London – Walk to Tower Bridge at Night
London is a fantastic city for an urban walk during the day, but in some ways it is even prettier all lit up after dark. We especially love walking along the Thames pathway in the evening. All the pathways are well lit, and London landmarks like Tower Bridge, the city and the Shard look fantastic lit up. On this occasion, we were staying near Tower Bridge. We wanted to visit my friend in South London, but the tube (the underground) was broken so we got stuck at Canada Water. We used to live nearby in Rotherhithe, so rather than getting back on the packed tube, we decided to walk back to Tower Hill via our favourite route.
London was looking so gorgeous that I stopped to take plenty of photos. If you ever fancy a quick walk in the evening, this is a lovey option.
Walk to Tower Bridge from Rotherhithe
Walk to Tower Bridge at Night – The basics
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Time: We walked for 1.5 hours.
What to bring:
You don’t need to carry much. Anything you forget can be purchased easily.
There aren’t enough dogs in central London, but you can walk them here, just keep them on a lead and remember to pick up their poop.
How hard is it?
Easy! Jut stay close to the Thames and you won’t get lost. You can see central London and the Tower of London to guide you most of the way.
If you have not lived in London, you may not have heard of Rotherhithe. It is a pretty, residential area on the banks of the river Thames. It’s the location of the Brunel Museum, a gorgeous park (the Russia Dock Woodlands and Stave Hill) and plenty of excellent pubs. When we lived in this area, we’d often do the walk I am about to describe to return home after our date nights. It is a really romantic walk in the evening.
P.s. If you want me to name of one of the best pubs along this walk, you can’t go wrong with the Mayflower right on the Thames (near Rotherhithe station and opposite the Brunel museum.) It’s gorgeous, makes fantastic pimms and has decent grub.
So, to follow in our footsteps, just follow the Thames path along by the river. At first you walk through very quiet (and quite posh/gentrified) neighborhoods. It was great to live here before the Olympic games in 2012, but after that the rents became higher and higher so we had to move North to a cheaper area. This story has been repeated all over London. It means these neighborhoods are lovely to walk though, but they are veeery pricey if you want to live here.
The photo above is from Bermondsey Beach, where you can climb down and search for treasures in the mud when the tide is out. It has great views of St Katherines Docks (where we’ll end up later) as well as Tower Bridge and the City.
I love the way as you get closer to central London, more and more lights dance on the waves of the Thames. I guess this is why this walk feels so romantic to me. It’s just full of sparkles. It’s also very calm for so close to the center of London.
You’ll be walking through gentrified dockands, so there are plenty of bridges where you can peek into the old industrial buildings (that are now mostly posh flats.)
Butler’s Wharf and Tower Bridge views
Even if you don’t do this whole walk, you may want to visit Butler’s Wharf. It is close to Tower Bridge and lined with restaurants, each with a great view of the bridge. It’s one of my favourite spots for taking photos of Tower Bridge. It all looks fantastic at night when it is lit up.
Right before you reach the bridge, you need to go back away from the water, and along Shad Thames. You can tell I spent too long taking photos – that’s Marc off in the distance, wandering off without me. Oops.
Tower Bridge – close up
I don’t think I will ever get bored of seeing Tower Bridge. I love seeing it open to let ships through, but even on normal days it is just so pretty. When I got back to Canada, my boss mentioned she thought this was London Bridge. For non-Europeans, nope – London Bridge is not quite as beautiful…it is the next bridge along from Tower Bridge, built in the 1970s and not quite as striking. The Old London bridge (the one that was falling down in the song) is now in Lake Havasu City, Arizona(!) The story of its removal is pretty cool, so I’ll add a link to it here in case you like history.
There are pedestrian footpaths on either side of the bridge, so even at night it is fine to walk over it to North London and Tower Hill.
St Katherine Docks
Once we’d made it to the North side of the River Thames, we wanted to walk a teeny bit more, so we ventured over to St Katherine Docks to see how they were lit up for the festive season. I’ll start by showing you the Dickens Inn – this is a great pub! This pub is a former brewery that was used right back in the 18th century(!) Isn’t it lit up beautifully!?
We wandered around St Katherine Docks to see if we could find anything good to eat. Unfortunately everywhere was either full, or closed. So we just kept exploring and enjoying the festive lights of London.
I particularly loved this huge anchor covered in fairy lights! Apparently this is from the wreck of the Amsterdam, owned by the Dutch East India Company. It was shipwrecked in 1749, on it’s Maiden Voyage.
It’s also always cool to see what old boats are docked in this part of London. There were some beautiful vintage ships when we visited.
Next we headed back towards the Tower of London and our hotel. We looped back to the Thames again, for one more view of London at night.
Tower of London lit up
I have to admit, when we lived in London, I normally avoided hanging out too near the Tower of London. I mean, it is always sooo busy and full of tourists. It’s also not really an area that is full of night-life, so somehow I had never noticed how beautifully it is lit up once the sun goes down. If you want to see it in the daytime, see my previous post about walking from Tower Bridge to Big Ben in the day time.
Did you know in winter you can skate in the Tower of London? I had no idea, so it was a nice surprise to see so many people having a giggle on the ice!
Aaand that was then end of our impromptue evening walk. If you can, walking to Tower Bridge can be really lovely after dark. My photos make it look like night time, but as it was the middle of winter, it wasn’t even that late. We started as the sun was setting at 4:45pm, and we were back by the Tower of London before 6pm. This was the last day of 2019, and our last night in the UK. I am so glad we could spend it on such a romantic little walk.
