Monday, June 24, 2013

It's all about The View

*I received a complimentary ticket for the purposes of review.


If you've read more than a few of my posts,
then you probably know about my major fear of heights
(And closed spaces.  And swimming. And Spanx.)

But, I've decided that I'm going to work really hard to overcome those fears.
And none of this "baby step" stuff, I'm going Hard Core Fear Management.

I decided to start by taking a little trip
to the top of the tallest building in London and Western Europe.
(Seriously, somebody stop me.)

The View from The Shard London

The Shard is the newest addition to the London landscape.
It was designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano and soars over 1,000 feet above the London Skyline.
You can see it from all over the city.  At first, like many Londoners, I wasn't quite sure.
But, I've come to really love the jagged, glass spike reaching for the clouds.
The View is located on Floors 68 to 72 and is twice as high as any other viewing platform in London.

The Shard London

I scheduled my visit for a Monday morning a few weeks out and then
spent that time hoping that I would have the courage to go up and also hoping for a beautiful London day.

Success!  I awoke to beautiful, blue, sunny skies, put on my big-girl panties,
and made my way to London Bridge Station and The Shard.
(Insert moan about the inconsistencies of British weather here.)

Luckily, I had my friend Gina along for moral support (and to perform CPR, if necessary.)

The View from The Shard London
 
Mary Poppins The View from The Shard London

The entry on Floor 00 is open and welcoming with plenty of staff to assist.
There was no line at all the morning we were there.
You will find quirky artwork featuring both the iconic London skyline
and iconic English personalities. 

London Quotes The View from The Shard London

You know I'm madly in love with this city (except when I'm not) and I loved this wall of 
famous quotes about London.

The View from the Shard London

 After going through security and having our bags scanned,
we were ushered onto the first elevator that took us lickety-split to the 33rd Floor.
We entered another elevator and within seconds arrived on the 68th Floor.

Foor 68 The View from The Shard London

On the 68th floor the glass windows are covered with a cloudscape and examples of 
the various clouds that you might see.  It was a nice little buffer zone for a scaredy-cat like me.  I was able to regroup and take a few deep, cleansing breaths before taking the staircase to the viewing gallery on the next level.

We stepped up onto the viewing platform and were met with 360 degree views of London in all her glory.
There was ethereal music playing to add to the experience of seeing a whole new side of this massive city.

The View from The Shard London

London Eye The View from The Shard London

The View from the Shard London

St. Pauls Cathedreal from The View from The Shard London

At first, I was stuck like glue to the wall, but slowly ventured closer and closer to the 
floor to ceiling glass windows.  It's impossible to resist the views of famous London landmarks, to follow the train tracks out of London Station and to see the fabulous Thames river snaking its way into the distance.

HMS Belfast The View from The Shard London

Tower Bridge The View from The Shard London

The View from The Shard London

And check out these guys!
You could not pay me a million dollars to hang out on the side of this building.
Not even on the 2nd floor much less the 68th floor.
Can you even imagine?


Window Clearners The View from The Shard London

Window Cleaner The View from The Shard London

We took our time, getting comfortable and taking hundreds of pictures.
I was doing pretty good with the fear management thing until this lady walked by and said
"Oh, I can feel it swaying!"  (Um. No, you can't.)

So then I went up to her and thumped her hard on the nose.
Not really, but I so would have if she wasn't so close to the windows.

The View from The Shard London

After more regrouping and breathing, we took the stairs up to the 72nd Floor.
 I almost couldn't step out onto this level.  At this point even Gina, who isn't really afraid of heights,
was feeling a little bit queasy.  (Unfortunately, there is no place to sit down if your knees give out on you.)

But, we did it and I'm glad we did.  On this level you are exposed to the elements and the cool air.
You can look up into the shards of glass that make up the tippy top of the skyscraper.


Floor 72 The View from The Shard London

The View from The Shard London

The View from The Shard London

The ride down in the elevator was quick and we certainly felt it in our stomachs more than the ride up.
Thankful to be back on solid ground, it was time for lunch
and one (or three) glasses of Rosé to congratulate ourselves on our bravery.
That tingly feeling in my stomach turned into an adrenaline high that carried me through the rest of the day.

I'm so happy that I conquered my fears and did it!

Romeo Fox The View from The Shard London

 Have you heard the story of Romeo the Fox?
During construction, a fox spent two weeks living on the 72nd Floor of the building.
He was living on scraps left by the workers.
He was eventually captured and relocated to a new home a little closer to the earth.

