It's easily one of my favourite buildings in London so I was as excited as a child on E numbers to be able to head to its summit.
Bizarrely, my affection for the building comes from growing up in South Africa.
One of the iconic silhouettes on the Johannesburg skyline is the Hillbrow Tower. When I see the BT Tower it reminds me of its African counterpart, where I grew up. Who knew a building could make you a little homesick*?
* = see at the bottom of this post.
Many times I have looked up at the BT Tower and wondered what the view is like from the top. Thankfully, now I can show you.
(Suffice to add that I was up the Tower and snapping for personal reasons, these aren't "professional" pictures!...)
From the BT Tower, looking towards the City and Canary Wharf, at night...
OK, so how do you get to the top?
The observation deck, which used to house the revolting restaurant, is on the 34th floor and a lift whizzes you all the way up there, non-stop and pretty quickly. (That's around 18km/h in new money, by my sums...)
If you look up at the BT Tower, the revolving restaurant is the widest section towards the top. The floor still moves and after a while it's more a sense of discombobulation than it is vertigo because the walls around you stand still as the view moves.
But none of that matters because of the spectacular view, around 150 metres above London.
And finally, here is the full panoramic...
(You're going to have to turn your screen sideways to appreciate the view...)
BT appears to only open the top of the Tower to special tour groups and corporate or charitable gigs which seems the only way to get up there.
If you get the chance to visit, drop everything and do it.
Finally, below are the two buildings I mentioned at the beginning of this post, one in London and the other in Johannesburg.
You can see more about my visits to the Hillbrow Tower in Johannesburg here.
Can you tell the difference?...
Incidentally, the BT Tower like the Hillbrow Tower has had it fair share of name changes over the years.
The BT Tower started life as the Post Office Tower then become the London Telecom Tower and finally the British Telecom Tower.
The Hillbrow Tower was first called the JG Strijdom Tower, then the Telkom Tower and is now known as the Hillbrow, Tower.
Both had revolving restaurants at the top which have since shut, both for reasons of security.