Most beautiful pedestrian bridges in London

Photo of Millennium Bridge, one of the most beautiful pedestrian bridges in London. The photo is taken from the south side of the River Thames on street level looking up towards the bridge. Its modern steel structure almost resembles an alien skeleton. At the end of the bridge you can see the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in the near distance

A shortlist of the most eye-catching pedestrian bridges in London.

How often do you stop and stare at a bridge? I’m guessing probably not that often. With 35 bridges spanning over the river Thames, London truly is a city of bridges. Some look so inconspicuous you might not even take notice of them while others are so incredibly striking, they make you stop in your tracks. But besides the river crossings there are plenty of extraordinary footbridges that are architectural gems. This article lists my top 6 of most beautiful pedestrian bridges in London.

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Most beautiful pedestrian bridges in London over the river Thames

1. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge

The first bridge in the list is far from inconspicuous nor unknown. This iconic London landmark is obviously the most famous of them all. 

With its robust and handsome looks, Tower Bridge is definitely my favourite bridge in London. It’s also the only remaining bridge in London that still opens with regular opening hours a week.

Located right next to the Tower of London – hence its name – the appearance of the seemingly old Tower Bridge is actually a deception. Because, built in 1894, during the peak of the Industrial Revolution, Tower Bridge is in essence a modern steel bridge. 

The characteristic Cornish granite and Portland stone that cover the steel framework, are purely there for aesthetic reasons so it would match the over 800-year-older palace next to it.

The bridge is accessible for both motorised traffic and pedestrians who can cross it over the special pedestrian paths on either side of the bridge. 

Make sure to look up when you walk halfway underneath the walkways that connect both towers of the bridge. Because there you’ll see 33.5 metres above your head, glass floors you can walk over when you visit Tower Bridge. 

This is certainly an activity I’d recommend, because, how often can you inside a bridge? Let alone such an iconic one!

2. Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge London
Millennium Bridge (Photo credit: Viktor Forgacs / Unsplash)

With its ultra-modern looks, Millennium Bridge is the complete opposite of Tower Bridge when it comes to appearances. 

Offering striking views of St Paul’s Cathedral on the north side of the bridge, it’s one of the most popular photography spots in London. 

And looking towards the south, you can enjoy a good view of Tate Modern but also Globe Theatre, the replica of Shakespeare’s theatre that once stood nearby.

Also, don’t forget to look down when you walk over Millennium Bridge. Because else you’d be missing the dozens of miniature artworks by artist Ben Wilson. He has turned the flat pieces of trampled chewing gum pedestrians spit out here – how lovely – in mini paintings. 

Due to its location near other famous London landmarks and its striking looks, Millennium Bridge appears in several films such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s just one of the Harry Potter film locations in London. To discover more locations, head over to my special Harry Potter blog post!

3. Albert Bridge

Albert Bridge in London at dusk with the lights shimmering in the twilight and smals boats lined up underneath the bridge
Albert Bridge (Photo credit: Jonathon Hoffman / Unsplash)

Though elegant looking during daytime, the true splendour of Albert Bridge doesn’t reveal itself till night time. Illuminated by 4,000 LEDs, the twinkling lights make for a magical sight and fierce competitor to the handsome Tower Bridge. 

While the majority of the bridges over the Thames are made from stone, Albert Bridge is made of steel. And unlike Tower Bridge, it doesn’t have its industrial framework covered. Yet, thanks to its almost Disney-like turrets (which are in fact support columns) and lit cables and suspension beams, it scores surprisingly high on the romantic factor.  

Located quite far west in Battersea, this isn’t an area tourists usually go to. But if you do have more time to spare, I highly recommend an evening stroll along this part of the Thames and marvel at the beauty that is Albert Bridge.

When you cross the bridge by foot, you’ll see a peculiar warning sign telling marching troops to break step when crossing the bridge. It refers to its tendency to shake and wobble when large groups of pedestrians and traffic cross it which gave Albert Bridge its nickname of ‘The Trembling Lady’.

They put up the warning sign to ensure its safety when soldiers from the nearby Chelsea barracks would march over the bridge. While the barracks have closed for several years now, the sign is still there. It’s just one of the many remaining quirky bits of London you’ll find everywhere if you keep your curious eyes peeled.

Beautiful footbridges in London

4. Adams Plaza Bridge

Looking inside the futuristic Adams Plaza Bridge
Adams Plaza Bridge

Located in the finance and business hub of Canary Wharf, this is another area tourists wouldn’t usually visit. The tall skyscrapers here can be seen from afar and symbolise the modern skyline of London.

