There are the obvious ones, which should not be overlooked for their popularity. The Shard, at London Bridge, has London’s highest viewing platform on the 72nd floor - 244 metres high. It is said that on a clear day this 360 degree view stretches for 40 miles in any direction. The Shard also delivers with restaurants on the 31st, 32nd and 33rd floors - ranging from Modern British to Asian to Japanese.
Another favoured viewing platform is the London Eye. Perched on the south bank of the Thames, it is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. It boasts 32 pods, which are said to represent the 32 boroughs of London and numbered form 1-12 and 14-33 (so any triskaidekaphobics out there can still enjoy the views).
In the City of London area Bishopsgate, is the Heron Tower, another building with a choice of restaurants with extraordinary views. Sushisamba City, a Japanese restaurant on the 38th floor and Duck and Waffle on the 40th, which is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week – perhaps a perfect place to have breakfast with a spectacular sunrise, should jetlag get the better of you.
Many of London’s parks deliver spectacular views too.
In North London, head over to Hampstead Heath and make your way to Parliament Hill. Here is an exceptional vista of London that is featured in many films and TV shows. Another North London gem is Alexander Palace in Muswell Hill. Known to Londoners as Ally Pally, The People’s Palace is worth a visit in its own right, but once there, the whole of London is laid out before you.
Over in West London is Richmond Park, home of wild deer who may greet you as you amble, and King Henry’s Mound. Stand on his high mound and enjoy a tree-framed view all the way to St. Paul’s that has been preserved by landscapers for generations. This is where Henry VIII stood on 19th May 1536 to watch a rocket fired from the Tower London. A signal that Anne Boleyn had been executed and he was now free to marry Lady Jane Seymour.
Should you find yourself over in South London, the view from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park is impressive, to say the least. A ten minute walk up the road to The Point, is an equally impressive view often deserted, and so can be enjoyed in blissful solitude.