I like heights. Well, safe heights, at least. Not heights I have to bungee jump from, or feel like I’m going to fall over the edge of. Those are a little more tricky. Thankfully, London’s best viewpoints are usually safely encased in glass, meaning all the sights, with none of the fear. Last November, I had an amazing time up at the Sky Garden, and this month, I conquered the city’s tallest structure. Yep, we finally checked out the View from the Shard.
My initial thoughts on the View From the Shard before I did it were mixed. Er, £30 to go up a building and look at a view? Priceyyyy. Luckily, AttractionTix had a fab deal on, with tickets priced at £18.95 – saving £12 on the door price, and £7 on the normal Shard advance price. Nifty.
Upon entry, we headed straight to the ticket desk, where there was no queue – yay! Our pre-booked tickets from AttractionTix had a date but no specific time on them. We passed through the airport-style security and had our photos snapped against a green screen (with Shard graphics superimposed on later), before entering the lift.
There are actually two lifts that take you to the viewing levels, changing over in the middle. To take your mind of how fast you’re speeding up hundreds of metres, the video screens that make up the lift walls have…err, aerial shots of London.
Once we arrived at the top, after gawping out of the windows and panicking til I found a plug socket to charge my camera battery, we grabbed a couple of drinks to enjoy with the view. Obviously, I had a prosecco to enjoy the occasion with.
On the bar floor, which is a bit below the main Skydeck, you still have all the London views. Through ‘telescope’ style machines, you can get a closer look at the city’s buildings, with some useful info about what you’re seeing.
The Viewing Deck
The Skydeck viewing platform itself is the main attraction at The View from the Shard, offering 360 degree views at 800ft above the city. On a clear day, you can see up to 40 miles. We spent quite a while just looking out – pointing out landmarks, watching trains and cars pass by and the city move below us. And taking photos, of course.
Although a fair portion of it is covered, there is actually an opening in the roof which technically makes it an open air deck – so if you’re visiting in winter, make sure you’re wrapped up warm, as it can be a bit chilly up there.
While we were at the top of London, we decided to check out their Virtual Reality experiences at The Shard – the Slide and Vertigo. New for 2018, they use technology to . It’s £10 for one experience, or £15 for both. Originally, we were going to skip them – but while we were up there, we thought we might as well, and both did both experiences.
The Slide was definitely my favourite – whizzing through the London skyline, my heart genuinely did a little jump when the slide ‘dropped’. Vertigo is a slightly shorter, and interactive, experience where you walk along the scaffolding during the Shard’s building period. I’d honestly say they were a little overpriced for the length of time, but for a one-off unique experience, I’d recommend them anyway.
Yep, I’m talking about the toilets. Not the cleanliness (which was good, by the way), but the view. As you perch on your throne and do your business, take in floor to ceiling views of the London skyline. By far the best view I’ve ever had while having a wee.
Is it worth it?
While I think the £30 on the door price is pretty steep for what’s basically a really good view, it’s definitely worth checking out once in your life. And you’ll get to have the most epic wee you’ll ever do.
So plan in advance!
If you’re going, definitely make sure you save as much as possible by checking out AttractionTix for deals – the current £18.95 special price ends on 20th Oct, but they’ve usually got some kind of offer running. That goes for anywhere you’re planning on visiting – they offer deals on attractions all across the world, from Disneyland and the Empire State Building to the London Zoo and Cadbury World.
Have you been up The Shard? What did you think?
*We were given complimentary tickets by AttractionTix for our visit – we paid for the VR experience and drinks ourselves though!
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