There has been a walkway crossing the river Thames at this point since 1845 when Isambard Kingdom Brunel opened his suspension footbridge.
The footbridge connected the South Bank, now the Queen’s Walk, with the 180 year old Hungerford Market which closed in 1860 to make way for Charing Cross Railway Station.
Using the original brick pile buttresses of Brunel's footbridge the original Hungerford Railway Bridge combine pedestrian and rail use, which the new 2002 Queens Jubilee footbridges continue to do.
The construction of the new footbridges, named in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne, provided many challenges including; unexploded World War II bombs, avoiding London Underground’s Tube tunnels which run just a few feet under the river bed and, a specific requirement not to disrupt the busy commuter trains running to and from Charing Cross station.
The complex design, by architects Lifschutz Davidson, won the 2003 specialist category in the Royal Fine Art Commission 'Building of the Year Award'.
Although not on our Queen’s Walk route, as short detour the footbridges provide some of the best views in London.
From the south bank, walk over the west footbridge to the north bank, down the steps at the end, past the shops under the railway bridge and back up onto the east footbridge. Walk back to the south bank and re-join the Queen's Walk.