diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 27, 2012

A bunch of journalists were taken up the Shard yesterday to see what the view looks like. They were duly impressed, pretty much. This was to promote the launch of London's highest viewing gallery, The View From The Shard, which opens on February 1st next year. Visitors will get to access floors 68, 69 and 72 - that's 800 feet up - and enjoy a 40-mile panorama across London's tiny rooftops. Ticket prices, appropriately, are rather steep. The full "kaleidoscope lifts" and "cloudscape" experience will cost you £24.95, bookable in advance. And that's a lot of money. I thought I'd check how much by comparing The View From The Shard with some of London's other major ticketed attractions. Several cost more on the day, but can be bought rather cheaper if you go online. The Harry Potter Tour is more expensive, but that's in far flung Watford and buys you several hours entertainment. Which I believe makes The View From The Shard London's most expensive major tourist attraction. Lucky bunch of journalists, that's what I say.
£30.00 Madame Tussauds (on the day)
£29.95 The View from The Shard (if booked via the Time Out website)
£29.00 Harry Potter Tour (Watford)
£28.00 Up at the O2 (weekends) (on the day)
£26.95 Ripley's Believe It Or Not (on the day)
£24.95 The View from The Shard
£24.00 The London Dungeon (on the day)
£23.00 London Zoo
£22.91 Ripley's Believe It Or Not (online)
£22.50 Madame Tussauds (online)
£22.00 Up at the O2 (weekdays)
£20.90 Tower of London (on the day)
£19.80 London Aquarium (on the day)
£18.90 London Eye (on the day)
£18.00 Tower of London (online)
£17.82 London Aquarium (online)
£17.01 London Eye (online)
£16.95 Hampton Court Palace (on the day)
£16.00 The London Dungeon (online)
£16.00 Westminster Abbey
£16.00 Kew Gardens (includes £1.50 voluntary donation)
£15.00 St Paul's Cathedral
£14.40 Hampton Court Palace (online)
£14.00 HMS Belfast
£13.50 London Transport Museum
£13.00 St Paul's Cathedral (online)
£12.00 Cutty Sark
  £8.00 Tower Bridge exhibition (and walkways)
  £7.00 Royal Observatory Greenwich (down from £10)
  £1.00 Tower of London (for Tower Hamlets residents)
Tickets for The View From The Shard aren't selling fast. The first tour on the first day is sold out, and most of the first Saturday too, and one evening slot on Valentine's day. But other than that you can pick almost any half hour window you like up to the end of May and pre-book your visit.
Admission to The View will only be valid on the date and time stated on your ticket.
For the avoidance of doubt, dates or times booked are non-transferable.
That's really risky, isn't it? What if the weather's rubbish? What if there's thick fog? Most importantly, what if the cloudbase is so low you can't see anything? Well, sorry, bad news.
Low visibility
There will be times where the visibility at The View will be low or non-existent in particular weather conditions. SVGM shall not be liable to provide a refund, or for any loss or damage, direct or indirect (including for claims relating to the loss of enjoyment or for travel expenses) as a result of such low visibility conditions.
You might end up forking out a fortune to see bugger all, or swirling mist, or driving rain, or accidental darkness because you forget to check when sunset was. I'm sure the experience at other times will be unforgettable, but is it worth £25? I'm yet to be convinced.

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