I’m not scared of heights. Far from it in fact, I love heights. When I was a kid I was in Air Cadets and was lucky enough to have the chance to go flying and actually pilot the place myself. And it was exactly how it sounds: it was awesome. Living in Suffolk, which is as flat as a boring party on Shrove Tuesday, it is quite a rare thing to be able to see things at any sort of height. And as such I have always loved aerial views. But, I must admit, even I felt a little bit wobbly as I walked out of the lift having dropped 800ft in basically 30 seconds having visited the top of the Shard. That’s it. That’s all it takes to get to the bottom from the top and, more impressively, from the bottom to the top. Your ears pop as you go up. They really do.
At about £30 per person (depending on when you book etc), the Shard experience can seem a little steep a cost to just look at a view. But you can look at this a different way, for the thirty quid you get:
- A glass of champagne (and that’s enough to make you feel light headed that far up, let me tell you).
- Exceptional service and friendly staff.
- A cool TV projection thing on the ceiling of the lift (although I wasn’t paying much attention to it I must admit, as I was trying to recover my stomach from having been left at the top of the building)
- Two viewing decks (one sealed and fully inside and one that’s sort of outside and inside at the same time)
- Several fixed awesome digital binoculars that point out landmarks for you, allow you to see the view at different times of day and hear sounds that those areas make and,
- THAT VIEW!
Which all seems pretty worth it to me.
Of course you’ve got to be a bit lucky with the weather, which was something that didn’t concern me at the time as we had the most ridiculously clear day for it (it was possible to see the Dartford Crossing fairly clearly); but I would be disappointed if the weather was poor – as the view is the main event. As such you can get an ‘on the day’ ticket for the experience but, somewhat disappointingly, they are a little bit more expensive and you can’t have champagne.
Even so, if you can predict a clear day ahead and are wondering about something really cool and awesome to do in London one afternoon, the Shard Experience is highly recommended.
You can find out more about the Shard experience, and book tickets for it, here.
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