Walking to The Shard
Once back on Bishopgate we walked towards London Bridge. Next time we will allow more time to visit LeadenHall Market.
We took our time as we walked over London Bridge and paused to watch the river traffic as well as take in the views of Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast.
Looking back over the bridge confirmation that we had now we had left the City.
Before we walked through the passageways to The Shard here’s a grab shot of a Chinook helicopter passing overhead.
The View at the Shard
There were no queues in the lobby or for the lifts up to the View at The Shard. Once on the lower viewing platform we found ourselves in a very very busy area with little or no social distancing or mask wearing.
I walked around and took pictures of the views using my Ultimate Lens Hood on my RF24-240 lens. This helped to minimise reflections from the heavy glass.
Even wearing a mask I did not feel comfortable squeezing past other visitors to get these images.
Then I queued for an expensive bottle of beer and water – both needed as with all the glass, the lower platform was acting as a very large greenhouse and was uncomfortably hot.
Up the flights of stairs, the upper platform was just as crowded but at least it did have open spaces above and we received welcome gusts of fresh air.
After a full circuit we decided that enough was enough and walked down to catch the lifts to leave and make our way back to Waterloo via the Jubilee Line.
We decided no more visits to the Shard until the pandemic is well and truly over. Much to our relief our lateral flow tests two days later gave us all the all clear from COVID.
The View from The Shard, Joiner Street, London
disappointing lack of COVID precautions for such a prestigious tourist site
This was our third visit to The Shard – the entrance procedures were quick and easy, the ride on the lifts to the viewing platforms was quick and everyone who guided us were friendly and helpful.
The almost empty entrance lobby gave the impression that numbers would be limited but on arriving at the lower viewing platform we realised that the floor was packed with visitors. We purchased expensive drinks of bottled beer and water avoiding the outrageously priced champagne.
The views are spectacular but the tables next to windows make viewing particularly difficult when trying to socially distance
COVID Related: no masks, far far too many people making social distancing an impossibility on either floor, we were extremely uncomfortable and did not stay very long as being safe far more important than the views
Our advice – AVOID until pandemic is over OR The Shard take reasonable safety precautions.