River Thames. Buckingham Palace. Westminster. London’s many landmarks are instantly recognisable. On your next trip, why not get a fresh perspective by seeking out a different view? Step away from the crowds at ground level and head up into the clouds to see the city from the sky. From the roof of the O2 to the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, these are the best viewpoints in London for sprawling cityscapes.

The Shard

As the tallest building in the UK, The Shard is an obvious, but worthy, choice when it comes to London viewpoints. Venture up to the capital’s highest viewing platform, The View from The Shard, for uninterrupted panoramas. Alternatively, for a picture-perfect dining experience, book a table at one of The Shard’s high-rise restaurants – choose from contemporary British fare at Aqua Shard or flavours of Northern China at Hutong.

The-Shard_iStock_valdisskudre_www.istockphoto

The London Eye

For sightseeing with a twist, take a spin on The London Eye. Towering over the River Thames, the giant wheel, built in honour of the millennium, is the tallest observation wheel in Europe. During a 30-minute rotation in one of the 32 capsules, visitors can take in views stretching as far as 40km on a clear day. Not sure what you’re looking at? Helpful information points in the pods signal important sights and explain a little of the local history. Private capsule bookings and chocolate or Champagne experiences are available for those seeking something extra special.

The-London-Eye_iStock_ZoltanGabor_www.istockphoto

The O2

What better way to take in a view of London than on top of one of its most distinctive landmark attractions, The O2? Test your limits and climb onto the domed roof with the Up at The O2 experience. Taking adventure-seekers to the summit, this adrenaline-fuelled activity is guaranteed to get the heart racing, and not just because of the incredible views that await at the top. Urban mountaineering at its best, the experience is totally safe and participants are strapped into harnesses, and given special suits and boots for the climb. Don’t forget to take a camera!

The-O2_iStock_Mike_Boyland_www.istockphoto

St Paul’s Cathedral

Combine your love for history, architecture and fantastic views at St Paul’s Cathedral. From the pinnacle of the three-domed cathedral, visitors can enjoy impressive vistas of London’s cityscape. Start by climbing the 367 steps to the Stone Gallery, popping into the Whispering Gallery on your way up. Take a break and gaze out at the capital or continue up to the intimate Golden Gallery, which is 85 metres and 528 steps from the cathedral floor. From here, explorers are treated to stunning views of sights such as the River Thames, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

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The Monument 

Dedicated to the Great Fire of London of 1666, The Monument is a lesser-known attraction with a secret viewing platform that offers panoramic views of the Thames, The Shard, and Tower Bridge, among other important sights. Located in the heart of The City, the distinctive flame-topped monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is the tallest isolated stone column in the world. To enjoy the view, visitors can climb the 311 spiral steps to the observation gallery.

The-Monument_iStock_Bikeworldtravel_www.istockphoto

After gazing at them from above, discover many of the city’s greatest sights and attractions up close with one of our London tours.

Image Credits: The Shard © iStock/valdisskudre. Skyline of London © iStock/ZoltanGabor. Millennium Dome © iStock/Mike_Boyland. St Paul’s © iStock/TomasSereda. The Monument © iStock/Bikeworldtravel.