The Shard maybe THE place to grab a city view at the moment but if you’re waiting for the hype to die down and the sun to rise in the summer, there’s a historic city icon offering panoramic views for a smidgen of the price – Monument. Opened in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and celebrate the rebuilding of the City, it’s been doing business for quite some time! But not wanting to be out-done by its new neighbour it closed for a refurb in 2007 and opened 18 months later with a shiny new look.
If I’m honest Monument was pretty much just a tube station to me. I had no idea you could climb up Monument itself until I saw a picture pop up in a friend’s instagram feed. At just £3 to enter, there is really no excuse not to go along and check it out. A perfect activity for that weekend before pay day!
Now I’ll warn you up front, it’s 202ft high and over 300 years old, this means there’s no lift but plenty of stairs. So if you avoid the stair exits on the underground and you don’t like tight spaces this may not be for you. If you’re OK with this then climb on up! 311 steps later you’ll reach the top…
You’re encouraged to take a right out of the exit, can you guess the first view that grabs your attention?
Yep that’s right The Shard. Honestly I have seen this from SO many angles I’m starting to wonder if I can remember what London looked like without it! Still it’s pretty stunning architecture so have to admire it.
Next up you can *just* about see the London Eye.
If you’re good with heights it’s worth taking a look down below. The city looks like a miniature toy set from this height.
Carry on round and you add the Gherkin, Canary Wharf, and Tower Bridge to your visit.
I went on a bit of a grey morning but I imagine when the sun is shining or setting at dusk it could be spectacular. Well worth a second trip in the summer I think!
Once you’ve taken it all in (I went round a couple of times), it’s time to make the easier descent back down to the ground.
The crowds ebbed and flowed whilst I was there. One minute it was full and the next minute it was fairly empty. I imagine it’s featured in most tourist books so you may as well rock up when you fancy going and take your patience with you.
Once you’re back down, you’ll find that London Bridge is just around the corner which means if you’ve chosen to go on a Saturday you can pick up a cheap lunch or a few treats from Borough Market. If you’ve got a bit more energy I definitely recommend going a little further and trying out Maltby Street Market.
Have you climbed Monument? Will you be going to The Shard this year?