please empty your brain below

I look forward to you returning on a bright clear sunny summers day and comparing your photos with the winter ones. I hope then more detail will be seen on the horizon, perhaps Heathrow, Windsor or Richmond Hill.
You were fortunate to have a Sunny January day on Saturday.
Wow. That has to be the bargain of the year. But why is it only available to London residents I wonder..?
I worry that the concept of framing has happened here. If I advertise something at a high price then let you buy it for less you think you have a good deal. £20 to go up a tall building still sounds very expensive.
Oh Messiah, what a killjoy you are. These days £20 is nothing for a tourist attraction in central London. And this is for an annual ticket, so, as DG says, multiple chances to see the amazing view, including the chance to wait for an unexpectedly clear day.

I am jealous (in a nice way), and wish I lived in London and could do this. I am very pleased for DG and the other lucky LondonLovers.
I suspect that the reason why there is a surprising lack of demand for such a great offer is that one has to actually visit the ticket office in London; if the LoveLondon tickets were to be sold online I suspect there would be a rather high surge of demand.
I have to visit these tall buildings in London, but do not go up them - no I descend into their bowels to make deliveries. Going down 3 floors in a giant lift in my van inside the Cheese Grater to a great cavern is another experience! The Shard deliveries are made at ground level though.

In fact, the tickets were released the previous Friday at 11am (I think) for anyone who had a MasterCard - I went round then and there were only about 5 people in the queue in front of me.
I hope out-of-towners eventually get the chance for cheaper visits; meanwhile many thanks for the great views, hopefully more to come. I do like gazing at all the details, near and far, in these shots. Reminds me of the 360Cities panoramas: one from the Shard would be fab.

Does anyone else feel as I do that the Walkietalkie is an eyesore c.f. the other City buildings. It seems stuck out-of-place to me, from wherever it is seen. It really spoils the great view from the Angel Rotherhithe for example.
Finally went up here in October: loved it. We timed it so we went up late in the day and stayed to see London after dark. I was expecting to get told 'times up' at some point but as DG notes that doesn't happen.

And yes, the Walkie Talkie is misplaced. I haven't actually got a problem with it as a building but as you walk along the river from the south east, it's clumsily placed behind Tower Bridge.
Wembley can be seen on a clear day. We wre up there prior to the 2014 Cup Final.

dg writes: Easily seen.
Oh I wish I had known this yesterday! We were returning from a day out through London Bridge Station and wished we also had Shard tickets as it was such a lovely day!

Now trying t decide if we can be be bothered to go back again today in the drizzle just for that!
I'm sure it's worth the price of 2 PAYG oyster fares from zone 5 but even so...!
Just bought my ticket - thanks DG!

I got there at 9.40am, there were about 150 people ahead of me in the queue.

The ticket office opened a few minutes before 10am but processing was very slow and I didn't get my ticket until 11.15am. There weren't enough booths open in my opinion.

The queues were slow on Monday morning too - all that ID processing takes time. But at least there were five booths open, and nobody else in the queue wanting a ticket for 'now'.
The discounted ticket offer is a great idea and the views look fantastic. However being scared of heights means it's pretty much a no no for me. I've forced myself up the former WTC and the Empire State building in NYC but found it very difficult. Ditto the CN Tower in Toronto. You "have" to do these places if a tourist but howling winds on open sided viewing decks are pretty terrifying. I find it really surprising that the 2016 offer didn't sell out first time round though.
Thanks for the alert DG. I read your article around 0830 and had my ticket three hours later. Whilst the processing was certainly slow the wait was lengthened further by all the people returning from the top to rebook their visits because of the poor visibility.

I had rather hoped the ticket would allow holders to skip the queue altogether on future trips but apparently a stop at the ticket counters will be required each time. It's still great value though.
Yay!! I've got mine! We arrived at about 12:45pm and waited just over an hour!
So glad we made the special trip to get them, and a huge thank you for highlighting it in the first place DG!!
Thanks for the heads up about this further batch: just back from getting mine
Got mine at 4pm today, absolutely no wait at all
Got mine at 2.30, cheers DG!
Wonderful DG....many thanks. I abandoned my porridge and dashed down at 11.00am but had to wait unitl 1.00pm for the pass.

My orbitel annual pass is about to expire so I am aiming higher in 2016.

As a celebration I took the 25 bus home and alighted at the M bus stop!
I saw this offer last Monday when they first announced the 2016 tickets available. People queued up from silly hours but I strolled in At 11.30 with little problems. Left my Brompton with the buggies and had a look. Given that I work less than 500 yards away will try to make sure I go often. The guide said on a clear day you can see Southend Pier. I didn't ask why you might want to.

Well worth a visit I thought with very helpful (just not overly helpful) staff at every level.
We went along at 3pm Sunday and got an annual ticket with little wait.

My guess as to why they are offering them is that locals are a lot less likely to go up in the first place. Tourists are more willing to pay £25 as this might be their only chance if they aren't going to be in London again. Also if Londoners are going up and talking about it the word of mouth may bring more tourists.

The biggest restriction with the annual ticket is that you get what time slot is available when you walk up, you can't book in advance. The member of staff on the ticket desk warned us we probably wot be able to go up Saturdays at sunset, that slot always sells out apparently.
Another possible merit of offering a year-long (discounted) pass to individuals is that they might start to want to share the experience with friends, on their return visits, and start inviting company along... who (not being pas-holders) will have to pay the full ticket.
I'm not criticising, if that's the case: it's actually quite clever.
Hmmm, I'm glad I'm not one of the window cleaners who has to regularly go out to keep the glass on the upper levels clear... 95 floors takes the term 'high maintenance' to a whole new level!
I like the idea of having an open air floor on a skyscraper. Very nice.

But it does sound like the top 20 floors of the Shard are just all fancy lighting effects and lifts - ah yes, 73-95 are just Spire.

So I guess when the new tower near the Cheesegrater is built it will definitely be the usefully-tall-est building in London.
I follow the blog for the fine photos as well as the fine words. More of both today.

I hadn't realised that the Shard, Centre Point and Wembley Stadium are more or less in a straight line
I took my 92 year old mum there as a treat on New Year's Eve (daytime). She was absolutely fascinated. We must have spent over two hours there, wandering around just gazing over the view below. It is hard to explain the peaceful feeling that wraps you up when you can look down at tiny ice skaters spinning at the Tower of London or watch processions of mini buses.

The staff were really kind and insisted that we visit the loos - we found out why, but I will keep that a secret - spoilers!

Mum is disabled, so surprisingly I got in free as her carer.

We came in all the way from Essex on TfL public transport, step-free and problem-free all the way. Magic day!
Thanks for the great photos
Just to say tickets are still available I went in this afternoon and got mine within 5 mins, no queueing at all.
We brought another season ticket last week so some still available.
Still available 2nd April. Thanks for the nod.

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