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Free Public Viewing Platforms: An Overview

When the Sky Garden opened in 2015 as the highest public viewing garden in London, it was an absolute sensation, loved by residents and visitors alike. Since then several other, albeit lower, public terraces and rooftop gardens have joined the Sky Garden as options for those who like to see things from above. Most of these are located in the City of London, although one is a bit further west in the Borough of Camden. With the recent openings of The Lookout and Horizon 22 (the highest public viewing gallery), located next door to each other on Bishopsgate, London now has a plethora of free public viewing platforms. So it makes sense to have an overview of the options and how to book (if required) to access them.

Please note that I have only included those that are free of charge; there are other viewing decks such as the Shard of the tower of Westminster Cathedral that also offer lovely views but involve a fee to access them. The facilities and the views vary; some are only behind glass indoors (The Lookout and Horizon 22) while others are entirely outdoors (The Garden at 120, One New Change, and the Post Building). The Sky Garden is primarily indoors but includes a south-facing section where you can walk outside. Except for the Tate Modern Terrace south of the river and the Post Building on New Oxford Street, all are in the City of London. The Sky Garden and the Garden at 120 both boast 360 degree views while Horizon is close behind with 300 degree view.s Here are some photos of these platforms, including (clockwise from top left) the view from Horizon 22, the entrances to Horizon 22 and the Lookout next to each other, inside the Lookout, interior of the Sky Garden, view from the Sky Garden, and finally, the view from the Tate Modern 10th floor terrace. Now that you know what the options are and how to book, there is no excuse not to check out some of these!



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