Just a few blocks from the Tower of London, is one of the city's best kept secrets. It is free of charge, but must be booked in advance. Keep reading to find out how to enjoy this unique botanical garden in the sky, next time you are in London.
Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden which is a very social space with a 360-degree view of London
To visit the famous Ferris Wheel - Eye of London or any other sky scraper in the city - or in fact most cities - you will need to pay. However, the Sky Garden atop 20 Fenchurch Street, affectionately known as "The Walkie-Talkie" because of its unique shape, is the exception to the rule.
Even though tickets are free, you have to make a reservation. The place to make a reservation can be found at the Sky Garden link. Tickets are a little bit tricky as they can be obtained for any day - within a revolving 30 day window. Tickets farther out are easier to obtain for your desired date and time. No purchase is necessary. Several bars and restaurants are available at the Sky Garden at 36-38 floor of the 20 Fenchurch Street.
Great views abound in every direction from atop this incredible building
If you are wanting to do dinner at the Sky Garden, you can book tickets for that as well. In fact only paying customers can book after 6 PM. But if having a drink overlooking the city of London is on your agenda, you will not be disappointed.
20 Fenchurch Street construction was finished in the spring of 2014, and the three-floor "sky garden" was opened in January 2015. Later that same year, the building won an award by Building Design Magazine as the worst new building in the UK. Thomas Lane who headed the decision, said "it is a challenge finding anyone who has something positive to say about this building." Other problems still exist with a wind tunnel effect and a solar glare problem that was somewhat rectified in 2015.
However, at 525 feet (160 meters) tall, great views abound in every direction from windows and an outdoor balcony from the top of this building. You can see in every direction and Westminster and the London Eye are in clear view to the West. I hate to admit it, but I could not help but to feel slightly jubilant, thinking of all those folks that had paid £30 or more to stand next to 25 folks for an hour, in a pod, on the Eye.
However, fantastic views of the garden are also available everywhere you turn. With a bar serving drinks and snacks, you can easily spend an hour or two soaking up the views and enjoying the atmosphere. Fortunately, I had recovered a few lost pounds that we spent on a G&T while soaking in the view.
We highly recommend a visit if you find yourself near the Tower of London. It will help clear your mind from all the beheading that occurred at the Tower. And the cost is nothing at all - something uncommon in one of the most expensive cities in world.