Thursday, 6 April 2017

A visit to the Sky Garden

A few weeks ago I booked some free tickets for the Sky Garden and paid it a visit this morning. When I looked back at the last time I had been there, it was almost exactly two years to the day.

The Sky Garden is a public viewing area on the top of 20 Fenchurch Street or the 'Walkie-Talkie' as it commonly referred to. As long as you plan in advance you can normally book free tickets with specific time slots.

Using the decimated entrance, after going through the security checks which are thorough but are all done quickly and efficiently, you find yourself going up in a super-fast elevator to some pretty fine views of London.

The viewing platform looking out on to the south bank of the Thames is partially open to the elements. A high wall of glass makes taking photos without reflections a challenge - even with the use of a polarising filter.





HMS Belfast

The Shard


Our time slot was 10:00 and once up in the viewing area you are pretty much left to your own devices and can wander around at your leisure. There are bars and restaurants but suspecting they were outrageously expensive, we stayed clear.



Monument


A Police helicopter circled overhead and must have seen something of interest and then lost interest in it, as it swiftly moved on to something else.










Selfies seem to be the order of the day and unlike lots of things that are in vogue, the selfie was a phenomena not exclusive to the youth of today. Everyone from small children to pensioners were having a go, trying to create that perfect photo of look at me where I am and look at the view I have my back to!






The garden bit of the Sky Garden has come in for some criticism for not being much of a garden. I would say that this in a tad unfair. What do people expect so high up? Kew Gardens? It looked fine to me and I am just thankful it was all free.








Walking around to views of the Gherkin and Tower 42, a window cleaner or maintenance engineer was having training on being suspended via a harness over 100 metres above London. He looked terrified. I say terrified as he had the same look on his face I might have if our positions had of been reversed.












After completing a few circuits of the Sky Garden, taking lots of photo, locating London landmarks and trying to spot where I used to live and currently live, we called it a day.








If you are visiting London, the Sky Garden is well worth a visit. You can book yourself a free ticket via their website and if in advance there are lots of choices in terms of time slots.






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