Nestled atop the iconic ‘Walkie Talkie’ building, Sky Garden offers a unique blend of lush greenery and panoramic views of the city’s skyline. Whether you’re a London local or planning your next visit, this guide will help you navigate your way to and around Sky Garden, ensuring a memorable experience.
What Is Sky Garden?
Sky Garden, London’s highest public garden, is a concept that has transformed urban views and green spaces. Situated in the heart of the City of London, it occupies the top three floors of 20 Fenchurch Street, famously known as the Walkie Talkie building due to its distinctive shape. Since its opening, Sky Garden has been a testament to innovative design and urban luxury, offering breathtaking 360-degree views across the city.
Finding Sky Garden
📍 Address: 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF, United Kingdom.
Perched on the 35th floor, Sky Garden is more than just a garden; it’s an experience. For those using GPS, inputting the above location will lead you directly to this magnificent urban oasis.
🚂 Via Public Transport
- Underground: The nearest stations are Monument, Bank, and Tower Hill.
- Bus: Several bus routes serve the area, making it accessible from all parts of London.
Walking from nearby landmarks like the Tower of London or London Bridge offers a scenic route to Sky Garden.
🚗 Bicycle or Car
Bicycle parking is available nearby, and for those driving, there are several car parks within walking distance, though it’s wise to check availability and rates ahead of time.
Planning Your Visit
Booking Your Entry
Entry to Sky Garden is absolutely free, but it does require a bit of planning. Due to its popularity and capacity limits, all visitors must book a slot in advance through the Sky Garden’s official website. Tickets are released up to three weeks ahead of time, so it’s wise to plan early, especially if you’re aiming for a visit during peak times like weekends or sunset hours. Keep an eye on their website for ticket availability and be quick to secure your spot.
Sky Garden welcomes visitors seven days a week, with opening hours that vary. Generally, the garden is open from early in the morning until late in the evening. These extended hours offer visitors the flexibility to enjoy the garden at different times of the day, from the serene early mornings to the vibrant sunset and into the twinkling night sky. It’s always a good idea to check the current opening hours before your visit, as they can change based on the season or special events.
Sky Garden is fully accessible, with lifts and facilities to accommodate all visitors.
What To Expect At Your Visit To Sky Garden
Once inside, you’ll be transported to a lush paradise in the sky. The garden spans three levels, each offering its own unique perspective of London’s skyline. The plants and trees are carefully selected to thrive in the garden’s microclimate, creating a rich tapestry of greenery that contrasts beautifully with the urban backdrop.
The main attraction is, of course, the gardens themselves. You’ll find an array of plant species from around the world, including Mediterranean and South African flora, arranged in a carefully designed landscape that encourages exploration and contemplation.
The Sky Garden’s viewing platforms offer 360-degree views of London, allowing you to spot famous landmarks like The Shard, the River Thames, the Tower of London, and beyond. These platforms are the perfect spot for photography enthusiasts and anyone looking to take in the panoramic vistas.
Dining In The Clouds
This is one of our favourite rooftop bars in London for a reason. Sky Garden is home to several dining options, each offering a different experience. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated dinner at the Fenchurch Restaurant, a laid-back brunch at the Darwin Brasserie, or just a cocktail at the Sky Pod Bar, there’s something to suit every taste. Dining here is not just about the food; it’s about enjoying your meal with one of the best views in London. Advance booking for dining is highly recommended, especially if you’re visiting during peak hours or on weekends.
Tips & Recommendations For Visiting Sky Garden
A visit to Sky Garden is a highlight for many when exploring London. To ensure you have the best possible experience, here are some tips and recommendations to keep in mind.
- Advance Planning: Sky Garden’s free visitor slots are highly coveted and can get booked up quickly, especially during weekends and holidays. Check the booking website regularly and plan to book your tickets as soon as they become available, typically three weeks in advance.
- Group Bookings: If you’re planning to visit with a group, try to book all tickets together to ensure you can enter at the same time. Group sizes may be limited, so check the latest guidelines on the official website.
Best Times To Visit
- Sunrise and Sunset: For a truly magical experience, time your visit around sunrise or sunset. These times offer the most spectacular views of the city as the lighting changes, giving the skyline a breathtaking glow. Note that these times may require booking well in advance due to their popularity.
- Weekdays: For a quieter experience, consider visiting on a weekday. Weekdays tend to be less crowded, offering a more relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the gardens and the views.
Dining & Events
- Restaurant Reservations: If you wish to dine at one of the Sky Garden’s restaurants, book well in advance. Evening slots, especially, fill up quickly due to the spectacular night views.
- Special Events: Sky Garden hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from yoga classes to live music evenings. These events offer a unique way to experience the venue, so keep an eye on their website for upcoming events and book early to secure your spot.
On The Day Of Your Visit
- Arrival Time: Arriving slightly ahead of your booked entry time is advisable to allow for security checks. Late arrival may result in entry denial, as the booking slots are strictly adhered to.
- Photo ID: For ticket verification, some form of photo ID might be required, so have it handy upon entry.
- Weather Consideration: The view from Sky Garden is weather-dependent. On clear days, the views are unparalleled; however, London’s weather can be unpredictable. Even on overcast days, the experience of being above the city is still worth it.
- Dress Appropriately: While Sky Garden is indoors, it’s a large, airy space that can sometimes feel cool. A light jacket or sweater is recommended, especially in the evening or during cooler months.
Accessibility & Facilities
- Accessibility: Sky Garden is fully accessible to wheelchair users and those with mobility issues. If you have specific access requirements, it’s a good idea to contact Sky Garden ahead of your visit to ensure they can accommodate your needs.
- Facilities: Make use of the facilities on the ground floor before heading up to the garden, as you’ll want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the views and gardens without interruption.
- Camera Gear: Photography is encouraged, so bring your camera or smartphone. Tripods are typically not allowed without prior permission, to avoid obstructing pathways for other visitors.
- Golden Hour: For photographers, the ‘golden hour’ just after sunrise or before sunset offers the best natural lighting for capturing the stunning cityscape.
Enjoy Your Visit To The Garden In The Sky
Sky Garden is more than just a viewing platform; it’s a celebration of nature, architecture, and the vibrant city of London itself. Its unique position in the city offers an unparalleled experience that’s both exhilarating and serene. Whether you’re dining among the clouds, strolling through the gardens, or soaking up the panoramic views, a visit to Sky Garden is a must-do on your London itinerary!