Inner Circle

A Vertical Tour of London

See the city from a new perspective.

A Vertical Tour of London
Tower Bridge dominates the view from here, making a glorious 800-foot stretch across the silvery Thames.

The views of London from the Renzo Piano designed - Shard are unparalleled, and the city has become a must-see destination for visitors from around the world. The views from Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London can stretch as far as 40 miles away when there is particularly good visibility, but it is unnecessary to venture far to enjoy many of London’s most famous landmarks; many are on the hotel's doorstep or a few stops away on the underground. Before setting out to explore, take time to see completely new perspectives of the city from up high in the hotel.

One of the best views of St Paul’s Cathedral can be seen from GŎNG, the highest bar in Western Europe. St Paul’s Cathedral is a must on many tourist itineraries and its dome can been seen from all over London. Such is the appreciation of this beautiful building that planning laws protect view of it from places like Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park and Blackheath Point. The recently constructed Leadenhall Building, or as Londoners call it, ‘The Cheesegrater’, is designed to lean back so that it does not impede the view of St Paul’s from Fleet Street. However, mostly only the dome can be seen as much of the façade has been hidden by buildings that have mushroomed around it. But from up high in the Shangri-La, it is possible to savour Sir Christopher Wren’s genius in its entirety. So close, it feels almost possible to touch the eight graceful arches and 20 Corinthian-style columns of this masterpiece. 

Afternoon Delight

A classic British afternoon tea or Asian-inspired alternative at TĪNG, the hotel’s elegant restaurant and lounge, is the perfect perch from where you can continue your London tour before setting out for a walk along the Thames River. One of the most famous bridges in the world, Tower Bridge dominates the view from here, making a glorious 800-foot stretch across the silvery Thames. Perhaps less well known is that it is possible to learn about the inner workings of the bridge in the Victorian Engine Rooms. 

From the hotel, another London landmark is revealed from an entirely new perspective. The eye might be drawn to a large splash of green next to the bridge.  This is the great expanse of lawn that surrounds the Tower of London and for pedestrians is hidden from view by walls that are 15-feet thick in places. Built by William the Conqueror in 1066 to keep hostile Londoners at bay, it notoriously became a place not only where the Crown Jewels were kept, but also where Royals were imprisoned and executed. It is worth taking a walk across Tower Bridge to the Tower of London and taking a Yeoman Warder tour of the palace, where seven jet-black ravens the size of small dogs peer down haughtily at visitors. The birds are believed to be the guardians of the Tower and legend has it that the Tower will fall if the ravens ever leave. However, occasionally some ravens do fly off and others have been dismissed from their services if they become too mischievous. 

Hidden Treasures

The area surrounding The Shard has become a foodie destination. Borough Market, here since 1755, is London’s most famous food market and only a couple of minutes’ walk from the hotel. It is a magnet for people who love good food and care about its provenance. Here, it is possible to find the very best of British produce. Indeed, such is the quality of produce that Shangri-La chefs source ingredients for their kitchens here. It is a place to explore and savour as many of the stallholders grow or rear the food they sell, and are passionate and knowledgeable about their produce.  

The hip area of Bermondsey adjacent to The Shard is home to exceptionally good restaurants in London. Bermondsey Street, in particular, has more than its fare share of culinary delights. Jose bursts with diners who love authentic Spanish tapas, trying fresh daily specials, such as slabs of delicious tortilla and salty peppers. A little further down the street is Zucca, an Italian restaurant with an open kitchen serving home-made breads and pasta. 

It is possible to spend a leisurely day in this area and the Bermondsey Street antiques market is worth a stroll. Visitors are invited to watch spectacular glass sculptures being made in Europe’s leading glass workshops, the London Glassblowing Studio and Gallery at 62 Bermondsey Street. The hotel concierge suggests hidden London gems that can be explored locally. He particularly recommends The Old Operating Theatre in St Thomas Street, one of the most unusual museums in London built in the roof space of an English Baroque church.

Leisurely Stroll 

Exploring the rest of London is incredibly easy from the hotel. With London Bridge tube station right next door to The Shard, Piccadilly is only six minutes away.  Celebrity watch at one of London’s most sought-after restaurants, The Wolsley on Piccadilly, or for some of the most celebrated Indian food in London, try Gymkhana on Albemarle Street. Buckingham Palace is a short stroll across St James’s Park on Piccadilly, while the shopping mecca of Bond Street bids those with designer tastes.

Returning to The Shard is easy by underground, but perhaps try walking back along the river, taking one of the bridges over the Thames near Westminster to walk along the south bank of the River Thames. The pedestrian walkway, known as the Queen’s Walk, is several miles long and takes in some of London’s most popular attractions, such as the HMS Belfast battleship. Walk towards Tate Modern for some of the most creative art exhibitions on offer to visitors and then continue back to the hotel. You won’t have trouble spotting it. 

 Make a booking at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London Back to Destination 

Showing 1 comment

  1. Jean-Pierre Pardo: 5 years, 2 months ago

    The detailed article is very nice.. thank you for posting such informative news about London-I appreciate the knowledge. London is really nice and people who have been there must be really blessed. I wish that there are 2 deck-buses here too in Manila :) that will really be cool!! The Queen of London is really neat, all the best for her & her place.

    I wish there' s more Londonish influence here in Manila-their culture is really rich, I love the food & the fashion. The art is really admirable in that European Country :D

    I was a Spice Girl freak/ follower back in College (if they were from London), surely London have produced plenty of good things in every country' s history.. Love it!!

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