Most visitors to London flock to iconic sites such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and Big Ben. While I endorse visiting these landmarks (Check out my British Guide to the City of Westminster) the city’s financial district often gets overlooked….
There’s many reasons why not visiting the modern, beating heart of London is a big mistake! For one, it means missing out on a trip to the cities ‘Sky Garden’ . Based high in the clouds, on the 35th floor of the Walkie Talkie building, its an attraction still relatively under the radar.
Despite this, the Sky Garden is the perfect place to start/end any trip to London and for me, is a must visit! Here’s why:
1) Its FREE –
Entry into the ‘Garden’ itself is free… And who doesn’t like free things?
However, most evenings there’s a long queue to get in! Thus, I’d highly recommend booking a free ticket on their website . Doing this will not only guarantee your entry but, also means you’ll get to walk straight past the queue like a VIP… it’s a win win
2) The Views –
Despite only being the 6th tallest building in London, you could be on top of the world as you step out of the Walkie Talkies lift/elevator onto the stylish expanse of the observation deck.
Large floor to ceiling windows frame the space and provide 360 degree views across the City of London. You can easily pick out Landmarks such as Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s, the Gherkin… Basically, most of London!
If you’ve got a head for heights, you can make your way outside onto the highest open air terrace in London! This provides more breathtaking views, especially of the Shard – the tallest building in the UK.
TOP TIP: You might be tempted to instead visit the viewing area within the Shard. After all, its a far more famous building! – BUT DON’T BE!
At a pre-booking price of £26 per person (£31 on the day) its not only more cost effective to visit the Sky Garden, but I believe the lesser known building in fact has better views… For one, you can’t see the shard from within the shard now can you 😉
3) The Sunset –
I couldn’t recommend anything more than getting to the Sky Garden before the sunsets if I tried… This is for two main reasons:
A) It means you can get two different perspectives of London’s skyline; in the day, you can truly take in cities most famous Landmarks. Meanwhile, at night, the light emitted from surrounding buildings creates a whole new mesmerising display for you to feast your eyes upon.
B) Watching the sunset for within the Sky Garden is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful things I’ve ever seen! The burnt orange glow of the sun penetrates into the vast space, encapsulating you within the event, whilst creating an overwhelming sense of calm as everybody appears to pause and take in the enchanting display!
Whats more, as the sun lowers in the sky, its rays reflect off the Thames bellow and bounce off the glass facades of surrounding skyscrapers, producing an even more captivating show of colour…
4) The Atmosphere –
Although I have to say that the Sky Garden is not really much of a garden, there’s little more than several planted ferns, the atmosphere inside is Fantastic! There’s a sense of excitement and occasion as people take in the amazing experience…
The ‘City Garden Bar’ serves some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had! Despite being expensive (£12 each) they’re not extortionate and fit in with London prices. I did however stay well clear of the £20,000 bottle of whisky on the drinks menu!!
Amble seating on the main observation deck allows you to sip on your recently purchased cocktail and look out onto London’s skyline – it doesn’t get much better than that!
5) The Fenchurch Restaurant –
Although simply visiting the Sky Garden for its views and a cocktail is more than enough! A meal at the Fenchurch Restaurant, will make your visit even more memorable.
You’ll have to pre-book your table at-least three weeks in advance! But a little bit of planing here is 100% worth it! The food is absolutely incredible… I would go as far as to say that its to die for! – bold statement I know!
Despite being fancy AF* the courses are all good sizes – none of that posh restaurant one mouthful for £45 nonsense! And if (like me) you’re a pudding person, then it doesn’t get much better than their Guanaja chocolate dessert…
On top of this, the service is impeccable! On my visit, our waitress was amazing! She even pulled my chair out and placed a napkin on my lap… I felt as though I was being treated as royalty.
If this is not enough, it all comes back down to the views… The restaurant itself is situated inside a panoramic box, perched on the top observation deck, providing yet more uninterpreted views.
This pretty much sums up why a visit to the Sky Garden should be top of your to do list on any trip to London! Still not convinced? Here’s some similar posts:
- Tink Jayne – Everything you need to know about London’s sky garden
- Wanderlust Chloe – Darwin Brasserie, Sky Garden, London
- Day out in London – The Walkie Talkie Sky Garden Review