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Shard viewing gallery welcomes its millionth visitor

The View from The Shard, the visitor attraction at the top of the London Bridge skyscraper, has welcomed its one millionth visitor 13 months after opening its doors.

Shard viewing gallery welcomes its millionth visitor

Just after 10.30am on Wednesday, Paul Olding from Kent became the millionth visitor to the attraction since it opened on 1 February 2013.

Before the attraction opened, bosses predicted it would bring in around 800,000 visitors a year.

Paul was visiting with his partner Julie Battell and had booked the tickets to celebrate her birthday.

Paul and Julie were welcomed by guest experience manager Edmund Rudder and presented with a complimentary bottle of champagne and goody bags full of gifts and souvenirs.

Paul will also receive a lifetime membership to The View from The Shard, giving him and a guest free access to the attraction for life.

"I couldn't believe it, I was quite shocked," said Paul.

"I booked the tickets about a month ago and really wasn't expecting this. It's the best birthday present for Julie. Definitely a day to remember!"

Julie added: "It's been lovely. I got up at 6am to come here because I was so excited, even though the tickets weren't booked until 10.30am. At first I thought this was all a set-up for my birthday!"

Clive Stephens, chief executive of The View from The Shard, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to have welcomed our millionth visitor this morning.

"This is a really special moment for us as a new attraction and we've enjoyed celebrating the occasion with Paul and Julie.

"The View from The Shard offers a unique experience of London from almost twice as high as any other vantage point in the city and we've been delighted with the response from guests since we opened last year.

"We hope that Paul and Julie have enjoyed their visit today and we look forward to welcoming many more guests to the attraction in 2014 and beyond."

The high cost of admission to the attraction has drawn criticism, even from the building's own architect Renzo Piano.

A series of recent promotions – including free entry for children during school holidays – has helped to make visits more affordable.

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