London Bridge is Falling Down… Wait! What, the London Bridge is in Lake Havasu Arizona?

London Bridge Lake Havasu Arizona

London Bridge is Falling Down… Wait! What, the London Bridge is in Lake Havasu Arizona?

You might think is this a mirage or some sort of time warp due to the London bridge, sitting here smack dab in the middle of the desert! Actually the bridge sort of reminds me of the movie Sahara. Where, Mathew McConaughey's character Dirk Pitt comes across the CSS Texas, an 1865 Confederate Navy Vessel in the middle of the Sahara Desert! But how did it get there? More importantly back to Lake Havasu, Arizona.  How did the London Bridge find itself in the middle of the desert and in America?

The song London Bridge is Falling Down is known worldwide. In fact, I can remember singing it myself as a child.  London Bridge is Falling Down is a traditional English Song that dates back to the 17th century and came from The bridge been destroyed,  As a result the London Bridge has been rebuilt and repaired many times. The original bridge dates back hundreds of years to Roman times. Learn more about the rich history of the London Bridge from a fellow Travel Blogger at Salt & Sandals!

The London Bridge of Lake Havasu

That brings us to our main attraction, The London Bridge of Lake Havasu, Arizona USA! Lake Havasu Brings in over 750,000 tourists every year to this small city of just over 52,000 residents! The lake itself is actually a reservoir and was formed after the construction of the Parker Dam, off the Colorado River in 1934. The Mojave Indians occupied the desert space Prior to 1934 and Lake Havasu was named in 1939 for the Mojave word meaning Blue!

The actual city was not established until 1963.  Robert McCulloch purchased a large chunk of desert land for development that same year.   There wasn't much there and as a result many people were not interested in coming to Lake Havasu ! Not to mention that the waterways made it difficult to navigate. Robert had heard of the dismantling plans for the London Bridge in 1967 and he had this wacky idea to purchase the bridge and put it in the middle of the desert!

The London Bridge of Lake Havasu was originally built in 1831 because the bridge could no longer handle the load of traffic and so the City of London sold the bridge too non-other than Robert McCulloch in 1967. The bridge was brought over by ship in pieces, but I’m not quite clear how it was transported by land. Seems like a lot of work to move a bridge across oceans and then across the desert!  1971 marks the completion of the Bridge and the bridge is celebrated and adorned with British and American flags to this day!

Tina On London Bridge

Tourist Paradise, Visit Lake Havasu

Robert Mcculloch was Successful in his vision to bring in tourist, business and settlers.  Lake Havasu, Arizona is a spectacular place to add to your holiday destination. There is so much to do in this tiny little city. With over 60 miles of waterways, you can bask in the sun, take a boating excursion or join in on the Bass fishing! There are many cycling and hiking trails.  You can also take advantage of the beautiful golf courses and excellent restaurants!  My Favorite spot to eat was Barley Bros Restaurant and Brewery because the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese is divine!   Lastly, Of course you can take a picture of yourself on the London Bridge!  As an American living in England and never having been to London myself, I find it just a bit comical to have been on the London Bridge!  

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Comments

  1. Reply

    What a fascinating piece of town history. I have been to see the London Bridge in London, maybe I will have to add this one to my travel list as well.

    And lobster macaroni and cheese sounds amazing, I will have to look for a recipe.
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      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      oh my gosh, It was divine. I wanted to lick the bowl when I was done, but probably would have gotten some strange looks!

  2. Reply

    This is absolutely crazy! I had no idea that London Bridge had been sold and moved across the ocean at all… the more you know aye!

  3. Reply

    Whoa this is crazy! Had no idea that it had been sold and moved to USA… the more you know aye!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      🙂 I didn’t know until I was actually there!

    • Bee
    • October 19, 2016
    Reply

    Wow. London in US hahaha. I have to visit this place

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      🙂 Thank you Bee!

