The Sky Garden in London has been around for a while now, but it has taken me until now to actually visit it. This wasn’t even without trying several times, it just genuinely took me a year to find a weekend I was free and the Sky Garden had spaces. A few weeks back I clicked on their site to check again and found the booking system had been changed, I went straight through the pages and a minute or so later my ticket was sitting in my inbox. Whether it was coincidence or luck, I don’t know, but I like the new booking system.
The Sky Garden is located near Monument tube station and as long as you come out of the right exit it’s easy to find. If you come out the wrong exit you will have to walk round in a circle before you spot the building above your head. Once you arrive, you simple present your ticket outside and then join the queue to enter. There is the obligatory ticket scan and then you have to go through airport style security before being allowed to enter the lift. Despite having to put names on your tickets when you book them, they didn’t check ID like I had expected.
The lift will open at floor 35 and you will be greeted by a huge greenhouse which happens to sit at the top of a skyscraper. This isn’t any old green house, it is a perfectly designed one with floor to ceiling views, incredible light and plenty of space to sit and relax. There are 360 degree views from the inside and a gorgeous open air terrace looking south of the river. I say gorgeous because it was sunny and warm on the day I visited, I can’t imagine it is so gorgeous on a wet and windy day. Still for me, the open air terrace was only a slither of the reasons I loved the Sky Garden. What I really liked was the views from the inside of the greenhouse, how the structure of the building framed the landscape. I struggled to imagine a more beautiful greenhouse.
On floor 35 there are two cafe/bars and an abundance of places to sit and relax: sofas, high chairs and cushions designed to look like logs. You could easily grab a cuppa and perch and whittle away your hour up here. Not that anyone was counting how long you had or hadn’t been up there. I ended up only staying just over 30 minutes but had I of visited with someone I could have easily stayed an hour here.
Many of the skyscrapers in London come with such a hefty price tag you tend to only go once, take the Shard and Duck and Waffle for instance. However, this is a place I imagine I will back to again and probably more than once. It offers some of the best views across London in a relaxed and beautiful environment. The cafe prices were standard for London and they offered a range of goodies including gluten free muffins. Of course, if you did want to take your visit to the next level, then there are a choice of three fancy restaurant/bars which you can dine at, these do require a reservation to do so.
I know when the Sky Garden first opened people had very mixed opinions on whether they liked it or not, I struggle to see why anyone wouldn’t like this place. It felt like the best escape from the bustling city below. Now to time my next visit with sunset.