London travel blog
About this blog
I’m going to try and visit every attraction in London (even the rubbish ones), and every big event like 'Trooping the Colour' as well. But it will probably take me about ten years to complete because I’m too lazy to get out of bed most days, so I hope you stick around until the end.
Where I’ve been…
These are the top 25 things that I’ve enjoyed the most:
Visit London Drum’s YouTube channel for more videosIf you've got three quid in your pocket, half hour to spare, and don't mind giving yourself a heart attack then try climbing up The Monument. You have to go through the little door at the front where a little old lady is wedged into a cubby hole about the size of a shoebox. Then she points you to the stairs and that is when you start regretting it.
The little leaflet says there's only 311 steps but I think they must have miscounted because it seemed like a bazillion to me. The little stone steps wind tightly up the column for a million miles and it just goes on forever and ever. I thought I was going to come out onto the surface of the moon, that is how long it took me to climb it. There are a few little window ledges dotted around that you can sit on to get your breath back, but if you are unlucky enough to get a bunch of tourists coming down you have to dice with death and hug the wall while they squeeze past.
When I got to the top I had a pair of jelly legs that no longer worked, and i felt like i'd just run the London Marathon. I guess I must be pretty unfit. Apparently suicidal people used to come up here and hurl themselves off the top, but I reckon a few of them must have died on the way up.
When I got to the top it was a bit disappointing, to be honest. The whole viewing platform is enclosed in a tight wire mesh, so you can't even get a decent picture. They've got a few coin operated telescopes in the corners so you can view the edge of the earth, but there's not many landmarks in range. Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast are quite close, but the Tower of London is pretty much blocked off by offices. You can see the Gherkin and a few towers that way, but the dome of St. Paul's is about the size of a 5p piece. As for anything further than Blackfriars bridge, forget it. The Monument is in the heart of the City so it's just office blocks all round.
The climb back down is a lot easier thank god, especially if you just roll all the way down. And the little old lady gives you a nice little certificate to prove to the world that you were daft enough to climb ten miles to the top.
Have you been here? Are you planning on going?
Anonymous · 14 Oct 12, 01:14
Funny! I like your writing style and I'm joining in, starting from the beginning, in anticipation of our trip in 6 months. Now I know we don't want the certificate for going to the top!
Drummerboy · 14 Oct 12, 18:12
i probably made it sound worse than it is... I've got two dodgy knees, so i'm not much good at climbing.
The other things that you can climb with a great view are St. Paul's, Westminster Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Greenwich Hill and Primrose Hill.
But best of all.. the Shard will be open in a couple of months. You should definitely check that out.