When I was younger I always imagined that the skyscraper clusters of cities would be the most active. Like all of the time. The sheer scale of them and how they light up at night, they always look alive 24/7. Especially with how movies love to pan over them during scenes.

But this isn’t the case. Outside of the 9-5 they are lonelier areas providing nothing more than a skyline to gaze at. A beautiful skyline. London has great skyscrapers and despite not being the biggest in the world, have a lot of character. From the Gherkin to the Walkie-Talkie to the Shard (which is in fact the tallest in Europe), they aren’t dull to look at.

Below is 22 Bishopsgate. I managed to get this shot whilst the sun was bouncing off it onto the commuters below. This was originally planned to have a ‘helter skelter’ shape and be even taller, but was abandoned during the early stages of construction in the 2008 recession. The height was also scaled down as to not interfere with the flight path of London City Airport.

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I have always loved skyscrapers, and the UK has been behind in building these. But we are in Europe afterall, and skyscrapers are only just seeing the light of day in this continent. One reason being it’s history and not wanting to distort the view of historical buildings. I guess there are more rules around what can be built around historical sites.

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The Walkie-Talkie, towering above the street below. With the floors above being wider than the ones below, sunlight caused a problem during construction. The beams of light reflecting off the glass hit the pavement and scorched it, melting a car and caused people to fry eggs in the street. The news report below was quite amusing to watch at the time.

I think London is now in a skyscraper boom, with clusters in the City of London (as seen in these shots), Canary Wharf and also Vauxhall. As I have mentioned I like them, but understand they aren’t for everyone.

What about yourself, when you think of London do you associate it with modern buildings such as the London Eye and the Shard, or the historical sites such as Big Ben and Tower Bridge? I guess the older attractions are still the most popular, but who knows what the future holds. The castles and bridges are constantly shrinking under the sight of these huge towers, maybe they will create a legacy of their own…

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I’ve just noticed the taxi’s reg plate reads ‘CAB’, haha.

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

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22 thoughts

    1. Sadly Big Ben is covered in scaffolding for at least another year or two! But I will have to send you a souvenir from London once this is over (as I don’t want to risk spreading the virus right now!) 🙂

  1. We gotta get through this corona so I could see this beautiful city. It was on my wish list for this year along with Liverpool, I gotta see the Beatle stuff 🙂

    1. Great! I hope you get to visit soon. Both are great cities… and did you know the famous Abbey Road crossing in London was repainted recently as they were finally able to paint it without so many cars on the road!? Saw it on the news the other day 🙂

    1. I have to agree. London has had such a proud history and so much of it has stood the test of time.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. I do like the buildings but I love the parks… If I get a chance to go back I would try to see as many private gardens and parks as I could. The last time I went I was all museum-ed out.

    1. London has great parks. I have only been to Hyde Park during Christmas for Winter Wonderland but I hope to get to see it this summer too, along with many others!

  3. I guess you can say America is a baby compared to Europe. When I travelled there, I guess the age and how they had survived through the ages. I love architecture old and new if it had style. Lol at CAB is that possible owned by a yank? 😁

    1. Haha maybe the taxi is owned by an American. Both continents have different things to offer, and this makes both special. I love history but also the new buildings coming up and pushing boundaries!

  4. That is something that I like about London, there is always that mix of history and modernity. Next to an skyscraper, there is a Victorian building that probably served as a tax office sometime in 1872.

    1. London does have this great mix of old and new. I will have to take pictures of the buildings around these skyscrapers to make sure I don’t miss any fascinating ones whilst I am gazing up!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. I’m one of the ones that would still pick the traditional spots for sightseeing but that’s because I’ve not seen much of London (I’m in the north). I went to London in 2018 and 2019 for anti Brexit marches so I didn’t get to see much though I have posted a pic of the scaffolding-clad Big Ben on my blog from last time. As you have said before, we can find beauty in anything, you can imagine it’s a steampunk story (if you squint, lol). I’m neutral on skyscrapers but I prefer them in basic rectangular shapes. Manchester has a lot of new build going on too, cranes sticking out everywhere you look, my favourite is the one they called Deansgate Square.

    1. Nice! Hello to a fellow northerner 🙂 I too hadn’t been to London until I arrived in September, its funny that despite being such a small country we haven’t seen much of our capital. I guess there are so many city destinations in Europe we usually tend to go abroad! My experience at least.

      Just checked out Deansgate Square online, very cool to see Manchester getting some new highrises!

  6. These are some great photos of London–thanks for sharing. I like a well-planned mix of old and new, but Toronto haphazardly tore down most of our historic buildings in the name of modernizing, and it did not improve the city. Now we gut what’s left of our historic buildings and keep the facade intact so we can put up condos while “preserving” history.

    1. That’s a shame! I understand that the buildings won’t be as old as they are here, but history is history and it is important to preserve what we can. It is a reminder of where we came from! Saying that I would love to visit Toronto.

      Thank you for the kind words, I am pleased you like the photos 🙂

      1. One day! And I think it looks pretty… growing up I always loved the skylines in US and Canadian cities, as we don’t really have highrises here (until London started in recent years)

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