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© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
© Michelle Grant
View from Monument - © Andrew Brackenbury
View from Monument - © Britta Jaschinski
View from Monument - © Andrew Brackenbury
View from Monument - © Britta Jaschinski
View from Monument - © Britta Jaschinski
View from Monument - © Britta Jaschinski
View from Monument - © Britta Jaschinski
© Andreas Schmidt
© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

Although the Monument, which commemorates the Great Fire of 1666, is often attributed to Christopher Wren – who did choose its location 202 feet from the baker’s shop in Pudding Lane where the fire originated – it was almost certainly designed by Robert Hooke, the seventeenth-century polymath who also invented the sash window and spirit level. The area at the base was given a makeover in 2007 and the Corporation of London installed a new pavilion with public toilets and facilities for Monument staff. Those who climb the 311 steps to the top are rewarded with a certificate as well as wonderful views of London and the gilded bronze urn at the top of the tower blazing in reflected glory in the roof of the new pavilion. Following the Monument’s reopening in Feb 2009 after extensive but sensitive restoration, a live video stream of images from the top can be seen by visitors at the base who prefer not to tackle the ascent.

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Venue name: Monument
Address: Monument St
Opening hours: April-September: Daily 9.30am-6pm (last admission 5.30pm) October-March: Daily 9.30am-5.30pm (last admission 5pm)
Transport: Tube: Monument/ London Bridge
Price: £4, £2.70 concs, £2 under-16s
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Probably the best value way to see a view of the 'city' with a bit of history and culture thrown in the mix too. Visitng the top of Monument tower cost less than a Starbucks coffee, with its prime location giving views in all directions - upon canary wharf, tower bridge, the tower of london, city and as far out as Wembley and the Olympic Park. Unfortunately there is obviously no disabled access to the top and no way and even from healthy people a certain level of stamina is required to climb the 311 steps to the top. If you are afraid of heights, I don't recommend climbing this in windy conditions either! But it is amazing and queuing is almost never you get a certificate at the end!


This is an interesting bit of history - the plaque on one side, for instance, preserves the anti-Catholic sentiment that attributed the Great Fire to 'popery'. The Monument has since been eclipsed by much taller towers, but bigger isn't always better in this part of the city, where the Monument's height provides a good vantage point. One letdown is the mesh that surrounds the observation area at the top. To get clear photos, you'll have to position your camera carefully.