Matching its contemporary surroundings, the futuristic Adams Plaza Bridge in Canary Wharf looks almost like a sci-fi portal to another dimension. It’s not though, I tried. 

Instead, the overpass connects One Canada Square – the third largest building in the UK filled with remote working and office spaces, top-notch restaurants, bustling bars and more – to Crossrail Place. The latter being a stylish complex comprising Canary Wharf railway station, shops, cinema and a public roof garden. 

5. Holborn Viaduct

Holborn Viaduct London seen from Farringdon Street underneath it. The City of London emblem is visible in the middle of the bridge, the bridge construction consists of red and golden decorated arches on top is a view of two female figures seen from the top. The street and bridge are empty except from one man crossing Farringdon Street
Holborn Viaduct

Built in the 1860s in one of London’s most traffic-heavy areas, Holborn Viaduct is one of the least known pedestrian bridges in London. 

Although it was a famous huge construction project at its time with even a royal opening attended by Queen Victoria, nowadays it’s mostly only known amongst commuters. 

Since it’s not close to any London attractions or venues, I doubt many tourists lay their eyes on it. It even took me seven years to discover it! And what a delightful surprise it was indeed. 

Thanks to its incredibly ornate details and eye-catching red-and-gold colours, the Victorian Holborn Viaduct might actually just be one of my favourite ‘secret London’ gems.

On top of the bridge, you’ll see dragons painted in red and gold sitting at the base of Victorian-style lanterns while all four ends of the bridge are guarded by impressive winged lions. 

Lining both sides of the bridge you’ll find bronze female statues representing Agriculture, Commerce, the Fine Arts and Science. 

Close-up of the bronze female statue of Science on Holborn Viaduct, London. She's holding some scientific instrument in her hand. On her right is a replica of the Victorian globe street light with a red and gold painted dragon at its base
Female statue of Science on Holborn Viaduct

Pedestrians can access underlying Farringdon Street via the stone staircases at either side of the bridge. You’ll find the stairwells in the handsome Renaissance-style buildings which are also decorated with statues.

The views from lower ground street level are equally surprisingly stunning, revealing the designers’ great attention of detail. 

Collage of two vertical photos. One the left the bottom of Holborn Viaduct seen from Farringdon Street showing the decorated wrought iron arches and supporting pillars which have golden leaves at the top. On the right is a photo of a large battered wooden door which has an arch form at the top. On a red board above the door is painted in gold the name Winemakers Club
Underneath Holborn Viaduct you’ll find these beautiful arches and the Winemakers Club

Do take your time walking underneath the bridge and taking in all the sights, from the ornate arches to golden-leafed pillars and Victorian-style hanging lanterns. 

And for some contemporary delights, step into the fabulous Winemakers Club – wine shop and bar – which is inconspicuously tucked away underneath the arches.

6. Bridge of Aspiration

Street view of Floral Street in Covent Garden, London, with the striking elevated Bridge of Aspiration above street level
Bridge of Aspiration (Photo credit: mapa mundi / Flickr)

The last footbridge in this list of magnificent bridges in London must be the less conspicuous, despite being located in one of the most touristy areas in London. Looking down Floral Street in the heart of Covent Garden, you’ll find the outstanding Bridge of Aspiration seemingly floating in the air.

Unlike the other bridges in this article, the Bridge of Aspiration isn’t open to the wider public. That honour solely goes to the talented dancers of the Royal Ballet School. 

Echoing the graceful dancers who glide through it, this elegant twisting elevated footbridge gives them private access directly from their school to the connecting Royal Opera House. 

Because let’s face it, backstage artist entrances are so basic, don’t you think?

Which one of these beautiful London pedestrian bridges is the fairest of them all, you think?
Let me know in a comment below!
Thanks, Zarina xx

*Photo credit feature image: Amy-Leigh Barnard / Unsplash

12 thoughts on “Most beautiful pedestrian bridges in London

  1. I was born very close to Vauxhall Bridge (Pimlico, Westminster) and was always jealous of the rather grand and ornate, Albert Bridge that I could see in the distance, So I won’t be voting for that one! 😉
    My favourite is not actually a footbridge but a railway bridge. Blackfriars, The view from Platform 4 is superb! 🙂

  2. Happy to receive a new blog post! I really like the Holborn Viaduct, and not only because of the dragons… 🙂

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