Step Up to the Challenge
Our very own Anna is preparing for running up the steps of London’s iconic Gherkin building in aid of the NSPCC. She’s taking the stairs everywhere, seeking out all the tower blocks she can climb and even thinking about swapping her desk for a step machine! Don’t worry though, she’s not alone. Her friend is also going to be by her side, every step of the way up the 1037 steps to the top! The view from up there will be hard-earned but most definitely worth it, especially considering it’s not every day you get to go inside important buildings in London’s financial hub!
If this has inspired you to get climbing some steps we’ve got a range of suggestions from beginner to extreme hardcore! Why not send us photos of places you’ve climbed to via our facebook or twitter pages?
Get Started – 72 Steps
Image by Alotor
These steps have become iconic since featuring in the Rocky film series starring Sylvester Stallone. But it’s not enough just to walk up them, it’s all about running, and then holding something up at the end. If you don’t want to do it alone, join the monthly Philadelphia version of the Critical Mass bike ride which consists of cycling around the city then to the steps, before running up with your bike and holiday it aloft at the top! Wanna be like Rocky? Get started with Philadelphia flights.
In Training – 311 Steps
Image by Ben Sutherland
Newly reopened after extensive platform refurbishment, the Monument to the Great Fire of London offers wonderful views over the City of London as well as along the Thames to Tower Bridge and beyond. The spiral staircase brings its own challenges – I found I needed frequent stops to counteract getting a little dizzy! This isn’t just a huge column though, it’s also a scientific instrument, and the centre of the staircase can be used for a telescope! Check out our London holidays page for deals on visiting the capital.
Getting Serious – 463 Steps
Image by Penningtron
Florence is a beautiful city, and what better way to see it than from the top of its most iconic building – the Duomo. The route takes you up to the inside of the dome where you can see the ceiling frescoes in close-up, before taking you outside for a stunning view of Florence, including the Campanile. This popular climb often has large queues so either get there early before it opens or save the climb until late-ish in the afternoon when the day trippers have gone. Get cheap Florence flights here.
Pro – 1665 Steps
Image by Terrazzo
The count of the number of steps to the second level (the highest you can walk) is a little different depending on which source you choose to believe, but at more than 1500 it’s certainly a challenge. Walking up the open structure though means that you can stop along the way any enjoy how much the view is getting better as you go! Why not treat yourself to a bite to eat at the restaurant on the second level when you get up there? See our Paris city breaks for deals.
Extreme – 3750 Steps
Image by Dale Gillard
Called “The Steps of Repentance”, this is the route that Moses took up Mount Sinai when he went to receive the Ten Commandments. It’s a good idea to take a proper guide with you on a climb of such magnitude, and the local Bedouins are ideal for the job, they can take the weather and your fitness into account. It’s a good idea to get started early as the temperatures in the desert at noon are pretty uncomfortable! Shhh, don’t worry though, if you want to see the amazing views at the top there’s also a longer and flatter route which you can walk or even take a camel ride along! Get cheap Sharm el Sheikh flights here.
Top image ben.snider