- Discover London from above with a visit to the top of the Monument in central London.
- This incredible column was created in memory of the 1666 Great Fire of London.
- Experience the breath-taking 360-degree views of the City of London from the viewing platform at the top of the Monument.
- Explore the area around the Monument, which is steeped in over 2,000 years of history.
Standing at an impressive 61 metres tall, the Monument is an enormous structure in memory of the Great Fire of London, which incinerated a large proportion of the Stuart era city in 1666. Today, the Monument is a brilliant place to visit to learn more about the events of the fire, as well as get some stunning views of the City of London.
On a September evening in 1666, a fire started in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. The fire spread rapidly through the ramshackle and tightly squeezed together wooden buildings of London. The fire raged through London for four days, destroying 13,200 houses and many churches and other important buildings. Thankfully, very few people died in the fire, but the property damage was terrible. By the end of the fire, an estimated 130,000 Londoners were homeless.
It was the task of architects like Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild the capital. Wren and his team designed a new city, made mostly of brick and stone, unlike the timber structures that were destroyed in the fire. One of his most successful buildings was St. Paul’s Cathedral, which still stands today as a symbol of London known around the world.
It was also decided to build a monument to symbolise London’s ability to rise from the ashes and start fresh. The Monument was erected a few feet away from the site where the fire had started, in Pudding Lane. It was built between 1671 and 1677. For many years, the viewing platform at the top of the Monument was the tallest view in London.
Today, visitors can climb the 311 steps to the top of the Monument, from inside the stone column. As proof of your athletic ability, every visitor who climbs to the top gets a certificate to show that they did it. While the climb up might be a bit of a challenge, it’s more than worth it for the incredible sights you’ll discover at the top.
From the top of the Monument, you’ll find fantastic views of Central London. Many of London’s top sights can be seen from the Monument, including the Tower of London, London Bridge, and the Southbank Centre. The tower’s 360-degree views allow you to see much of Central London, stretching for miles on a clear day.
Once you’ve climbed to the top of the Monument and back down, there’s plenty more to discover in the area. The City of London is the original and oldest part of Greater London, having been founded by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. It’s full of incredible places to visit and explore.
The Monument’s architect, Sir Christopher Wren, played a large role in rebuilding the city after the Great Fire, and you can see his masterpiece up close with a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral with its world-famous dome. Other fantastic places to visit in the area include the Bank of England, where you can try to pick up a solid gold slab, or Tower Bridge, with its glass walkway over the River Thames.
What to know before you go
- The Monument is open every day from 9.30 am to 6pm. The recommended visiting time for the Monument is around 30 minutes.
- While there’s no café at the Monument itself, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or something more substantial nearby. Leadenhall Market has a lovely collection of food stalls, as well as stalls selling fashion and jewellery. There are also many restaurants in the City of London area, from Michelin-starred eateries to friendly family cafes and restaurants.
- There are a few public toilets in the area, including the Monument Street toilets and Eastcheap toilets, both a couple of minutes’ walk from the Monument itself. Eastcheap public toilets are accessible and also have baby changing facilities.
- Unfortunately, the Monument is not wheelchair or buggy accessible. The only way to get up the Monument is via the stone staircase.
- The nearest car park for the Monument is NCP Thames Exchange (Vintry) car park. This can be found on Bell Wharf Lane, EC4R 3TB, and is around a 10-minute walk from the Monument.
- The Monument is very easily accessible by public transport. It even has its own Tube Station, Monument, which is on the District and Circle lines and is next to the attraction’s entrance. There’s also Bank Tube Station, which is a five-minute walk away and is on the Central, Northern, Waterloo and City, and DLR lines.
- You can also access the Monument by rail. London Bridge, Cannon Street, and Fenchurch Street are all within a short walk of the Monument.
- There are plenty of buses that have routes near to the Monument. These bus services include the 17, 21, 35, 40, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 344, and 521.