Five Fresh Ways to See London

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London truly has something for everyone, whether you're a culture hound, a history buff, a diehard shopper or urban adventurer. If it’s your first visit or your tenth, each day is a new adventure in this richly storied city. This week we canvassed some of our London Guides to discover some fresh ways to see London – literally! They’ve suggested how to access views you probably won’t have seen on any postcards. Looking to take a unique photo, or get a different angle on the city? Read on…

Five Unique London Views


Find the Secret View of St Paul's Cathedral

Take the elevator up to the rooftop terrace of One New Change near St Paul's Cathedral for the best secret close-up view of Sir Christopher Wren's famous 65,000 ton dome. In the mood for a drink? The terrace is also home to a great bar, where you can savour the view with a pint or cocktail in hand.

Have Breakfast in a Skyscraper

The Sky Garden is some 500 feet up in the London sky in the heart of its financial district, but it's currently free to visit. Book a ticket for a morning slot and then enjoy a reasonably-priced pastry and a coffee as you take in the 360-degree view and look into the Tower of London from above. Book in advance or come in the winter when it's much quieter to get great external shots of the Shard and St Paul's and contemplate just how London has evolved over the centuries, spreading out - and up!

View the Thames from the Death Eaters' Bridge

Stand in the middle of the Millenium Bridge for one of the best views in Europe, on the river that made London. On one side is St Paul's Cathedral; on the other is Tower Bridge and the iconic Tower of London. This is the bridge destroyed by the Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince... but you'll be safe here. This is also a great spot to photograph at night. Head under the bridge, where you can see St Paul's Cathedral reflected in the water. But In order to keep your feet dry, you need to wait for the low tide! (You can check online for the Thames tide table.)

Photograph the London Eye at Night

The London Eye is one of the biggest tourist attractions in London. At 443ft (135m) it offers an amazing view over the city from the banks of the Thames, but the Ferris wheel itself makes a great photograph, especially at night. The best location to photograph the entire wheel is the opposite side of the River Thames. The wheel is moving slowly and in order to have the moving effect in the photograph, you need to use a long exposure (approx 1 minute). The best way to achieve the perfect photo is to use a wide angle lens and a tripod.

Take in the Panoramic City Views from Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is one of the highest points of London. Fortunately, it's in the middle of a pleasant park and is only a five-minute walk up a not-so-steep gradient to get to the top. The hill summit has a clear view of central London and is the perfect place to sit and have a picnic on a summer's day. The name 'Primrose Hill' was given also to the surrounding district, including Regent's Park road, a pleasant street full of quaint cafes and restaurants. Great poets have been inspired by the view, and the summit is adorned by an engraved quotation from William Blake. 'I saw the spiritual sun, I saw him on Primrose Hill.'
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