Man-made marvels you must see in London

There’s no doubt London is an astonishing city. It’s home to the royal family, a popular theatre scene, and world-class cuisine. It is also highly regarded for its impressive architecture. The heart of London is teeming with glistening skyscrapers donned with eccentric names.

Better still, it’s so easy to pack lots of sightseeing into a single visit. All you need to do is check the train times to London and decide what it is you would like to see when you’re there.

To help you out, here’s our definitive list of the man-made marvels you must see when visiting London.

The Shard

Renzo Piano’s spire-like construction has made a huge impact on London’s skyline. Not only is The Shard the tallest building in the UK but its 72nd floor is the highest publicly accessible area in the country. It has also been praised for being made up of 95% recycled construction materials.

The views from inside are incredible, spanning 40 miles in every direction. Designed in neo-futuristic and modern style, it now contains a great selection of restaurants, hotel rooms and offices.

The Gherkin

Whilst many were sceptical upon its construction, Norman Foster’s bullet-shaped skyscraper became an instant hit once built. Standing proud at 590ft, the glistening glass Gherkin was one of the first contemporary skyscrapers to shape London’s skyline.

The official name of the skyscraper is actually 30 St Mary Axe after the disappearance of a church that was said to contain an axe used by Attila the Hun.

London Eye

Up there with one of the most-visited attractions in London, the London Eye (or Millennium Wheel) is an iconic man-made structure overlooking the river Thames. It holds the record as Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel and typically sees over three million visitors annually.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

One of the younger constructions on this list, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is an iconic symbol of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the 2012 Olympics. The tall sculpture is home to the world’s longest and highest tunnel slide, which allows visitors to circle round the tower twelve times before they reach the bottom.

Lloyd’s Building

Taking inspiration from the Centre Pompidou, the legendary high-tech building was designed by Richard Rogers in 1986. Referred to as the ‘inside-out building’, the three-tower Bowellist construction features external services and elevators. The architecture benefits from this design as it allows for easy maintenance and adaptable, open-plan interiors.

Tower Bridge

The quintessential 19th-century landmark was originally designed by Sir Horace Jones. The bridge is still operational to this day, being raised around 850 times a year.

If you’re unfazed by heights, you should step foot on the new glass-floor walkway, which allows you to see London as you’ve never seen it before.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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