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Olympics heralds opening of new London attractions

As the Olympics approach several new or restored landmarks have opened in London - all of them stunning highlights to any visit to England for the Games or in the future.

The Shard, also known appropriately as the Shard of Glass, is the tallest building in Europe. At a breathtaking 1016 feet high, the Shard has 72 floors with a observation deck on the highest floor which offers unparalleled views across the city, and it has already dominated the skyline for months.

Clad entirely in glass – there are 11,000 panels, the design is an irregular pyramid from the bottom to the top. Visiting the observation deck is only by ticket. As part of the experience, you travel in a high speed lift that takes 33 seconds to reach the top floor.

Another new addition to London's skyline is the Emirates Air Line – a cable car linking Greenwich to the south and the Royal Docks to the north. Spanning the River Thames the cable car takes 10 minutes to travel from terminal to terminal. It offers great views of this part of London and along the River Thames. Expecting to take 2,500 people an hour, tickets are available through London’s travel network.

Also in Greenwich, the Cutty Sark, the world's last surviving and most famous tea clipper reopened to visitors on the 26th of April following restoration after a fire in 2007. The vessel, which set a record passage time of 73 days from Sydney to London in 1885, is one of the highlights of Maritime Greenwich – a World Heritage Site. The re-opening of this hugely popular attraction is most welcome, and brings another part of London's rich history to life once again.

All these have opened in time for the London Olympics, and are sure to see a lot of visitors over the coming weeks following tomorrow's opening ceremony. If you are planning a trip to London or England, get in contact with us here at Classic England to find out how these, and many other superb attractions, can be added to your inventory when you book one of our private tours of London, or any region of the country.

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