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The View From The Shard

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1 The View From The Shard on Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:19 am


The View From The Shard

Published on 27-04-2009 by

It's often claimed that one would be able to see the English Channel from the top of the Shard in London but is this really true, or just spin lapped up by newspapers as it makes a good headline?

For a start all of Greater London will be visible and one will be able to see a number of British towns and cities from it including a distance of a record 72 miles to Southampton. Also visible will be Brighton and Canterbury to the south with Windsor Castle and Croydon both in good clear viewing distance.

Lying to the north you'll be able to see to Cambridge and Colchester whilst the most westerly view will be Newbury and to the east Herne Bay giving you views of the Thames Estuary. The total area that is viewable is marked in green on the image on the right.

Unfortunately for the journalists and PRs, none of the geographical elevation data from the Ordinance Survey that's been run through a computer shows that the English Channel will be visible.

This is hardly surprising though. For example from the roof of Lincoln Cathedral the lower roofline Boston Stump is clearly visible 30 miles away but the slight rise that Boston is built on prevents views to the North Sea.

In the case of the Shard, this is mostly thanks to the North and South Downs that rise and obstruct the view coupled with the fact that the coast is always above sea-level thus the lay of the land blocks those mythical views of the English Channel and ships plying their way to France.

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