Alternative London views: The perfect picture
The vastness of London can be overwhelming. Walking through the crowded streets, trying to take the Tube, always needing restaurant reservations weeks in advance… It can get exhausting. At times, is seems easy to forget how wonderful the city can be. Take a step back from the hustle and bustle and admire some of the incredible views London has to offer. While many will recommend the London Eye for its unique vantage point, here are some alternative places to admire the London skyline. Travelers and locals alike will enjoy seeing the city and snapping photos of the view from these incredible locations.
1. Tate Modern Café – Nearest London Underground: Blackfriars Station
Often museum cafés are overrated and wildly overpriced for no reason in particular. This is not the case with the Tate Modern Cafe. Whether you’re in the mood for a cappuccino or a plate of fish’n’chips, this cosy hub of culture has it all. Head to the top floors, snatch a table by the window and enjoy some of the most exceptional views the South Bank has to offer.
2. Greenwich Park – Nearest Train Station: Greenwich/ Nearest DLR Station: Cutty Sark
A day trip to Greenwich can be the perfect getaway from the capital, even though the verdant neighbourhood is just twenty minutes southeast of the city. You wouldn’t think you are in a bustling capital, as you stroll through historic Greenwich Market or discover the Maritime Museum. Make your way up to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, making sure to go on a sunny day before it gets dark.
3. Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath – Nearest London Underground: Belsize Park
Parliament Hill is a favorite amongst locals and a hidden gem for travelers. A walk in Hampstead Heath offers one of the most relaxing afternoons in the city: like a temporary escape to the countryside. Before getting lost in the park, walk up Parliament Hill, preferably on a weekday when it’s quiet. Try to name all of the major landmarks as you enjoy the panoramic views of the London skyline.
4. Sky Garden – Nearest London Underground: Monument Station
Sky Garden is located on the top floor of the “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper. Free tickets can be booked through their website. Photographers rejoice in the fantastic amount of light and the great view, allowing a perfect snap of the city. For a glamorous London experience, enjoy the view with friends over a drink: The unique space promises an evening in style.
5. Duck and Waffle – Nearest London Underground: Liverpool Street
One of the most popular restaurants in town, Duck & Waffle is situated on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower – making it the most elevated restaurant in Europe. Avid photographers can book a table or head up for a drink, taking advantage of the opportunity to snap a few shots of the city. Tables go fast, so be sure to book well in advance for peak times. Alternatively, get up while it’s still dark to watch the sunrise as you tuck into their delicious trademark waffles. Whether you go for breakfast, dinner or a 3 am drink, the view and the experience are worth the wait.
6. Aqua Shard – Nearest London Underground: London Bridge
The Shard is one of the most iconic buildings in London: its triangular form is very hard to miss from any point in the city. For £20, travelers are invited to take the elevator up to the top of the high-rise and enjoy an aerial view of the city – but there is more. Head over to the Aqua Shard restaurant and bar on the 31st floor for a unique experience. The predictably overpriced bottle of wine will seem like an afterthought as you admire the sunset over the city.
7. Top of St Paul’s Cathedral – Nearest London Underground: St Paul’s
Visiting London without seeing St Paul’s Cathedral is somewhat of a tragedy. The interior may not be as grandiose as Westminster Abbey, but it offers a hidden perk. Included in your price of entry (£16) is the opportunity to take the steep stairs to the top of the cathedral and enjoy a magnificent view from the dome. If it’s windy, make sure to wrap up warm.
8. Primrose Hill at Regent’s Park – Nearest London Underground: Chalk Farm
Primrose Hill offers the quintessential view of London: it steals the heart of travelers and locals each time, it’s a classic that never goes out of style. The south-facing view looks over Regent’s Park, although it is really not far from the city center.