In 1790 Samuel Johnson said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” … it’s even truer today!!
Enjoy London’s best views from its oldest and newest buildings…
Whether you’re spending just a few days in London or have lived there for years… do you know where to go for London’s best views? Views On Top has ~30 destinations with great views across London; if you don’t have time to visit them all we’ve compiled a short-list, a mix of old and new places with great views over one of the world’s most exciting cities…
First stop, St Pauls’ Cathedral dome.
The current cathedral was completed in 1708 and its history is awe-inspiring from the moment you step inside. Don’t miss climbing the well-worn circular steps (all 247 of them) to experience the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery, then it’s 119 steps to spectacular views from the Stone Gallery and just another 152 steps to the Golden Gallery, 111 metres above London. Keep your eyes straight ahead if you get queasy with heights on the open metal stairs near the top, the last part of the journey is well worth it for the reward – iconic views over The Thames, City of London and beyond. (Tip – buy your tickets before you go to avoid entry queues).
Stroll across the Millennium bridge and if you’ve time, pop into the Tate Modern for a cuppa in the level 6 cafe and great views back to St Paul’s, then walk along the south bank of the Thames (or grab a taxi) to experience the highest viewing platform in western Europe’s tallest building, The View from the Shard.
Next to London Bridge tube station (the entrance is on Joiner Street), on a clear day the view from Level 72, at 244m or 800 ft, can extend 40 miles over all of London. (Tip: book in advance to avoid queues).
There are also great views half way up at the Acqua Shard on level 31 (enter at 31 St. Thomas St). Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and into the early hours, the contemporary décor creates a truly 21st century ambience. (Tip – meal reservations open three months in advance, bar tables are first come first served)
Walk across London Bridge and prepare to be amazed by the expansive top floor at 20 Fenchurch St (the “Walkie Talkie” building). Sky Garden opened in 2015 and is London’s highest public garden, with an open air terrace offering outstanding views across the Thames to the Shard and beyond.
Marvel at the lush garden and expansive views up and down the Thames as you climb to the top and look over the City of London’s iconic skyscrapers – the Gherkin, Cheesegrater and Heron/Salesforce Tower. Stunning as the sun sets, you can enjoy Sky Pod Bar from breakfast until late and choose from several fine-dining options. (Tip – book Sky Garden free entry in advance)
Our final recommendation is the Rumpus Room at the top of the Mondrian London hotel, near Blackfriars Bridge in the Sea Containers building. With fabulous views over the Thames and St Pauls, on a warm summer evening it’s a beautiful place to enjoy a champagne or cocktail and small plates with friends into the late hours.