Hidden Gem (100% free): Skygarden Fenchurch St.

When you’re on a budget, and living in central London, it is often difficult to find places that are dazzling, interesting and 100% free to visit to spice up your weekend.

Now that summer is officially over (cue the rain) sitting in Hyde Park with a picnic or watching an outdoor show at the Southbank Centre is pretty much a no-go. So one must be creative when looking for a fun day out.

The big disappointment with things that are free to visit is that they are usually not that great. Luckily, we found a hidden gem just off Fenchurch St Station, and it goes by the name of Sky Garden.

It looks a little like this:


To visit was pretty straightforward, we just booked a slot on the website and arrived 10 mins early. Went in the lift and up there in less than a minute.

The result – beautifully kept shrubbery and gardens, friendly staff, and a view of (nearly) the whole of London as far as we could see on a particularly cloudy Sunday. Your time slot says an hour, but this was clearly a guideline as we were up there for around an hour and a half, and enjoyed the view as well as a drink from the bar. There is an outdoor viewing platform which could even be enjoyed in the rain as it is completely covered.

Blankets are also available for free for those who were slightly more chilly. The drinks were standard London prices (£5 a pint, £6 large glass of wine, £8-12 cocktails) but were served efficiently, and staff were well presented and friendly.

Ideal if you want to go for a more ‘upmarket’ evening with friends and don’t want to spend entry into a bar, and want a nice view of London without the huge price tag. Would say this is a 100x better than the London Eye!


Claire Stapley


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