Tower Bridge & London by Sue Bryant
London is all about the views. Luckily, you’ll have what’s arguably the best view of all if you’re docked at Tower Bridge, with the Tower of London, the dome of St Paul’s and the futuristic skyscrapers of the City right in front of your ship. Book online in advance to visit the glass walkways that span Tower Bridge; there’s even a glass floor if you’re brave enough to look down, and the views up and down the river are stupendous.
The temptation with London is to cram in too much, so pace yourself. This is a city of neighbourhoods and it pays to discover one pocket at a time. The area east of Tower Bridge, on the South Bank, all walkable, is Shad Thames, former warehouses that are now hip apartments, cool restaurants and buzzing bars and cafés. The famous Borough Market is a short walk west from HMS Belfast, where you’re docked, for a whistle-stop journey through the world’s cuisines, from gourmet chocolate to coffee, cheeses, organic fruit and vegetable stalls, paella and pies. It’s closed on Sunday but brunch here on Saturdays is a big event for Londoners. More local and, some would say, less touristy is Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey, which is open on Saturdays and Sundays, for fabulous street food: green juices, artisanal gin and authentic bangers.
If you’re having a South Bank day, the other big attractions here are the Tate Modern, one of London’s finest galleries, and Shakespeare’s Globe, where you can do behind-the-scenes tours as well as watch plays in a recreation of the original Elizabethan playhouse. And for more of those amazing views, climb on board the London Eye and try to spot all the legendary landmarks.
Areas like Oxford Street, Regent Street, Buckingham Palace and Parliament Square need little introduction, as they’re on a well-trodden trail. So why not dig a little deeper? When I’m playing tourist in my own city, I sign up for a guided walk with London Walks (walks.com), which, thanks to the eloquent and very entertaining guides, never disappoint, whether you follow the trail of Jack the Ripper, The Beatles or London’s ghosts.
Speaking of ghosts, one of the best tours I’ve done is the London Transport Museum’s ‘ghost stations’ visit, where guides take you on a very exclusive visit underground to learn the fascinating story of the disused underground stations, used as anything from air raid shelters in World War II to the set for the James Bond film, Skyfall. These are really popular, though, so you need to plan well ahead (ltmuseum.co.uk).
For a city with more than eight million inhabitants, London has some gorgeous outdoor space. You’ll probably see the Royal Parks on a tour: Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Green Park and St James Park, all of which are beautiful at any time of year. In summer, if your ship is overnighting, it’s always worth checking out the Open Air Theatre at Regent’s Park. Book a ticket, pack a picnic and enjoy productions like A Midsummer Night’s Dream in an atmospheric woodland setting.
Slightly further afield, but an easy journey from London Bridge on the Northern Line, another of my favourite views of the city is from Primrose Hill, an extension of Regent’s Park. Sometimes, I combine a visit here with a wander through the boho market at Camden Lock, or head further north still for a stroll on Hampstead Heath to the neoclassical villa of Kenwood House and the Spaniards Inn, a pub dating back to 1585, or through chichi Hampstead Village for shopping and grazing.
A few days in London is never enough, though. You’ll always want to come back for more.