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London’s skyline is probably one of the most famous in the world.
I’ll admit i don’t think it’s as pretty as the likes of New York or Hong Kong but within the skyline are so many iconic buildings- the shard, the gherkin, the London eye, St Pauls Cathedral, London Bridge, the Walkie Talkie tower and so many more that it makes it so different to any other city.
I love to go up high and see a city from above but i also hate paying for it so when i found out about the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie Tower which you can visit for free then i knew i had to go!
Although the Sky Garden is free you do have to book a slot on a certain day and time, I tried booking last summer but the weekends when i was in London were always fully booked so note that its worth booking in advance! However with a slightly free weekday schedule before i start full time work in London i decided to see if i could get a slot and i did manage to get one at 11:00am on a Thursday by only booking 5 days before!
As mentioned the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ is an icon in itself, also known as 20 Fenchurch Road and completed very recently in 2014 it definitely dominates the London skyline.
On arrival you’ll see the sign for the Sky Garden straight away and there may well be a line outside of the building if its busy. They check your ticket (having it on your phone is fine), check your ID so remember to bring a driver’s license or passport, scan your bags and then you’re able to take the lift up 35 floors to the top!
The Sky Garden is a fairly impressive design, as you walk out of the lifts and through the set of doors you’re welcomed into a huge bright open space filled with a cafe and lots of seating.
From there you can head out onto the balcony and see a great view of the Shard, the River Thames and London Bridge. The only downside is the glass panelling so you do get a reflection in your pictures if you’re not careful and if the sun is in the way.
Oh and they don’t allow selfie sticks which lets be honest is good if there’s a huge group of people using them but as i was on my own and just wanted a sneaky selfie with a good background it was a little annoying that i couldn’t (i didn’t realise to start with and got a picture and was told afterwards i couldn’t use it).
Afterwards you can head inside and take the steps to the back of the building where there’s another cafe/bar area and a view of the Gherkin and North London.
From the Sky Garden you really do get a 360 view of London thanks to its rectangle shape which takes up all of the top floor and its a lovely place to enjoy a coffee and a snack and even though you have a time slot on when you have to arrive there is no limit to how long you are allowed up there.
Going at midday meant the sun was shining right ahead of me while i was looking South so i would love to go back later on in the day to catch the afternoon sun, perhaps even a sunset or see the city at night from above!
I would highly recommend booking to visit, if you want to see the view from the Shard then it will cost you £26.00 but to get the exact same view give or take a few buildings (and maybe an even better one??) you can head to the Sky Garden for free so what have you got to lose??
Also if you own a GoPro then definitely bring it a long as you can get some great shots with it from up here and the inside of the building just works so well with its wide angle!
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
NOV-DEC: PROBABLY INDONESIA
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour.