Inside the Shard

I’m not a great fan of heights, and this job would be so far down my list of things I would like to do you would probably have to tunnel through the earth to Australia to find it.



That chimney you can see to the right of them is Bankside Power Station, aka Tate Modern, and they’re way above that. I was just a few feet away from these smiling men, but the big difference was that I was inside, with strong glass between me and the cold air outside.
Today I visited the Shard. It opens to the public next month, but I was lucky, thanks to my job, to get a preview. Actually, doubly lucky, as I am going again on Sunday as I am a Southwark resident. It would be too much to hope for a free ticket (or two) and a clear day, and if I could change one other thing, it would be to rebuild the Shard with non-reflective glass. If only they’d asked me first.
Anyway, as you can see, visibility wasn’t great and the sky was a greyish white.
Still, St Paul’s always looks impressive.
St Paul's

St Paul’s

I saw St Paul’s from the top of Guy’s Tower once after a carol service. It was dark and the view was spectacular. I don’t know if the Shard is going to be open at night, but if it is, I should like to make yet another visit.
The Tower and the HMS Belfast looked tiddly.
The Tower and HMS Belfast

The Tower and HMS Belfast

And although Tower Bridge looks a bit dull from here, I love the way you can see how the river bends away to the east.
Tower Bridge and the Thames, Looking East

Tower Bridge and the Thames, Looking East

But for me, the most exciting thing was to realise that just as I can see the Shard from my flat, so my flat can be seen from the Shard.
Two of the windows in this shot belong to my kitchen and bedroom.
I Live Here

I Live Here



22 thoughts on “Inside the Shard

    • Too terrifying. Met a neighbour tonight in M&S who is an engineer. She said she was on the thirty something floor of Canary Wharf while the building was under construction. Not usually afraid of heights, she advanced to the safety cord, and then stopped, deciding she was as near to the edge as she wanted to go.

  1. That’s incredible. I could tell that you were high up. My favorite photo is the one with Tower Bridge for the reason you mentioned–you can see the bend in the river. Not sure I really noticed that from the ground. I’m jealous you got to go, but I’m happy that you shared some photos. I’ll add this to my must do list.

  2. I wish they had asked you about the glass. Even a one level for viewing and photography would have been great. Even with the dull glass, your photos are so fun. Thanks.

  3. Wow Isobel! Lucky you!!!! And you get to go again!!! I love the images showing the snowy rooftops of London. It’s the most wonderful city in the world whatever the weather.

    Even though I’m a wimp when it comes to heights, I’ll have to go. The bit I want to see is the very top where the glass really does end up with shards pf glass pointing up at angles as though piercing the sky.

    • I think that last bit is best seen from the ground. I was nervous beforehand as I don’t like heights, but the lift is very smooth, and pretty with patterns of leaves and clouds moving over the ceiling. Then you get into another lift to take you higher, then stairs, then more stairs to the outside viewing platform. I have looked at it from my windows tonight and thought “I was up there” with a sense of wonder.

  4. There is something strangely right and strangely wrong in being in or on a structure that high up. Yes there is the awe factor of the view. I feel incredibly diminutive and modest. Instead of looking smugly down on my surroundings, I feel like everyone is looking up at me -strange and weird.

    • I’ve been thinking about it, and although it is amazing to be able to see so far and from so high up, I think I prefer the view from the lower Guy’s Tower. Thirty floors up is plenty.
      One of our colleagues dis send a text to say she was waving at us from Lambeth Bridge…

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