  4. Reply

    This is the most bizzare thing I have ever heard heard of. Imagine the logistics of moving that bridge! Looks like he was onto a winner though as it is certainly bringing in the crowds. Can’t believe I missed this when I was last in Arizona! Next time!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      I know, the first time I had ever heard of the bridge I thought no way, until I was actually standing on it! Beautiful Area, Far from phoenix, It’s a half hour from Hoover Dam in Nevada, so Vegas would actually be closer to a day trip to Havasu!

  5. Reply

    How interesting! I didn’t know a London Bridge existed anywhere other than in London. And I cannot imagine the work involved in moving that bridge. Now, I definitely have a reason to visit Arizona. I want to try out the lobster mac n choose too.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Delaine, I know I’m baffled about how they moved it over. In pieces for sure ?? It really is a beautiful little spot and only about a half hour from the Hoover Dam in Nevada which is also beautiful!

  6. Reply

    Haha, I actually do not know the song. It definitely looks like the one in London. Did not know wabout it before so thanks for sharing.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks Arzo!

  7. Reply

    I had no idea that there was another London Bridge out there in the world. Great though that it was not destroyed and that it has made this town a tourist attraction. Am putting on my list for the next time I am in the US 🙂

  8. Reply

    Wow, I never would have known this! I love how a little piece of history is still there in the desert. Lovely story.
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      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Naomi!

  9. Reply

    I love the London Bridge. I love Havasu. I was very interested in the history lesson you gave me. I knew the bridge was bought and moved over, but I didn’t know any of the other life of the bridge. This was very enjoyable to read. Thanks for the added knowledge.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Barry! I love Havasu as well, it’s a beautiful place!

  10. Reply

    How neat! London bridge in the UK is interesting enough, but how cool to have one in Arizona as well in such a small town! I cannot believe that this bridge brings a quarter million tourists! I wonder how the residents cope with so much traffic?

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      I know it’s a lot of tourist! They have a lot of fishing tournaments and other events besides the bridge that brings in so many tourist and it’s actually not that far from Vegas so I’m guessing a lot of the tourist don’t stay for long because it really is a small town feel!

    • Doug
    • October 20, 2016
    Reply

    It is a wonderful place to visit. It is like an oasis in the desert. While you are there you might as well visit the Hoover Dam and even the Grand Canyon. In the 1970’s McCulloch was busy selling building lots around the reservoir.
    Is it true that each stone block was numbered as it was removed from the London site so that it was possible to reassemble it correctly in the desert?

  11. Reply

    Hi it’s such an informative post on the history of The London Bridge and love reading it.

  12. Reply

    I have always wanted to go there! Thanks for sharing your trip to Havasu!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Sarah!

  13. Reply

    And since when did you Americans steal our bridge!? Return it to London immediately 😂🇬🇧

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016
      Reply

      hahaha, ok we surrender but you’ll have to come and pick it up 🙂 🙂

  14. Reply

    Wow, I didn’t know there was this London Bridge. It’s fascinating what you can learn from other bloggers. Love that you included so much history here. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Btw that lobster macaroni and cheese sounds awesome.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Bethanny, The macaroni was divine 🙂

  15. Reply

    I haven’t been to Havasu since I’ve been a kid. I don’t remember if I made it to London Bridge or not. Think I’d at least appreciate the brewery much more now instead of then. Thanks!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016
      Reply

      🙂 Yup Brewery is quite nice by far more fun that the bridge 🙂

  16. Reply

    I only know the English story of the selling of the London Bridge and it was fun to know the American version. Here in Britain the story goes like this: Robert McCulloch heard that the London Bridge is for sale and decided to buy it, paying double its value even if there were no competitors. Of course, the English didn’t want to sell one of the symbols of London but apparently, Robert McCulloch kept referring to the Tower Bridge as London Bridge (and still today, many people make this confusion). So they have made the deal and Robert McCulloch only noticed the mistake when the London bridge was already in America. I don’t know how real this is but this is what the legend says over here 🙂

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016
      Reply

      HAHAHA, I have heard that too and I think it may be true ?? Thank you Joanna

  17. Reply

    I had to reread this because I can’t believe the London Bridge was sold, dismantled and brought to Arizona. What a fantastic bit of history.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Jackie, I didn’t believe it either until I saw it with my own eyes 🙂

    • Tom
    • October 23, 2016
    Reply

    I think the town should put in an advance bid for the Tower of London, you know, just in case it comes on the market soon. They could keep the theme going.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      🙂 🙂 hahaha, Thanks Tom!

