This is a sponsored article on behalf of The View from The Shard.
When it comes to Christmas presents, bog standard socks, smellies and sweets don’t always cut it. Sometimes, you may find yourself in need of something a little more inspired for that special person in your life. And gifts don’t come much more extraordinary than a one-of-a-kind view across London from the tallest building in Western Europe. Feast your eyes on The View from The Shard.
A jewel in London’s skyscraper crown, you probably already know about The Shard. What began as a sketch on a restaurant napkin by architect Renzo Piano soon turned into an architectural beacon, slicing high into the city skyline. While nearly every Londoner has seen it, far fewer have had the chance to look over London right from the very top. Whizzing up to The Shard's summit 309.9 metres in the sky puts a whole new angle on the city you know and love – a true Christmas cracker of a treat.
While the bustle and grind continues down on the streets below, you can find peace up the top of those 306 flights of stairs (don't worry, there's a lift!). The View from The Shard's viewing gallery has floor-to-ceiling windows in every direction, with miles and miles of panoramic views out to many of the capital's much-loved landmarks.
Cast your eyes over St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe, the River Thames gently snaking through it all. Newer additions to London are visible too, like the Walkie Talkie located just the other side of the Thames and the slow turning of the London Eye a couple of miles downstream. London's former tallest building, One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, is directly to the east. Time for a small rendition of "I'm the King of the Castle", perhaps?
While it's easy to be absorbed by birds-eye views of the big tourist favourites, take a few moments to pick out some more local treasures too. You may notice Wembley Stadium, Alexandra Palace, Crystal Palace and the Dartford Crossing as your gaze wanders to the edge of the outlook. You can stay at View from The Shard for as long as you want, so take your time and marvel at the sight of London laid out before you – there's nothing quite like it.
When a change of pace is needed, summon your courage to step out onto the al fresco Skydeck on Level 72 and feel the whip of wind from the tallest viewing point in all of London. Take note of the sounds bubbling up from the street far below, and when things start to get a little nippy, simply head back indoors and seek out London's highest champagne bar. Glass of bubbly in hand, London at your feet, there's no finer way to warm up and toast to the festive season.
The View from The Shard is open 10am-10pm seven days a week, which means both morning larks and night owls can enjoy the experience at a time to suit. Choose an afternoon visit when the sun is high in the sky for panoramas that stretch to the edges of the city, or make it a night-time trip to see London lit up like a true winter wonderland. It's a little slice of London magic and a gift worth giving.
The View from The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9QU. Tickets start from £24 per person and must be booked online in advance. For more information and to book your space visit The View from The Shard website.