I’m a sucker for a good view. I love hills (though not climbing them), rooftop bars and restaurants at the top of tall buildings. Very luckily for me, then, that London is full of all of these things.
I haven’t visited them all (probably not even possible!) as I’m often put off by queuing and no-reservations policies, but I’ve still been to a fair few. If you know London well, my choices might seem quite familiar, boring, even, but I just thought that starting with the basics was the way to go. Maybe next I’ll do one about the hidden gems – although I’m still not quite over the closure of Paramount which would’ve definitely been on that list. I’m still desperately hoping they’d re-open up somewhere else!
Anyway, let’s not get sidetracked!
Well, of course. I LOVE The Shard – outside and inside. But even still, I wouldn’t pay £25 to go to the top (unless maybe it was a special occasion!) when I can just go up to the Aqua Shard for free. Sure, it’s not quite as high up as the official platform, but the views are still amazing.
As I said, the entry to Aqua Shard is free, but as it is a bar, it’s probably common courtesy to buy something. That said, it’s always so busy so I’d doubt they would even notice if you just rock up, take a few pictures and leave. But don’t tell them I said so! For me it’s worth it though – for the price of (granted, an expensive) drink you also get lovely views over one of the best cities in the world and a buzzing atmosphere to boot. Go at sunset if you can – it’s gorgeous!
TOP OF GREENWICH PARK
As I said, London is full of hills, but the top of Greenwich Park is definitely my favourite one. You get amazing views of all the tall buildings of the nearby Canary Wharf, which I imagine, with all of its lights, would look even more beautiful during the darker hours.
The best way to get here is to take the DLR to Cutty Sark, wander around Greenwich Market and then finally walk through the park, all the way to the top of the hill. The view is definitely worth the short trek, and afterwards you can treat yourself to drink of your choice in one of the many cosy pubs in the nearby, super cute Blackheath Village too.
THE SKY GARDEN
Another tall building! I just had to.
I’ve now visited Sky Garden twice, and I absolutely love it – I think it’s such a great concept! Who doesn’t want to admire great views and plants at the same time?!
Going to the Sky Garden is free, although you do have to book a slot beforehand which can sometimes prove to be tricky. However, just keep trying and you’ll get there – I promise! One way to get around the slot booking is to book a table in the Darwin Brasserie which sits in the middle of the gardens, overlooking everything. I went there for brunch on my boyfriends birthday and it was so lovely.
You don’t have to eat or drink or buy anything else either if you want to just go to the gardens though – just book early! You can book up to 2 weeks in advance and I swear that it’s worth the little trouble it takes.
Where’s your favourite place for beautiful views over London? I’m always very keen to try out more spots!