The 311 steps nearly killed me but I made it to the top, just. As part of my ticket to the Tower Bridge Experience you also get to climb the Monument which was erected as a memorial to the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The Monument stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill in the City of London it was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London. The fire began in a bakers house in Pudding Lane and the Monuments height of 61 metres (202 feet) is the exact distance from it to the site of the bakers house in Pudding Lane.
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren the Monuments original intention aside from being a memorial was to be a place used by the Royal Society for certain experiments, due to vibrations caused by the high volumes of traffic this was soon abandoned and the Monument became a place of historic interest. The viewing gallery at a height of about 160 feet gave the public the opportunity to have a unique view of London.
As you can imagine it’s not very big inside the Monument and can feel a little claustrophobic. I showed my ticket and started my climb of the 311 steps of the cantilevered stone staircase.
Let me tell you it was hard work, the staircase is narrow and there’s really nowhere to stop, there’s also people coming down the stairs as you’re going up which can be a little tricky.
It’s fascinating to think of all the people over the years that have climbed these steps and probably just like me with their legs stinging thinking thank god I’ve reached the top!
Finally after what seemed like a lifetime of climbing I got to the top and stepped out through the small doorway on to the viewing gallery. You get some great views of the City from here although I will say that in my opinion there are better and easier ways to get the same view.
The viewing gallery is quite narrow and is completely enclosed with a strong metal mesh cage, if you’re scared of heights this place is not for you.
You get an excellent view of the gold flaming ball which sits at the top of the Monument and some good views of Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard.
Having seen the view it was time to start my descent down the stairs, I was quite glad when I reached the bottom but was pleased that I’d climbed to the top, they even gave me a certificate to prove that I’d done it.