If there’s one thing London’s not short of, it’s beautiful views. Head to any part of the city and you’re sure to find something spectacular: Royal parks filled to the brim with plants and flowers, glittering skylines admired from the city’s most famous bridges, bird’s eye views from the very tops of London’s coolest skyscrapers.

Because London’s versatile like that. Grab your camera and go exploring: as well as accidentally discovering secret spots and hidden corners, no trip to the capital city is complete without taking in the stunning landscapes and beautiful blooms from some of London’s most popular viewpoints. Read on for our top picks.

Endless greenery? Check. Space for picnics, dog walks, cycling rides and catch ups with friends? Check. Perfect-for-daytime-dates boating lake? Check. London’s Hyde Park has it all. As the city’s largest park, there’s more than enough space for all of the tourists and locals who love to spend a day admiring central London’s plants, trees and flowers without struggling to carve out some room. 

Take a stroll through Hyde Park and witness the incredible views of Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Lake and the Diana Memorial Fountain. It’s 350 acres in size in total, which means you’ll basically never get bored of exploring here. Better yet, being smack bang right in the middle of the city means it’s always easy to get to Hyde Park, no matter where you call home.

Where better to see views of London than the London Eye? A ticket up here might be a tourist bucket list staple but it’s also a great opportunity to gaze over at London from a bird’s eye perspective. The list of wonders you’ll spot from here is almost endless: the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Shard, the river Thames to name but a few. 

Not convinced? Keep watching and you’ll also see Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London parks from up here. It’s a 30 minute whistlestop tour of some of London’s best landmarks.

The Sky Garden has it all: incredible indoor jungle situated on the top of a London skyscraper; huge cocktail menu so you can get sugar-high (pun fully intended) while you sip; plenty of space to walk around while wearing a snazzy outfit and panoramic views of the city. Better yet, the Sky Garden is free to go up, you just need to book a space in advance. 

Be warned that slots fill up quickly, but an hour spent in a jungle in the sky cannot be overstated. Feeling fancy? You can also book to have dinner up here, which is perfect for a birthday celebration or chic date night.

The Shard is home to literally everything: from luxury apartments to a range of stylish restaurants and bars, as the highest building in Western Europe it’s not afraid to show off when it comes to amenities. Beautiful to stare up at and even more beautiful when you’re high up inside, the views from The Shard are some of the best in London. 

There’s no official dress code for The Shard and you’ll see Londoners heading up to the top floors in casual dress, but the corners of the viewing platform are great for a photo opportunity or two. You can also buy a range of drinks and snacks up here.

Take the Emirates Air Line across the Thames during sunset and you’ll swear you’ve taken a trip outside of the capital city. Although not a long journey, this cable car runs throughout the day and into the evening and both offer a brilliant view of the city. 

Flights during the darker hours are especially beautiful: showing you the London skyline all lit up for the price of a Tube journey. The Emirates Air Line is also a little further away from central London, which means you can gaze at the Greenwich Peninsula, the Royal Docks and The O2 Arena among others.

Plant lovers and botanical aficionados unite: Barbican Conservatory is calling your name. Set inside the Brutalist estate, Barbican Conservatory is probably as far distanced from the colours of the actual estate as is possible. An entire world filled to the brim with greenery, this conservatory promises to take you on a journey away from London’s hustle and bustle and into a planet where green reigns supreme and tropical plants, butterflies, birds and fish are the leaders. 

The views here verge on cleansing: perfect for the stressed out Londoner who needs a change of scenery. Take a wander through here next time you’re struggling to reply appropriately to an angry colleague and you’ll walk out refreshed and chilled.

The Gherkin itself isn’t usually open to the public, but fortunately it’s home to two panoramic restaurants that give you the benefit of admiring London’s skyline while enjoying a swish bite to eat at the same time. Otherwise known as 30 St Mary Axe, The Gherkin towers 41 floors above the City of London and promises views of Leadenhall Market, The Monument and the Bank of England Museum. 

Quite underwhelmingly, most of The Gherkin is home to private offices, but head up to The Helix Restaurant or The Iris Bar for some food or drink and thank yourself that you won’t have to check your emails once when you’re there like the others inside the building.

Richmond Park is as close as you’ll get to leaving London without, well, actually having to leave London. This huge, spacious park is home to 2500 acres of gardens and woodland and, most importantly, hundreds of fairly tame deer. This is the park to dedicate an entire day to: make the journey over to Richmond and bring a picnic, before exploring the park on foot or bike and pretending you’re lost in the forest. Or, depending on your navigational skills, actually getting lost in the forest. 

The Western edge of the park is also home to one of London’s best views: a tree-covered glimpse at St. Paul’s Cathedral that’s considered so special, developers aren’t allowed to touch it.

Inside or outside, you’ll find plenty to look at during your trip to the Tate Modern. This modern art gallery (as the name suggests) spans more than 10 floors and is home to plenty of free art and equally free views. Head up to the viewing platform for panoramic views of central London, or check out the floors below for a range of international art. 

When you’ve finished your cultural afternoon here, you’ll find yourself on the banks of the River Thames. Offering yet more beautiful views, this is one of the easiest strolls through London with bars, street art and performances all the way down and around Southbank.

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