March 20, 2017

The 3 Best Free Views of London

Like many of my fellow travellers, I like to include panoramic views of the places I visit when making my sightseeing plans. Rural vistas can be sweeps of breathtaking scenery while urban views help me get my bearings in an unfamiliar city. Here are my picks for three of the best views of London that won’t cost you a cent.

Soaring – but pricey – views from the London Eye

North of the Thames

The view from the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral is a popular London attraction. Visitors pay £18 to tour the cathedral and climb 528 steps to the dome’s uppermost level, The Golden Gallery. The Roof Terrace of One New Change Mall across the street is free.

Bonus: The view from One New Change Mall includes a bird’s eye view of Sir Christopher Wren’s famous dome – plus an elevator whisks you to the top.

St. Paul's Cathedral

View of St. Paul's Cathedral Dome from One New Change Mall

London Eye and St. Paul Cathedral School Spire (right)

One New Change Mall Elevator

South of the Thames

The Shard may be the UK’s tallest building but it will cost you as much as £30.95 to access London’s highest viewing platform, The View from the Shard. Meanwhile the nearby Tate Modern art gallery has a new view terrace that you can visit for free.

Bonus: The view from the Tate Modern includes its equally modern neighbour, The Shard – plus you can take in the museum’s collection of art while you’re there, also free.

The UK's Tallest Building, The Shard

View of The Shard from the Tate Modern View Terrace

View of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge

Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern

Greater London

Greenwich Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and open to the public for free. A hillside terrace with a statue of General James Wolfe (a gift from Canada to commemorate the British victory over the French in Quebec) offers views of Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena.

Bonus:  The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich includes more free attractions like the historic town centre, the Queen’s House and the National Maritime Museum.

One Canada Square (pointed rooftop, centre) in Canary Wharf
is the Second Tallest Building in the UK

The O2 Arena

Statue of General Wolfe, Greenwich Park

National Maritime Museum


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