Day 3, Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Growing up near Seattle, I’m no stranger to tall, needle-like buildings that offer a view of the skyline. The Shard is so much taller than the Space Needle though!
The Shard is designed to look like a shard of glass extending skyward, to a total height of 1,016 feet, and 95 stories. It is a mixed use building, with residential, office space and a hotel occupying its 95 floors. We were there to visit The View from The Shard, an open air observation deck and viewing gallery with a cocktail bar, and some of the best views of London. The View from The Shard occupies floors 68-72, and there is not usable floor space up above that, so you can look straight up and see the architecture of the building and the sky!
Once you pay your admission, access to the observation deck is via a high speed elevator – it would have been cooler if it was a glass elevator with a view, but I guess you can’t have everything. Then you have to climb a couple of flights of stairs in order to get to the open air observation deck.
Once at the top, the view is incredible, and you can stay as long as you like. We had a cider, and sat on the AstroTurf and checked out the view. There are windows on all sides, so you can see all four directions, although the glare of the sun made it a bit difficult for us to see in that direction. Even the bathrooms had a floor to ceiling window!
My only complaint about The Shard was that I wish there had been more seating on the observation deck. We had been on our feet all day, and really just wanted to sit down for a few minutes! Nobody bothered us when we sat on the AstroTurf, but it just felt a little bit weird.
The Shard was expensive, but it was certainly worth it since it was included with the London Pass. Relaxing with a great view!
On our way home we stopped at a Greene King Tavern pub for a late dinner and a cider. I had a simple ham and cheese sandwich. We got back to the hotel at 10:15 – a late night for me!
Tube Stations: London Bridge (near The Shard), Earl’s Court (hotel)
Costs: The Shard – 27.20 pounds (free with London pass), dinner and cider
FitBit Steps: 14,500!