From Lofty Heights: The Best Photo Opps in London
Let’s be honest for a second, London is an absolutely sprawling city and while the tube and train stations can help you get to all the big attractions and museums, they don’t really help you appreciate the city.
With the Thames steadfastly connecting the modern architecture to the historic and expansive parks, it’s obvious the city is meant to be photographed extensively and marveled at not just by foot, but from high above to get the best perspective. Easy to spot, these four favorite attractions allow you to see a side of London you can’t see from the Underground that make up part of that iconic skyline. Whether it’s walking a few stairs, taking an elevator or spending 30 minutes riding a modern ferris wheel, these places will help you fall in love with London over and over again.
Marvel at the 360 views
Some of the my favorite photos of London came from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral — where I almost let my fear of heights get the better of me! 360 degree views are guaranteed at the Stone Gallery, but taking the additional 528 steps up the skinny, spiral staircase to the Golden Gallery will give you views completely unobstructed by stone columns. While walking in single file line around the amazing structure, you can see Tower Bridge, the Globe, Millennium Bridge, the Shard and, if you visit on a particularly clear day, Wembley Arch and Olympic Stadium in the distance.
Have a romantic date for two
As one of the newest and one of the most iconic additions to the London skyline, finding the way to the Shard’s entrance near the London Bridge tube station won’t be hard. While the 30 pound fee to enter Western Europe’s tallest building is hefty, the opportunity to see up to 40 miles of London at dusk is unlike any other experience in the city. Plan ahead and reserve a ticket just before the sun sets (around 3:30 in the winter and 8:30 in the summer) for breathtaking views and incredible photos. Arm yourself with a glass of bubbly from the seasonal champagne bar and take a stroll between the two observation decks to watch London light up the night sky – it doesn’t get more romantic than that. They guarantee you’ll be able to see at least three landmarks, but if the clouds happen to spoil your view – you’ll be given a free ticket to return.
Take a ride high in the skies
If you’re traveling with kids or just enjoy a good, nostalgic experience, a ride on the world’s largest observation wheel is a must. If you’re not up for the lines or aren’t looking forward to competing for pictures while on the London Eye, purchasing the Fast Track pass for a shorter wait and a less crowded pod is worth every penny. Keep in mind though that while you are protected from the frequent London drizzle, the raindrops on the outside of the pod may impact your photos of Big Ben, Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
Enjoy a posh picnic
Located on the north side of Regents Park, Primrose Hill seems like an entirely different world. A steep climb to the top of the hill showcases London at its finest — with the BT Tower and the London Eye squarely in view. The park is full of children sledding in the winter time and when its in full bloom during the spring and summer months, it’s one of the most popular places for a picnic. A bottle of wine from one of the shops downtown or a quick walk for a quiet meal in one of the neighboring restaurants makes Primrose Hill one of the best places for a day “out of town,” without ever leaving London.
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