The Sky Garden in the City of London, commonly known as The walkie-talkie building, is a landscaped garden on level 35 of 20 Fenchurch Street. This attraction is the tallest public garden in London, with three floors, an observation floor, and an open-air terrace. A fantastic garden with London’s skyline as a backdrop!
What to Expect at the Sky Garden
Sky Garden, aside from being a spot where you can see beautiful views of London, offers fancy cocktails, sunset yoga, and even kids’ activities. This rooftop garden features three levels of thriving greenery, including Mediterranean and South African plants, herbs, and other colourful blossoms. Aside from the plants, the main attraction is an outdoor terrace lining one side where you can see views of London’s skyline and city landmarks that is photo-worthy. The Sky Garden supplies an excellent opportunity to see the city and a wonderful experience that can be available for free. A visit to the sky garden is a quick way to show your children all of London’s famous landmarks.
Lots of space for kids in Sky Garden
If you want a place to relax, the massive lobby is filled with tables, chairs, and more relaxed sofa-style seats encircling a bar, food area, and plants. You can freely walk around the 35th floor, and kids can enjoy going full circle several times before heading up the stairs on both sides of the lobby to the next level for more viewing time. The stairs are lined with plants, and there are platforms to walk across to immerse yourself in the greenery.
To be fair, the gardens aren’t particularly large, but it’s nice to see greenery in such a modern structure. The terrace is covered and safe for children, so feel confident bringing toddlers. You also do not have to worry about the rain because the terrace is completely covered. However, it is typically very windy up there. If the skies are clear, you should see Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, the London Eye, and other famous and historic landmarks. One fun fact about the Sky Garden is it is called the Walkie-Talkie because of its bulbous shape.
Children and adults may enjoy drawing in this attraction, so it can be an excellent idea to bring along a sketchpad and get creative.
Eat and Drink at the Sky Garden
If you enjoyed spending time in the building, extending your visit by enjoying a quick snack before continuing with your day may be nice. Sky Garden also has a few restaurants and bars beneath its domed ceiling, where you can sip a floral cocktail while admiring the greenery and the impressive skyline views. It is an all-day drinking and dining experience where people buy hot or cold drinks, pastries, and other snacks such as brownies and muffins. Except for the Fenchurch Restaurant, which opens at 11 a.m. daily and is closed on Sundays, each café or restaurant is open during Sky Garden hours, and some continue to run when the Sky Garden is closed. You can enjoy your meal and view at the top of the skyscraper.
Breakfast with a view
Breakfast is served in the Darwin Brasserie, which is found inside the Sky Garden. Darwin is an all-day brasserie that focuses on a British menu made with locally sourced ingredients.
If you are not booking a meal in the restaurant, you can stop in the Sky Pod Bar for a coffee or tea and some snacks. Sky Pod Bar is found on level 35, near the lift lobby. It’s not too pricey considering we’re talking about a major tourist attraction in London. Even the non-alcoholic cocktails are beautiful and delicious. The Skypod operates similarly to a chain coffee shop, with you queuing, ordering, paying, and collecting your goods; there is no table service.
The Fenchurch restaurant has a more upscale menu. It bills itself as a contemporary British restaurant, serving dishes like lobster, truffled macaroni cheese, and squab pigeon.
Take note that bringing your own food is not allowed unless it’s for a baby.
Booking and Directions
Tickets to enter the park are free and can be booked online beginning the Monday before the week you plan to visit, and it is also open to walk-in guests subject to availability at certain times of the day. Tickets are assigned to a specific time slot and an individual. You must arrive early because your visit is only one hour long. You are free to explore the gardens and take in the views once you enter the Sky Garden. An hour may not seem like much, but it is sufficient, so relax. When booking, you must include the full name of each ticket holder, and they must show a valid ID to security when they arrive. Children must also be scheduled. Children under 16 must be accompanied by adults at least 18 years old. One adult may bring a maximum of three children.
Just look up to find your way!
You can get to the Sky Garden by train, tube, or car if you want to visit this attraction. Please don’t bother with the street numbers because they make no sense; instead, look up, find the iconic building, and walk towards it. Second, the entrance is around the corner, not on Fenchurch Street. When asking for directions, the building is also known as the Walkie-Talkie building, and if you get lost, this name will resonate far more with locals than the Sky Garden.
The Sky Garden is the capital’s highest public garden, 525 feet above the ground on the 35th floor of the City of London’s sixth tallest building. There are observation decks and an open-air terrace with breathtaking views of London. Do not miss the opportunity to be at London’s highest public garden with your kids! And make sure to take lots of snaps of all those beautiful views.
Alternatives to Sky Garden
No tickets left for Sky Garden? No reason to despair. There are plenty of other great viewpoints in London.
There are other alternative viewpoints that you might want to consider, such as:
- London Eye: This iconic Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the river is one of the most popular attractions in London. It has 32 capsules that can hold up to 25 people each, and it takes about 30 minutes to complete a full rotation. You can see up to 40 km on a clear day, and enjoy views of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and more. You can also book a private capsule for a special occasion, or opt for a champagne experience or a chocolate tasting.
- Horizon 22: This is a new observation deck that opened in 2023 at 22 Bishopsgate, the tallest building in the City of London. It is located on the 58th floor, at a height of 278 metres, and it offers 360-degree views of London and beyond. You can also learn about the history and culture of London through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays. Horizon 22 also has a café and a bar where you can relax and enjoy the scenery.
- The Shard: This is another skyscraper that dominates the London skyline. It is the tallest building in Western Europe, at 310 metres high, and it has two observation decks on the 68th and 72nd floors. You can see up to 64 km from The Shard, and admire views of St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and more. You can also visit The View from The Shard, which is an immersive experience that combines digital projections, sounds and smells to create different scenes of London.
These are some of the other alternative viewpoints to Sky Garden in London that you might want to check out. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences, budget and availability.