An iconic shape on the city’s skyline, The Gherkin has become a symbol for modern London and an instantly recognisable piece of contemporary architecture located near Liverpool Street station.
Officially called 30 St Mary Axe, The Gherkin’s enormous glass curves can be seen from across London and as far as the M11 motorway, 32km away. The building was designed by the famed architect Norman Foster, finished in 2003 and opened in 2004. It is 41 storeys tall and has the equivalent of three football pitches worth of glass panels. On the 40th floor there is a bar which features a breathtaking 360° panorama of London. There’s also a restaurant on the 39th floor and private dining on the 38th floor.
Liverpool Street and Shoreditch
A short walk from The Gherkin will take you to Liverpool Street railway station, one of the main transport hubs in London. Surrounding the station is a staggering selection of restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and bars. Walk a little further east and you’ll find yourself in Shoreditch, the trendy centre of the capital with an enormous selection of pubs and art galleries. If you head to Brick Lane you’ll find some of the UK’s best curry houses along with an array of chic bars and hip clothing shops.
Tower Hill and Tower Bridge
If you head south towards the river you’ll quickly find yourself in Tower Hill, overlooking the magnificent Tower of London. Well worth the cost of entry, the Tower of London boasts a rich and often gruesome history reaching as far back as 1066. Beside this is the iconic Tower Bridge, and if you decide to cross over to the other side of the river, you’ll be a short stroll from London Bridge and the famous Borough Food Market.
Places to stay
The ultra-contemporary Gherkin boasts a number of cutting-edge hotels in its vicinity, as well as a handful of more traditional properties. If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, there are plenty of cheap rooms available close to Liverpool Street or Tower Hill, and Shoreditch is bursting with trendy places to stay.
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