The Shard adds modern flare to England tours
England tours often include buildings that speak to the country's storied history, but one of the newest additions to the London skyline has been causing quite a stir recently. The much-anticipated 95-story skyscraper known as The Shard is now open to the public, offering a modern attraction among countless centuries old buildings.
The building, which rises more than 1,000 feet into the sky, currently holds the title as the tallest building in Europe, and certainly stands out from the other structures that make up the famous cityscape of the Big Smoke. While The Shard will mostly house retail outlets, restaurants and a hotel, you can also make the trip up to its observation deck, which offers unrivaled views of London and the River Thames below.
Although some may have balked at such a modern-looking structure being placed among the likes of St. Paul Cathedral and the Tower Bridge, London Mayor Boris Johnson did not feel the same way. At the February ribbon cutting ceremony, the gregarious Johnson touted the amazing view from the top of The Shard.
"It's the closest thing to being in an airplane and looking down on London," he told a gathered crowd. "But you can walk around, you've got complete stability. You can see all the bends in the river, you can see my office, you can see Buckingham Palace, you can see the whole thing for 40 miles around."
If The Shard is too modern for you, a transition to a tour of Scotland will be more up your alley. The capital city of Edinburgh is home to many centuries-old structures, whether it is Edinburgh Castle, which dates back to the 12th century, or St. Giles' Cathedral, the iconic facade of which has been a staple of the city since the 1300s.