Unlike Manhattan, London’s skyline has evolved over thousands of years, gradually adorning itself with new architectural gems. To the untrained eye it can look quite untidy and it is easy to lose your bearings when taking it all in. The curvy nature of the Thames can also throw your sense of direction as it winds its way through the city. Hotel deals in London bring more tourists to the UK who all want to experience everything the great city has to offer. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of some of the best spots to take in the sights of London, away from the crowds.
Primrose Hill – There is a reason that this iconic hill has been the backdrop to and featured in so many films, songs, and stories. It is a wonderful place to visit if you want to soak up some of the unseen magic of London. Once you climb to the top of the very steep hill, your reward will be a fantastic panorama, which takes in most of London’s most famous buildings.
Parliament Hill – Slightly further away from the centre of the city, situated on the majestic Hampstead Heath, Parliament hill gives you a chance to appreciate the scale of London. Battle your way through all the kite flyers and celebrity dog walkers and you can view London, sweeping out beneath you, as if you are sitting on a cloud.
Tate Modern – The best way to get to the Tate Modern is over the pedestrian bridge, which takes you from St Paul’s Cathedral to the South Bank. Affectionately named the ‘Wobbly Bridge’, due to an initial design fault, the walk across adds to the sense of drama. Once inside the spectacular ex-power station, make your way to the restaurant on the 5 floor and enjoy the unique vantage point’s vista.
Westminster Cathedral – Tucked away in the heart of Westminster, the Catholic Cathedral is a hidden gem overlooked or missed by most tourists. However, at the top of the 210ft tower you will be privy to the most intimate views of Westminster Abbey and beyond. The Cathedral also has a wealth of beautiful treasures of its own that are worth a look.
The Shard – A new and somewhat controversial addition to the London skyline, ‘The View’ on the 68th, 69th and 72nd floors of the Shard will be open to the public in February 2013. If you dare to travel the full 1,016ft to the top you will have a 360-degree view, which promises to astound you. Although it is bound to be popular, you will be able to book an allotted time slot in advance.
Stave Hill – Another hill on the list, but with the exception of being man made. Situated in the Russia Dock Woodland near Canary Wharf, this is the best spot to behold the amazing dockland development. The spectacular glass constructions are best taken in at dusk when they begin to glistening and glitter against the night sky.
By Boat – London’s existence, and very reason for being, is the river Thames. The water way is therefore, in my opinion, the best place to view it from. There are hundreds of boats ferrying tourists and commuters up and down all day and night. To avoid the crush, travel after rush hour on a commuter boat, such as the Clipper service, sit back, and enjoy the view.
Image by Flickr user mostaque, distributed under Creative Commons License