The Awesome Shard – London Bridge

The Shard is the tallest building in London, the UK and actually in the whole of Western Europe. It has the highest vantage point in the UK at a whopping 1,016 feet.  The Shard is an attraction for all ages as the views across London are pretty astounding and enough to keep everyone interested. The cool, avant-garde interior creates the setting for a truly modern 21st century experience with plasma screens in the lift to digital telescopes in the viewing gallery.

If you’re planning to visit the Shard, here is my list of useful and interesting information for families.

10 Things About The Shard

    1. The Shard is located moments from London Bridge station and The View from the Shard has a station entrance right next to it. We walked from Southbank which was a lovely 30 minute walk.
    2. The View from the Shard gives visitors access to the 69th and 72nd floor where the viewing galleries are located. The rest of the Shard contains offices/residences/businesses which are generally not accessible for the general public except for The Shangri La Hotel. It has a separate entrance to the View from the Shard, and can be visited without any tickets. You may visit Cafe Lang on the ground floor or the other restaurants on the 32nd floor where the reception is located.
    3. You cannot take the buggy/stroller/pushchair up to the viewing galleries because of space issues. They have to left with Reception. Time your baby’s nap wisely, unlike us who arrived just as my 1 year old fell asleep. We had to carry her for half an hour!
    4. Tickets should be booked beforehand via the website or else you run the risk of your desired time slot being fully booked. This is especially true for busy periods such as weekends and clear sunny days. Booking slots are every half an hour, but once you are in you can stay as long as you like. We left after 2 hours, of which 30 mins was spent in the gift shop on the first floor!
    5. Booking the day before or earlier will save you money. Advance tickets cost £24.95 otherwise it is £29.95 per person. In school holidays, children (aged 4-15) went free per adult ticket otherwise child tickets are £18.95 if booked in advance or £23.95 on the day. Infants (0-3) are free at all times. Look out for special offers during holiday times.
    6. There are is a restaurant and a bar for the general public which can be accessed without tickets, but children are not allowed in the bar on weekends. Reservations should be made for restaurant bookings. There is only a champagne bar on level 68, no food items can be bought, but soft drinks are available.
    7. Rest assured just by the entrance of the View from the Shard there is a Mcdonalds and a Starbucks which should cover all bases!
    8. The Shard took four years to build and was opened in February 2013 by Boris Johnson, ex-Mayor of London.
    9. The 68th floor is enclosed and the 72 floor is open aired with glass panels missing from the top which help create the ‘shard of glass’ effect.
    10. The Shard contains some of the highest apartments in the world — 224m high, they cost about £50 million each!

Highlights for my children:

My one year old enjoyed running around a lot, and swinging from the hand rail. My 8 year old son loved the fact he could see Wembley Stadium and was just overwhelmed by how many monuments could be seen. My aspiring 5 year old photographer hogged my phone and loved taking pictures of the various views. She took almost a hundred photos.

Thank you to View From The Shard who organised our visit for the purposes of this review.

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