Sky Garden, London

A year ago I arranged as a present for my dad for us to go up the Shard. This didn’t work out that well as we were thwarted first by the London Fire Brigade and then by Thor. So it was with some trepidation that I booked to take my in-laws up to Sky Garden this Christmas Eve.

The auspices weren’t good as I got soaked just walking from where I had parked the car and the station. Fortunately it was only myself that suffered this having dropped everybody else off in the dry first.

Continuing the Thompson tradition of arriving way too early we got to 20 Fenchurch Street an hour before our booked time but at least it had stopped raining by this point and we were allowed in early, which was fortunate. Getting to be top is akin to boarding a flight as you go through similar security checks before taking the lift to the 35th floor.

Somewhat ironically the first thing you see when exiting the lift is the Shard. However, the top of 20 Fenchurch Street is as different as it possibly can be. Firstly, as the Sky Garden name suggests, there is greenery and quite a lot of it too. It is also a lot larger space being square and on two open levels reached by steps down either side. While it isn’t as high up as the Shard the views were still great, it’s a view of London after all.

We were lucky that the weather cleared and the sun had come out which allowed us to see all across London. It’s a view similar to that from the top of Monument but without the breeze.

It was an amazing experience made even more amazing by it being free! All you need to do is book in advance and I would highly recommend going.