Home Blog Tips from the Top: London’s Best Views

Tips from the Top: London’s Best Views

You’ve seen them in the movies: London views are some of the most iconic in the world. But that’s easy to lose sight of when you’re stuck underground, or staring at a map.

High rise London views from the London Eye and the Shard are heavily advertised, but that shows in the pricing. Plus, and the world and his wife are already there. If you know where to look, you can avoid the crowds and get some stunning more secret perspectives of the city.

It’s time to think outside the box (or tube, or square) and get high without the legal consequences.

Here are Totally Tailored’s six selected secret skyline sights (without the sky-high prices).

The Newest View: The Lookout

Where: 8, 150 Bishopsgate, Leadenhall St EC2N 4BQ
When: Times vary, check website for updated times
Price: Free

Are you looking for a brand new sightseeing spot? The Lookout opened in late 2023 and is one of London’s free floor viewing galleries. It sits on the 50th floor of the building where you are sure to get panoramic views of the city.

The Lookout is just one room with all views. No cafe or gift shop to tempt you to spend any money.

Marvel at the mix of modern and ancient architecture, you’ll find yourself appreciating the breathtaking views. On a clear day, try to spot the Greenwich Observatory and Crystal Palace.

Tour Guide Tip: Although admission is free, you must prebook your admission ticket 24 hours in advance. Don’t forget to a reserve a time before making your way 50 floors up

The Rural View: Primrose Hill

Where: Primrose Hill, London NW3
When: 5am – dusk
Price: Free

Primrose Hill sits on the edge of bustling Camden, but the only way you’ll know it’s not a country village is the magnificent view. Look over the rolling hills and tree-lined lanes of Regent’s Park and you’ll see a vista of skyscrapers straight out of a sci-Fi movie. But it’s also a classic London view: you can see the West End with the London Eye beyond. And look to the East and you’ll find the twin icons of London, the Shard and the dome of St Paul’s perfectly aligned.

Or if it’s wildlife you want to see, keep your eyes open and you might catch a glimpse of the likes of Kate Moss and Sadie Frost. Among its other delights, Primrose Hill is a favourite celebrity picnic spot.

Tour Guide Tip: On Saturdays there’s an excellent food market at the Northern foot of the hill, 9:30am – 2:30pm

The Dog-Friendly View: Treehouse Hotel London’s The Nest

Where: 14 – 15 Regent Street, Langham Place, London W1B 2QS
When: 7am – 11pm
Price: glass of wine from £10, cocktails from £15

Treehouse Hotel is a four star hotel discreetly hidden behind the coffee shops of Regent Street. So when you need a break from shopping, leave the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus behind. While signage is minimal and the reception area may look a bit tired, you know that something special lies on the 15th floor (for you and your canine companion).

It is home to a rooftop bar called The Nest with the perfect 360-degree skyline views. The indoor space is filled with plants and boho decor for a relaxing ambiance. With a DJ playing from a fort to the cosy outdoor terrace, you’re sure to enjoy the beautiful sights of London.

Because up there, the air is rarefied (thanks, Sinatra), you can enjoy the ‘walls of windows’ in peace, away from the crowds. You’ll be up close to the iconic BT tower, which looks to many Doctor Who fans like a giant sonic screwdriver. There’s also a rare perspective on the unique twin spires of All Souls Church and the BBC’s HQ Broadcasting House, tucked away just below you. Britain’s most popular show, The One Show, is filmed in the studio opposite every weeknight at 7pm.

Tour Guide Tip: They host a dog friendly event on Sundays from 12pm – 3pm with dog friendly menus, called Dogs on the Woof

The Bookshop Rooftop View: 5th view at Waterstones

Where: 203 – 205 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LE
When: Monday – Saturday 9am – 9pm, Sunday 12 – 6pm
Price: glass of wine from £8.5, afternoon tea £26.99 per person

if you’re looking for an oasis of calm in the neon hubbub of Piccadilly circus, then you need a bookshop. So grab a a brand-new book from Europe’s largest bookshop, then head to the 5th floor. There you will find an amazing Art Deco bar and restaurant.

It’s your best bet for a wide screen London view. And you’ll be looking straight at some of the most famous buildings in town: the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye.

Tour Guide Tip: The 1930s building was originally home to the famous department store, Simpsons of Piccadilly.

The Best London View of St Paul’s: One New Change

Where: 1 New Change, London EC4M 9AF
When: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm Sunday 12pm-6pm
Price: Free

The City of London’s only large shopping centre has a roof terrace which is still a relatively secret sightseeing spot. There’s no need to visit the shops in the mall, just take the lift straight to the 6th floor. From here you get an unparallelled open air view of St Paul’s Dome, with the river and Tate Modern beyond. For any photographer keen to capture the contrasts of a modern London view, it’s a must-visit.

Tour Guide Tip: During Wimbledon Tennis Tournament they put up an enormous screen, and you can lie on bean bags watching champions play.

The Best City of London View: Duck and Waffle Bar

Where: 40th floor, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2 4AY
When: 24/7
Price: glass of wine from £10, cocktails from £16, pigs ears £9

This is the priciest of our recommendations for a great London view, but it’s arguably the most impressive. No need to book for the bar, just tell the security staff at the lift that you’re headed to the Duck & Waffle. There is a dress code – no trainers or sports clothes – but it’s worth it. And once you’ve been catapulted forty stories up at high speed in the glass elevator, the atmosphere is nicely unpretentious.

The elevation here means a brilliant London view in every direction. You can see as far as Wembley Stadium in the North and Crystal Palace in the South. Likewise, the height makes nearby Tower Bridge and the Tower of London look like intricate pieces of Lego decorating the meandering Thames.

There’s also a prime view down into the Gherkin next door, while you nibble on crispy pigs’ ears (posh pork scratchings to you and me). At night, this icon of modern London is lit up like a huge disco ball in the heart of the City’s financial district.

We can tell you, watching the light change over the whole of London is an unparalleled experience.

Tour Guide Tip: This is one of the few London venues that’s open 24 hours a day. Try visiting at sunset or sunrise.

Enjoy London’s Spectacular skylines on your own private sightseeing tour with Totally Tailored. Click here to book.

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