the shard review
My visit to the London Shard
I was lucky enough to visit The Shard in London twice in June, just two weeks apart. The first time I visited we purchased a package with Virgin Experience Days. This package came with entry for two into The Shard and a 3 course meal at Marco Pierre White's restaurant.
If you go for this package then it is important to go online once you have purchased your experience and activate the voucher then go to the website for the steak house and book your table time first, just in case you want to do both on the same day (you don’t have to). Then once you have got confirmation of your table you can book your time at The Shard.
We decided to visit The Shard at 11am and then have lunch. The restaurant is about a 15 minute walk from The Shard.
Upon arrival to The Shard you are in the main reception area, and once you have shown your e-ticket (which you would have already printed out at home) and gone through security. You get the chance to have your photograph taken. This can be collected and paid for on the way out.
You then enter the first of 2 lifts; both have amazing graphics displayed on the ceiling. After the first lift you move onto the 2nd lift which takes you to the main lower indoor viewing area.
I must say the view from The Shard is amazing, and you can see all the main sites of London as you move around The Shard. But there is another viewing platform which is open to the elements, just go up a few flights of stairs. If it’s a hot day then it’s really nice to move to the open air level in the fresh air.
Don't forget to have a go with the telescopes on the viewing levels, we thought they were actually live cameras, but unfortunately they are not live at all, but they do point out interesting sites even far into the distance.
One strange thing to try is actually using the toilets whilst you are there as they also have floor to ceiling glass in them, an amazing view.
You can also purchase a glass of champagne whilst at The Shard; some experiences actually come with champagne vouchers. In this case just present your vouchers to get your glass of champagne.
There is a gift shop at the viewing level of The Shard, and also another one at the entrance.
It's up to you how long you spend at The Shard; there is no maximum time limit.
It's definitely a great experience, and a perfect place to which see the whole of the London skyline and also get some amazing photographs.
Buy a Shard Experience
1. Shard Tickets
You will have views of the city’s many famous landmarks from an unobstructed 360 degree angle when on level 72 the impressive open top viewing platform. This is an amazing exciting and truly memorable experience that you can treasure forever.
2. Shard Tickets and Afternoon Tea
The View from The Shard and Afternoon Tea for Two at the Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel. You will ascend 500ft above the capital where you’ll reach the top of The Shard – London’s newest landmark and Western Europe’s tallest building. Available 7 days a week.
3. Shard Tickets and Lunch
Travel up The Shard, which measures a whopping 800 feet from street level, after your journey to the skies (or before, depending on your booking), come back down to earth and enjoy a delicious lunch. Choose from lunch at Strada, Balls Brothers, Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Cafe or Marco Pierre Whites Restaurant.
4. Shard Tickets and Dinner
Dine at the award-winning chef Marco Pierre White’s Steak and Ale House Restaurant for a delicious three-course meal with a Champagne cocktail each or try two courses with wine or beer with French inspired cuisine at Raymond Blanc's Brasserie Blanc. There is also are three course meal at Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Cafe to choose from.
5. Shard Tickets and Shakespeare's Globe Tour for Two
The Shard and Shakespeare's Globe combined offer all the ingredients needed for an unforgettable day out in London. Marvel at spectacular views of London's beloved landmarks and toast your visit with a glass of Lanson champagne. Continue the fun with a visit to Bankside's Shakespeare's Globe.
6. Shard Tickets and Thames Cruise with Afternoon Tea
After your visit to the Shard you can make your way to Westminster Pier where you board a Thames River Cruise boat. As you enjoy your leisurely cruise you will be served a mouth-watering afternoon tea for two with your choice of tea or coffee. Tuck in to delightful sandwiches cakes and scones with cream and jam.
7. Shard Tickets and Thames Cruise with Lunch
After you have enjoyed the magnificent View from the Shard you can make your way to Westminster Pier where you board a Thames River Cruise boat. During this time you will be able to spot the landmarks along the London Riverside whilst tucking in to a delicious two-course lunch with tea of coffee included.
8. Shard Tickets and Thames Sightseeing Cruise
After your view from the Shard you can make your way to Westminster Pier where you board a Thames River Cruise boat. You can enjoy unlimited travel on the hop-on-hop-off Thames Sightseeing Cruise which allows you to board at your leisure and see the sights of the Thames up close.
9. Shard Tickets and Thames RIB Powerboating
Experience two of the capital's very best attractions with an adrenaline-pumping RIB powerboating session followed by The View from The Shard. Kick things off by boarding the slick Thames Rocket at St Katharine's Pier and hold on tight for one wild ride - soak in beloved London landmarks such as Canary Wharf, The Cutty Sark, O2 and more. Afterwards go on over to The Shard and head for the heights of the observation deck to see the capital from Western Europe's tallest building - a view which is unlikely to be forgotten for a years to come. Read my review of RIB Powerboating
10. Shard Tickets with Champagne and Vinopolis Wine Tasting for Two
The Shard and Vinopolis combined make a fantastic day out to remember. Toast your visit to The Shard with a glass of Lanson champagne before the descent back to ground level. Continue the top class experience with a visit to the world of wine at Vinopolis, located just five minutes from The Shard. Begin with a 'How to Taste Wine' session then, take a self-guided tour armed with seven drinks tokens each.