The Shard is the impressive new building that towers over London, the newest trade mark of the capital and I can guarantee wherever you are in London you will be able to see it as it is an incredible 1,016ft high dominating London’s skyline.
The Shard is more than just a building, inside it offers offices, flats, restaurants and its even a hotel as well as boasting about being one of the new most popular tourist attractions to enter the city.
I was lucky enough this week to have an invite to visit The Shard before the Grand Opening taking place on February 1st 2013. Unfortunately it was rather foggy outside but nevertheless I entered The Shard and began the experience in the hope that the fog and mist would clear by the time I had ascended to the 68th floor 800ft above London.
After obtaining my ticket and going through security I was finally ready to begin my journey to the 68th floor. To make my way to the elevator I walked through a tapestry of London with some of the cities highlights marked out across the floor and walls, I was impressed at how good it looked and it really does help begin to create the excitement of what I was about to embark upon.
The next part of my journey was to make my way to the viewing platforms, I entered the lift where you are greeted by a friendly member of staff who continued to add to the experience by briefly enlightening me with information about The Shard and what we will be able to see, you would expect that the lift would take quite a while to reach the middle of The Shard where you disembark to walk to the next elevator however within a flash of entering the lift I had made it half way. With a quick walk around the corner I was entering another elevator to continue my journey to the 68th floor and before I knew it I had arrived.
WOW, what a view! I must admit upon entering the 68th floor to a 360 degree view and floor to ceiling windows my inner senses decided to perk up and I was terrified that I was up so high, with a fear of heights as it is I began to wonder if someone else from the office should have taken my ticket instead! Within a few minutes of having second thoughts I had made it to the window and was looking out across 40 miles of London and what an amazing view it was. Even though the weather wasn’t in my favour I was still amazed at how much I could see, and how it gave me a different perception of the place I call home.
Luckily for me they had Telescopes that allow you to see the city at different times you could choose from Live, Day, Night or Sunrise which meant I could have a look at what I would have been able to see if it was sunny! It also highlights places of interest and gives you information about them as well as allowing you to zoom in, I was very impressed with the telescopes and I think these really are an added extra to the experience especially if the weather isn’t so great.
After spending about 30 minutes on floor 68 I decided it was time to venture to the 72nd floor and join the elements. This floor gives the experience a whole new feel as you are now standing outside and can hear the city and look up and see the shards of glass that form the top of this magnificent building. This floor made me personally feel slightly uneasy that I was outside so after about 15 minutes of taking in the sights and sounds I decided I would go back down to floor 68 and have one more look across London before leaving.
Overall I would definitely recommend a visit to The Shard because you won’t have experienced anything like it, even if you have been on the London Eye this is a whole new sensory experience that will blow you away. I can now say I’ve been to the highest possible point of the highest building in Europe and I am sure to go again when the weather is better!