Opening tomorrow (Friday, February 1), The View From the Shard will become London’s best viewing platform.
And that got us thinking: Which other spots in England offer a lovely lofty view? Here’s our pick.
ArcelorMittal Orbit – Olympic Park, London (115 metres tall)
Loved by some, loathed by others, this bright red sculpture looks over the Olympic Stadium and London’s East End beyond. It took 18 months to position its 560 metres of tubular steel. Anyone wondering about the origin of the sculpture’s name need look no further than the material it was made from – the steel company ArcelorMittal funded its construction (and supplied the featured image).
At 2,000 tonnes, the whole thing weighs the equivalent of 1,136 London black cabs. Anish Kapoor’s creation will open again to the public at the end of March as part of a new programme of tours designed to showcase the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Scafell Pike – Lake District (978 metres tall)
No matter whether you call them mountains or merely hills, England’s got more than 200 peaks that rise over 2,000 feet (610 metres).
At 3,209 feet (978 metres), Scafell Pike is the highest. Be sure to plan a walk. Walking routes to the top, maps and weather information can be found at www.scafellpike.org.uk.
Spinnaker Tower – Portsmouth (170 metres tall)
Soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye and can, with its unique design, be justifiably described as a national icon.
Situated on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays, it offers panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbour, the south coast and out to the Isle of Wight, with views stretching for up to 23 miles - breathtaking by day and a glittering sea of lights by night.
Up at the O2 – London (53 metres tall)
Perhaps better for the thrill of clambering over an iconic building than for the views offered from the top, the Up at the O2 experience makes a fun afternoon out. Tethered to a safety cord all away the across, visitors are ushered over a blue tensile fabric walkway that’s suspended above the white dome, 53 metres above ground level.
Forget about collecting great SLR shots of Canary Wharf during the walk over the building – the only type of camera allowed up is a camera phone, and that has to be securely stored in the pocket of the jumpsuit offered to visitors.
Big One – Blackpool Pleasure Beach (72 metres tall)
When it opened in the summer of 1994, the Big One was both the tallest and steepest roller coaster in the world.
Though it’s fallen well back on the world stage, it remains the largest in the UK. Its famous first drop has an incline of 65 degrees, propelling riders to speeds of up to 140km (87 mph).
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Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…Brett Ackroyd