When it comes to immensely tall buildings, the UK can’t really compete with overseas destinations like New York, Dubai or Tokyo. Like most historic European nations, it doesn’t have any great fondness for skyscrapers.
But with that said, there are still a few high-rise structures, in London and elsewhere, from which you’ll be able to get a great view of your surroundings, and take in the country from a vantage point that ground level can’t really rival. Plus, since there are so few skyscrapers to contend with, the view from the top is almost always unrestricted.
Let’s take a look at a few of the UK’s tallest structures.
The tallest building in the country, the Shard was inaugurated in July 2012, and represents the grown jewel of the Southwark skyline. The highest points of the building are home to some of the capital’s most spectacular dining settings – as well as plenty of other hospitality and shopping opportunities.
The London Eye
Another draw for tourists in the capital is the famous London Eye. This enormous wheel will, over the course of thirty-minutes, carry you up and over the rooftops, to a height of around 135 metres. It’s also an affordable way to take a look at the capital from on-high; a London Eye discount is pretty easy to track down, if you know where to look.
Here we have the UK’s tallest sculpture, commissioned to mark the launch of the 2012 Olympic games. It’s gone on to become an enduring symbol of that occasion, and instantly identifiable with its place in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. As a bonus, it also doubles as a 178m-long slide, which is perfect for kids and grownups alike.
Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Venturing further north, we find the country’s tallest rollercoaster, which recently celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary: the Big One in Blackpool Pleasure Beach. From the very top, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the entire seafront – but only for a few seconds, as you’ll be instantly propelled through a hair-raising three minutes of adrenaline-fuelled madness.
If you head south from London, on the other hand, you’ll come upon Portsmouth, and the Spinnaker tower. While much of this seaside town’s appeal to tourists comes from its historical shipyards and museums, this amazingly tall tower, much like the Big One, provides an excellent view over the surrounding dockland – except that you’ll have slightly longer to savour it.