Recently we visited London to see Tower Bridge which David had been asking to see for ages and fitted in a visit to nearby HMS Belfast whilst we were there.
We used the underground to get to the Tower Hill tube station, which brings you out just to the back of the Tower of London. On your way to the bridge you also pass part of a Roman wall and a statue of Julius Caesar.
We used some Tesco's "Days Out" vouchers to visit the bridge but there are also deals available online and if you've travelled to London by train you can get a 2 for 1 offer.
We went on whats called, "The Tower Bridge Experience" which takes you up through one of the towers in which there is a small exhibition about the construction of the bridge and about its designer.
This then brings you out onto one of the viewing walkways, high up above the road. Here you will find information about different styles of bridges and pictures of famous bridges from around the world. There are loads of information boards with details of what you can see, wildlife that lives in the Thames , facts about the bridge etc etc.
In the centre of the walkway there is a glass section over which you can walk (if you really don't want to it is possible to get round it.) It gives you a birds eye view of vehicles passing over the bridge under your feet. If the bridge is not lifting on the day you visit then there is an app that you can use to make it look as if the bridge is lifting up towards you, which a member of staff kindly showed the boys.
Both of the walkways had the same features and you then exited down the tower via some images of other famous London landmarks. Following a blue stripe painted on the walkway of the bridge you are led to the engine rooms which explain more about how the bridge works and was powered by steam. There is a short video showing the bridge lifting and a small souvenir shop.
If you are planning a visit to the Bridge I would highly recommend checking its website which gives you more information plus the dates and times that the Bridge will be lifting if you'd like to see it in action. www.towerbridge.org.uk
From here we walked down towards HMS Belfast which gave us a really good view of the Shard and we passed the Mayor of London's offices and a sculpture the boys called "The Bean". HMS Belfast is no more than a 3 or 4 min walk from the bridge.
Again we used Tesco's "Days Out" vouchers to enter HMS Belfast and I believe they also offer a 2 for 1 for English Heritage members and those with a rail ticket. HMS Belfast played a pivotal role in the D-Day landings and in other conflicts. You can visit all areas of the ship from the kitchens, sleeping quarters, chapel, dentists, to the control deck and the weapons deck.
It also offers some great views of Tower Bridge.There are interactive displays about the ships various roles and the staff were very good with the kids. It also has its own small shop and cafe area. Due to it being a war ship its not that accessible and there are a lot of ladders and narrow walkways so I would not recommend taking a pram etc.
Overall, a good value and fun day out.