  18. Reply

    Wow, this is interesting, I would never have known this. Thanks, I learned something new today.

    • Jen
    • October 23, 2016
    Reply

    I visited this late last year and like you was totally surprised to see this magnificent bridge in the middle of the desert! Such a beautiful spot and great find.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Jen!

  19. Reply

    Nice to know such interesting facts. Especially when it’s so far from Europe 🙂

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks Ria!

  20. Reply

    I love the story of the Brits selling London Bridge to the American who thought he was buying Tower Bridge (the pretty one). Didn’t realise it was at Lake Havasu.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      It’s a great story, Thanks Shobba

  21. Reply

    Pretty cool information! I learned something new! I remember singing this song when I was little!!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you Samantha!

  22. Reply

    What an interesting story! I wonder how one goes about purchasing a bridge from another country…

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      I know, Crazy still can’t wrap my head around how they transported through the mountains and dessert to get it there!

    • Omar
    • October 23, 2016
    Reply

    Wow! I had no idea about that! Seems like the US has swapped culture with Europe more than we know!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks Omar, I’m sure there is much more that we haven’t even discovered 🙂

  23. Reply

    I’m loving the lobster mac & cheese! I had heard this story before in London and it’s so cool that you got to see it. In London, they told me that the purchaser thought that London Bridge was actually the more picturesque Tower Bridge and that he got a bit of a surprise when the bridge actually arrived. Who knows!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016
      Reply

      It’s a great story and Believe that to be true, Considering a bit of a rewrite in post to add That he thought he was purchasing the Tower Bridge 🙂

  24. Reply

    Very interesting, I had no idea. Amazing how some things become so well known and so attached to a certain place, person or time, and can be inaccurate.

  25. Oh what a beautiful photo! Great bit of history here too. I had no idea! What a great story.

  26. Reply

    Well, you learn something every day. I have never heard of this before. It is beautiful there. 😉 Funny, I think I only ever hear of 3-4 places in Arizona and I have been to those. We seem to forget there is a whole big state left to explore.

  27. Reply

    Great post, love a great mix up between two countries 🙂

  28. Reply

    Ha, I never heard of this! How cool! love that sign. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  29. Reply

    London Bridge in the USA? Wow, first time to hear this! You’ve written about so much history in this post that I never heard before. Thanks for putting this together!

    • Vicki Louise
    • November 13, 2016
    Reply

    I love to see the other side of this story! As a Brit we do have a little chuckle about the American’s who bought London Bridge thinking it was Tower Bridge, but it looks quite stately and at home in it’s new location! Quite the piece of history!

  30. Reply

    Really!!!
    Knowing this for the first time and totally surprised.
    Great picture! Hope I can get to this.

  31. Reply

    Lol, this I did not know!
    How do you move a bridge?
    Must have been plenty of work 😀

  32. Reply

    Wow, who knew and I love finding places that are like other places. I’ve lived in Cali, Virginia and now Texas and there are many towns that are duplicate in these places, it’s kind of cool… and I have friends who live near there… the water looks gorgeous!

  33. Reply

    Isn’t it craz y some of the songs we sang as children were quite morbid and historical. I also think of Ring Around the Rosey.
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  34. Reply

    How cool! I’d like to see this. That bridge looks cool.
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  35. Reply

    This is very interesting. I would have had no clue that this was moved at all. That is cool you got to visit it and I love the pics !

  36. Reply

    Thank you for sharing the background to that song. I used to love it as a kid. Makes sense now. Who knew that it came from an actual event. You remind me of me, looking up the information for the nursery rhyme my mom used to sing me, “Alouette.” This is cool.

