Whether you’re a night owl or an early riser, the sunrises of London can be truly spectacular – if you know where to find them. The problem is seeing beyond the skyscrapers and cathedrals, which are actually pretty impressive in and of themselves. As a relatively flat city, it can be difficult for guests of the Barbican Rooms Hotel to find those cityscape viewpoints if they don’t know where to look for them.
Many of the best are hidden away and treasured by locals. This blog will uncover some of the local secrets for great views of the city, so guests of hotels near the Barbican can enjoy a true view of the expansive English capital.
Greenwich Observatory is situated in Greenwich Park in Southeast London. The beautiful royal park is home to a great many landmarks and attractions, including Greenwich market, the Royal Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark, all of which overlook the beautiful southern banks of the River Thames. The Greenwich Observatory, though, is atop a hill in the centre of the park and its hill also offers one of the best views over London that you’ll find in the city. The views over London from Greenwich Observatory Hill boast stunning views of Canary Wharf’s business district and the centre of the city in the background, all of which draw massive crowds at sunrise and sunset.
This small green square near Blackheath is about a 15 minute walk from Greenwich Park, and offers a similar view of the city without the busy tourist crowds. Point Hill also comes with a plaque that outlines the landmarks you can see from its green rise. The views are more immediate, the park being slightly closer to the Canary Wharf skyline and these are especially striking at sunrise and sunset.
South Bank Rooftop Terrace
A little closer to central London for guests of hotels in London City, the South Bank rooftop terrace is named the Queen Elizabeth Rooftop Terrace, offering a green oasis that is bustling in the summer. Run by volunteer gardeners, summer sees cafe and cocktail menus add extra kick to the glittering views over the Thames.
Easy to reach for guests of meeting rooms in the City of London, Primrose Hill is a popular hangout in the heart of Regent’s Park. Bordered by St John’s Wood and Camden, Primrose Hill rises to an elevation of 63 metres, with the surrounding trees maintained at a low height so as not to obscure the stunning view over Stratford and Central London.
Parliament Hill is part of another popular London park, this time a little further north in Hampstead. The titular heath consists of 800 acres of ponds, forests and hills, the largest of which is Parliament Hill at 98 metres high. With a clear view over the City of London and Westminster, legend has it that this was the spot at which Guy Fawkes, mastermind of the 1805 gunpowder plot, planned to watch the destruction of the Houses of Parliament. Thankfully his assassination attempt failed, and the view of London has remained as gorgeous as it would’ve been back then.