Yesterday I had to head up to London for a couple of blogging things and so took the time to schedule in a little sightseeing as well while I was there. In the afternoon I met up with my Dad - London is a good halfway point for us to meet and catch up every now and then, and we took ourselves off to have a look around the London Sky Garden.
Situated at 20 Fenchurch Street, or as most people refer to it the Walkie Talkie, one of the newer buildings in the City of London, the Sky Garden is a great little stop for taking in un-interrupted 360 views of the city.
This interior landscaped garden, housed in the glass dome of the 35th floor, spans three floors - the highest public garden in London. As you wander around, it's a peaceful and relaxing way to absorb the hustle and bustle of the busy capital below you. Designed as a leisure space for the public to visit and unwind, it certainly is a nice break from the rush of the streets surrounding every edge.
Entry to the garden is free but you must pre-book your tickets online at least three days ahead of the time that you wish to visit. Visits are limited to a certain number of people in each time slot, each day. This is what makes it a much nicer and relaxed experience, with not too many people milling around at once (even during the Easter holidays!) Do remember to take photo ID with you and don't arrive late for your allotted time!
There are also three dining options within the Gardens which I haven't tried so can't comment, although walking past the windows of the brasserie during our visit I was certainly tempted! The food looked very inviting and it would be a great way to dine with lovely views, especially in the evening with the twinkle of the city lights. To find out more about the dining options and the cocktail bar click here.
Additionally, in the midst of the garden, there's also a cafe serving tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches etc. This was the only slight annoyance of the trip - despite at least ten staff chatting to each other, they weren't able to find the time to serve us so we left and went down the road for a snack instead. It did look nice though so maybe we were just unlucky on this occasion!
Apart from that it was a great experience. I'm glad it's free, if it had the usual city sightseeing price tag I might not be quite as enthusiastic. It's a lovely space, with brilliant views but you only really need 45 minutes or an hour to appreciate it. As gardens go you have to admit it's pretty unusual to find one on the 35th floor of a skyscraper in the city! Whether it's the best garden in the world or not, I admire the fact that they're attempting to do something new with a city space and offering people the chance to enjoy it. Worth pencilling in for your next trip to London and have your cameras ready to get some pretty awesome shots.
Transport wise the best tube to alight from is Monument which is on the Circle or District line. 20 Fenchurch Street is literally less than 5 minutes walk from there.
I'll leave you with a few more of my pictures from the day and say farewell for now - join me back here on Friday for a new post to take you into the weekend.
Have you visited the Sky Garden? What are your thoughts and do you have any other recommendations for hidden sightseeing gems in London that I should try? As always I really love to hear from you in the comments so leave me your thoughts or ideas below.