    • Wren
    • November 26, 2016
    Reply

    I love historical things and I had not heard of this bridge before. When I make it back to Arizona, I may have to make a pit stop!
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    • Teresa Kunberger
    • November 27, 2016
    Reply

    Wow I did not know all of this! Amazing! I can now share with my children!

  37. Reply

    This is so interesting, I had no idea. Firstly that this town is less than 60 years old and secondly that they transported a bridge from London in the 60’s.

  38. Reply

    Robert McCulloch is one admirable visionary! I am glad to know that piece of history. Thanks and bucketlisted!

    • Chuck
    • November 27, 2016
    Reply

    Cool story!! I have to admit I used to love this when I was kid too. Love all the pics

    • Elizabeth O.
    • November 28, 2016
    Reply

    I definitely had no idea and it was nice reading the backstory! It looks amazing and I thought about the same thing, moving a bridge like that would mean a lot of effort!

  39. That sounds so interesting! Thank you for educating me about the history of the song. I had no idea.
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  40. That’s so interesting! Thank you for educating me about the history of the song. I had no idea.
    Roger Wellington (www.wetnoseescapades.com) recently posted…Greek Food: 10 of the BESTMy Profile

  41. Reply

    Thanks for the history on the london bridge. As I kid, I always sang that song but didn’t really know what it meant until now.

  42. Reply

    Who knew that this bridge has such a rich history! That’s awesome. I really appreciate reading the backstories of these places. It’s good to learn new things everyday.
    Carol Cassara recently posted…Me: who I amMy Profile

    • victoria
    • November 28, 2016
    Reply

    This is a great post and I love reading this, I have never heard of this before

  43. Reply

    Loved reading about this
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    • aziel morte
    • November 29, 2016
    Reply

    I love reading this and I didn’t know about the history

  44. Reply

    This was really engaging. I always enjoy reading and discovering new places to visit for my future trips from other people’s blogs. Admittedly, I have not heard about The London Bridge of Lake Havasu, but for it to have 750,000 visitors ( which I’m sure will eventually increase in the nearer future ), it must be worth visiting. I like too that there are a lot of other activities that one can do when in Lake Havasu.
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  45. Reply

    Beautiful photos and awesome story! Sounds like many haven’t heard of it either.

    • katrina gehman
    • November 30, 2016
    Reply

    I love LH, and londen bridge. my fav place is barley brothers and their fondue and the lobster ravioli so good!!

  46. Reply

    Now that is what you call a proper mac n cheese. And who knew that there was a ‘London Bridge’ in Arizona as well?!

  47. Reply

    It’s been years since I was in Lake Havasu. The London Bridge is a huge attraction at Lake Havasu. For many people that’s the closest they’ll ever get to the London Bridge.
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  48. Reply

    I remember the song! We’ve been through Arizona a few times but really never visited any attractions. At least I have your post to learn about the history of the bridge!
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  49. Reply

    What a fun fact! I have heard of Lake Havasu, but didn’t realize London Bridge was there. That’s funny!

  50. Reply

    Now that is totally interesting–The London Bridge–in Arizona? If I ever get the time and money I am definitely going to go there if only to stand on that bridge! Happy New Year to you and yours–here’s hoping it is a great one!

  51. Reply

    Such a wonderful place with a rich history. Never knew about this information. Thanks for sharing!!
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  52. Reply

    This definitely looks like a great tourist attraction. I would love to see this attraction with my family.

  53. Reply

    I love little pieces of history like this. Really interesting post and one I had no clue about before reading this.
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  54. Reply

    I remember learning this a child. I’d love to go and visit it in Arizona x
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  55. Reply

    I never knew that London Bridge with it the US, we really do learn something new everyday 🙂
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  56. Reply

    You learn something new everyday! I thought there was only one London bridge and that was in London
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  57. Reply

    I would dearly love to visit Lake Havasu, it is so beautiful. It is quite amusing to think of London Bridge in America, but it was a great idea and brings in lots of tourists.
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    • Dannii
    • January 3, 2017
    Reply

    That is so random. I had no idea about that at all.

