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This weekend sees a blockbuster opening in London – the View from the Shard at London Bridge. This sky-high viewing experience allows visitors the chance to view the capital from an unprecedented height, but if you can’t make it to the building’s 72nd floor, the city still has plenty of lowlier – yet equally enjoyable -attractions on offer.
The View from the Shard
From Friday you’ll be able to view London from Europe’s tallest building, as the View from the Shard opens for business. A ticket allows you access to the the building’s highest floors, from which you can enjoy a 40km-wide view over the city and its environs. Don’t forget to pay close attention to the displays on your way up – you might see a few familiar faces in surprising situations. Adult tickets start from £29.95.
Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy of Arts
See the first major exhibition of Manet’s portraiture at the Royal Academy, which brings together works from around the world to highlight the artist’s skill in this complex field. This unique exhibition features more than 50 paintings, which depict everything from Manet’s friends and relatives to popular society figures of his day. For those looking to make a weekend of it, the nearby Athenaeum Hotel’s Manet Experience package offers a perfect combination of culture and luxury. Until 14 Apr
See stunning images of Air Force life at the RAF Photographer of the Year exhibition. The competition is now in its 23rd year and attracted more than 900 entries in 2012, depicting everything from life during overseas operations to the RAF’s world-class equipment. Not only can you see photographs by winner Corporal Mike Jones and many others, but you can also explore the rest of this fascinating museum, which features military aircraft displays, a 4D theatre and a chance to learn more about RAF history. Entry to the museum and exhibition is free. Until 15 Apr
Snowdrop Days, Chelsea Physic Garden
Admire 10,000 newly-planted snowdrops in the Chelsea Physic Garden, which hosts this stunning celebration of the delicate white flower. As well as the garden displays, you can examine different varieties up close in the Snowdrop Theatre, or buy your own from the Chelsea Physic Garden shop. The Snowdrop Days are accompanied by programme of events that includes guided walks, lectures and workshops. Adult tickets are £9. Until 10 Feb
London Dungeon Car Boot Sale
Why exit through the gift shop when you can take the attraction home with you? Anyone who has enjoyed the deliciously terrifying delights of the London Dungeon will be delighted by the news that, on 3 February, the Dungeon will be selling off props from its old location at the Pimlico Car Boot Sale. You can purchase everything from cut-price period costumes to ghoulish fake body parts at this relocation sale, which precedes the start of the attraction’s new reign of terror at the Southbank in March. 3 Feb, from 11.30am