Viewing London

 There are some wonderful places to see fantastic views of London and many of these are free.

Here I have compiled a list of my favourite places from where to view London, in all of its glory.

Free viewing areas (City):

Horizon 22 - EC2N - A viewing area situated on Level 58 of 22 Bishopsgate.

Lookout - EC2N - A viewing platform on Level 50 of 8 Bishopsgate.

One New Change - EC4 - From atop this shopping centre you can get up close and personal with St Paul's Cathedral, with spectacular views to the south, too.

London The Unfinished City

Oxo Tower - SE1 - A small, hidden away viewing platform on the 8th floor of the OXO Tower, giving great views along the River Thames.

Post Building - WC1A - A spectacular roof garden that allows panoramic views of Holborn and the surrounding area. Photographic identification is required to visit the roof garden. 

London The Unfinished City

Sky Garden - EC3 - Sky Garden - One of the best free viewing areas in the City of London. Offering staggering views over the city, and up and down the River Thames, this is a perfect spot to take in the
views. (Free, but it is worth booking a ticket in advance).

Switch Room at Tate Modern - SE1 - One of London's newest viewing platforms offers 360 views of London. *Temporarily closed in 2020, but may not reopen due to losing a privacy case in the Supreme Court.**Reopened in 2023 as Level 10 at Tate Modern. It now includes a cafĂ© and an exterior walkway. Strict policies are in place to stop photography of the nearby flats.

London The Unfinished City

The Garden at 120 Fenchurch Street - EC3 - Another of London's newest viewing areas sits atop 120 Fenchurch Street, in the heart of the City of London, offering views down onto the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Not the highest of the viewing areas, but nestled in amongst skyscrapers you get a perspective on buildings unlike any other place. The gardens, when in full bloom, are a delight, too.

London The Unfinished City

Free viewing areas (Parks):

Alexandra Palace - N22 - From here you can see the whole of London, spread out before you, and, on a clear day, you can even see the mast at Crystal Palace.

Mudchute Park and Farm - E14 - A wonderful 32 acre site in the heart of the Isle of Dogs, offering unparalleled views of the nearby Canary Wharf skyscrapers.

London The Unfinished City

Primrose Hill - NW1 - For some amazing sights of London, especially in the evening, Primrose Hill is the perfect spot on a summer night.

Stave Hill - SE16 - A wonderful viewpoint, in Rotherhithe, that offers an amazing panorama of London.

Stave Hill Viewpoint

The Point - SE10 - Located next to the Royal Observatory The Point offers great views of London and is the perfect place to watch the sunset.

London The Unfinished City

Not free, but worth the expense:

Lift 109 - SW11 - Travel in a lift to the top of one of Battersea Power Station's iconic towers.

London The Unfinished City

London Cable Car - SE10 & E16 - There is no other way to get these stunning views of the River Thames and Canary Wharf, than from one of the Cable Car gondolas.

London The Unfinished City

MillenniuM Wheel (London Eye) - SE1 - Offering a wonderful perspective of London, the London Eye is a unique way to see the sights, day or night.

Palace of Westminster from the MillenniuM Wheel

Severndroog Castle - SE18 - A viewing platform on top of Shooter's Hill giving incredible views across London and the six counties that border her (Seven for those who still include Middlesex).

Severndroog Castle Viewing Platform

St Paul's Cathedral - EC4 - One of London's most iconic and historic buildings offers some incredible views, from the heart of the city.

The Monument - EC3 - Climbing the 311 steps may not be easy for everyone, but the views make it a worthwhile venture.

London The Unfinished City

View From The Shard - SE1 - This is fast becoming London's premier viewing gallery, which it thoroughly deserves.

London The Unfinished City

Westminster Cathedral - SW1 - The Tower Viewing Gallery offers amazing 360 views of London.

London The Unfinished City

Of course, there are many other viewing areas, including rooftop bars and restaurants, offering exceptional views, that are worth searching out, too.

And as London is constantly changing, more rooftop viewing areas open as new buildings are completed or refurbished.

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