From London Bridge station we turned left at the top of the steps and straight into the entrance of The View from The Shard. We arrived at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon. What you would typically expect to be the busiest time to go. But to our surprise, there were no queues.
After we collected our tickets, we walked through the first barrier and straight to the security scanners. Similar to airport security but much less stressful. We were greeted by friendly, cheerful and polite staff who were very helpful, especially when dealing with small children. Then we had our photo taken against a green screen which presumably captured a photo that was for sale upon exit. We didn’t care that much so it was onto the lift. We turned a corner and into a lift which took us to the 33rd floor and then we changed into another lift that took us to the 68th floor. The lifts take seconds to get to the top. Delilah, who is normally petrified of lifts (elevators) after an incident in a lift in a shopping mall where she took a solo flight, unintentionally.
Everything is meticulously clean. Probably because it’s so new but still it’s nice to see, especially in a major tourist attraction in a capital city. There were a few more steps to climb to get to the first viewing platform and as it was a clear day, being 800ft in the sky, you could see pretty much all of London in all directions. The newest buildings in the City of London did look like a Walkie Talkie and a Gherkin. The Houses of Parliament and the tower that holds Big Ben looked like a toy. But the best view for me was of Tower Bridge next to The Tower of London. Yes, the view from the Shard is spectacular.
We were glad neither of us knew what was on the top floor but we had been tipped off that there was a garden. We climbed the final set of steps and we were out in the open air. Blustery gusts ruffled Delilah’s long hair and a certain discomposure threatened to pull us back to safety. But we stepped trepidatiously towards the glass. The glass that was all that was keeping us from falling 800 FEET over the side. The glass that you can touch but comes with the sinking feeling in your gut, nausea and a sensation of spinning around and losing your balance. That was just me. I couldn’t keep up with Delilah. No Champagne for us but there is a bar at the top. Also, for an unusual twist on the view from the Shard, check out the toilets!