Tickets for the Shard sell despite steep prices

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Media captionProject architect William Matthews shows the BBC's Sonja Jessup round the viewing platform

High entry prices have not deterred tourists wanting to see London from the top of the Shard, the UK's tallest building, when it opens to visitors.

From 1 February visitors will get a panoramic view of the capital from the building next to London Bridge station.

The viewing platform is sited 243m (800ft) up on the Shard which is 310m (1,016ft) tall.

The first two days have sold out despite ticket prices of £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children.

Two lifts will take visitors to level 68 before the final viewing platform on the 72nd floor which is partly open to the elements.

Visitors will be able to look through special telescopes known as Tell: scopes.

These show not only a live "as it is" image but, at the push of a button what a clear-day view would be as well as a sunset view and a night view.

Tickets are booked in advance although there will be some facility for walk-up visitors.

Image caption The View from the Shard opens on 1 February

The Shard is part of a £2bn redevelopment of the London Bridge area.

The triangular-shaped building has 600,000sq ft of offices, three floors of restaurants and a 200-room Shangri-La hotel which is due to open this summer.

There are also 10 luxury apartments which are expected to be priced as high as £50m each.

Chief executive of The View from the Shard Andy Nyberg said: "This is the only place you can see the whole of London at once and, as such, is a natural starting point for exploring the UK's capital."

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