The Gherkin (London): on top of the world…

…looking down on creation, and it only took leaving the house at 6.45am on a Sunday morning to be #29 and #30 in the queue for the viewing of The Gherkin that was on offer (for free!!!!) as part of London Open House 2012.

And it was worth it.

When entered at 9am, in the first group that entered when the building opened:

  • countless people had come up to us and asked “what time did you get here?”;
  • cheekier sorts had asked “can I join you in the queue?”;
  • I had been to Liverpool St Station to get copious amounts of coffee; and
  • D had arranged for a queue jumper who had the cheek to just go and sit down at the front of the queue (where a sort of camp rather than an orderly line had formed) evicted.

By 8am the queue had disappeared around the corner and around beyond.

When we came out at 9.40am (the benefits of going in first meant that we had longer up there than anybody else probably did because the team hadn’t yet perfected “the machine”) the queue was so long I can’t imagine why anyone who would have joined it at that point.  Someone was writing a sign that read “5 hours waiting time from here” as we walked out.

We cycled along the queue to see it for ourselves.  It was 9.45am and we went off home to take a trip to Greenwich to continue our Open House day, having already made our Sunday perfectly productive.  That queue above, by the way, is the queue having gone around the corner, down the road, around another corner and back up the road.  This picture was taken at 9am.

Another reason we were lucky to be in first is that it was starting to rain as we left, so my pictures are rain free.

The very top.

The lift to the 32nd floor took less than 10 seconds.

There is then a second lift up to the almost top.

Then a spiral staircase goes up to the 360 degree very top.

You might wonder what is up here if you don’t live in London.

Well, there’s a restaurant on the lower top floor and bar on the very top floor.

My favourite view from the top – of the Lego-sized Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

When visited: September 2012

* out of 5: can I really classify?

Themetune:  On Top of the World…  by The Carpenters

6 thoughts on “The Gherkin (London): on top of the world…

  1. Well done! Definitely worth the effort. My son’s company has offices on one of the floors but he takes it for granted. If I was in London I would have been spoiled for choice. Just as well I’m usually away in September. Great they allow pictures. Thank you.

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