Top 5 Views of London

Up At The O2

James Bond once used the O2 - or the Millennium Dome for the old-fashioned name - as a slide. We all saw him in The World Is Not Enough cascading down the roof like a skier caught in an avalanche. Until now, he was the closest someone had come to scaling the top of the big white tent in east London. But yes, they've built a walkway with a platform in the middle across which groups of intrepid visitors can pass. Led by guides, this is a great way of seeing a different side of London from way up high. One quick heads up: the ascent and descent are deceptively steep.

The London Eye

This immensely popular riverside observation wheel has been one of London’s most iconic features since its conception on the stroke of the new millennium. Unsurprisingly, it’s won tens of awards not least because of the views it provides passengers day after day. From its highest point and on a clear day, you can see over entire London, even Wembley stadium’s famous arch peeks its nose over the horizon. Luckily for the uninitiated, you’re given a circular map with reference points marked so you can tell what’s what from 135m up.

Image credit: Adrian Land

Monument to the Great Fire of London

Climbing to the top of this monument is like poking your head above the canopy of a jungle. Being right in the thick of chaotic London you can immediately see it living and breathing beneath you, making this one of the more exciting viewpoints. There is an entry fee of £3 for adults, and the spiral staircase is never-ending. If you’ve not got a head for heights firstly, maybe you should be somewhere else, but secondly, don’t look down while climbing the stairs; you can see all the way to the floor.

Image credit: Jamie Koster

Greenwich Park

Easily a synonym for ‘best view in London’ thanks to the park’s significant incline, serving onlookers lively and detailed views of Canary Wharf and co. from the top. With foremost views of the National Maritime Museum and a backdrop of the financial district, it’s hard to wrench your gaze away and even harder to argue for a better display in London. Still, if nothing else, you can pull a kite up here and trail it through the breeze – it’s pretty much guaranteed to be gusty at Greenwich Park.

Image credit: Visit Greenwich

St. Edward’s bell tower

The tower at Westminster Cathedral punctures 273ft of the London air. Admission is a little more expensive than the Great Fire monument but provides striking views of St. Paul’s, the Shard, and the Gherkin which looms in the distance. It’s actually a very sharp and jagged view of London overall thanks to other needle-like spire points and rooftops in the area (not to mention the cranes). Fortunately for many, there’s a lift in the tower so you won’t need to stagger up and down hundreds of steps.


Image credit: Urban75