London is a big city speaking in terms of area, and in fact it is easy to forget how much the city has grown in size over the last century.
Along with its phenomenal growth and development it has become one of the top tourist destinations to visit in London. It attracts the largest numbers of visitors, more than that of any other city in the UK. London offers a diverse array of attractions which range from the modern to the medieval!
Besides all its iconic landmarks and sites it also offers the best in entertainment and shopping. It is home to the finest restaurants, hotels and luxury brands, designer labels and haute couture names on the planet. If you do not find what you are looking for in London, the chances of finding it elsewhere are remote! With a social calendar that is packed all year long, with gigs, exhibitions, sporting events, premieres, cultural and music festivals and loads of other stuff, you can be assured of never spending a dull moment in this vibrant city.
You need not spend a fortune when staying in a London hotel as there always are offers and deals available all through the year. To get the best London hotels discount rates it is recommended to make you bookings in advance. There are some fine hotels like the Park Grand Paddington Court London, which offer special rates for online reservations. Once in the city, if you want to get the best skyline views of London, there are a number of vantage points that offer an amazing view of this stunning metropolis. London is relatively flat and a low rise city that spread more outwards than upwards. However over the past few decades things began to change with the city growing vertically i.e. a number of tall buildings and skyscrapers have been built. Some of the best places to get the best views of London’s magnificent skyline are:
One of the most iconic attractions, with probably best vantage point of the Tower of London and also up and down the Thames is the Tower Bridge. With its walkways suspended high above the traffic below, it is a marvel of engineering of the Victorian Era. The best time to visit it is when this bascule bridge is raised for a ship or naval vessel to pass through. Besides the glorious views it offers there are also a number of very informative exhibitions held periodically.
In contrast to the Monument, which is out of the oldest of the city’s attractions, the Emirates Air Line cable car is one of the latest additions. It is one of the newest creations offering passage across the Thames. It takes you from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Victoria Dock and along the route offers terrific views of East London and Canary Wharf. While it may not be out of the top transport options, it certainly is a tourist attraction with spectacular views and the thrill of gliding high up over the Thames.
Perhaps one of the more sidelined and underrated of London’s landmarks is the Monument. It stands an impressive 202 feet in height and has the distinction of being the tallest isolated stone column on the planet. It was constructed to honour the memory of those who perished in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Although there are an increasing number of high rise buildings that have come up in the city, the Monument still offers fabulous views of London. It is also is one of the most economical attractions to visit and there is also a combined Monument Tower Bridge ticket, which is a real bargain. Do not expect of course to get into a lift to move to the top, you will need to climb up its 202 stairs to get a terrific view of London’s landscape!
Parliament Hill and Primrose Hill
While London certainly has no mountains, it certainly compensates for that with a couple of hills! Two such examples are Primrose Hills and Parliament Hill. Visit either of the two to get excellent views of the London landscape without having to spend a penny!
After the restaurants atop the Shard, Vertigo 42 is the second highest place in the city to dine, which offers fantastic views of the city lying below. Vertigo 42 is situated on the 42nd floor of Tower 42, and is a champagne lounge nonpareil in the city! It offers sweeping views of London and in particular that of St Paul’s Cathedral. For an unmatched dining experience combined with a glorious view, you need to dine at Vertigo 42. Just remember to book in advance!
Also one of the newest attractions to the London skyline and probably the most famous modern one is The London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel that is located on the South Bank of the River Thames at the heart of London. It is an awe inspiring 135 metres high, with the views of the city changing all the while, when its capsules rotate. So during the 30 minute ride aboard the London eye expect to see something all through the trip. For the best views, board it at sunset when the skyline is silhouetted in the setting sunlight, which offers the best views of London both in the dimming sunlight and at night.
Probably out of the more controversial of London’s landmarks The Shard has its fair share of admirers as well as critics! But whether you love or hate it the fact is it cannot be ignored, especially considering it is out of Europe’s tallest buildings and the breathtaking views of London it has to offer. There are viewing platforms built on its 38, 69 and 72 floors, which will offer you a view of London like none other! The only caveat is try to avoid a trip to its viewing platform when there is mist or a heavy fog, as with its platforms being so elevated the views are shrouded in mist!