Best Places to Catch a Sunset in London
We can often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget to take a minute for ourselves and appreciate the natural world around us.
Watching the sunset over London is one of those magical moments when the city and the natural world seamlessly merge together. From hillside viewing spots, perfect for a warm summers evening, to high-end restaurants in some of London’s tallest buildings, you’ll find somewhere worthy of taking time out to watch the sun disappear behind the beautiful skyline of the capital. Have a read of our top picks for watching the sun wind down in the capital.
Primrose Hill is the go-to spot to watch the sunset in North London. Located in one of the most expensive postcodes in the capital, many flock to the top of this 213-foot tall hill for an almost perfect vista of London’s skyline. Take a closer look and spot the shard, the London eye and even Big Ben looming in the distance. During the warmer months, join the crowds at Primrose Hill; take a blanket and a bottle of prosecco and, as the sun sets, make a toast to the end of another day – and all the mystery tomorrow will bring.
As one of the few pedestrian-only bridges in the capital, the Millennium Bridge offers a convenient connection between the north and south banks of the River Thames. Follow the path from the Southbank to the top of the bridge and watch the sun disappear behind the iconic St Pauls Cathedral. And if you haven’t had enough of people watching, why not head to the top of the new viewing platform at Tate Modern afterwards to experience the city by night.
Watching the sunset at the top of the Heron Tower is one of the more expensive spots to watch the day draw to an end in the capital. Take the lift to the 40th floor of the tower to the Duck and Waffle Restaurant. Here, tables sit beside floor-to-ceiling windows and provide visitors with supreme panoramic views of London’s skyline. Thanks to the restaurant's popularity, you will need to book well in advance to secure a table at sunset!
There is no better place to escape the chaos of London life than a visit to Richmond Park. As the largest of London’s Royal Parks, visitors can wander through 2,500 acres of open meadows, looking out for one of the 600 deer that live here year-round. Although there isn’t much elevation in the park,you can head to the pond near Pembroke House for unparalleled views of a London sunset. Even better, visit for sunrise if you can, when the grass is dewy and you may just have the whole park to yourself.
The London Eye
Although considered to be a bit of a tourist trap, you can’t deny that The London Eye, situated in the heart of the city, provides visitors with some of the best views of the capital. Rising high above the South Bank, this iconic ferris wheel allows visitors to see the winds of the River Thames, catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace, and snap a photo of the iconic Big Ben. Sunset rides on the London Eye are incredibly popular, so don’t forget to book in advance if you want to guarantee a ride during the golden hour!
Opened in 2015, the Sky Garden sits on the 36th floor of the ‘Walkie Talkie Building’, making it the highest public garden in London. Laden with leafy indoor plants and huge floor to ceiling windows, this sunset spot showcases the true harmony between the natural world and the busy city. If you don’t mind an early wakeup call, visit the Sky Garden at sunrise to see the day in with an invigorating yoga class.
Another favoured spot in North London is Parliament Hill. Sitting at the highest point in Hampstead Heath, locals and tourists alike flock here to watch the sun go down. The heath stretches across 800 acres giving visitors an often well-needed rural escape from the city. Why not go for a quick dip at the open-air lido before climbing the hill to watch the sunset? That is a truly quintessentially London experience.
Kensington Roof Gardens
Opened in the 1930s, the Kensington Roof Gardens wins the award for one of the most historic spots to watch the sunset. Originally opened as a department store, the roof was converted into a garden to provide a place of respite from the busy shopping streets below. Choose a seat in the Spanish Gardens, Tudor Terraces or traditional English Woodlands to watch the sun disappear in this surreal setting.
Stretching across the top three floors of the world’s tallest Novotel, Bokan is one of the newest spots to grace London’s sky-high dining scene. However, eating here is not a cheap activity. So, why not grab a drink at the rooftop bar for a more affordable way to watch the sun fade away into an orangey-red hue behind Canary Wharf.
Better known for its firework displays and music concerts, Alexandra Palace is also a spectacular spot to watch a sunset. Although a steep climb to the top of the hill, it is well worth it to see the entirety of London’s skyline laid out in front of you. Take a blanket and pack a picnic to enjoy the beautiful grounds before watching London fade into darkness.
This article was originally published in October 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020