24 Best Panoramic Views in London to Enjoy in 2023
“I’m not afraid of heights. I’m afraid of grounds,” says Rincewind, the eccentric wizard in Terry Pratchett’s novels.
So, if you’re like Rincewind and aren’t afraid of heights, you can keep reading (at your own risk). From London Backpackers, our central London hostel, we want to take you to the top. Literally.
Are you ready to see London from a different perspective? Find out our favourite places and tips. What’s the best part? Because we’re one of the best budget hostels in London, you can relax and enjoy your trip at a low cost while maintaining comfort.
Let’s go to the higher places now! Just… remember not to look down. Please.
FREE. TOWERS AND NATURAL SPACES
Hampstead Heath’s Northern Heights
Do you dare to accept a challenge? The North Hill Challenge is a great walk for architecture and hiking enthusiasts. You’ll have London at your feet… as you observe the evolution of English domestic architecture.
This is a must-see on your itinerary. Legend has it that this is where Guy Fawkes and Robert Catesby from The Gunpowder Plot met to see their plan come to fruition. They couldn’t have picked a better location, to be honest. Because at 98 metres above sea level, they had breathtaking views.
A lovely grass hill in Camden from which to enjoy simply stunning panoramic views. Oh, and in case you’re wondering… this is where the aliens landed in HG Wells’ novel “War of the Worlds” (if you meet any, let me know.)
If you prefer nature in its purest form and don’t mind a few deer crossing your path… Richmond Park should be next on your list. It’s a national nature reserve as well as a site of particular scientific interest. It’s, in fact, Europe’s largest conservation area.
One Tree Hill
I can assure you that there’s more than one tree there and that I’m not talking about the TV show. When you reach the top, you’ll be treated to stunning views of London. This is the best location to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. There is also The Oak of Honour, where Elizabeth I is said to have rested. But the tree we see today is the third from that oak.
Alexandra Palace Park
Welcome to one of London’s lungs. It is home to hundreds of different types of plants and insects on its 196 acres. Protected species have made The Park at Alexandra Palace their home. It not only benefits the environment, but it also provides visitors with unrivalled views of the city.
This area of London in the heights is free to enter. Yet, we recommend that you reserve your place at least one week in advance. It is one of the busiest areas, and you don’t want to run out of room!
Although there are many restaurants in the OXO tower, if you don’t want to spend money, there is a little secret. Locate the nearest elevator and take it up to the terrace. The admission is free, and you will be able to see the sights of London.
FOOD ON THE HEIGHTS
No one can deny that the views from The Shard are jaw dropping. But your wallet is likely to flee. Eating here is quite pricey, but if you want to give it a shot… no one will stop you from going for tea instead of lunch to enjoy the views.
It is the city’s fifth highest building. It also has a wide range of cuisines, from Michelin-starred Jason Atherton to SushiSamba and the Duck and Waffle. You’ll also find a variety of wellness, grooming and shopping options.
The Rooftop at the Hilton Trafalgar Square
Prices are a little higher on weekends, so we recommend booking a table on a weeknight. On the seventh floor, there is a roof terrace where you can take in the stunning London skyline.
You’re not going to want to get off those couches. But, if you manage it, the CloudM provides some stunning views of London from above. It’s open until 11 p.m., so it’s a great place to see the lights of the capital illuminated over the Thames.
12th Knot at Sea Containers
Take care here. There goes another tip. The terrace tables aren’t bookable. You’ll have to be among the first to arrive if you want to see the central London skyline from here! The terrace is open until 10 p.m., and smart/casual outfit is recommended.
Frank’s Cafe serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. So you can literally stay here to live. I wouldn’t mind, especially given the views! All this is combined with the clean air and mind-blowing scenery. Don’t forget to look at the gallery below!Want to know more? Check out our London Food and Drinks Guide
WHILE YOU’RE ON AN ADVENTURE
Up and over the 02
Are you ready to prove your skills as an adventurer? A guided climbing activity is available in the Up and over the 02 sections. You will scale the roof of a stadium! And, of course, from there, you’ll find the long-awaited panoramic views of London.
It’s not just on the skyline. You can also use it to enjoy panoramic views of London! Remember that there are long lines to get on, so plan your visit ahead of time so you don’t miss out on going somewhere else.
Emirates Royal Docks
Have you ever taken a cable car across water? This one connects Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. It’s a 10-minute journey, and each cabin arrives in about 30 seconds. So, if you’re looking for a quick ride above the Thames, take a look at this!
Double decker bus
Yes, okay. I already know what you’re going to say. The classic red bus in London isn’t exactly the highest point in the world for panoramic views. But are you really going to leave London without taking one of them? You can still enjoy a pleasant joyride while admiring the most central streets if you go up to the second floor.
CULTURE & HISTORY AMONG THE CLOUDS
Look for the highest rooms in Turbine Hall for the best views. Furthermore, admission to the Tate is free. And even if you aren’t a fan of modern art, it’s well worth a stroll through its halls!
Go up to the terrace after grabbing a bite in one of the theater’s cafes on the South Bank. From there, you’ll have amazing views of the Thames.
Royal Festival Hall
On the banks of the Thames, one of the most important cultural meeting places in London. If you are a member – the annual fee is £69 – you can access the upper floors and use all the amenities for free: Wi-Fi, bar and a lounge area!
National Portrait Gallery
You’ll have to climb to the upper floors to find the Portrait, which is among a collection of portraits of history’s most prominent figures. This is the restaurant with the best name ever and the best views in central London.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is an iconic feature of the London skyline. Inspired by Miguel Angel’s Sistine Chapel, you can actually climb up to its dome! Keep in mind that visits aren’t permitted on Sundays, but the cathedral’s interior is open to the public for mass.
This architectural treasure offers views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. To reach the top, you’ll need to locate the elevator at St Edmund’s Tower… and be prepared to be 300 feet above the ground.
Enjoy London from a different angle
Our London backpackers hostel wants to make things as simple as possible for you. The metro and bus stations are both less than a minute’s walk away… and you can also take advantage of extras such as free Wi-Fi to get your day started!
Traveling to youth hostels in London is a unique way to experience the city. Without exorbitant prices, in a convenient location, and with all amenities… London Backpackers, one of the most wanted UK hostels, awaits you.