26/10/2012 16:18 BST | Updated 26/10/2012 16:44 BST

The Shard: A Viewing Experience Worth £25 Per Ticket? (PICTURES)

While the public might have three more months to wait until The Shard finally opens (February 1, 2013), journalists from all over the world were today invited for a sneaky peek of what visitors can expect.

HuffPost UK Lifestyle took an ear-popping lift ride some 800ft above London to find out whether tickets to the tallest building in Western Europe are really worth £25.

Firstly let’s be honest, it’s not really going to cost £25 because no one is going to go alone. A trip up The Shard will cost a couple £50, while a family of four (child tickets cost slightly less) will see little change from £100.


So, is the view all it's cracked up to be?

Impressive snaps taken by professional photographers are all well and good [scroll down for these], but what would a normal camera-illiterate person who doesn't know their aperture from their elbow get out of it?

Well, HuffPost sent me -- armed with nothing but an iPhone 4S -- to find out.

The Shard - What You Actually See

If you compare the view from The Shard with some of the best free vistas in London, such as Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park or Primrose Hill, you might decide the price of a ticket is a little steep.

But then, the price of a ticket does also include a brief talk about the building's history.

So in conclusion: Would I pay £25 to go up The Shard for an hour? The simple answer is no. I’d rather go to Hampstead Heath for free and put the money I saved towards a nice new coat.

And, in case you're interested, here are the Instagrammed photos, which I'm now going to share with my friends, of what I want people to 'think' I saw.

The Shard - What You Actually See