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Airhead Moment in The Highest Building

22B Bishopsgate

By Tabby LondonPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
3
Bank of England from 22B

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll know that I’ve worked on the 48th floor in what once was the tallest building in London - 1 Canada Square. Today, the tallest building is 22 Bishopsgate or Twentytwo, as it’s known.

I booked tickets to go up to Horizon 22, the 58th Floor of Twenty-Two Bishopsgate. I have to say it is very high, up to 244 metres.

I was hoping for better weather, but it was very misty when I went up. It is still winter, after all—book in advance because you might be disappointed if you can’t get in when you want. With a capacity of 280 people, they expect the average visit to last around 45 minutes.

Free Viewing Platform

What’s so special about 22B? It’s a free public viewing gallery on the 58th floor, the highest viewing gallery in the UK and the highest free viewing gallery in Europe.

London Bridge

I like this free viewing business because it makes it more accessible for ordinary folk who have nothing to do with the corporate world to enjoy the views of London. It is very important that companies take accessibility into account, and it shouldn’t be exclusive, as has been the case in the past. I find it hard to stomach it when people are charged to go up in the air.

The Mansion House

About 22 Bishopsgate

22B, as they call themselves, is a unique building which opened in 2020 and cost £650 million. The building is 254m tall, which makes it the highest building in the City of London and the second tallest in the whole of London after the Shard.

22B stands out not because of its height but more so because of its environmental, social, and governance policy, ESG. The building was envisioned to be engineered for optimum sustainability. The building management has goals to limit waste and energy use within the large structure, including care in what they purchase as tenants occupy the building.

Arriving At Horizon 22 - Service With A Smile

Once my ticket was booked, I had an hour's arrival time slot, which made it easy to plan my journey. I was QR code checked upon arrival outside and then again inside.

22 Bishopsgate sure know how to train their staff. I had the loveliest welcome upon arrival. I don't even get this welcome when I pay to go to places, apart from Buckingham Palace, where they've mastered customer service as one would expect them to.

Naturally, everyone is expected to go through airport-style security. I went straight through early in the morning and didn't have to queue. I waited to go up with a few others. I suspect it's very busy during peak times, especially over the weekends.

Light headed

As you enter the lift, the operator tells you you'll go up 58 Floors in 42 seconds. Hence, the head rush. I felt lightheaded upon arrival until I got accustomed to the altitude.

I knew what to expect because I'd been to 8 Bishopsgate next door, but I didn't expect the aesthetics to be the bare minimum. It's just one big empty floor with colossal glass pane windows. The views were similar to 8 Bishopsgate but higher. However, Horizon 22 has a Kiosk, which 8 Bishopsgate didn't when I last went.

I believe they could with some plants, like Sky Gardens, but I'm unsure if that's the vibe they want to create. I think there are none because the planning committee wanted it to be about the views and not the interior.

I'm used to spending time in the air, but this experience was different. The 300-degree view was mind-blowing. I adjusted quickly to the altitude as I walked from one side to the other. I knew the sun was coming out, but it was very hazy.

What Can You See? Sprawling London

There's something very magical about looking at London from high above. I could see the old Londonium, the Bank of England, the Mansion House, and the Royal Exchange. I could also see further afield towards Battersea Power Station and beyond. Such views are constantly humbling.

St Paul’s Cathedral

I was out within an hour, and after a while, more people started coming, and it was getting busy and warm, too.

Parting Comments

I'm not dissing it, but Horizon 22 is one big open floor, and this is what the planning committee wanted. There's enough space for a proper cafe area and some plants. You're not allowed to bring in food and drink from outside unless it's for health reasons. You can take as many pictures and videos as you want for personal use.

I won't compare Horizon 22 with Sky Garden because it's unfair. If you want to eat and drink, head to Sky Gardens. However, both offer unique experiences and should be appreciated for their distinctive features.

I'd go again, but this time, I'd try during the spring or summer months. Ideally, it would be nice to book on the day, but it's not possible anymore due to its popularity.

I find it amazing that you can get fabulous views of London for free, so from that point on, well done. Horizon 22 and everyone else offers unrestricted views of one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.

For more information and booking details https://horizon22.co.uk

Thank you for your attention

Tabby

culture
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About the Creator

Tabby London

The London I've been discovering is usually off the well-beaten track.I love the nooks and crannies and walking along the streets steeped in centuries worth of history. I'm fond of Zone 1 because that's where it all began centuries ago.

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  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    You radiate positivity! Your energy uplifts everyone around you.

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