Wednesday, 26 August 2015

On Top Of Europe. The View From The Shard London.

The Shard London

The weather has been so horrible in London lately, but rain and cold have not stopped me from exploring the vibrant city. My recent discovery brought me to The Shard* where I had an incredible time sightseeing together with my friend Serene.

If you wouldn’t know that The Shard is London’s latest addition, you would assume it has always been a part of the magnificent city skyline. The impressive building with its shiny, flawless glass front blends in so smoothly into the capital’s history that you wouldn’t believe that it has only been at London Bridge since 2012. In fact, the view from The Shard is one of the most memorable and enjoyable experience I’ve ever had and I’m going to tell you why.

The View From The Shard: A Different Tourist Experience

I was invited by Talented Talkers to pick a London attraction for review. The digital agency looks after Avios, a website that helps customers to turn their everyday spending such as on groceries, petrol or wine into travel rewards thanks to their attractive loyalty point system. 

Instead of using collected points for products, Avios offer the chance to experience London attractions such as the Zoo, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, the Aquarium or the Eye. During my 15 year relationship with London, I’ve visited all of these attractions several times, so when I spotted The View From The Shard on the list too, my decision was made very quickly.

The View From The Shard

On Monday, I made my way over to London Bridge where I met Serene. Finding the entrance to The Shard was super easy, as it is located directly by the exit of London Bridge station. The moment we stepped in, it became apparent that The Shard is different to any other London attraction and high-end experience. 

The entrance welcomed us with a sleek and stylish design but didn’t lose its touristy touch. There are ticket queues, a shop bursting with overpriced merchandise and a photographer who will shot a picture for your souvenir collection at home. You’ll be given an audio guide shortly after a security check similar to airport procedures. 

The entrance to the shard
The elevator at The Shard

The Shard is not a typical family attraction which isn’t a surprise given the fact tickets start from £25 onwards. The ticket prices gave me stomach aches but looking back once you’ve experienced the attraction, you can totally get why. 

Everything is very classy and of high quality to give a stylish experience to the visitor. The exclusive atmosphere is not designed for children but for the sophisticated adult that appreciates sightseeing in style. The staff is friendly and discrete, the place is polished and the elevator runs so smoothly, you don’t even recognise how fast it takes you up to the top. 

Infographic The Shard London

On Top Of Europe: The Shard in London, Level 68

We went shortly after lunch so the place was less crowded and busy. The lift which played classical music in the background and amazed us with a changing ceiling took us first to the 33rd level – the same height as Sky Garden. The trip didn’t end here and we took a second lift to level 68. 

When we stepped onto the first viewing platform, the wow-effect was less exciting in comparison to Sky Garden. The space to move around at The Shard is due to its angular shape awkward and tight. It felt less airy but we could fully appreciate the view, as there are no fancy architectural constructions limiting the view.

In fact, the sight had something very calming and relaxing. It was peaceful and tranquil up there with busy life going by down in the streets but this time without the noise of sirens and car engines. Even though it was raining, London looked stunning. Because we were so high up in the sky, we could see clouds creating the most dramatic effects. 

panorama The Shard london
Please click on the picture to enlarge the panorama.
Canary Wharf from The Shard
The Streets of London from The Shard
The South View. The Shard London
View From The Shard.
When we weren’t mesmerised by the view, Serene and I listened to the audio guide which we were given. The interactive guide provided additional information to the building and a detailed map of the view and sights to see. Additionally, there are interactive telescopes on the platform to spot famous landmarks and to provide entertainment and engagement with the view. 

audio guide the shard
audio guide the shard london
telescope at the shard
the viewing platform the shard

On Top Of Europe: The Shard in London, Level 72

But you can go even further! A few steps would take us to level 72 and we were literally in the sky. The proverb 'on top of the world' gets an entirely new meaning once you've reached The Shard’s top level, which is open plan. Occasionally raindrops would drizzle down on my skin, I could feel the summer wind and nearly touched planes heading east to land at the city airport. It was an incredible atmosphere up there and there’s also the chance to enjoy a Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea. Something to consider for next time.

panorama level 72 the shard
Please click on the image to enlarge the view from the shard.
Bloggers go The Shard. Review
The Shard Top Floor
The Top Floor of the shard london

My Final Thoughts On My Visit To The Shard in London

I always thought the free view from Sky Garden would be enough, but the view from The Shard is exceptional. Though I still have mixed feelings regarding the ticket price, I would recommend the attraction. Unlike the assumption it would be like Sky Garden, where after the initial excitement has flattened down you’d like to go back downstairs to Fenchurch Street, The Shard is an attraction that makes sure that the visitor takes the most out of the experience. Overall we spent 1 ½ h up there in the sky on top of Europe’s highest platform and I’m more than excited to come back one day. 

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time,

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