Imagine a skyscraper with an indoor garden, three eateries and arguably the best views in London. If you like the sound of this, you will love the Sky Garden. Read on to find out more about this fantastic London landmark.

Visiting the Sky Garden, London

The Sky Garden was designed by award-winning landscape architects Gillespies. This iconic London landmark is located within 20 Fenchurch Street, designed by the famous Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly in 2004.

The highest public garden in London, this incredible public space offers spectacular views in the heart of the City. The building is three storeys high and 155 metres above ground.

There are some quiet spots along the way to sit and take stock of the serenity. The space is so vast, it never feels overcrowded.

Review of The Sky Garden London

Arriving at 20 Fenchurch Street, you can’t miss the Walkie Talkie, as this building is nicknamed. It’s best to book tickets, although there are occasional spaces available for walk ins at the Sky Garden bar.

These can be booked up to 3 weeks in advance on the Sky Garden website and are free of charge. Inside, you’ll be greeted by smiling and very smartly dressed staff.

After showing your ticket, you’ll pass through airport style security. You then take an express lift up to the 35th floor and enter the atrium.

Sky Garden | SkyGarden - Visit of the Sky Garden London by Luxury Columnist
The Sky Garden London

The Sky Garden Plants

The terraces feature Mediterranean and South African plants, installed by horticultural specialist idverde UK. These species have been chosen to work with the quality of light under the roof canopy and to resist drought.

Among the plants used are Bird of Paradise, Red Hot Poker and African Lily. Visitors will also notice sweet-smelling herbs like French Lavender.

Sky Garden Viewing Platform

The Francis Golding Terrace is named after the well-known townscape advisor who helped to develop 20 Fenchurch Street. He was tragically killed in a bicycle accident.

The open-air terrace at the Sky Garden London is open daily from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 11am to 6pm on weekends. However, this is weather-dependent so the terrace may be closed without advance notice.

Observation Decks

There are also two indoor observation decks at Sky Garden London – one at the front and one at the rear of the building.

Even from the inside, all the views are stupendous – to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and further afield to Canary Wharf.

sky garden 20 fenchurch street

20 Fenchurch Street is larger at the top than the bottom and is made of huge sheets of glass. This is the panorama looking towards St Paul’s Cathedral, with the London Eye on the left.

Views from the Sky Garden London
Views from the Sky Garden London

Below you can see Tower 42 on the left, the “Cheesegrater” aka 122 Leadenhall Street in the middle and the famous “Gherkin”, 30 St Mary Axe on the right. You can also see all the way to the Wembley Arch.

Skyscrapers in the City of London
Skyscrapers in the City of London

Sky Garden Restaurants and Bars

There are five places to drink or eat in the Sky Garden:

  • Sky Pod Bar
  • Darwin Brasserie
  • Fenchurch Restaurant
  • City Garden Bar
  • Fenchurch Terrace

The Sky Pod Bar serves up casual snacks and afternoon tea. It has been beautifully decorated. There are fake fur throws, lanterns, comfy cushions and an outdoor terrace.

Although not technically a London rooftop bar as all seats are inside, you have get great views of The Shard.

Sofas at the Sky Pod Bar - review of Sky Garden by Luxury Columnist, the luxury blog
Sofas at the Sky Pod Bar

For a causal meal, we recommend Darwin Brasserie. Attention to detail is impressive, we love the lighting and the pared-down decor of this Sky Garden restaurant.

Darwin Brasserie bar area
Darwin Brasserie bar area

The panoramic view over the London skyline is simply mesmerizing.

The views from Darwin Brasserie
The views from Darwin Brasserie

The food is the sort of hearty comfort food that you dream of in cold weather. We shared a sticky shallot tarte tatin to start. Topped with goat’s cheese, this was utter perfection. My main was a venison pie with golden puff pastry, buttered kale and mustard fruits.

We also recommend the Goodwood Estate pork belly with crackling, Puy lentils, heritage carrot and apple puree.

As for the chocolate pave dessert, we’re already dreaming of our next portion! Served with banana and toffee ice cream, it was beautifully decorated with edible gold leaf.

Food at Darwin Brasserie
Food at Darwin Brasserie

How Do You Make a Sky Garden Booking?

Visitors can reserve a free ticket to the Sky Garden London online. It is recommended that you book entry to the Sky Garden in advance online to guarantee entry, as visitor numbers are currently limited.

Tickets are valid for the date and time specified only and you must enter within one hour of your time slot. There are currently no family bookings or group bookings available.

To visit the Sky Garden you can also reserve in one of the restaurants. There is a separate restaurant queue, allowing you faster entry. As you would expect, you aren’t allowed to take your own food in, apart from baby food and milk.

There is live music with dancing on Thursday and Friday nights, and DJs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

20 Fenchurch Street London
20 Fenchurch Street

Is There a Dress Code?

There is no specific dress code in the day time. From 6 pm onwards, there is a smart casual dress code in the Sky Garden Bars and Darwin Brasserie.

Fenchurch Restaurant does not allow gym trainers, sportswear or hoodies. Baseball caps, flip flops and male vest tops are not permitted in any of the restaurants.

