Two weeks ago I (Laura) visited London with my cousin. We wanted to celebrate our respective birthdays, which took place in November, in a special manner. And there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than a girls trip to one of the most important and fascinating cities in the world. It was only a weekend, but we created memories that will remain for a long time.
Dídac, my other half in this blog, has been to London several times. However, for me it was only my second time there. The first one was in summer, when I was 18. I had always dreamed of visiting London and then I finally convinced my parents and managed to attend an English course there. Life is full of coincidences: my English school was in Russell Square when I was 18 and our hostel this time was near Russell Square too. The same sceneries but in a different season: this year our trip to London meant the arrival of Christmas in our hearts. Lights and gifts everywhere, and a special surprise: a wonderful viewpoint that only exists as from 2015. Do you want to know from where the above picture was taken? Just keep reading!
20 Fenchurch Street. Keep this address in your mind if you are planning a visit to London. This place links two concepts quite appreciated by travelers: views and free, free and views. I read about this viewpoint somewhere in the blogosphere and decided that I couldn’t miss it in my trip to London. I searched for more information when the departure day approached and I found out that I had to book my tickets despite of the viewpoint being free.
20 Fenchurch Street is the official name of this building that was designed in 2004 by Rafael Viñoly, an Uruguayan architect based in New York and completed in 2014. The building is located in the City of London financial district and has been named by local people as the “Walkie-Talkie” because of its shape. It seems that the building has recently been acquired by a Hong Kong group for a record price. The main quality of 20 Fenchurch Street is its distinctive top-heavy form which bursts upward and outward. The building, 160 meters tall, can be seen from all around the City.
The nearest underground stations are Bank and Monumental. We got down in the Bank station and walked towards the London Bridge from which we enjoyed the views over the Tower Bridge. We had booked our tickets for 11:30 a.m. How did we booked them? Well, in this website you will find all the necessary information to plan your visit.
The building has several restaurants and bars from which you will enjoy great views and also offers public ticketed hours for the viewpoint in the top (Sky Garden): from Monday to Friday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and also in the weekend (from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Tickets are released every Monday from up to 1 week in advance. I felt so lucky cause I learned about this on Sunday and the following day tickets were available for our target date! By booking those tickets you will be allowed to stay up to one hour in the top.
Thus, if you are thinking of visiting the Sky Garden when in London, be ready to book your tickets as soon as they are released, particularly if you wish to visit the observatory during the most crowded hours. You will find great views of the City of London district in a natural environment (plants appear everywhere!). I would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting London!