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Tall Attractions in London

See London From High Up


London is a large and sprawling city and is definitely worth seeing from high up.

1. The View From The Shard

Daytime view of The Shard in London
Iain Masterton/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
This is the tallest viewing platform in central London with an indoor and outdoor viewing platform on levels 69 and 72. The Shard is 1,016ft (310m) tall and sits centrally between the West End, Westminster, the South Bank, the City and Canary Wharf which means it has to have the best viewing opportunities in London.

2. The London Eye

The London Eye
© Laura Porter
The London Eye is 135 meters high and has 32 capsules. It has been the most popular paid-for UK visitor attraction for some time. It has a great location on the South Bank, opposite the Houses of Parliament and the views include Buckingham Palace, Royal Parks and beyond.

3. Up at The O2

Up At The O2
© Laura Porter
The O2 is an iconic building in North Greenwich and in 2012 Up at The O2 was added as an attraction. It literally means you climb over the top of the building! The central observation platform at the summit is 52 meters high and has some great views. The climb is slightly strenuous but totally worth it. You can see Historic Royal Greenwich, the London 2012 Olympic Park, plus Canary Wharf and through to the City of London and central London.

4. London Cable Car - Emirates Air Line

London Cable Car - Emirates Air Line
© Laura Porter
London got a cable car across the River Thames in 2012 and this is, technically, public transport although most of us still think this is fun and not commuting. The journey is 1.1km (0.68 miles) and is 90 meters above The Thames at the highest point. The cable car connects North Greenwich, home of The O2 and Emirates Royal Docks terminal which is a short walk from ExCeL London.

5. St Paul's Cathedral Galleries

View of London Eye from Stone Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral, London
© Laura Porter
There are three galleries to climb up to in the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. The first, the Whispering Gallery, is indoors only and reached by 257 steps (30 meters high). Do not start the climb if you do not think you can make it as it's one way up and another way down.

The Stone Gallery offers some great views as it's an outside area around the dome and you can take photos from there. It is 376 steps to the Stone Gallery (53 meters from the cathedral floor). At the top is the Golden Gallery reached by 528 steps from the cathedral floor.

6. The Monument

The Monument, London
© Laura Porter
This is, apparently, the tallest isolated column in the world. It's not horrifically high at just 202 ft and visitors can only reach 160 ft high as that's where the caged-in viewing platform is. You do have to walk all the way up, and all the way down, and there are 311 steps. This time you do have to pass other visitors on the steps so leave big bags at the bottom as it's a spiral staircase all the way. But achieve the climb and you'll be rewarded with a certificate when you leave.

7. London Restaurants With A View

There are many restaurants in tall buildings in London as dining with a view is always pleasant. Whether it's a view of the River Thames, the City of London or into the Queen's garden at Buckingham Palace all of the restaurants listed offer something special.

8. Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral
© Laura Porter
Westminster Cathedral, not to be confused with Westminster Abbey, has the tower viewing gallery 210 ft (64 meters) above street level. The cathedral is near Victoria so the views are best over south and west London.

9. ArcelorMittal Orbit

The Orbit
© Laura Porter
This was classed as the UK's tallest sculpture when it opened on the London 2012 Olympic Park. Designed by Anish Kapoor, The Orbit offers excellent views into the Olympic Stadium and of the redevelopment of east London.

10. Helicopter Ride Over London

Helicopter tour over London
© Laura Porter
I tried a 30-minute sightseeing tour over London and loved it! I took off from Stapleford in Essex (east of London) and we flew over Greenwich and followed the River Thames up through central London. Once we had passed the Houses of Parliament we turned around for the return journey. The views over the City of London were my favorite and I'd happily do this again.
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