An Introduction to the Shard

London city view

London’s skyline has changed and grown a lot since the days when buildings weren’t allowed to be higher that St Paul’s Cathedral.

While quite a few skyscrapers have sprung up over the years the effects of the old law remain; London’s skyline is sparse and distinctive.

The few towers it does have though are visible from almost anywhere in the city. One of the latest, and certainly most impressive additions, is the towering building known as ‘The Shard; London’s tallest building.

What is it?

The Shard is a multi-purpose skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano as the tallest building in Europe; construction was completed in 2012.

The seventy two floors provide homes, one of the most exotic business hotels in London, office, and events space.

The tower also functions as a tourist destination with ‘The View’ a viewing platform sits on the sixty eighths floor which provides an unparalleled panoramic view across all of London.

On a clear day you can see for forty miles. The brave of heart can go up to the open air viewing platform on the seventy second floor, the very top of the Shard.

You can even peer down through the glass floors and see how high up you are; a great option if you like a thrill. The building does not just exist for views and for business however, there is a very active events space.

Album launches and media parties, even the odd silent disco; there is plenty going on at the Shard. Keep an eye out and you are bound to find something that catches your attention, as a venue it really is unmatched.

What is in the Area?

While the tip of the Shard is up in the clouds, the base sits squarely on the South Bank of the River Thames, between Tower Bridge and London Bridge, and opposite the Tower of London.

There is a lot going on in the immediate area on both sides of the river.On the Southwark side you can check out the culturally and historically fascinating Shakespeare’s Globe and of course the delicious Borough Market.

Across the river in the City of London you can see such classic tourist destinations as St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, as well as much of London’s business and banking districts.

If you want to stay nearby, but don’t fancy being quite as high up as the Shard, there are many luxurious options like The Montcalm at Brewery London City. It is one of the more vibrant and active areas of London, a perfect place to stay on your holiday or business trip.

How to get there?

Getting to the Shard is pretty easy from almost anywhere in London. The closest Tube stop puts you on the Jubilee (grey) or Northern (black) lines, and a slightly further walk across the river will get you to Bank Underground Station, which is one of the central hubs for the Tube.

From there you can catch the District and City lines (green and yellow), Central Line (red) and Docklands Light Rail (light blue). These lines will connect you rapidly to most of London. The bus network also runs extensively through the area and will get you wherever you need to go in the city. In addition, National Rail links to the south and east of England are available from London Bridge Railway Station.