1 February 2013
Last updated at 11:01
Western Europe's tallest building, The Shard in London, opened its viewing platform to the public on Friday but a group of BBC School Reporters from Bermondsey's Harris Academy were allowed a sneak preview before the official launch.
The Shard, which is next to London Bridge station, is visible from the Harris Academy's playground and the students were able to travel up to the 72nd floor to the View from the Shard attraction and learn about the building from one of their group, Victoria.
The group walked to the Shard from their school and once in the lobby read the signs on the wall, which say "To walk alone in London is the greatest rest" and "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life".
Two lifts take visitors up to the top of the building - one goes to floor 33 and the other to floor 68 with a 'Guest Ambassador' telling the School Reporters: "You get to meet so many people and sometimes that is more interesting than the view for myself."
After leaving the second lift, the School Reporters took the short walk up to floor 69 where a spectacular view of London awaited. One student said: "Outside the windows I can see some window cleaners and all they have got is a seat but we've got ground and they must be petrified!"
The 69th floor offers a panoramic 360 degree, 40 mile view over London and out into the suburbs and countryside outside the city. The School Reporters were impressed, saying: "I can see the whole of London, it is amazing" and "I never knew London was so big".
A view from the viewing deck up through the Shard and the top of the tower which is open to the elements. School Reporters said: "It's so cold and so open you can see everything, it's such a breathtaking experience. You are literally outside, you are higher than everybody and it just feels so powerful and is just so breathtaking."
School Reporters: "You can see all the views and all the famous buildings - London Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Millennium Dome. I'm just so proud to live in this city just for the amazing buildings. I'll never forget that amazing view of London and it will forever be imprinted in my brain." Credit: Trudy Mackie
On the morning of the official launch, this woman had the chance for a private reflective look over a cloudy London skyline while a photographer captured the moment. The opening was carried by London Mayor Boris Johnson while one of the first visitors proposed to his girlfriend - and she said yes!
The weather was not kind to the first visitors with rain spattering the windows and slightly spoiling the view - but it was still possible to look at this impressive sight of Tower Bridge and the River Thames snaking its way through the capital.