It’s a must – to visit London and take an amazing image of the city skyline, but where on Earth do you get the right views from? I mean we all follow the likes of @tmnikonian on Instagram and see some of the amazing cityscapes he provides – but now it’s time for us to recreate our own!
1) Sky Garden
Fenchurch Street just got taken to a whole other level – literally, with London’s Sky Garden. With its unique shape being noticeably disproportionate from every other concrete and glass building in the city, it’s certainly a must view for those panoramic views from the open air terrace and observation decks. It’s totally free to enter too, but be aware that it does require pre-booking in advance!
2) One New Change & St Pauls Cathedral
If you’re after the paid version of a city view – St Paul’s Cathedral is definitely the one for you, but the free alternative is located just next too with an amazing view of the Cathedral dome at the top too! One New Change with its rooftop terrace ‘garden’ (or viewing platform should we say) provide some amazing views from East to West so you’re sure to catch a click or a few!
3) Tate Modern
Whether you’re after a direct view of St Pauls Cathedral from a height or the rest of London, Tate Modern isn’t just like any other museum – it’s one with a view! Spot the Millennium Bridge and the rest of central London from the panoramic windows or venture over into The Switch House which has its own viewing level part of the expansion design! It may not be like the other London gallery penthouse café’s, but at least it’s free!
4) Parliament Hill
Hampstead Heath being a 791 acre parkland in North London is one of the best-known locations to give stunning views over London. Another free view of London is always great, but it’s even better with the opportunities for picnics, dog walking, indulging in the great British summertime weather and well, Shard spotting!
5) Primrose Hill
Walk for it, work for it, and embrace it when you’re at the top of the hill! Located just on the edge of Camden and across from Regent’s Park and London Zoo, you can truly admire London and all of its greenery from Primrose hill with benches at the top too.
6) Greenwich Park – The Royal Observatory & The Point
Now although the Royal Observatory can be visited and there is a fee involved, located just beside it is one of the best points in London to look across south/east London – ‘The Point’ (if you’re searching on Google Maps)! Think O2 dome, Canary Wharf, the Gherkin & Shard – all lit up surrounded by park greenery! A must visit for summer or even in the evenings to watch the sunset (or sunrise, if you’re up that early).
7) King Henry’s Mound, Richmond
With laws in place from as early as 1710 to vow that nothing can obstruct the view from King Henry’s Mound, do we REALLY need to say anything more about this? With an impressive 10 mile out view into central London from the top, the mound really is the heart of the forest with views overlooking the Thames and some have even managed to spot St Pauls way out in the distance! (May be more likely on a clearer day we suppose).
8) Westminster Cathedral Viewing Tower
Being a Victorian construction, Westminster Cathedral is the largest Catholic church in London and standing just beside it is the 210ft viewing tower (perhaps stick to just the Cathedral if you’re afraid of heights). The views from the top give mesmerizing views of Westminster including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben & Parliament, Buckingham Palace and well, the rest of London too. It’s not quite great if you were hoping to get in for free, but for adult tickets only being £6 or concession tickets available at just £3, it’s definitely worth it!
9) The Monument
Designed to initially commemorate the Great Fire of London, the Monument first opened as a viewing gallery in 1677 – it’s actually one of London’s oldest attractions! 311 steps to the top and counting, the viewing platform provides 360 views of London including the River Thames, Tate Modern and the Square Mile. Adult tickets are only £4 and child tickets are £2.
10) Tower Bridge Exhibition
It’s totally free to walk across the bridge and appreciate the views, however there’s a hidden museum in one of the towers within the bridge! Purchasing a ticket for the museum also allows you access to walk across the central walkway with the iconic glass floor (again, avoid if you are scared of heights), but if you can brave it – you’ll catch iconic views of the Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and further into the beyond!
11) Alexandra Palace
Labelled ‘The People’s Park’, Alexandra Palace holds some of the best panoramic views of London around with views stretching from Canary Wharf to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard. It’s the perfect place to turn into an afternoon out with a boating lake, outdoor eateries, weekly Farmers markets, deer and skate parks and a funfair that comes along yearly!
12) Heron Tower - Duck & Waffle / Sushi Samba
How does a 24/7 restaurant sound for a city that never sleeps? Well what about a 24/7 restaurant with a VIEW! Duck & Waffle, although a little pricey on the food side of things, gives some of the best views of London. Catch a sunrise breakfast (sober or hungover is your choice), midday lunch or sunset dinners into the bliss of the night with food & drink served throughout! Alternatively pop into sushi samba to fix those midnight sushi cravings after a night in the town!
13) The O2
Up at the O2 – literally! I bet you didn’t know you could climb the iconic dome in Greenwich right? Well, if you’re brave enough to, it gives you the best 360 view of Central and South East London in full exposure. Think Facebook 360 views, the countless Instagram boomerangs and live streams… climbs must be pre-booked and are available during set times in the day so be sure to check online in advance!
14) ArcelorMittal Orbit
If you’re around the top end of East London and really craving a view that doesn’t require travelling all the way into central – visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and hit up the ArcelorMittal (that amazing red iconic design built that I bet you had no idea was actually a viewing platform and slide). Yes – climb to the top, take in the breath-taking views, then lose your breath all over again as you slide down to the bottom in 45 seconds! Tickets must be booked however either online or pick them up at the box office!
15) London Eye
Iconic, classic, the most common but always the best! The London eye is the most traditional way of exploring the city skyline – by day or night! Catch the sights across the Thames panning from East to West and take those flattering window view selfies with Big Ben from a new height!
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