If you’ve been to London recently — Megan and I were just there last Thanksgiving — then you may have seen the Shard, an enormous glass pyramid located near the Borough Market. London’s skyscraper scene is far more interesting to me than anything we have in the U.S., and I was pleased we got a chance to at least walk by during our visit.
Now you can actually go up the tower and enjoy the view from its two observation platforms. Level 69 is a three-story indoor observation deck where you’re sure to find an expansive view of London’s key attractions. One benefit of the Shard’s location on the South Bank is that nearly everything else you’ve heard of — St. Paul’s Cathedral, 30 St. Mary Axe (the Gherkin), and the Houses of Parliament are located to the north. I’ve climbed St. Paul’s twice before. As fun as it is, the one thing you can’t see is the cathedral itself.
Interestingly, the Shard also has an open air observation deck on Level 72, over 800 feet in the air. The building gets its name because the pyramid is unfinished, in a way, with multiple shards of glass piercing the sky. It’s not difficult to find observation decks in tall buildings, but this experience should be more unique.
During the holiday season, you’ll also be able to purchase special treats from Bompass & Parr, including snow white hot chocolate, mulled Champagne, and Christmas cotton candy.
Tickets to visit the observation areas are £25.95 per person through January 31, though groups of 15 or more will qualify for a 10% discount. (I think this is reasonable. The cultural landmark in my own city, the Seattle Space Needle, charges $22. Nearly everything in the U.K. is priced the same as in the States. It’s just that the currency is just more expensive.) Reservations are recommended.
Megan’s already eager to go back to London, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit the View from the Shard sooner than expected!