It’s not often that you find a London attraction that welcomes dogs, but one of those that do is London’s dog-friendly Tower Bridge. And not only is this an iconic London landmark but it’s also home to an exhibition bringing to life the history behind one of the capital’s most well-known architectural attractions.
Living in London, it can be easy to take seeing this impressive bridge for granted, so it can be a refreshing experience to be a tourist in your own city and what better way to do that than with your dog by your side.
As Belinha is getting older (she’s now 13), for me it’s important to create as many memories as possible of the things we do together and the same goes for our pup pal Claude and his mum Anita.
Claude (aka @the_life_of_claude), is an 8-year-old Golden Retriever and a brain tumour survivor – he bravely had his second round of Radiotherapy only recently.
So we decided to be tourists in our own city and do some sightseeing with Belinha and Claude, with the first stop being dog-friendly Tower Bridge – here’s how we got on in case you want to plan a visit with your pup too…
Our Visit to Tower Bridge
We visited during the week so that it wouldn’t be as busy as on the weekend, and it was just right. We encountered quite a few tourists who all seemed quite enamoured with Belinha and Claude, especially to see them on the glass walkway of Tower Bridge. Still, it didn’t feel overcrowded at all.
The Tower Bridge staff were all extremely welcoming to the dogs, treating them like VIPs and some even taking selfies with them. When we asked if many dogs visit Tower Bridge, they said typically not larger dogs, so they were particularly pleased to see Claude and Belinha.
Thankfully, I didn’t think about the height of Tower Bridge and that we would be walking over until after we had done it. If I had, I might have been far more apprehensive about walking over the glass floor walkways 42 metres above the Thames!
I also wasn’t sure how Belinha would like the glass floors as she can be a bit funny about walking on odd surfaces; however, neither Belinha nor Claude were phased at all, happily posing for photos and becoming part of the ‘unofficial Dog-friendly Tower Bridge attraction’.
Above one of the glass-floor walkways, there’s a mirror, which makes for some fun photos and Belinha was even quite taken with her own reflection in it.
It was only afterwards as we walked back across the bridge and I saw the walkways from underneath, that I realised just how high it is!
The Tower Bridge Exhibition
Naturally, the first thing that strikes you when visiting dog-friendly Tower Bridge is the views and of course the somewhat giddy euphoria from being up so high. However, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the history behind this iconic London Landmark. As you walk through the bridge, you can take in some of the impressive facts and figures behind the bridge.
The Engine Rooms
After visiting Tower Bridge itself, you can head down to the Engine Rooms to see the magnificent coal-driven engines that once powered the bridge before it switched to electrical power in 1976.
Dog-friendly Restaurants and Cafés near Tower Bridge
When you finish visiting the Tower Bridge Engine Rooms, you exit the exhibition on the other side of the bridge from where you started. By this point, you and your pup will likely need a dog-friendly pitstop so here are some tips on dog-friendly restaurants and cafés nearby Tower Bridge…
Heading back over to the other side of the bridge and circa a 6-minute walk to the picturesque St Katharine Docks will take you to local seafood gem, The Melusine. Small and intimate, a warm welcome awaits for both people and pups and the sustainably sourced seafood menu is delicious. Read our full review on the dog-friendly Melusine here.
Coppa Tower Bridge
If you want to head back over to the other side of the bridge then, Coppa at Tower Bridge welcomes dogs in their lounge area but unfortunately not in the main restaurant area. Be aware that this area is quite small so you may not get a table, but if you do, it’s a cosy sofa spot to relax, and we enjoyed it.
Visiting Tower Bridge With Your Dog – What You Need To Know
Tower Bridge’s Dog-friendly Policy
Dogs large and small are allowed inside dog-friendly Tower Bridge, both throughout the exhibition and in the engine rooms, providing they are well-behaved, on a lead and supervised at all times. Understandably as Tower Bridge is a London tourist attraction, it can get very busy at times, so the number of dogs allowed in may be limited during busy periods.
When’s the best time to visit Tower Bridge with your dog?
Tower Bridge is open from 09:30 with the last admission at 17:00 daily. However, if visiting with your dog then we would definitely recommend going during the week to avoid crowds (unless it’s half-term or school holidays). Be aware that due to the nature of the glass structure, on sunny days it could get quite warm inside if you’re taking your dog.
Tickets: The adult ticket price is £9.80 and dogs go free.
How long do you need to visit Tower Bridge? We spent about an hour and a half visiting Tower Bridge and the Engine Rooms. This included stopping to take photos, but we didn’t spend time taking in the films or digital displays, so allow extra time if you plan to do that.
How to Get To Tower Bridge
The closest tube (to the Tower Bridge ticket entrance) is Tower Hill which is a few minutes walk away. Alternatively, and in our opinion, a much more comfortable way to travel with your dog, is the Thames Clipper to Tower Pier – read our feature about taking your dog on the Thames Clipper for more details. There is also a comprehensive travel section on the Tower Bridge website.
Accessibility: I had brought Belinha’s dog buggy along for her sightseeing day out and am pleased to say that Tower Bridge itself is very accessible with lifts throughout. Again the Tower Bridge staff were really helpful, holding the lifts for us and making sure we got around easily with the dogs.
Before you go, read our Dog-friendly London Guides for more inspiration on things to do with your dog…