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See London From High Up
London is a large and sprawling city and is definitely worth seeing from high up. Click through for lots of recommendations on ways to enjoy London from a higher level.
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Sky Garden is on top of one of The City of London's skyscrapers. You can visit levels 35-37 of the 'Walkie Talkie' for free - just book a ticket in advance.
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The View From The Shard
The View From The Shard is the tallest viewing platform in central London with an indoor and outdoor viewing platform on levels 69 and 72. The Shard is 1,016ft (310m) tall and sits centrally between the West End, Westminster, the South Bank, the City and Canary Wharf which means it has to have the best viewing opportunities in London.
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The London Eye
The London Eye is 135 meters high and has 32 capsules. It has been the most popular paid-for UK visitor attraction for some time. It has a great location on the South Bank, opposite the Houses of Parliament and the views include Buckingham Palace, Royal Parks and beyond.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Up at the O2
The O2 is an iconic building in North Greenwich and in 2012 Up at The O2 was added as an attraction. It literally means you climb over the top of the building! The central observation platform at the summit is 52 meters high and has some great views. The climb is slightly strenuous but totally worth it. You can see Historic Royal Greenwich, the London 2012 Olympic Park, plus Canary Wharf and through to the City of London and central London.
Also enjoy some Suggested Itineraries for Days Out in Greenwich.
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London Cable Car - Emirates Air Line
London got a cable car across the River Thames in 2012 (called The Emirates Air Line) and this is, technically, public transport although most of us still think this is fun and not commuting. The journey is 1.1km (0.68 miles) and is 90 meters above The Thames at the highest point. The cable car connects North Greenwich, home of The O2 and Emirates Royal Docks terminal which is a short walk from ExCeL London.
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St Paul's Cathedral Galleries
There are three galleries to climb up to in the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. The first, the Whispering Gallery, is indoors only and reached by 257 steps (30 meters high). Do not start the climb if you do not think you can make it as it's one way up and another way down.
The Stone Gallery offers some great views as it's an outside area around the dome and you can take photos from there. It is 376 steps to the Stone Gallery (53 meters from the cathedral floor). At the top is the Golden Gallery reached by 528 steps from the cathedral floor.
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Tower Bridge Exhibition
Tower Bridge Exhibition has two high walkways at about 42 meters above the River Thames. At the end of 2014, glass floor panels were added so you now watch the traffic on the bridge and the boats going under the bridge.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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The ArcelorMittal Orbit
The ArcelorMittal Orbit was classed as the UK's tallest sculpture when it opened on the London 2012 Olympic Park. Designed by Anish Kapoor, The Orbit offers excellent views into the Olympic Stadium and of the redevelopment of east London.
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The Monument is, apparently, the tallest isolated column in the world. It's not horrifically high at just 202 ft and visitors can only reach 160 ft high as that's where the caged-in viewing platform is. You do have to walk all the way up, and all the way down, and there are 311 steps. This time you do have to pass other visitors on the steps so leave big bags at the bottom as it's a spiral staircase all the way. But achieve the climb and you'll be rewarded with a certificate when you leave.
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Helicopter Ride Over London
I tried a 30-minute sightseeing tour over London and loved it! I took off from Stapleford in Essex (east of London) and we flew over Greenwich and followed the River Thames up through central London. Once we had passed the Houses of Parliament we turned around for the return journey. The views over the City of London were my favorite and I'd happily do this again.