The Monument was built by Sir Christopher Wren in the 1670s, as a reminder of the damage caused by the Great Fire of London.
It was the city's first purpose-built viewing platform, and measures 203-feet from top to bottom -- the exact distance from its base to Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire broke out. 311 stone steps wind around the inside until they reach a wire-enclosed balcony at the top. It's quite a climb up the spiral stairs (it's a bit like climbing up a castle turret), and it will certainly test the strength of your knees, but the views from the top are worth it.
You get a 360-degree view which takes in everything from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, to the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Note: Whilst the climb is not too bad, Craig does recommend (through experience) that you are confident of your ability to climb a lot of steep stairs before you set out. They are no rooms on the way up, so the only way to have a rest is to sit on the stairs or on an occasional window-sill. The stairs are very narrow, and if you're unluckily enough to meet some other people coming down at the same time as you are going up, then you'll both end up hugging the wall like a shadow. We definitely suggest reading his review of The Monument before you go, so you can get an idea of what it's like. Feel free to ask him a question if you're worried. You can also post a question on the forum.
If you're looking for some more tall buildings to climb up then try our page viewing spots in London. The Sky Garden is probably the best one nearby, and the rooftop terrace at One New Change is worth a look as well.
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