Everyone seems to be obsessed with going up The Shard at the moment, for its spectacular views over the city. And although it does boast the highest vantage point over London, there are some other spots in and around the city which, in my opinion, are just as good – if not better! Let’s explore them…
The Orbit, Stratford
At a first glance, it’s a seemingly pointless piece of art next to the 2012 Olympic Stadium. But The Orbit is now a viewing platform and, as it was announced in the summer, is going to become a giant slide! It’s definitely worth a trip up to the top, for great views over East London and towards Central London. And, what’s even better, is that they have interactive boards where you can select the sights you’re seeing and be given a little history or info about them.
Trip tip: Whilst you’re here, grab a canal boat tour around the area – it’s looking more and more smart and busy every time I visit.
Greenwich Park Observatory
Greenwich is a beautiful and impressive area. From the Cutty Sark’s bold presence to the architecturally stunning university buildings and Maritime Museum, the area is great to explore on foot. If you head up the steep but short park path to the Observatory, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views from South London over the rest of the city.
Trip tip: Grab some Deli-style snacks for a pic-nic in the park from Al Pancino (on Stockwell Street) a lovely, small café which is two minutes from the park entrance in Greenwich.
The Sky Garden
Sat at the top of the Walkie Talkie building on Fenchurch Street, the Sky Garden is an enclosed garden with 360 degree views over London. There is a viewing platform which is open during the day, looking straight onto its neighbour, The Shard. With impressive views over The Thames from the bar, it’s the perfect place to kick back with a cocktail too. At night, the vibe is a little more like a bar, but the views are still fantastic – Tower Bridge is lit up like a Christmas Tree all year round!
Trip tip: Even though it is free to go up, you do have to book online and you may have to book a few weeks in advance. But you are allowed to go in for free after 9pm every evening.
Sat looking over onto St Pauls Cathedral, Madisons is a smart bar and restaurant. With outdoor seating nestled under outdoor heaters and swamped in blankets, this place is definitely worth checking out – and the drinks are reasonably priced too (always a treat!) The views may not be the most spectacular of London, but its position, its layout and the fact it’s a rooftop bar make it a pleasant location to while away an evening.
Last but not least is a visit to Hampstead Heath. A great location, within walking distance of Camden and Regents Park, this hill is beautiful as it not only gives views over Central London from the north, but it also gives views over to Highgate too – a glorious mixture of city and scenery. You can very easily sit up here all afternoon, and it’s a brilliant spot to bring family, friends and your beloved pouch too!
Trip tip: Take your own snacks and drinks – there isn’t a café in sight up at the top of the Heath.
London’s an impressive sight, from any angle, and you don’t have to pay loads to view it in style. Why not take a trip out to one of our spots on a clear day and take in the big city from somewhere a little more calm, quiet and impressive.