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Spanning the divide between the traditional City of London and the more relaxed, creative Bankside, London Bridge is a stretch of the Thames' southern bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. With an underground station named after it, it encompasses City Hall, HMS Belfast and many theatres, museums, bars, clubs and restaurants.
Of all the bridges over the River Thames, London Bridge has the longest history. It was the only bridge over the Thames until Putney Bridge opened in 1729. The famous Tower Bridge, close by, is often mistakenly called ‘London Bridge’.
Travel back in time and uncover the dark secrets of the world’s most famous and haunted bridge. Laugh and scream your way through 2,000 years of history, seeing, hearing and smelling London Bridge through the ages. Come face-to-face with the Roman army, be regaled by tales of terror as Jack the Ripper and Ben Crouch lurk, searching for their next victim, then enter the vortex and be taken to the hellish London Tombs.
For an altogether more heavenly experience, why not climb The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, which dominates the London Bridge skyline? There are three levels near the top that offer the best views across London.
Another alternative from the London Bridge Experience is to go on a lovely relaxing boat trip on the Thames. Take a Thames Clipper from London Bridge pier, or an evening City Cruise from Tower Bridge pier.
You won’t want to visit London without sampling some of the best entertainment around. You have various options at your disposal, including the UK’s top children’s theatre, the Unicorn Theatre, which features award-winning shows for young tots right through to young adults.
And what better way to show yourselves a great time than to frequent one of the coolest nightclubs around? A maze of vaults underneath London Bridge station is the home of Shunt, which offers live art, theatre, music and a changing line-up every week. Shunt goes out of its way to make sure every night is unique, so you won’t be disappointed.
The best restaurants in this area are often tucked away from the busiest streets, but they’re worth finding. There are also plenty of excellent bars and pubs, as is to be expected in London. Experience some Thai-Malay food fusion in a yogic Eastern atmosphere. Champor Champor’s walls are painted in vibrant shades and hung with colourful masks, with winking candles and acres of Thai silk.
The Hide Bar near the station is filled from Thursdays onward with nine-to-fivers sinking some of the seventy plus quality cocktails, such as the Passionate Englishman (Hendrick’s gin stirred with passion fruit purée) and the Bermondsey Martini (Jensen’s gin and Noilly Prat).