Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right These Google Maps pics prove just how much London has changed in the last decade
The Shard
Photograph: Google Maps

These Google Maps pics prove just how much London has changed in the last decade

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What a difference a year makes in London. Whole areas are rearranged in the blink of an eye and the streets you used to be able to wander down without a guide are rendered unrecognisable. 

If so much can alter in a year, looking back on how the city used to be a decade ago is sure to shock some faithful Londoners.

To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Google Maps, here’s a selection of before-and-after pictures of different areas of the capital that show how much our usual haunts have changed over the years…

Blackfriars 

Prior to its facelift, Blackfriars didn’t carry the same wow factor as other more polished areas of the city. Now, the bustling station has been redesigned and is encased in a sleek all-glass exterior. 

King’s Cross 

For decades King’s Cross represented the grittier side of London. It was synonymous with grey concrete, urban decay, railway infrastructure and empty warehouses. A vested effort to regenerate the area began around 2008, and now it’s unrecognisable from its previous image, with new buildings, public spaces, parks and shops.

Borough 

The Shard was just a twinkle in an architect’s eye in 2008 when Borough was known for its quaint Georgian terraces and famous market. Now, the glass building is officially the tallest structure in London, dominating the skyline from every possible vantage point in the city.

The City 

The Leadenhall building has been a key feature of the London skyline since construction began in 2011. Its angular design and distinctive wedge shape inspired its adorable nickname, the Cheesegrater.  

Completed in 2011, 110 Bishopsgate (also popularly known as Heron Tower) is the tallest building in the City of London and third tallest in Greater London.

Canary Wharf

The business mecca has gone through some serious changes in the last decade and erected more towering buildings than you’d ever think would fit in one small space, including One Canada Square, the second tallest building in the city.

Waterloo Bridge

The view from Waterloo Bridge shows just how much the city skyline has changed. Familiar sites such as the Shard, the Leadenhall building, the Gherkin, and Heron Tower are now as much a visual part of London as the Thames.

Love those views? Here are eight places you can see the London skyline for free.

See the city from a different perspective at one of these great rooftop bars.  

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