Two Towers

London is full of skyscrapers, but mere muggles rarely get the chance to scale their heights. I have fond memories of the day (courtesy of a friend made via Twitter) that I lunched atop of the Gherkin, but until a couple of weeks ago, that had been the extent of my tower escapades in London. [Note to self: must get around to visiting the Shard. Everyone else already seems to have gone.]

The first tower was simply chance. I’m spending a lot of time at Guy’s (and St Thomas’) hospital at the moment, thanks to a chaplaincy placement. But my first trip to the rather unattractive Guy’s Tower (its aesthetic is not improved by being directly adjacent to the Shard) was actually for my teeth, and it turns out that the oral surgery waiting room has some rather attractive views of the city, thanks to the department being spread across the 22nd and 23rd floors.

Shard & Guys See what I mean about the hospital? 

IMG_5300Looking across the city towards the London Eye. (Note: appalling weather.)

I’m hopeful that when I return for my wisdom tooth extraction in the new year (Jan 2nd to be precise – nothing like oral surgery to kick off a new year!) the weather will be less grey and dismal, so I’ll be able to take better photos. Although, given that I’m in and out of the tower at the moment (twice this week), I should be there some day when it’s nicer. It’s got to be said that I think the views must help patients. Wouldn’t you feel better if you could see the London skyline from your hospital bed?

Within 24 hours after these photos were taken, I found myself on floor 34 of the BT Tower for the Ask Dec event. I love the BT Tower – in fact, I can see it from my bed. But it’s not open to the public, so getting the opportunity to see its views was most definitely something to be grasped with both hands! The invitation to the event encouraged us to make the most of the views, and it’s got to be said that getting a 365 degree panorama was quite something. It helped that the weather was a massive improvement to the day before…

IMG_5308Looking out over Senate House and the British Museum (the green dome) towards the city. My building can just about be viewed – beyond Russell Square (the trees by Senate House), which was nice.

IMG_5318Regent’s Park on the left and the Euston Tower on the right. 

IMG_5320The Euston Road turns into Marylebone Road, with Regent’s Park adjacent to it. (And Primrose Hill in the distance.)

IMG_5321The streets of Marylebone. This was a sentimental shot. See the church tower on the far right with a golden top? (They’re angels.) That’s Marylebone parish church, which is next to my secondary school and could be viewed (and heard) from my Methodist office desk. Further back and to the left is the spire of St Mary’s, my pre-vicar school church. Ah, memories…

IMG_5317UCL looking rather impressive. King’s Cross emerging behind it. 

Love it! I wish I’d had more time to take it all in, but that wasn’t really the purpose of my visit. I had to really concentrate hard on the Q&A and not let myself get distracted by the views!


  1. Love it. Amazing photos. Mum and Dad were up The Shard yesterday. Apparently the wind was noisey, but The Shard didn’t move!

  2. We had our picnic in the Guys court yard, where as luck would have it, a charity table was selling Krispy Kreme, or is it Crispy Creme? We found a corner out of the wind, all the time keeping a look out for the chaplaincy intern, and spent a few quiet minutes in the delightfully warm chapel.
    Up the Shard at three and watched it go dark and London light up, amazing. We could watch the skaters in The Tower. Then to Matilda, so I will always know where I was when Nelson Mandella died even if the news didn’t reach me until this morning. In the morning we had been to the Geoffry Museum to see their period rooms, 1700s to 1990s suitably decorated for Christmas. Never visited before and will have a longer trip sometime.

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