Where are the best views of London?

London Eye ferris wheel

London is a city with almost 2000 years of history, so there is something to look at everywhere you go.

But where are the best views to take in all that history, architecture and the sheer size of one of the world’s great capitals?

The eyes have it

Top of the list would have to be the London Eye.

The 30-minute ferris wheel on steroids takes in much of London’s famous landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the Thames River.

The tickets aren’t cheap at about $64, but you can combine them with other London attractions such as a river cruise or Madame Tussauds for a discount on both.

It’s way better than the Melbourne Star, which overlooked a bunch of industrial areas and the city’s docks. No wonder it went bust.

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Richmond Park

The list of accolades for Richmond Park is a long one, but it’s safe to say this slice of heaven is well regarded both in England and around the world.

Like many things in London, it has a rich history. It was established by Charles I as a deer park for hunting and, as well as the lush greenery, is also the site for many heritage-listed buildings.

It covers 955 hectares (2360 acres) and is considered of national and international importance for wildlife conservation.

If you want to get away from London’s frantic pace, an afternoon spent in a glade gazing at trees could be your antidote.

Hill of content

Another ideal spot to sit and take in the views is Parliament Hill. It’s a great place to view the capital’s skyline, Houses of Parliament and City of Westminster.

It’s supposedly the site where Guy Fawkes planned to watch parliament explode, had his plans come to fruition.

If it looks familiar to you, that’s because it’s a favourite spot for film and television with films such as Run Fatboy Run, Eternals and Notes on a Scandal filming scenes there.

The Shard

As London’s tallest building, you’d hope the Shard would have some good views and it does, with views up to 60 kilometres on a clear day.

It gets its name from its pointy, pyramid shape and, as well as offices, a luxury hotel and restaurants, it also has several viewing platforms.

It’s not free, and tickets must be purchased in advance. And if you want to get that view at one of the restaurants, it also pays to book well in advance for a window seat.

Towering views

Tower Bridge would have to be one of the most iconic bridges in the world and it’s possible to climb to the top to take in the best of the city.

Once again, you will have to book in advance, but climbing isn’t the only option. You can also do self-guided tours of the bridge itself and behind-the-scenes tours. Glass walkways let you view the river and road traffic directly below.

Tickets are reasonably priced, starting at just over $23 for adults.

You could also try a night river cruise to see the bridge and city lights at their best.

Cloud Cable Car

This has to be one of the most spectacular commutes in the world.

The Cloud Cable Car connects Greenwich on the south of the river to the Royal Docks on the north and is used by Londoners as a common commute, taking about 1.5 million passenger trips a year.

The one minute journey only takes 10 minutes, but you can see some of the best views of London in that short time with the cars 90m above the river. Stretch that out with attractions at either end including river cruises, Greenwich’s many historical sites and shopping and entertainment at the O2 centre.

The best news is you can travel using an Oyster card for a minimum of fuss.

Have you travelled to London? What would you rate as a must-see in the city? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Don’t give in to jet lag

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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