London has a fairly recognisable and striking skyline which is made up of a fascinating mixture of historical landmarks and modern architecture. It is very much a juxtaposition of the new and the old with towering skyscrapers such as The Shard appearing directly behind buildings with thousands of years of history such as the Tower of London. If you want to take in the glory of the skyline then it is best to do this from either afar or above the city and there are a number of places you can head to get some of the best views on offer:-
The Sky Garden
Once a well kept secret in the city, the Sky Garden is becoming an increasingly popular option. And with good reason! It is located inside the Walkie Talkie Building on Fenchurch Street; whilst the building itself is considered to be something of an eyesore, the view contained from within definitely makes up for it. The Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden with plants which have been specifically chosen to offer vibrant colour and scents all year long. There is also an outdoor terrace, a bar and a couple of restaurants on the same floor but if it is the views you are after then you won’t be disappointed. Floor to ceiling glass windows allow you to look out across the city and there is an outdoor terrace if you want to brave the elements as well. Entry is free but is by ticket only so you must book in advance through the Sky Garden’s website. Each ticket offers a one hour time slot, which should be plenty of time for you to absorb landmarks such as The Shard and St Paul’s Cathedral from the high vantage point.
If you are looking for a less frequented and more unusual place to see the city’s skyline then Nunhead Cemetery in Southwark is the place for you. One of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, Nunhead Cemetery was created in Victorian England and offers a more gothic environment to explore. In recent years the Cemetery has fallen into some state of disrepair and although steps are being taken to remedy this, the disorder almost lends a certain air of authenticity to the place. From the overgrown vines to the derelict church which stands at the centre, it all has a very atmospheric feel to it. But if you came for the view then following the winding paths will allow you a view of landmarks such as Canary Wharf, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye.
If you don’t mind travelling a little further afield; around 30-40 minutes by public transport if you are booked to stay at the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City Hotel then you could be rewarded with a glorious view not only of London’s skyline but also of the River Thames and Greenwich itself which is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hill which sits inside the park is the place to head if you want these amazing views and it is also the location of the Royal Observatory; home of the Meridian Line and Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich itself is a exciting place to spend the day with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Market and the Old Royal Naval College all located here and worth exploring if you have the time. It should be easy to reach using public transport being served by both overground and underground trains, buses and boats and even a foot tunnel which leads from one side of the River Thames to the other.
One New Change
One New Change is a fairly recent addition to London but it offers visitors the chance to see one of the city’s most well known and recognisable landmarks right up close. One New Change is a shopping centre which has been built almost directly next to St Paul’s Cathedral and if you head up to the terrace which is at the top of the shopping centre you will be treated to an awe-inspiring view of the Cathedral as well as a panoramic view across inner city London as well. The roof terrace is free to visit, and is open from 6am until midnight so you can time your visit to watch the sun set or rise over the buildings of the city. It’s central location means it is also incredibly easy to access, even if you are booked into one of the hotels in East London, perhaps because you have taken advantage of one of the special offers on Shoreditch hotels.
This suspension bridge sits across the River Thames and although it’s a pretty interesting landmark on its own, it is also a good place to head if you want to experience a decent view of some of the landmarks which are situated in the east and west of London such as the Tower of London, the Gherkin and, of course, the River Thames itself. There is also a glass walkway which is atop the bridge offering you a rather unique view down over the river as well as out across the city.
The London Eye
Probably the most costly option on our list, the London Eye is still one of the best options if you want a clear view across the city, whilst having an interesting experience at the same time. Climb aboard your capsule and you can be treated to views including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames and South Bank as well. The London Eye is the world’s highest observation wheel and not only offers unrivalled views but also an interactive experience to boot. If you wanted to make the journey that little bit special then it is also possible to book a package which includes a glass of sparkling wine and chocolates, or to book Cupids Capsule and have an entire pod all to yourselves.