Make Sure You Put The Sky Garden, London, On Your Bucket List
London’s answer to Jack And The Beanstalk, the garden in the sky has been attracting those in the know since 2015. If you haven’t already visited the London Sky Garden then what are you waiting for?
It was always going to be a hit in my books since it’s an intoxicating cocktail of some of my favourite things – a great view, a tropical paradise and an opportunity for a glass of fizz with a spot of people-watching!
Set over 3 levels, but in one GIGANTIC glass room, the Sky Garden has 360-degree views over all of London. But the best view of all is from an outdoor observation deck which runs parallel with the Thames and gives you an epic birdseye vista of Tower Bridge and a pretty decent close-up of The Shard.
The actual gardens have that heavy scent of the Tropics and are blooming with flowers you’d expect in such climates – bird of paradise, lilies, red-hot pokers, that kind of thing. Bright pops of colour just begging to be photographed.
But if you have to photograph anything, save your film for later… Here’s my suggestion; grab yourself a glass of bubbly from the Sky Garden bar and settle down at a table by the window. Not only will you have the best views across the river but you have front-row seats to everyone coming to pose for their own Sky Garden photos – honestly, it can be comedy-gold! And, since many are here to have a meal in the Sky Garden restaurant, they’re all dressed in their Sunday best and ready to impress! (There is no Sky Garden dress code for the open garden area by the way)
So if you’re still wondering ‘is the Sky Garden worth visiting’, it’s a resounding YESS!
Which Building Is The London Sky Garden In?
So where is the Sky Garden? Known to most as The Walkie Talkie, you will find this wonderful garden in the sky at 20 Fenchurch Street in the Financial District of London. You can’t miss it – it grows upwards and outwards from the pavements below and looks startingly top-heavy. I think it’s quite fitting they designed a roof garden at its pinnacle since nature almost always looks overloaded at its boughs.
You can get to the London Sky Garden via the underground and the nearest tube stops are Bank and Monument. These stations are on the Central, Northern, Waterloo & City, Circle and District lines.
How Much Does The Sky Garden Cost?
It’s free!!! I mean, they could genuinely be charging an arm and a leg to get in here but the kindhearted multi-billionaires who own 20 Fenchurch Street have decided to forget about an entrance fee and have instead opened up their rooftop to plebs and socialites alike.
Until I visited I was under the impression you had to have a drink or eat at the restaurant, but not at all – you could come and not partake. Find yourself a quiet seat amongst the shrubbery and sit awhile.
In theory, your time slot for the skygarden is supposed to expire after an hour but there is no way for them to know how long you have been there.
Can You Get Into The London Sky Garden Without Booking?
If you’re wondering can you just walk into the Sky Garden, the official answer is no. HOWEVER… each time I have been I have stopped by on the off-chance and the doormen at the foot of the building can advise if it’s a busy time or not and whether you can book on the spot. We have always got in without booking days or weeks in advance.
You do need to go to their website to book. One time we arrived at 5 pm and could only get a slot for 6 pm but they still let us in. I guess they have a better idea of footfall than their online bots do! That said, spaces are limited so peak days and times are worth booking ahead of time. You can book up to 3 weeks ahead and 7 pm is their busiest time.
Children are allowed in the Sky Garden but see their website for specific details.
Sky Garden London – Opening Hours
The terrace is open daily from 10am-6pm weekdays, 11am-6pm at weekends. The weather may mean the terrace has to close at other times too.
7pm is peak time but if you can hang on a bit, 9pm til closing is a lovely time to visit, especially in the summer months so you can see the sun set. Or if you are an early riser, the best time to visit the Sky Garden for you might be first thing in the morning – you can get a coffee in the Sky Garden to enjoy with a view as the city springs to life.
We have usually visited around 5pm, pre-dinner, and it is relatively busy but not nose to ear.
Tip : Google maps can help you decide the best time to visit Sky Garden London on the day; scroll down to Popular Times to see when the quietest sections of that day of the week are.
Sky Garden Restaurants…
CAN YOU EAT AT SKY GARDEN, LONDON?
Yes. You have a choice of two restaurants in the roof-space of the London walkie-talkie… Darwin Brasserie and Fenchurch restaurant. The latter is definitely the posher of the two Sky Garden restaurants and has much more assertive opinions on fashion sense – check out their website for the dress code. Both have great views of London but something tells me you haven’t booked a table to see St Pauls cranium.
OUR TOP TIP…
If you are thinking of planning a night out in London, in our opinion a visit to the Sky Garden bar starts the night off properly! This is a great area for eating and drinking if you only know where to go. You’re a stones throw from the aesthetic beauty, The Royal Exchange, but also the bustling area of Leadenhall Market where good London pubs are ten-a-penny. And, if you want a top restaurant recommendation we can’t praise Searcy’s at the Gherkin enough.
In fact, we totally love this area of London – off the beaten track a little bit but so much to see and do. Many places on our London Secret Places post crop up in this area and one of our favourite London hotels isn’t too far away. (see below)
Where To Stay Near The Sky Garden, London
We can personally recommend two great hotels in this area of London – The Zetter, Clerkenwell and the Leman Locke Apartments.
The Zetter is really special. Bordering on expensive but worth every penny, it’s a lovely hotel to book for a special occasion. And, be sure to book yourself with a balcony! We wrote about our experience here.
Alternatively, we often choose an apartment when visiting London so that you can cut down on costs of eating out and you generally get a larger area to lounge in after a long day. The Leman Locke Apartments have everything you need kitchen-wise (including a washing machine!) and they’re so bright and airy. It’s a great location for some of London’s main attractions, like The Tower and St Paul’s, and not too far from the bustling area of Brick Lane and Spitalfields.
pin for later…