The skylines of London are some of the best in the world. With its unique balance of green spaces, natural landscapes and glittering urban horizons, the views you can find in London are second to none. In part, this is due to the glorious viewpoints found atop the historic and innovative buildings, monuments and skyscrapers, whilst other views are down to the sheer chance of geography.
Whether it’s your first time staying on our Shaftesbury hotel London packages, or you’re hundredth, this list of spots to see stunning skylines in the city will have at least one panorama you’ve yet to tick off. Located in many districts of the city, these views will undoubtedly provide you with a new dimension to the city and will allow any newcomers a moment to soak in and get their bearings over the sprawling city of London.
The London Eye is one of the best-known attractions on the River Thames. Built to celebrate the new Millenium, the London Eye, or the Millenium Wheel as it was originally known as is made of 32 ovoidal capsules and rises to 135 metres. With a revolution once every half hour, the London Eye is the perfect way for someone new to the city to see the dazzling horizon of the UK Capital.
Emirates Air Line
We’re not talking about taking a plane journey here, but rather the cable cart running from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks. Having been opened in 2012, the Emirates Air Line is a unique way to see the city in that it gives visitors a birds-eye view of the scenic Docklands area of East London. Lasting only ten minutes and usually used by commuters, this is a fun way to see London from an area rarely visited by tourists.
Dockland Light Railway
Part of the London Transport Underground and Overground service, this driverless monorail is an electric rail system that runs throughout the Docklands of London. Not only is this a speedy and efficient way to get around the city, but the DLR line provides magnificent views over the Canary Wharf area, providing dazzling glimpses of the redeveloped Greenwich area.
The Greenwich Observatory is located in the beautiful Greenwich Park and provides idyllic views over the London landscape. From the beautiful views of the River Thames and Docklands area of London, guests can also explore the wonderful Royal Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark, alongside the Greenwich Observatory. The latter’s museum is home to science exhibits and artefacts concerning the buildings long history of Greenwich Meantime and international navigation, being located along the line of the internationally recognised Prime Meridian.
Primrose Hill is located in the Northwest corner of Regent’s Park, one of the 8 Royal Parks of London. Alongside the view from atop the hill, Regent’s Park is home to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the London Zoo, giving nearby guests at the Shaftesbury Hotel London some of the most popular attractions in the city.
Based in Hampstead Heath, this viewpoint from the Northeast corner of the nature reserve and woodland gives visitors a very popular and often visited view over London. There’s a lot of history behind it too, the hill is thought to have been a burial barrow as far back as the Bronze Age and was also owned by several barons and butlers of Henry I and Henry II. Legend also states that this was the spot from which Guy Fawkes planned to watch the destruction of Parliament from after the success of his Gunpowder Plot on November 5th 1605.
The Shard Restaurants
The Shard spans 309 metres to its highest point and has 72 habitable floors. With its mix of hotels, businesses and restaurants, the neo-futuristic Shard has been a striking feature of the London skyline since its opening in February 2013. The beautiful spike-like structure is also home to several restaurants. For guests of the Hyde Park International and other central London hotels, these are the best public spots in the building for a view over the city, whilst also providing high-end cuisine whilst you soak in the view.
The Aqua Shard is located on the 31st floor of the Shard and has recently reopened for business. With glass-walled dining areas and high-end cocktails, the Aqua Shard is the perfect spot for a classy and romantic night out. With gourmet British cooking with a taste for local produce and revolutionary techniques, the Aqua Shard and it’s adjoining atrium bar promise an unforgettable night out and a dazzling view of London.
The iconic Oblix is located on the 32nd floor of The Shard and combines the same brilliant views over London with a new level of high-end European cuisine. With Oblix East’s bar hosting weekly Dj performances and tantalising cocktails, Oblix is a trendy, tasty and atmospheric way to soak in the city.
20 Fenchurch Street Sky Garden
Another London icon, 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the Walkie Talkie building due to its design is based close to the London Bridge and Borough area. Alongside the offices based within it, the Walkie Talkie also hosts the revolutionary Sky Garden. This amazing view over London gives guests a chance to explore three whole floors of urban botanical gardens whilst also overlooking the heart of the city. For guests at the Grand Royale Hyde Park, this is an easy to reach, free to visit viewpoint (between the hours of 10am and 6 pm with a pre-booked ticket), and also hosts a variety of bars and cafes.
Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit
Once home to the Olympic Stadium, Stratford’s Olympic Park is now an athletics playground and swimming pool complex all perched within the serene canalside parkland of East London. With already stellar views over London, the perfect vantage point is from above the ArcelorMittal Orbit, once the watchtower over the Olympic Games and now a riveting tourist slide! With great value prices and a unique double helix shape, this is a very fun way to see the city and one of the most quirky playgrounds in the country.