11 places for the best views of London’s skyline

London is home to one of the world’s most famous skylines, dominated by the glass-panelled Shard, the imposing nature of One Canada Square, the instantly recognisable Gherkin and the spectacular dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. Across the capital there are a host of wonderful viewing points where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the city’s ever-changing skyline.

1. Up at the O2, Greenwich


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Get your blood pumping as you climb up and over London’s O2 and take in the breath-taking views of the city. With the help of climbing guides, you’ll move 52 metres above ground, along the suspended walkway and see London. The sunset climb is a particular favourite as the sky's warm hues contrasting against the buildings' dark outline - is simply beautiful. 

Up at the O2

2. The Switch House, Tate Modern, London


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Head to the top floor of the Tate’s Blavatnik Building where the views rival the art housed within. Enjoy a drink and a snack in the Switch House and take in the impressive 360 degree views of London. See if you can spot Wembley Stadium in the distance. 

The Switch House

3. 12th Knot at Sea Containers, Southbank


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A short walk from Tate Modern is another great place to admire London’s skyline - the slinky rooftop bar of 12th Knot at Sea Containers. Formally known as the Rumpus Room, the bar is set on the 12th floor of the Mondrian London hotel, the perfect spot from which to take in the stunning views across the River Thames as you sip cocktails and nibble tasty bites.   

12th Knot

4. One Tree Hill, Honor Oak


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Spend the day in One Tree Hill, a beautiful nature reserve in southeast London. Stroll up the hill and you’ll be rewarded with a poplar tree-framed view of London and the special oak that gave the area its name.

One Tree Hill

5. Rooftop Cinema Club


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Why sit in a darkened room to watch a film when you can enjoy handpicked classics surrounded by panoramic views of London instead? With comfy deckchairs, wireless headphones and an iconic city backdrop, this definitely beats your average trip to the ‘flicks’.  Rooftop Cinema Club screenings happen during the summer months at various locations in London so get planning now!

Rooftop Cinema - various locations

6. The Aviary, Finsbury Square


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One of London’s finest rooftop restaurants, The Aviary, ensures you can enjoy London’s unbeatable skyline and its delicious cuisine all year round. During the winter months you can dine in igloos on the rooftop so you can tuck into seasonal and sustainable dishes while admiring the jaw-dropping views.

The Aviary

7. The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, Stratford


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Calling all adrenalin junkies! The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, the within Anish Kapoor’s sculpture is a must-visit. Enjoy London skyline from the viewing platform before entering the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide and hurtle 178m around 12 twist and turns towards the bottom. Admire the views from inside the clear tunnel if you’re brave enough to keep your eyes open!

The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit

8. Emirates Air Line, Greenwich


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For a gentler ride, hop on the Emirates Air Line cable car and take in the sights and landmarks as you glide over the Thames. Watch London come to life after dark with a Night Flight as you cruise over the Thames accompanied by music and a video in the cabins. 

Emirates Air Line

9. Dining at 135, the London Eye, Southbank


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Treat yourself and your loved ones to a gourmet meal and spectacular views by hiring out a private capsule on the Coca Cola London Eye. With a champagne reception and a three-course meal you’ll feel like a superstar as you dine under the stars.   

Coca Cola London Eye

10. King Henry’s Mound, Richmond


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Believed to be the spot where King Henry VIII waited to for the signal of Anne Boleyn’s beheading, King Henry’s Mound is the highest point in Richmond Park. The views from this spot are amazing, with uninterrupted views to the City of London. If you happen to have a telescope with you, you’ll see views of St Paul’s Cathedral to the east and Windsor Castle to the west.

King Henry’s Mound, Richmond

11. Sky Garden, City of London


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Among the lush green foliage of the Sky Garden you’ll feel like you’re miles away from the noisy city below. But the magnificent panoramic views of the London skyline will soon remind you where you are! Tickets to the Sky Garden are free, but they go very quickly so it’s best to book well in advance.  

Sky Garden
27 Mar 2020(last updated)