My Travel Agent husband works a short walk away from London Bridge Railway Station. Today I thought it would be nice to pack a picnic, jump on a train and gate-crash his lunch break. Our eldest daughter, Lydia, having broken up for the summer, was able to come along too.
When you live close to a major city, it can be easy to take it for granted. But London is an amazing place, steeped in fascinating history, where around every corner, there is something interesting to see.
Opposite London Bridge Station, there is a large grass and paved area called Potter’s Field. It’s the ideal place for a picnic lunch, with great views of Tower Bridge and The Tower of London.
Tower Bridge is often wrongly referred to as ‘London Bridge’ – probably because Tower Bridge is the most iconic Bridge in London. But in actual fact, London Bridge is located 0.5 miles upstream.
Tower Bridge was built between 1886 & 1894 by a workforce of over 400 people. It’s a combined Bascule and Suspension Bridge. A Bascule Bridge has a mid-section, which can be raised and lowered using counterweights, to allow boats to pass along the river beneath. The bridge is 800 feet in length with two ornate towers, each 213 feet in height.
Apparently, in 1952, a man called Albert Gunter, was driving a number 78 bus across the bridge, when one of the bascule sections began to open. To avoid falling into the River Thames, Albert had had no choice but to accelerate, dropping down onto the other arm of the bridge. Miraculously the double decker bus remained upright!
Around Potter’s Field
There is an abundance of trendy shops, cafes and restaurants around Potter’s Field, including famous eateries: The Ivy and Pont De La Tour (Bridge of the Tower). As well as the more exclusive restaurants, there is something to suit every budget, with many pop-up eateries alongside the River, selling things like Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Burgers and glasses of Pimms.
There are often special promotions going on at Potter’s Field. Today, there was some kind of Boxing Event taking place, which was live on Sky TV. We managed to spot David Haye walking along with his team of bodyguards.
There are also lots of pedestrianised streets and gallerias to explore, which are full of atmosphere and character.
Other buildings to look out for around Potter’s Field are the Shard, (the UK’S tallest scraper at 95 storeys high) and City Hall, otherwise known as the Mayor’s Building. You can also visit HMS Belfast which is moored nearby.
Potter’s Field is a great area to hang out, grab a coffee or a bite to eat, and watch the world go by. It’s a great place for kids too, with fountains for them to play in. There is a fantastic vibe – loads going on – yet at the same time a very relaxed place to be.
Thank you for reading – I hope you enjoyed this post.