Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station is the glass lift that travels to the top of the north-west chimney. This post is my review of Lift 109, and contains photographs of each stage of the lift experience, so you know what to expect.
Battersea Power Station Lift 109 Review
When I visited Lift 109 it was a Monday lunchtime. Despite the fact it had been raining that morning, the Lift was still very busy. Fortunately I managed to get the last available ticket for the next time slot.
In my review I have included details about what to expect when you go in the Lift, as well as information to help you decide if it’s the right experience for you.
What is the Lift 109 experience?
The Lift 109 experience has three stages:
- An interactive multimedia exhibition
- A light show in the “Infinity Room”
- A lift which takes you up one of the chimneys of Battersea Power Station
Arriving at Lift 109
When you arrive at Battersea Power Station you need to take the lift to level one of Turbine Hall A. Once there you will be able to purchase a ticket in the Lift 109 shop. There is no difference in price whether you buy a ticket online, or at the shop.
You will need to choose a time slot when you buy your ticket, but the lift goes every 10 minutes so you shouldn’t have to wait long. Once you have your ticket you need to go to the entrance which is opposite the shop. Here, you join a queue up with everyone else who has the same time slot as you.
The photographs below show the entrance area to the Lift 109 experience, and the interactive exhibition, which is the first part of the journey.
Interactive Multimedia Exhibition
Around the sides of the interactive exhibition there are display boards with information about the rich history of Battersea Power Station. At the centre is an interactive lighting installation. Here you can touch the screen on the table to learn facts about the Power Station, whilst “generating energy” to power the light above.
In the first photograph below you can see the interactive lighting installation, with the giant multiplayer touchscreen table beneath it.
Before you enter the exhibition you are told which group number your time slot has. At the far end of the exhibition is a countdown timer which tells you how long you have left at the exhibition. There is a guide who will call your group once your time at the exhibition is nearly up.
In total we had 10 minutes at the exhibition before we entered the waiting area shown in the photographs below.
The next stage is to enter the Infinity Room. In this room there is a light show on all four walls, showing energy particles which swirl around you. Apparently a couple of the walls were interactive, but I didn’t find them. The lights on the wall transform into images of London, and abstract artwork. The light show took no more than 5 minutes.
The Journey Up
Once the light show is over, the group is split into two and you go into a normal sized elevator which takes you to the 12th floor. From here you need to climb 39 stairs around the edge of the chimney, until you reach the entrance to London’s epic glass elevator. If you have trouble climbing stairs there is another elevator you can take, but this needs to be booked in advance.
Please note: If you require the step free route, the lift is only available on the hour, and on the half hour. They can also only accommodate wheelchairs that are 115cm by 65cm, or less.
Once you arrive at the entrance to the express lift, you need to wait for the lift to come back down with the previous group. This only took a couple of minutes. Once inside the lift, you will travel through rings of light as the lift takes you to the top of the chimney.
There is one small bench in the middle of the lift, and information panels around the edge that tell you which world-famous landmarks you can see from the top.
Lift 109 View
Lift 109 takes you to a unique viewing platform which gives you panoramic views of London. You get great views of Battersea Park (shown in the first photograph below), as well as the river Thames, The Shard, the Walkie Talkie, the American Embassy, The Gherkin and The London Eye.
The gallery below shows some of the photos I took from Lift 109. Since the lift is round, you can’t put your camera right up against the glass, so all the photos have a slight reflection.
Once at the top, the glass elevator experience only lasts for 8 minutes, which goes by very quickly. I thought this was really disappointing. I would rather have had longer on the viewing platform, and less time at the exhibition and light show. I also felt that they had squeezed a lot of people into the lift which meant it was difficult to get a proper look before the lift started to descend.
My favourite part of the viewing experience was seeing Battersea Park and Chelsea Bridge from a unique bird’s eye view. The photograph below shows Chelsea Bridge, Grosvenor Railway Bridge, and the edge of Battersea Power Station Pier.
How Long Does Lift 109 Take?
In checked my watch at every stage of the lift experience, and it was exactly 30 minutes from when we entered the exhibition to when we left via the gift shop. The timings were as follows:
|Waiting for the lift to come down
|Entering the lift and ascending
|Descending and exiting
Why is it Called Lift 109 Battersea?
Lift 109 got its name because the viewing platform is 109 metres above ground. The photograph below shows the view of the lift at the top of the chimney, from the ground.
How Much is it to go up in the Lift in Battersea Power Station?
When I went it was £23.60 to go up in the lift. I checked the price online, and once you had added the processing fee, it was exactly the same price.
Is Lift 109 Worth it?
Honestly, I would say no. I have visited a number of attractions where you can get a great view of London, and by comparison this was one of the worst.
If you are a tourist visiting London and you want to get a 360 degree view of the capital, I recommend The Sky Garden. It’s on the 43rd floor of the of the Walkie Talkie building, and is London’s highest public garden. It provides unparalleled views of London, and the best thing about it is it’s FREE. You can also stay as long as you like!
My second choice after The Sky Garden would be the London Eye. I think the London Eye provides a far better experience than Lift 109. It’s about £6-7 more expensive, however you will be in the capsule for 30 minutes, unlike Lift 109 where you only get 8 minutes. The London Eye also gives you a much better view of the London skyline.
Overall, I also felt that the interactive exhibition and Infinity Room were really poor experiences. It was like they were just waiting areas before we got to the main experience, which was then over very quickly. I think Battersea Power Station should consider letting visitors stay on the viewing platform for twice the time, and maybe get rid of the Infinity Room altogether.
FAQs About Lift 109
Below are answers to a couple of questions I’ve had about Lift 109.
When did Lift 109 open?
The unique chimney lift experience opened for the first time on 15th November 2022.
Do you have to book the lift at Battersea Power Station?
No, not at all. When I went I just bought my ticket from the Lift 109 shop and went straight in. If you are worried about going at a busy time, it is possible to book online, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
How to Get to Lift 109
If you are travelling by tube, the nearest London Underground Station is Battersea Power Station on the Northern Line. You can also get to the Power Station via the Thames Clipper boat, or by taking a bus over Chelsea Bridge and walking from Battersea Park.
The map below shows the exact location of Lift 109 within the Power Station. It is found on level 1 of Turbine Hall A.
Things to do Near Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station
If you are looking for things to do after your Lift 109 experience, check out the posts below. There is a shopping centre, and some great restaurants. You will also often find events taking place on the coaling jetty.
This Post was a Review of Battersea Power Station Lift 109
Thank you for reading my review of Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station. Battersea Power Station is a grade II listed building. It was once a coal-fired power station that supplied electricity to a fifth of london, including Buckingham Palace. If you are interested in learning more about the building’s rich history, there’s no need to go to the Lift 109 exhibition. If you go to the North Atrium on the Ground Floor, you will find a free exhibition that explores the history of the Power Station over the past 40 years.