London is a spectacular city to explore at ground level when strolling the streets, but from above, it offers another stunning spectacle. Pack a camera and head to one of these spots for fantastic views — the simplest way to see (almost) the whole of London in one day for sure.
Take the steep walk to the top of Primrose Hill and you’ll be rewarded with uninterrupted views vistas over the capital and a handy map highlighting key points of interest, including The Shard, Gherkin, London Eye, BT Tower, St Paul’s Cathedral and London Zoo. Situated on the north of Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill makes for a lovely picnic setting in the summer, sleddging in the winter snow and a base to watch the city’s fireworks during Guy Fawkes in the fall.
A roundup of London’s best views would not be complete without mentioning the capital’s vertiginous newcomer. The sight from the viewing platforms on Levels 68-72 is almost two times higher than any other public viewing spot in London, resulting in an almost 40-mile gaze across the city. Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano has done himself very proud indeed with this striking “Shard of Glass.”
This shopping center a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral is home to a roof terrace offering fantastic bird’s eye views of the local area and the London skyline beyond. With a close-up look at the cathedral’s beautiful stonework and the London Eye in the distance, it’s a hidden gem. There’s also a selection of cafés and restaurants there to help you refuel for the onwards journey, such as Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa and Bread Street Kitchen from Gordon Ramsay Holdings, or have a drink as the sun sets to commemorate the end of a day’s shopping splurge.
Head up to Paramount for a drink or bite to eat (I recommend breakfast) and take advantage of the impressive landscape while you’re there. A 360-degree viewing gallery with floor-to-ceiling glass provides an amazing perspective of central London’s architecture, including St Paul’s and the business district, the Thames, London Eye, and the hustle and bustle of ant-like pedestrians and traffic far below on Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street.
At more than a quarter square mile, Greenwich Park is one of the largest green spaces in southeast London, with photo-worthy sights to boot. Climb the hill to the Royal Observatory for expansive scenes of Canary Wharf, the Millennium Dome, the Square Mile and Queen’s House.
Photos Courtesy of View From The Shard, Royal Parks London, Anne Marie Briscombe, One New Change, Paramount