Come on up, the view's lovely: First look from the Shard's public gallery


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The Independent Online

Visitors taking tours of the Shard will be able to enjoy views of up to 40 miles across London when it opens in February.

The View from The Shard attraction, taking visitors 800ft up the building, will open to the public on February 1 2013.

Guests will be whisked up Europe's tallest building - part of a £2 billion development next to London Bridge rail station - in two high-speed lifts. On the way up visitors will hear an anthem from the London Symphony Orchestra.

Once at 800ft tourists will get panoramic views and will be able to use special digital telescopes with large touchscreens.

Visitors will get information on 200 landmarks and places of interest from these telescopes known as Tell: scopes).

Tongue-in-cheek illustrations including Margaret Thatcher riding a tandem bike with Karl Marx will also greet visitors taking tours of the building.

Tourists visiting the 1,000ft high building in south London will also see film director Alfred Hitchcock fleeing from pigeons in Trafalgar Square.

Also on display will be King Charles I getting a makeover from Vidal Sassoon and Vivienne Westwood.

The cheeky illustrations are on the ground floor and also include George Orwell installing CCTV cameras and 18th century American pioneer Benjamin Franklin at a cash machine.

Anders Nyberg, chief executive of The View from The Shard, said: "The View from The Shard is the only place you can experience all of London all at once and the attraction will draw people into the story of London, its history, people and places like never before.

"The unrivalled panoramic views of London will be brought to life through cutting edge technology to provide a truly unique experience of one of the world's greatest cities. We look forward to revealing more details about the attraction before we open on February 1 2013."