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I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to Birthdays, well, I’m a little bit of a pain. I never know what I want/need and that doesn’t exactly help anyone when it comes to presents. This week though I enjoyed one of Shelli’s presents for my Birthday this year: tickets to enjoy the view from the Shard.

If you don’t know, The Shard is an iconic building on the London skyline, designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano. It stands at a height of 1,016ft (310m), making it the tallest building in Western Europe.

So Monday after work we both headed into London with our cameras and made our way down to London Bridge to get to the Shard for 7:30pm, a time Shelli had checked out to make sure that we were looking out over London as the sun went down.

We walked down to Lancaster Gate from Paddington with the aim of getting the tube along to Bank, leaving a short walk down to London Bridge, getting our first views of the Shard crossing the Thames.

As ever, London transport threw up a problem on the Central Line tube, a tube that – as Shelli said at the time – “always has a good service”…really?! There was a track outage at Oxford Street which meant we ended up waiting at one of the stations (I can’t remember which) while this was sorted out.

Just to rub salt into the wounds though, as we waited with the doors open an announcement came over the platform tannoy informing everyone that all lines had a good service! On hearing this I couldn’t help myself and said “Seriously? Bastards!” which made a few people chuckle, but in a typical London way, i.e. hushed and concealed – we couldn’t be human beings on a tube now could we?!

We weren’t delayed too long and we managed to get to the Shard’s entrance in plenty of time, going in 10 minutes before our allotted entry slot of 7:30pm to 8pm.

To enjoy the view you go up in two high-speed lifts. In the first one, as we came to a stop it seriously felt like we were weightless for a split second. Shelli, me, and the other couple all commented on it…very strange!

The view over London is on floors 68, 69 and 72 – 244m/800ft up – making it almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London!

It wasn’t long after getting up to the viewing floor before the sun started to go down. Unfortunately it was a little hazy outside meaning the sunset wasn’t as good as it could have been – what can you do?! That didn’t matter though as we spent over an hour up there looking out over London, watching all the lights come on, seeing familiar landmarks from a completely different perspective.

One thing that was good was the fact that it was in now way crowded up there. Yes, everyone who was there was trying to get the photos through the glass which meant waiting until they moved to get the shots we wanted, but it could have been a lot worse that’s for sure.

The glass and the lighting were a bit of a pain. The reflections on the glass made taking photos a little difficult but it certainly didn’t stop us enjoying the views that’s for sure.

It was a great present and it really was worth it to spend that time seeing London from that never before seen view, well, by me/us at least until that point. Thanks honey 🙂

After we’d finished taking photos (another 100 or so that needed to be sorted out!) we headed over the road to the Barrow Boy and Banker pub on London Bridge for a pint, and then on to Wagamamas for something to eat.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable Birthday present, all the better it being shared with Shelli – good times!

I’ve sorted out the photos so head on over to the photos section to have a look, if you’ve got a login that is.