Covered: Sky Garden – London

I have been meaning to visit Sky Garden in London for the longest time! Last week I finally managed to actually go and absolutely loved it! Carry on reading to see why!

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Sky Garden is a unique public garden that spans three storeys and offers 360 degree views across the City of London that opened in 2015. You can wander freely around the landscaped indoor gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace. Sky Garden is completely free to visit!! All you have to do is a book a free visit beforehand at https://skygarden.london/sky-garden

Getting There: Sky Garden is located on the top of 20 Fenchurch Street. 20 Fenchurch Street has been nicknamed ‘the walkie talkie’ due to its distinctive shape and design. The building is the 12th tallest in London. There is some controversy around the building in terms of its location and blocking off of other views around London.

20 Fenchurch Street is located in the centre of the City of London. Monument Station on both the Circle Line and the District Line is the closest underground station and is just a few minutes walk away.

IMG_097120 Fenchurch – ‘the walkie talkie’ 

Price: As mentioned earlier the garden is completely free to visit. You just have to ensure you have made a booking online beforehand. A limited number of tickets are available each day and the garden is very popular so it can be difficult to get a time slot that you want. I would say just keep on trying you will eventually find a slot that works for you and the garden is definitely worth the wait!

There are a few things you need to be aware of when planning your trip:

  • you need to book beforehand online
  • you need to arrive on time otherwise may not be allowed in
  • the time slots are 90 minutes each –  which is more than enough time to explore the space and even grab a bite to eat. When I visited I was not asked to leave even after 90 minutes had past
  • opening times are 10am-6pm (last booking slot 4.45pm) during weekdays and 11am-9pm  (last booking slot 7.45pm) on the weekend
  • there are times when the garden is closed for events or private bookings, but notice of this is provided on the website
  • you need to either print your ticket or have it on your phone to be scanned
  • you may be asked to show your ID that correspondence with the name on the tickets – although I was not asked when I visited
  • be aware that if the weather is bad then the open air terrace may be closed
  • there are some times when Sky Garden has walk in visits, where you can visit without booking, but to avoid disappointment I would recommend booking beforehand

Queues for Sky Garden can be quite lengthy and you can only join the queue 5 minutes before your booking. You have to pass through security before taking the lift up on the 35th floor. The garden actually spans across 3 floors so you eventually can climb up to the 37th floor.

Within the area there are spaces with different seating and sofa areas to sit and enjoy the views. Some of the many views include the HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, City Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Wembley Arena, The Shard, Canary Wharf and way off the in distance the Olympic Stadium. Of course how much you can see depends on the weather on the day you are visiting. I think the great thing is that you can visit it at different times during the day and throughout the year and experience different views each time.

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In terms of eating there are quite a few options from breakfast, to dinner or just a coffee and some cake. Sky Gardens has the Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill, Darwin Brasserie and the Sky Pod Bar. You can book these in advance or you can just visit the garden and decide to stay and eat if they have availability.  You can also hire the venue and the different restaurants for private bookings. You can also arrange to have halal meat if you call to arrange it in advance. For more information about the different eating options and the prices have a look on the website – https://skygarden.london/

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It is worth mentioning that if you are afraid of heights the open air terrace that overlooks the river Thames may be too much for you. However when inside you can also get some great views without having to go on to the terrace or climbing up to the 37th floor.

Also the Sky Garden is accessible to all – contact the customer services team before your visit and they can help guide you through access for wheelchair users and carers.

Final Thoughts: There are some negative reviews out there about Sky Gardens. I can only speak from my personal experience and say I absolutely loved my visit! I would definitely recommend it to everyone and will be going back again. It really is a unique experience in London and the best way to see the whole of the city for free! I think it is great that the space is open to the public and free to visit and means that the space is accessible to everyone!

 

 

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