I always love visiting London, it is such a diverse city with sprawling parks to some of the most iconic skylines in the world. I love exploring the city and finding its hidden gems. Earlier this year, for my birthday, I was met from my train by my sister and her partner and they told me that had a surprise planned for me. How exciting!
We negotiated the tubes and went to financial district right in the heart of the City of London. It was eerily quiet, with hardly any traffic and few pedestrians, the complete opposite to how I’d imagine that area of the city to be. It appears that Londoners like to leave the hustle and bustle of city life far behind at the weekends!
I had no idea where we were going, I recognised some of the buildings; The Gherkin and The Shard are unmistakable buildings in the area and we passed huge banks and financial service headquarters. We trotted up some steps to another tall glass fronted building. We were at 20 Fenchurch Street, affectionately known as the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building’ due to its resemblance in shape. Inside the building was bright, open and had an expanse of marble floor. We walked up to the front desk and my sister discussed with the staff our reservation, and then we were directed through to security check point. Once we had passed security we found the lifts and went up. Up and up, 35 floors, 155 meters to the Sky Garden.
Inside the huge atrium is a spectacular landscaped garden with plants from across the continents enveloped in 360 degree panoramic views of the city of London. It was breathtaking. We ordered our coffees and pastries and sat looking out, soaking up the atmosphere. Looking down at street level, we could see the busy city, trains coming and going out of the stations and the boats on the Thames, yet there we were in the beautiful, tranquil, zen like space. It was so pleasantly contradictory.
The Sky Garden also has an outdoor terrace. This was opened briefly during our visited and we had a blustery walk along it, before it closed due to it being too windy. I can imagine, that this would only add to the experience visit in fine weather.
London can be an expensive place, so to discover that the Sky Garden is free to visit was a real surprise. Tickets for the Sky Garden are released three weeks in advance and can be booked through the Sky Garden website. A visit here would make great stop during a sight-seeing break, or a memorable place to celebrate a special occasion. I can’t wait to go back and share the Sky Garden with more of my friends and family.