London is known for its incredible views, though many of them seem to come with a price! If you’d rather save your pennies, we’ve compiled this list of the best free panoramic views the city has to offer – all ready and waiting for you to enjoy on your next stay with us.
From natural locations to upmarket viewing platforms, every single one can be experienced without costing you a thing – which means you’ll have much more to spend on other great experiences around the city.
One of the most impressive London views can be found by heading to the Royal Observatory, located in Greenwich Park. The views from beside the observatory are so incredible that there’s rarely a time you won’t be joined by flocks of fellow visitors desperately trying to grab a photo of the skyline. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, then head to The Point, which is only a short distance away yet offers just as remarkable a vista – minus the company.
If you want to upscale the experience, then take a picnic and enjoy the views in good company. There’s a few benches scattered around, and plenty of room to get some stunning photographs during your visit at the Montcalm hotel.
The Sky Garden is located at the top of London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’, otherwise known as 20 Fenchurch Street. It might surprise visitors to learn that entry to the space is free, though it does come with a caveat. You have to book in advance to grab your spot, but the views make up for this inconvenience.
The Sky Garden itself includes enormous vaulted windows and ceiling, all of which allow you to see panoramic views of the cityscape which surrounds it. In addition, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful gardens which often make it seem as though you’re no longer in a city, but somewhere significantly more tropical. This would make the perfect luxurious venue for an early-evening visit after enjoying a few spa treatments in London, helping to complete a day of fun and indulgence.
While there are great views all over Richmond Park, the area we are particularly enthusiastic about is known as King Henry’s Mound. This spot marks the area where Henry VIII is rumoured to have stood while awaiting news of Anne Boleyn’s beheading.
This legend is probably untrue, but the view itself has been protected ever since 1710, ensuring that generations to come will be able to enjoy the expansive scenery for themselves. From here, you can see all the way to the Thames and the City of London. The surrounding parkland is a fantastic place for a day out, too – so be sure to add it to your itinerary after you’ve tried a cream tea in London.
To London locals, Primrose Hill would feel like a clichéd choice for this list, as the views are so notoriously fantastic. However, visitors to the city should be sure to visit this hill, which stands at 213-ft high and represents one of only 13 protested views in the city. The hill was once synonymous with duels, but today you can enjoy a significantly less intense visit by flying a kite or enjoying a simple picnic.
One considered as the North London alternative to Crystal Palace, Alexandra Palace provides beautiful, free views which allow visitors to glimpse all that London has to offer. While Crystal Palace burnt to the ground in 1936, Alexandra Palace remains, and regularly hosts festivals and special events.
If you’d rather simply stand in the grounds and admire the view, then you’ll find undisturbed vistas all around the venue.
One New Change
The latest shopping destination in London, One New Change offers a vast selection of different opportunities to eat, drink and shop in comfort. Thankfully for fans of a great view, this is also an area where you can see London at a unique vantage point, without paying a thing.
In the heart of the City of London, it was designed by Jean Nouvel, a popular French Architect, and if you take the glass lift to the top of the venue you’ll find a skybar and restaurant, as well as a viewing area for the public. Here you can see the city for free, making this the ideal space for fans of stunning London scenery to go, whether you’ve been shopping at One New Change or making the most of a Bicester Village discount.
The Tate Modern is about much more than simply world-class modern art – it is also home to an extension called The Switch House, which includes a spectacular viewing platform. From here, you can see the city unlike anywhere else, with a completely free 360-degree view of London which stretches across the Thames and all the way to Wembley Stadium.
Many of the city’s galleries offer views, particularly at their adjoined cafes and bars. However, the Tate Modern is the only one which is available without paying a thing – including for entry to the museum itself. If you’re feeling cultured, take a look at the incredible art on display before taking the lift to the top of the building. Just remember to bring your camera, as you’ll definitely need it!
One Tree Hill
This venue is another great place to enjoy London views, and its nestled comfortably between the areas of Brockley and Forest Hill, providing a great view of the city. From here, you’ll also be at the top of the largest underground reservoir in London, and we recommend climbing the steps to the top for the best chance at seeing the city below in all its splendour.
There are many remarkable species of tree in the surrounding area, and there’s also remnants of a piece of WWI-era anti-aircraft machinery located nearby, which helps to make this view particularly memorable for both nature lovers and history buffs staying in London.