Planning Your visit:

The View is now open daily from 9am to 10pm daily.
(Those hours are scheduled to change in October 2013, so be sure to check for current times.)

It is recommended that you book online to avoid long lines.

  The main reason to pre-book online is to save money as a visit is certainly not cheap.

Infant (0-3) are free.
Children 4-15 are £23.95
Adults 16+ are £29.95

You can save £5 per ticket by booking online 24 hours in advance.
(Rates as of June 2013)

They also take telephone bookings for a small fee but note that
that the pre-booking discount only applies to online purchases.

Finally, be brave!  You've so got this.
 
Where have you found the best views in London? 


(By the way, I didn't win the Brilliance in Blogging Award for Travel.  That honor when to The Family Adventure Project and deservedly so.  But I had a fabulous weekend at Brit Mums Live.  Thanks again for those who nominated and voted for me and  thanks so much for the sweet words of encouragement and congratulations.)




TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | SUBSCRIBE | BLOGLOVIN



*I received a complimentary ticket to visit The Shard for the purposes of review.
All photos, writing and opinions are my own.
As always, I promise to be open, honest and transparent with my readers.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


You can find this review and many others in my
London Attraction Guide.

 

19 comments:

  1. Those views are amazing!! I really want to do the Shard, and this confirms a visit is needed! Thanks for sharing you photos!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh how I love that city! Even from WAY TOO FAR UP it is beautiful! Such views of all the historic buildings and the modern city sights. I am so glad you were brave enough to go all the way up and share the views with us!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so jealous you went up the Shard! I'm afraid of heights too but it looks like the view was worth it. When we were in London last year, it was still being built. I guess I'll have to go back. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Incredible! Your pictures are gorgeous. I really want to do this at some point while we are here. You're right about being able to see the Shard from all over London. Even as far out as we are, I can still see it from the rooftop of our building! (Don't worry - if you come visit me and my area out here, I won't make you go on the rooftop!)


    Spanx scares me, too. :o) I could never handle the squeeze.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow - what a view! I've been up on the London Eye some years ago and that was hair raising. London from above is beautiful - I love my home town! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! I would love to go up there! Maybe this Summer. Love your photos and I thought I recognised Gina taking some photos!! It was so brilliant to meet you both at BritMums Live - really enjoyed myself! x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well done for not thumping that lady on the nose! And well done for overcoming one of your fears! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow that is an amazing view! I'd love to this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The USA is just huuuuuuuuge! We're off to Florida for 3 weeks this summer - can't wait! And to eat the food :P xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so excited to read your take on it! I promise you'll survive! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing photos! You were so lucky with the weather too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks so much! I still can't believe lucked out on a pretty day. xoxo
    Selena

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sarah (family travel times)July 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    We went to the Shard too - but Jessica thought it was way too expensive!! You can read her review on our blog, http://familytraveltimes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-view-from-shard.html
    We loved your pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sarah, Thanks so much for sharing your link. Great pictures! I agree the cost is a bit over the top. I wonder if they will decrease it after the initial year. So glad you stopped by and commented! xoxo
    Selena

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?

    I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard
    on. Any recommendations?

    Feel free to visit my website free xbox live gold

    ReplyDelete
  16. This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep a
    reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was
    almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

    Feel free to surf to my website; LED Leuchten

    ReplyDelete
  17. Youu willl find exceptional virtual versions օf these
    game titles and a lott mοгe on-line, as well aas test relaxing аs
    well ɑs dealing your hair а side as welll as ɑ couple οf, just maҟing usе of ɑny common deck.
    Which meаns thiѕ construct աill be οf no usе
    with tҺe exception being a non permanent storage devide regardinhg
    credit cards fгom other loads. Ϝrom thе the initial load
    սp In oгdеr too relocated foг a customers away
    from Buenos aires Point out.

    Аlso visit my web site :: solitaire game download

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is available for Android, Iphone, BlackBerry,
    Windows Telephone, and Symbian platforms.
    There is also speculation of the iPad Mini being launched at the same occasion. The Android BBM app will launch at 7 a.m.


    My website kik for pc - http://fernetiquette.blogspot.co.nz/2010/02/places-you-can-get-fernet-331-club-in.html -

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. I love to hear from you!