The View from The Shard

It's the tallest building in Western Europe (308m), and last night we went to see what exactly The View from The Shard looks like.

Our arrival time was booked for 19.30, which meant that we got to see The View when it was still light, at sunset, and then in the dark - three very different views of London! Although it had been a clear and sunny day earlier on, the sunset wasn't as blazing as we had hoped it would be. Still, what an incredible view.

Just a note about the tickets: if you pre-book it's £5 cheaper (£24.95 for an adult) and you are fast-tracked through so you don't have to queue. You can get tickets on the door too, if they are available, but be prepared to queue and you will have to pay £5 more.

One plus side about turning up and paying the extra money is that you know what the weather is like on that day - that's one way to ensure you have the best viewing conditions rather than if you book a date based on what the weatherman predicts!

The View is accessible by two lifts (you have to change lifts) which whizz up in about 25 seconds (each). Floor 69 is where you'll find the interactive telescopes where you can zoom down on London - those are handy if you need help identifying the various landmarks. Floor 72 is higher with a better view, obviously, but it can get quite chilly up there as that floor is open to the elements.

From The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), Strata, St Paul's, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the London Eye, to the Houses of Parliament, Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf and the OXO Tower, there are many impressive landmarks to spot (and far more than I've just mentioned). London from this height looks almost like a toy town. The Shard seems to loom over London Bridge Station and the trains on the track below look like they are a Hornby railway set!

What do you think of the views? Pretty amazing, huh? It took a while but we (Olly) finally got the hang of taking photos without capturing all the reflections and shadows that you normally get when you take photos through glass.

On a clear day you can see up to forty miles away - it's certainly one way to see all of London very quickly! We spent about 90 minutes at the top, looking at all the landmarks in the shifting light, but once you are up there you can stay as long as you want. Would you go and see The View from The Shard? x

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