London’s best views

London’s best views

10 Comments on London’s best views

At Footprints of London we’ve been debating the best places to get a good view of London. Of course the London Eye is fantastic, but it is hugely popular and not the cheapest of ways to see the city. You can walk up to Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath but again they can get busy. So where else can you go for an overview of the city?

In recent years London’s tall buildings have kept the view to themselves. Public viewing areas at the Shell Centre and Canary Wharf didn’t last long, while the restaurant on top of the Gherkin is strictly for invited guests. That’s about to change with new bars on top of Heron Tower and the Shard opening soon, and there’s even a plan to reopen the restaurant on the BT Tower. If you cant wait that long, Nido Spitalfields has just opened a pop up bar called Sky Lounge on its 32nd floor. For the price of a drink you can enjoy stunning views, just five minutes walk from Liverpool St.

Not prepared to pay at all? Why not visit a little park called Greenwich Point . You can see across the city to Wembley Stadium, and you’ll likely have room to setup a picnic. Over in East London The Royal Victoria Dock Bridge gives superb views across Docklands, while if your feeling more adventurous why not climb Beckton Alps – a spoil heap created when the Beckton Gas Works were built, which gives you a great view of the Olympics site.

Ultimately London is a city of intimate surprises rather than grand vistas. However once in a while its nice to get an overview and realise just how much of it there is to explore. What’s your favourite London view?





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  • Ade Clarke

    The view from Waterloo bridge is famously one of the best in town – the space created by the river does deliver some great vistas. But my favourite probably is from the top of Primrose Hill. London is laid before you.

    • Allison

      The views from the top of St Paul’s cathedral or the Monument are worth the fee, but there are also 2 great free view points nearby.
      1. By the north side of London bridge just to the east side of St Magnus Church, go up the stairs to the terrace overlooking the river Thames. Magnificent.
      2. And don’t forget the view from the roof terrace of New Change shopping center on St Paul’s east side

  • Jenni Bowley

    My favourite view of London is from the terrace in front of Alexandra Palace, but I agree with Allison that you get a fabulous view from the roof of 1 New Change (right by St Pauls).

    • Rob Smith

      Agree about 1 New Change – particularly dramatic view of St Pauls by night. I like how you get a better view from the public area than the champagne bar too.

      An unusual view of St Pauls is from King Henrys Mound in Richmond Park. I went there and thought “wheres this view then” and then realised it was behind me – you can see St Pauls through gaps in hedges and trees. Theyve thoughtfully provided a telescope.

  • Rob

    Of course Neils walk Heroes from Zero takes in one of the best views, from Greenwich Observatory. I never get tired of that view even if Canary Wharf has spoiled the symmetry a bit.

  • debbie

    I also found the view of the rooftop of London from number One New Change recently where I immensely enjoyed the sunset behind St Pauls – it was very special. Another recent new perspective for me was the Houses of Parliament from the river Thames! A clean, un-cluttered and superb angle of an iconic London landmark that simply never fails to impress with its, well, majesty. Fabulous.

  • Rob

    Heres an unusual view of London – taken from a model plane flying over Kings Cross

  • Rob

    Id like to nominate the spot in the Barbican that Dianne Hally takes you to in “London The Great Survivor” – – the whole of Londons history all in one view – from the Roman Fort that started it all to Norman Foster offices, with St Pauls and other Wren churches in between. Walked past many times but never noticed the view until Dianne pointed it out

  • Rob Smith

    The new entrance to Blackfriars Station on the south of the river opens up a fabulous new view of the city from the stairs up to the platform, though sadly youll need a ticket to get there!

  • Rob Smith

    Heres a rare chance to get an amazing view of London and help a charity at the same time – the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust are selling tickets to go to the top of the BT Tower. See for details

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