The View from the Shard – A look at London’s Skyline

The View from the Shard is on my Fifty B4 Fifty list as it was an attraction which I could not understand what all the fuss was about.  Having now visited The Shard and taken in the views of London I can now most definitively say it is one tourist attraction you must see.

GETTING TO THE SHARD

The Shard is one of the buildings that dominates the London skyline.  However, although you might be able to see it, actually getting to it is another matter.  I found the easiest way to get to the entrance was by walking through London Bridge Train Station.  From here it is very well sign posted.  Once through the ‘other side’ of the train station you will see the entrance.  This is easily missed and you might end up on the large viewing platform (just as we did).  London Bridge Station is easily accessed by train, bus or underground.

A view from The Shard

The view to the east of the Thames with Canary Wharf in the background

THE JOURNEY TO THE TOP

Your ticket will have a timed entrance and you need to ensure that you go through the first barriers within this time.  In common with other London attractions there is airport style security and any bags will be scanned.

Once through the barrier we had our picture taken and we guessed that at some points there would be a souvenir photos available to buy.

The journey to the top involves going in two high-speed lifts.  The first lift will take you to floor 33 in a matter of seconds.  Once on floor 33 you are escorted around to the next lift which goes up to floor 68.  The whole journey is over is no time at all and before you know it you are looking down on London.

A view from The Shard

St. Pauls Cathedral

LEVEL 69 and LEVEL 72

Level 69 is an indoor viewing platform offering a 360 degrees view of London.  At various points on the platform there are interactive Tell:scopes which point out London’s famous landmarks.  There is also a Champagne bar if you fancy a glass of bubbles in the clouds.

Up one further flight of stairs is Level 72.  This is a an open air sky deck where you are exposed to the elements.  There is a sky bar on this deck and you can buy drinks and snacks.

There is no time limit so you can you can stay on either Level 69 or Level 72 for as long as you want.

A view from The Shard

Tower Bridge

 BACK DOWN TO EARTH

The journey back down is in the same lifts as the journey up.  I must admit though I was not looking forward to the journey down.  I hate that feeling you get in your stomach from sudden drops such as on roller coasters.  However, I am pleased to report that I did not feel a thing.  I didn’t even realise we had reached the bottom.

As with all rides at theme parks your journey ends through the gift shop.  This is also where you can look at your photo and choose several background options.  There are also lots of other souvenirs in the shops to keep as a memento of A View from the Shard.

Having seen A View from the Shard in daylight I do intend to go back and view again of an evening.  I am keen to see the London skyline all lit up whilst sipping a glass of champagne (or two!).

A view from The Shard

Looking straight down – don’t the buses look small?

4 Comments

  • Laurie January 20, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Enjoyed reading about this Jo. I often pass the Shard on my travels in the car and glimpse up and wonder. However, I am terrified of lifts! I just can’t shake the phobia at all!
    I did find this a very useful informative post though.Especially on finding the Shard. My son stayed there the night a while back and he loved it. x
    http://www.vanityandmestyle.com

    Reply
    • jo January 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Laurie, thanks for your comments. Such a shame about your phobia of lifts, you definitely would not want to climb that many steps! Jo x

      Reply
  • Gail Hanlon January 20, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I went about a year ago and unfortunately it was a bit cloudy. But a great experience and fun to pick out all the landmarks!

    Reply
    • jo January 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Gail, we were very lucky as there hardly any clouds in the sky. I am going to go back of an evening. Jo x

      Reply

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