View from The Shard – a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

After watching the skyscraper slowly rise in the London sky from my Brixton flat, I finally made it to the top of the Shard tower, and was rewarded with some fabulous views of the capital.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Opened to the public on 1 February 2013 and standing 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) high, the 72-storey Shard is the tallest building in the European Union.

Visitors are allowed in to access the viewing gallery and the open-air observation deck  on the 72nd floor.

At a height of 244.3 metres (802 ft), this is the viewing platform open to the public in the UK.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

The lift has a groovy ceiling video animation that plays as you whizz up the building.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Like the old WTC Twin Towers in New York, the journey to the top involves swapping to a smaller lift as you get near the top.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

The view from the top is truly spectacular.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

A view of the Strata Tower, topped out with its famously non-moving wind turbines.

The posh folks in the penthouse suites apparently  at the top didn’t like the noise, so there goes that particular eco initiative.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Looking over south London.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

The controversial Walkie Talkie tower reaching completion in the City of London, with the stunning Gherkin to the right.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Tower Bridge next to City Hall.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

On the lower observation deck.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Canary Wharf in the distance.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

The open air observation deck where you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of London, only slighted spoiled by some hideous cod-religious music that constantly drones away.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

The 1677 Monument tower – see photo feature here.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Brixton from The Shard!

The distinctive block of flats with the zig zag pattern (centre, behind the white tower blocks on Barrington Road) is the Southwyck House (aka the Barrier Block).

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Telecom Tower with the Wembley arch in the distance.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Looking up to the top of the tower.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Self portrait.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

St George’s tower at Vauxhall.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Posing for photos.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Bridges across the Thames, with the slender Millennium Bridge near the top (forever nicknamed the Wobbly bridge after its inauspicious opening).

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

These hi tech viewers let you view the scene at different times of the day as well as zoom in and have buildings and landmarks labelled.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

A snap for the album.

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

Going down!

View from The Shard - a trip to the top of the tallest building in Europe

A final view of The Shard from Borough High Street.

[Official site]