Sightseeing London: The 8 Best Ways to See the Capital from Above
With one of the most picturesque and familiar skylines in the world, London gives you some of the most breathtaking views you can imagine! Get a perspective of them all with our 8 places to see the capital from above.
1. The View from The Shard
As the tallest building in Western Europe, The Shard is home to the most stunning panoramic views of London available. Positioned 244 meters from the ground, the open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor is twice as high as the next highest vantage point in London. So don’t forget to have your camera ready, as you prepare for spectacular 360 degree views of the city that can stretch as far as 40 miles on a clear day.
2. The London Eye
Once the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, The London Eye offers fantastic views of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and much more. A standard ticket entitles you to a 30-minute flight into the London sky. However, if you’re feeling extravagant, you can upgrade your experience to include a glass of Champagne at altitude.
3. St Paul's Cathedral
A visit to Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece showcases more than 300 years of history under its iconic 65,000-tonne dome. The crypt is the final resting place of national heroes such as Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. However, if it’s amazing scenery you’re after, The Golden Gallery at the Cathedral’s summit delivers some of the capital’s finest panoramic views.
4. Sky Garden
Located on Fenchurch Street, not far from The Tower of London, the Sky Garden sits at the top of a commercial skyscraper in the middle of London’s historic financial district. As an enlarged glass dome 155 meters up, the space includes three stories of landscaped garden and the Fenchurch restaurant, in addition to observation decks and a fabulous open-air terrace. Access to the Sky Garden is free; however, visitors are required to book tickets in advance through the official site.
5. Monument to the Great Fire of London
Built between 1671 and 1677, the Monument commemorates the rebuilding of London after the city was ravaged by the Great Fire. Standing at 61 meters high, the Monument is as tall as the distance between it and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire first raged. Its viewing platform stands at the top of a 311-step stone staircase, which provides visitors with a unique opportunity to look across London from a historic standpoint.
6. Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben
The official name for arguably the most famous clock tower in the world is Elizabeth Tower. Although it is commonly referred to as ‘Big Ben’, this is actually the nickname of the Tower’s Great Bell. Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben tours are free to UK residents; however, you will need to be sponsored by a Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Lords to gain access. If you can secure sponsorship though, you will be treated to impressive views of the capital from one of the city’s most iconic locations.
7. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is a posh London neighbourhood where many rich and famous types have set up home – including Kate Moss, Jude Law and Daniel Craig. Despite the potential for celebrity spotting, the best thing about the area is actually the hill itself. Located on the north side of Regent’s Park, scaling Primrose Hill offers breath-taking views that are best enjoyed in the summer, when you can – weather permitting – pack a picnic to celebrate your ascent.
8. Helicopter Ride
For the ultimate birds-eye view of the capital, why not take flight in a helicopter over the city to gain a unique perspective of all the city's most well-known landmarks!
Save Time and Money with The Original Tour
In addition to running the oldest sightseeing bus tour in the capital, our friendly and helpful staff are dedicated to helping you see more of London for less.
Our attraction deals allow you to combine 24-hour and 48-hour sightseeing tickets with significantly reduced entry for some of the best things to do in London – including The View from The Shard, The London Eye and St Paul's Cathedral.
What’s more, by visiting The Original Tour Visitor Centre – located close to Trafalgar Square – we can help provide you with directions and advice on how to get around and much, much more!
To purchase your tickets for The Original Tour and enjoy massive savings on our attraction deals, click here now.