If you like the look of this, and want to save it for later, please click on the pins below to save them.
41 thoughts on “London – Walk to Tower Bridge at Night”
I have actually skated at the Tower! But . . . I’d never heard of Rotherhithe so you had me there. I’m not very familiar with East London (when I worked in the City, Tower Bridge was about as far east as I ever got) so this was wonderful introduction to that part of the city. I’d love to do this walk some time!
Wonderful pictures! Makes me want to visit London again just to walk along the Thames at night! Pinned for later! 🙂
Great post! I’ve lived in London for 18 months and I have always thought it is most magical at night, my boyfriend and I love walking along the Thames and having dinner and Butlers wharf
Thanks Carly! I totally agree, it is sooo pretty all lit up. I guess it’s also that in winter the light goes so early, that it doesn’t really feel like nighttime once the city is dark!
Lovely photos, Josy. They make me awfully nostalgic. x
Thanks lovely! Btw, long time no chats! I hope you’re doing okay in all this virus madness!
These are some strange times. We just moved apartments too. It has been a bit busy between travelling, moving and writing. Otherwise all fine at my end. Stay safe. x
What a way to spend your last day there! I love how you decided to do these walks and capture the photos at dusk and to showcase the lights. It definitely makes for a romantic walk like you said. I would do all of those walks, as they make for great views.
I am just glad that my phone can take nice night photos! My camera is a bit rubbish at showing how pretty London can be at night. 😅
I LOVE Night walks. It is so refreshing and rejuvenating. And what better way to do than along the river thames!
Thanks Remo! I had no idea you like night walks too. You do such good day hikes!
This post makes me want to visit London again! I would love to explore Rotherhithe, I had never heard about his area before – it sounds wonderful.
Lol that’s okay! I had not heard of it before we moved there either! London is great for fab local areas like that!!
I love exploring a new city on foot so I can see everything at my own pace and venture off course if something interests me. What a great idea to do a nighttime walk and get to see London at night! It looks magical.
Yay Thanks Alissa! I feel the same way. I guess wandering at night is a little more intimidating (in a new city) than during the day. But once you know how pretty it is, you’ll love it.
It looks like a lovely walk on a nice night (I’m guessing you got lucky!). I have actually walked across the original London Bridge in Lake Havasu!
Oooh nice! I guess Lake Havasu is a similar width to the Thames? It is so cool that the old bridge lives on!!
London looks so pretty at night! I often find myself in London, either on a personal trip or with work, but I rarely go out there at night. I’d always assumed London at night wouldn’t be very safe but this walk looks lovely! Thanks for the great guide!
Hannah | https://getlost.blog/
Yeah, I guess this doesn’t quite count as night as it was only around 6:30pm. It’s just London gets dark early so it looks late. I use to walk home via this route later in the evening (9-11pm) and never had any problems BUT I guess once it’s really night time, like any big city you need to be careful.
I wanna skate at the Tower of London! Thanks for sharing – I never get tired of walking around London but tend to go during the day. Will plan some nighttime strolls next time 🙂
Yay I hope you enjoy it Susan!
I’m rubbish at skating, so I might leave that to you though! 😂
I love walking in London – both during daytime but especially at night when everything it lit up. It’s such a fantastic city.
I love exploring places in the dark. The lights of the night can make somewhere so much prettier than it is during the day.
First of all, I’m super impressed with how well all of your nighttime pics turned out! They’re always hit or miss when I try them lol. I love this idea though! I did lots of walking in London when I visited, but didn’t really have the chance to venture out at night. I absolutely love cities all lit up at nighttime. I bet Tower Bridge is especially gorgeous in person at night, I don’t wonder why you never get tired of seeing it!
I love how it’s all lit up! Looks beautiful! It does look magical at night! =)
Enjoyed this guide as someone who often visits London, but don’t know my way round that well. Some of these views are amazing, love a good city walk at night.
I LOVE all your images! I’d be there with you…stopping constantly to photograph.
Love your photos! London is such a great city to walk through at night – particularly at Christmas when everything is lit up!
I’ve never seen the bridge at night, it looks so pretty! 😁
Fantastic article and your photos are spectacular! Such a lovely perspective—exploring an iconic destination at night! Thanks for sharing!
This looks amazing. I haven’t made it to London yet, but it is on my list. Your pictures are simply stunning. Great post. Pinning so I have this guide for when I go.
Wow! I feel like I was on the walk with you – it was a nice escape from all of the chaos going on in the world. I really liked the bit about the anchor lit up in fairy lights! It’s so amazing to me to be able to get so close to such an important piece of history. I love London – dreaming of the day when I can return. What a great piece!
was just in London last August but this makes me want to go back! love tower bridge ❤️
This is super! I love walking guides and we might end up in London soon on a house sit!
It’s so pretty here! I love taking walks and this would definitely be a beautiful evening walk! I really hope things calm down soon–I’d love to travel/explore again.
what a romantic, nighttime walk! thanks for sharing!
BEAUTIFUL pictures! London is on my list! I cannot wait to experience it through your eyes!
Great night photos, please can you tell me what camera you use?
All these night photos are just with my phone (it’s a pixel 3) My actual camera is pretty terrible at night unless I have a tripod!