The Shard, London. A new attraction in our capital city, and the highest building in Europe - and that's why we decided to visit The Shard with our two children.
We take our two children down to London a couple of times a year to see the sights, experience the crowds - and to experience the Tube at rush hours (oops!). We've just returned from our latest jaunt to the capital, and decided to visit "The Shard". After a restful night spent in the Premier Inn Tower Bridge we entered The Shard at 10am; tickets were pre-booked, saving £5 each; and it wasn't raining - which meant that there would be some good views at the top.
It turns out 10am is a good time to visit as there were very few visitors, and it's always nice not to be jostled around. The first stage is to go through the airport style security - bags through the machine, and walk through the metal detector. Then into one of the lifts taking us straight to the 33rd floor; a quick walk to the next lift which takes us the rest of the way to the 68th floor - and we were there.
You can walk around the entire floor, and get views out in all directions. The views are truly amazing, with floor to ceiling glass all the way round. You can see out over all of London - and beyond.
There are also state of the art telescopes. Just point the telescope at what you want, and the image is shown on a monitor - and should you be pointing at a famous building, a little label appears on the screen to tell you what the building is - very clever indeed. The telescopes also have a "day" and "night" setting, so should you be unlucky with the weather, you'll get a pre-recorded view in the direction you point the telescope. Both our children found this very interesting.
Floor 72 - and its open air
Straight down from The Shard in London
There is a higher viewing platform on floor 72, this also has floor to ceiling glass; the difference though is that this floor has lots of open bits - what I mean is, there is no ceiling. So the glass finishes about 10 ft high - and then it's open. I'm not generally one for getting too worried about heights, but the open air-ness did make my legs a little wobbly!
The views from The Shard - looking towards East London
Is The Shard worth a visit
It's certainly not the cheapest way to spend an hour or so. For 2 adults and 2 children the cost was £87. But this is a brand new attraction, and the views really are fantastic. All four of us will remember the visit; so yes, I'd definitely recommend a visit to The Shard.
Any questions about visiting The Shard?
If you've got any questions about visiting The Shard, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll give you the benefit of my knowledge.
If the thought of a villa holiday sounds good - but you've got children in tow, have a look at villa resorts which combine the advantages of having your own villa with the advantages of a resort's facilities.
Located next to the beach and surrounded by the Lagoa dos Salgados Lagoon and nature reserve, Vidamar Algarve Resort is a villa resort with holiday villas sleeping between 4 and 8 people. All villas at Vidamar Algarve Resort have their own pool.
Find a selection of holiday cottage in Beccles, Suffolk. The cottages of Riverside House, Butterfield House, Northgate Bakery, Honeysuckle Cottage and Burnt Hill House all have a video showing their location in Beccles.
Try a villa holiday in Europe and the Mediterranean during March, April and May. James Villas Spring Holidays is the place to look - and if you get in early enough you could get a bargain in the James Villa Holidays Half Price Sale.
A fabulous day out, the Falkirk Wheel links the Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde Canal. You have a variety of attractions at the Falkirk Wheel, including an Archimedes Screw, hire a cycle, paddle boats, or just a nice walk.
See the sights from the top of the Nevis Range in Scotland. Take a gondola up the mountain, and get some views from the Sgurr Finnisg-aig view point. You can always cycle down too - or take the cable car back down again.