Tag Archives: panorama

50: Fall for the views on Saint Paul’s

All it takes to get to the best views on Saint Paul’s Cathedral is to take the glass elevator at the core of the shopping centre One New Change. The open-air public terrace offers a spectacular panorama on the iconic dome and on the city beyond. Icing on the cake, the place tends to be quieter in the weekends, when city boys desert the area.

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Tube stations: Saint Paul’s, Mansion House

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41: Look down from the top of Westminster Cathedral’s Tower

Located in Victoria, Westminster Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in England, should not be confused with Westminster Abbey (part of the Church of England). Its Byzantine design, quite different from the traditional architecture of Great Britain’s cathedrals, contrasts with Victoria’s modern surroundings.

Westminster Cathedral

But what tends to be less known about Westminster Cathedral is that it is actually possible to take a lift up to the top of the bell tower.

View from Wesminster Cathedral's Tower: Wesminster Abbey Of course, the panorama of Westminster Cathedral’s Tower is clearly not worth that of other popular sites such as the London Eye; but going up the bell tower is only £5 (£2,5 for concessions) and the venue is far less crowded (we were actually alone in the tower when we visited it).

View from Wesminster Cathedral's Tower: Vincent's Square At 65 metres high, visitors are rewarded by views encompassing the Parliament, Buckingham Palace or the towers of Battersea power station – though, surprisingly, the Thames, only a few hundred metres away from the Cathedral, is nowhere to be found.

View from Wesminster Cathedral's Tower: Battersea

Tube Station: Victoria

37: Escape to Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath, locally known as the Heath, is an age-old institution in London. According to the legend, the Celtic queen Boudica is buried there; it was also Karl Marx’s favorite family outing. Still today, this hilly park, which covers 320 hectares and comprises woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds, a training track, and which adjoins Kenwood House, remains a genuinely popular public place.

Kenwood House

Kenwood House

There, you may see swimmers taking a refreshing dip in the ponds in the summer time, or even earlier for the bravest ones – the water remains chilly all year long. Hampstead Heath is also used by walkers and runners of all sorts and is believed to be the home of cross-country running in Britain – you can meditate on that while you try and jog up and down the hills without running out of steam.

Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath

Parliament Hill's protected view: one of "the Heath's" trademarks

Indeed Hampstead Heath is also famous for being one of the highest points in London, and, in the Southern end of the park, Parliament Hill’s splendid view over the city is even protected by law. It is a magic place, where lovers on romantic walks meet kite-fliers taking advantage of the wind on the hill.

Kite-fliers in Hampstead Heath

Kite-flying on Parliament Hill

Nearest Tube stations: Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak Hampstead, Belsize Park,Golders Green, Highgate and Archway