Coveted summer spots on the top of Peckham car parks, bee-buzzed rooftop terraces and bird-themed roosts with winter igloos make up our list of elevated escapes in the British capital.
Take it from the pros: London is a massive metropolis that deserves days of endless exploration. It’s easy to wander the streets of England’s capital and overlook awesome attractions hiding in plain sight. A tip when searching for things to do in London? Look up, way up, and wind your way to these rooftop spots around the city for a bird’s-eye view of one of the greatest cities in the world.
The Culpeper only has four levels, though most find themselves pleasantly content at the ground-floor pub. When visiting for the night, you’ll stroll up the stairs past the restaurant and into the second-floor bedrooms. You certainly can’t beat the proximity to a proper pint and plate of chips, but we urge you to climb one flight further to the Rooftop Garden. Everything grown in this urban space is harvested, and you’ll taste the bounty in your drink or dish.
Just across the Thames from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Vintry & Mercer is ready to spoil you with a superior room. Velvet headboards, vintage-style Marshall speakers, and walk-in showers are only the tip of the iceberg. We’d gladly detail the other amenities, but first: the afternoon tea. The Mercer Roof Terrace is a cosy place for a cuppa or a pint, either of which will pair well with the skyline views, from the Shard to St Paul’s Cathedral.
This plainly named Brixton bar will easily throw those not in the know off the South London scent. Cosy up to a local who has a membership, and you’ll be welcomed into an exclusive yet unpretentious space, where fantastic food and tasty tipples are worth the yearly fee three times over. If you do find your way Upstairs, the vanilla panna cotta is exquisite.
Depart from the regular tourist route, and drift along the Thames to Canary Wharf, where the informal hideaway Bokan 39 awaits. Rooftop daybeds and a special gin bar are yours to enjoy. The catch? Due to capacity, you must make reservations prior to your arrival at Bokan 38 – the lower-floor restaurant – then turn up and sweet-talk the staff into moving you upstairs. Trust us, the dock-inspired tipples and striking views of London are well worth the advanced preparation.
For posh quarters and high-end dining, we know the perfect place in Shoreditch. The Boundary is everything you need it to be: a restaurant, a bakery, a hotel, a grocery, a deli and, most importantly, a dazzling place to grab a rooftop glass of scotch on the rocks. This top-tier orangery, bar, grill and outdoor terrace offers East London views, come rain or shine. The warmer months have a Mediterranean menu, while Alpine cuisine is served in chillier months.
Burgers, pizza and Indian street food: check. Cocktails, mocktails and all libations in between: check. Live events, cinema screenings, minigolf, lawn bowling and batting cages: double check. Roof East has so much going on that you won’t be able to help but be distracted from the views surrounding Stratford. This jovial joint opens midday, transitioning to an adults-only affair in the evening. Turn up without a plan, and we guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself.
Though, tragically, not a literal treehouse, Treehouse Hotel near Oxford Street is a fantastic place to roost before branching out on a tour of Central London. All rooms are perched in full view of the city skyline and infused with the right amount of nostalgia to evoke clubhouse vibes from back in the day. The Nest rooftop bar and terrace do give you a literal 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the city. Keep in mind that the early bird gets the worm and those with the forethought to make reservations will guarantee their spot in the Nest.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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