Top 10 Best Views in London

With the oddly shaped buildings and unique structures, London’s skyline is one-of-a-kind. The centuries-old landmarks perfectly complement the high-rising towers. Something that makes London’s skyline unique is the unusual structures that are built in such a way that the city’s famous attractions can be seen from even a little elevation. This allows for several ways to have spectacular views of London. So, these are the top 10 best views in London:

1. The London Eye

London Eye
London Eye

London Eye stands out for being the best way for you to have a view of the entire city. This high-rising Ferris wheel takes you 135 meters above the city. Ride one of its 32 glass capsules and have spectacular city views for 30 minutes. Spot the nearby attractions and buildings of the City of Westminster, Camden Borough, the Square Mile, and Canary Wharf.

The pods of the London Eye are almost entirely built with glass walls for an unobstructed, 360-degree view of the city. A standard 30-minute flight costs around £29 per adult. Look out for discounts if you’re with a family or a group. Discounts are also available for early online booking.

2. The View From The Shard

The Shard
The Shard

Climb 200 metres above the cityscape on the 69th floor of the UK’s tallest building, the Shard. The building holds special status since it is one of the most recognised towers in the world for its office spaces, luxurious hotels, lavish restaurants, and most importantly, the high-rising viewing point.

The floors from 69th to 72nd feature indoor and outdoor galleries, observation points, restaurants, and amenities. Book a spot at the champagne, gelato, or coffee bar on the 69th floor and enjoy a nice drink as you view the tranquil River Thames and the skyline of Canary Wharf.

3. Sky Garden

Sky Garden
Sky Garden

Off to the group of skyscrapers in the City of London, where you can spot the Gherkin and the famous Cheesegrater building. Among these “bizarre” skyscrapers is the “20 Fenchurch Street” building, which looks like a giant walkie-talkie. The building is famously known as the Walkie-talkie building. But that’s not the only thing interesting about this structure.

The top floors of the building hold the indoor garden, known as the Sky Garden. The Sky Garden has some outstanding observation points facing the Thames, where you can spot the Tower Bridge to the left, the London Eye to the right, and the Shard to the front.

4. Greenwich Observatory View

Greenwich
Greenwich

Largely known as the “best natural view of the capital”, the Greenwich Observatory is a heaven for spotters. Find the statue of General James Wolfe in front of the entrance of the Royal Observatory Museum. Stand just in front of the statue, and you’ll have a superb view of the neat and well-maintained lawn of the Maritime Greenwich building, leading to the Canary Wharf skyline.

The skyline, including the Square Mile structures on the left, the Shard on the right, and the Canary Wharf in the front, offer fitting views for photography, which are the best you can have in the capital. Remember to stand on the Prime Meridien line and capture yourself standing on the zero longitude, right on the east and west divider.

5. Thames River Cruise

Thames River Cruise Tours
Thames River Cruise Tours

Get ready for a relaxing and calming experience on the lovely River Thames. London’s cosy afternoons get even better with the Thames River Cruise. And what about those landmarks you pass by as your boat moves from Greenwich to Westminster City? That’s the real treat!

The Thames River Cruise tours start from one of the piers at Greenwich, Canary Wharf, or the City of London near the Tower Bridge. It’s a one-hour or 90-minute trip, depending on the route. See the glorious sights of the most popular attractions of Westminster City, the Square Mile, and Southwark.

6. IFS Cloud Cable Car

Emirates Air Line Cable Car
Emirates Air Line Cable Car

This 90-metre-high cable car experience offers superb views of the city. The cable car route extends 1100 metres over the Thames, taking you from Greenwich to Newham boroughs. The gondolas arrive every 30 seconds during the operation time, so you don’t have to wait for long.

The total trip is around 10 minutes on average, and almost the entire route covers the Thames underneath you. Take a glimpse of London’s skyline moving beside you. Be sure to bring your camera along for awesome photography, as the backdrop changes for the view with every passing moment.

The IFS Cloud Cable Car ticket costs around £6 Per Person and can be booked online at the official website of Transport For London (TFL).

Read also: 20 Unusual Things to Do in London

7. The Glass Walkway at the Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge
tower bridge lift ceremony

The Tower Bridge isn’t only about being an “Icon of London”. It’s a landmark that offers certain activities, including Victorian Engine Rooms and a glass walkway between North and South Towers. It’s a 61-metre walkway covered with glass on both sides and under your feet.

A few minutes of a daring walk on the glass walkway would reveal closer views of nearby attractions, like the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The ticket to get inside the Tower Bridge and eventually to the walkways costs around £13.40 and can be booked on the spot.

8. Hop on Hop off Open Top Bus

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours in London
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours in London

London’s Hop on Hop off bus tours allow a unique way to explore the city’s famous attractions, providing some awesome views near various landmarks. Several companies operate these tours on multiple routes, the best of which include the Golden Tours, Big Bus Tours, City Sightseeing, and Tootbus Tours.

Choose the tour operator based on your preferred tour itinerary. The best route is the one that covers the entire Westminster City, the West End, the Square Mile, and some parts along the South Bank.

These districts’ photography opportunities are immense, particularly near the Palace of Westminster, the Tower Bridge, and the London Eye. Be sure to choose an open-top bus as it allows more unhindered and wider panoramic views.

9. St. Paul’s Cathedral

St-Pauls-Cathedral
St Pauls Cathedral

Get ready to climb 528 steps up to the St. Paul’s Cathedral. The dome of the cathedral, rising 85 metres, features a viewing gallery known as “The Golden Gallery”. It’s a very small, narrow balcony at the top of the cathedral’s dome. St. Paul’s location in the centre of the City of London makes this gallery an ideal place to view the capital’s skyline.

On the face of the cathedral is the Millennium Bridge and the River Thames leading to the Shard in Southwark. The Square Mile skyline is opposite the cathedral, while the Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf skyline rise to the right.

10. Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill

Time for a relaxing viewing point in the capital, the famous Hill at Primrose Park. The best thing about the park? It’s open 24/7 for the general public, with no entry fee or ticket. However, visit it during the off-peak hours to find a quiet and relaxed spot at the hilltop.

The park is located in Camden Town towards the North of Regents Park. If you’re at the park during after-work hours, take advantage of the magical sunset view over the Canary Wharf skyline. Other views from the hill include the lush green vistas of the Regents Park and the London Eye from afar.

Conclusion

London’s unique skyline and ideally located parks provide some of the best viewing platforms for spotters. Places like the Royal Observatory of Greenwich and Primrose Hill offer a glimpse into the lush green side of London. For the high-rising viewing points, visit the Shard or the Sky Garden. If you want the “views on the move” experience, board the IFS Cloud Cable Car or the hop-on hop-off bus, where the scenic view changes with every passing moment.

FAQs

What are some of the best views in London?

The panoramic view of the entire city at the IFS Cloud Cable Car stands out if you want a spectacular viewing experience combined with a thrilling cable car ride.

Are these views accessible for free?

Not all the viewing platforms are accessible for free. The Sky Garden offers a decent view of the city and can be accessed by booking a free entry ticket. If you want a 100% ticket-free experience, visit Primrose Hill Park in Camden Town, as there are no time, fee, or ticket constraints for entry.

What is the highest viewing point in London?

The Shard in Bermondsey, Southwark borough, offers the highest viewing platform in London and the UK. The viewing galleries are located between the 69th and 72nd floors and provide a 360-degree panoramic view of the capital at a height of 244 metres.

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