  58. Reply

    This looks such a beautiful place! The amount of places in America which have British town and city names frustrates me a bit, haha.

    • hannah
    • January 3, 2017
    Reply

    I’ve always wondered what London Bridge looked like. Looks like you had a great time

    • Neely Moldovan
    • January 3, 2017
    Reply

    Oh wow what a cool piece of info! I have not spent much time in Arizona but I love learning new things!

  59. Reply

    I had no idea about this bridge – I’d heard of Lake Havasu, but this is totally new to me! Looks like a cool sight to see!
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    • Anita Anderson
    • January 3, 2017
    Reply

    I love learning new facts every day. I have not been to Lake Havasu but this bridge is a nice view.

  60. Reply

    Arizona is one of those places that I have yet to visit although don’t know much about. It looks like there is plenty to do there. The Lobster Macaroni and Cheese sounds yummy!
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  61. Reply

    Interesting story! I can’t even imagine how that bridge was constructed. Wow. That must have been some kind of engineering feat! I hope to get a chance to see it in person. That would be a wonderful photo op for the kids. 🙂

    • zim
    • January 4, 2017
    Reply

    Who knew that London Bridge is in America. Thank you for opening my eyes and a charming image of Lake Havasu. I love small town life and their stories.

  62. It’s a pretty bridge! I have to say I have never seen that movie and am now wondering how the ship got into the middle of the dessert.
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    • Our Family World
    • January 4, 2017
    Reply

    Now I know that’s story! I’m really glad that you shared it. Such an interesting story.

  63. Reply

    It’s strange how many similarities there are across the countries, sounds like an interesting place x
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  64. Reply

    This looks great! I have not been to Arizona, but this sure looks like a nice place to visit.
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  65. Well I never knew there was another London Bridge such a great piece and I can say I have learnt something new today.
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  66. Reply

    Looks exactly the same as our London Bridge! Who knew that there was two of the same (or very similar) xo
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  67. Reply

    We love our London Bridge here in Lake Havasu City. Visit the Visitors Center near the Bridge to take the walking tour to learn the hidden stories of the Bridge, including how it was reconstructed in the exact same manner as it stood in London. Visit http://www.golakehavasu.com for more information on your stay, including which of our more than 300 events we’ll be hosting during your stay! We look forward to seeing you in Havasu! – Jackie, Director of Event Marketing, Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • January 4, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you Jackie, I do love Lake Havasu, been many times!

  68. Reply

    What a great little tit bit of information, I never knew there was a London Bridge elsewhere, though at least they don’t look the same!

    • Yaya
    • January 5, 2017
    Reply

    I knew about the history, and find it quite interesting. I am also an American in England, and have been to the current London Bridge. My family lives in Arizona, so it would be fun to make my way to Lake Havasu and go full circle.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • January 5, 2017
      Reply

      Small world 🙂 That would be pretty exciting, beautiful place. One weekend I would love to head down to London just to check it out.

    • Kira
    • January 5, 2017
    Reply

    I had no idea there was another London bridge in the world! Definitely somewhere to visit if I ever get to go to Arizona!
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    • Rebecca Smith
    • January 5, 2017
    Reply

    I must admit I did a double take! Think I’ll have to visit the US London Bridge at some point to see how it compares to our very own lol

    • Francesca
    • January 5, 2017
    Reply

    I love all the history behind the bridge and how old it is! Hahaha London bridge made me confused in the title!

  69. Reply

    I remember reading Something about him believing he had actually bought Tower Bridge (thinking it was called London Bridge) but I’m not sure if this was an urban myth 🙂 xx
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  70. Reply

    I honestly had to re-read the tittle lol, how can london bridge be somewhere not in london lol. Lovely reading about the history
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    • Emma
    • January 6, 2017
    Reply

    Lake Havasu looks incredible! It definitely makes me want to go back to the States ASAP! x

  71. Reply

    What a fun history lesson about a monument that I grew up hearing about, but never even thought to learn more about. I’ve never been to Arizona before, but if I ever find myself there, I now know where to find that iconic London Bridge!

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