It’s wise to dress warmly on cold days, as the space is naturally ventilated.

Can You Bring Pets to the Sky Garden?

No pets are allowed in the Sky Garden London, apart from guide dogs.

Can You Hire the Sky Garden?

You can rent all or part of the space for events. Fenchurch restaurant can be hired from Sunday to Wednesday after 6pm, from £5,000 excluding VAT and excluding food and drink costs.

Darwin Brasserie is also available for hire from Sunday to Wednesday after 6pm. The cost is currently £9,500 excluding VAT, with a minimum catering spend of £10,000 excluding VAT.

Food is provided by rhubarb, the luxury London event caterer.

Yoga Session at Sky Garden

For a unique London yoga class, you can’t beat this venue! The hour long classes take place on Saturdays and Sundays and start at 8.30 am.

They cost £20 per person and include access to the gardens. There are no shower facilities and mats are not provided, so you must bring your own.

Please note there are no shower facilities and mats are not provided, so we ask you to please bring your own.

Sky Garden Opening Hours

7 am – 11.30 pm, Monday to Wednesday. 7 am – 12 am, Thursday to Friday, 8 am – 1 am, Saturday – 8 am – 11.30 pm Sunday.

Panoramic views of the River Thames
Panoramic views of the River Thames

Getting to the Sky Garden

By tube – Monument is the closest. Tower Hill, Tower Gate, Aldgate and Bank are less than 10 minutes walk.

By train – London Fenchurch Street, Cannon Street, and London Bridge are all within walking distance.

Address: 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF

We hope you have enjoyed our review of this spectacular London landmark. If you visit London’s sky gardens, don’t forget to take a camera, but remember that tripods are not allowed. These public gardens are a photographer’s dream and the light is constantly changing.

Do you agree that this is the best view in London? Which do you think is the best in London or your city?

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The Sky Garden | Travel Tips | London | UK | Europe | Luxurycolumnist | Luxury Blog
The Sky Garden London review

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29 thoughts on “Visiting the Sky Garden London [2022] – Best Free Views of The Capital”

  1. Wow! I had never heard of this place before. I love the name ‘skygarden’! It is beautiful and the views are magnificent!

    1. Hi Holly, I agree, the name is fantastic – just sums it all up really! Having said that there’s not many flowers yet but hopefully more will bloom in time

  2. Amazing views and great photos! I tried a few weeks back to get a time slot and it was all mid morning on Tuesday and Wednesday so not luck. I’m going to keep trying though as it looks amazing!

    1. Definitely keep trying and book yourself into the cafe or one of the restaurants if you want to go on the weekend, it’s worth the effort!

  3. This looks delicious and like so much fun! The best view on Oahu, in my opinion, is from the Pillbox Trail in Kailua. You have to hike a bit to get up there but it’s so worth it!

  4. We’ll have to compare notes! The view from Darwin Brasserie was fantastic, now I want to go back at night to check out the ambiance in the bar. Might wait until it gets warmer though!

  5. Catherine and Jasiminne have just been to the Seafood one. Interesting that some didn’t like the food, maybe that was during the soft opening. I literally couldn’t find fault with any of it and didn’t even need to eat again in the evening, it was so filling

  6. Stunning pictures this is now on the to do list it looks wonderful. Your food looks divine and what a good looking couple you make. The chocolate pave dessert looks wonderful a foodie dream Lucy x

  7. Yes the candle was quite random! I have a fairly big bag but I don’t think I had one in there ;-). If you get time, would be lovely to have a coffee

  8. Your pictures are some of the best I’ve seen yet from this place! I also don’t really think it looks like a walkie-talkie, but I suppose every major building in London needs a nickname. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing this place myself…in like a year when there’s finally availability again…

    1. Thanks Sarah, that’s very kind – agreed that it doesn’t look much like a walkie talkie!

  9. Love this post and really want to visit! My favourite view of London so far has been from a table for two at Duck & Waffle at the top of Heron Tower … it’s breathtaking! Although, I did love the View from the Shard as well. Sky Garden is next on my list, but I know I’ll need to book far in advance.

    1. Thanks Jaime, I want to go to Duck and Waffle! Did you eat the actual duck and waffle or have other dishes?

    2. Thanks Jaime, will read your review – not sure about the ox cheek doughnut but they do say try something you’re afraid of every day!

    3. Oh, don’t be put off – it was delicious! It was very similar to a BBQ pork bun, if you’ve ever had that at dim sum. The name is slightly misleading. 🙂 p.s. love your dress in this post!

  10. Wow, absolutely gorgeous photos! I work right by here so it’s been super exciting to watch the whole building slowly coming to life! I had tickets to the Sky Garden but had to help my friend find a house – I’m determined to get up there when they release more tickets.

    1. Thanks Emily, hope you manage to get there soon – shame that you couldn’t make it first time but no doubt your friend was very grateful for the help

  11. Those views look incredible, Suze! Amazing that you managed to get there just as it opened. Definitely a great post for the #LondonLiving link up! xx

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