Sky Garden: London’s Highest Roof Garden

London’s highest garden is located on top of the capital’s newest skyscraper, 20 Fenchurch Street, and it occupies three floors, 34th to 37th , and offers some of the most scenic and iconic views of the city. The building is the 5th tallest in the City of London (that is, the old medieval square mile boundaries), and the 13th in the whole of 32 London’s Boroughs.

20 Fenchurch Street building where Sky Garden is located.

The astonishing new public space opened in January of this year, and I’ve had the opportunity to visit the garden twice already.

FullSizeRenderUnlike The Shard where you have to pay between £30-40 to get a 360-degree views of London, the Sky Garden is free of charge but you have to book in advance. After presenting your tickets you pass through ‘airport-style’ security, and you’ll be whisked into a high-speed lift and straight up to the 35th floor where more sliding doors opened to reveal the view.

The Shard will be the first skyscraper you’ll see as soon as you walk into the first sliding door opposite the entrance. The odd looking ‘baseball-shaped’ building is the London City Hall (far left on the next photo) and the large ship on Thames River is HMS Belfast — last used in the Korean War and is now a museum.

Taken on a cloudy day

The imposing Tower of London and Tower Bridge look amazing from Sky Garden.


122 Leadenhall Street Building on the left aka the “Cheesegrater” and the famous “Gherkin”, 30 St Mary Axe, on the right. On a bright sunny day you can also see all the way to the Wembley Arch.

SkyGardenGAnd here’s to St Paul’s Cathedral with some constructions going on in the foreground.

SkyGardenSPThe garden is nowhere near Kensington Gardens nor is it comparable to any of the lush greeneries in one of London’s royal parks. But you’ll see some tropical trees and shrubs. Oh, and it’s not an English garden either, if you’re expecting to see one. It’s an incredibly unique garden, in fact, it’s kind of bizarre (other-wordly or out of place), I must say. I don’t know if there’s anything like it anywhere else. The garden itself is a work in progress and on our first visit at the beginning of spring, there were some Bird of Paradise flowers already flourishing.

SkyGardenPPIt was designed by award-winning landscape architecture company Gillespies, and the plants have been chosen to work with the quality of light under the roof canopy and to resist drought.

The place is so vast but it never feels overcrowded even when there were loads of people around.
There’s a cafe where you can have afternoon tea.

There are some quiet spots along the way to sit and rest for a few minutes.

My friend (and former roommate) Emma with her husband Jesse taking a little break and keeping warm. They were on a ‘Euro tour’ a month ago, and I got to spend a lot of time with them when they were in  London. As you can see, they both are wrapped in grey and pink ‘throws’. 😉 Surprisingly, they have provided throws on each chair, not for accenting but to provide warmth to the guests. 🙂

The space is so vast but it never feels overcrowded though there were loads of people around. There are three eateries in the Sky Garden, the Sky Pod Bar, Darwin Brasserie, and the Seafood Bar and Grill. All managed by Rhubarb, a London caterer that provides the food and drink at The Royal Albert Hall and  The Saatchi Gallery. There’s also Sky Pod Bar that serves up casual snacks and afternoon tea. We hadn’t booked anywhere for a meal or anything so can’t comment on the food. We just walked around the garden and enjoyed the stunning views of the city.

Emma and I posing for a souvenir photo. ;)
Emma and I posing for a souvenir photo. 😉

If you plan on visiting, get online booking asap as they’re usually booked up to 2-3 months in advance. And don’t forget to bring an identification card and a camera. The place is a photographer’s dream. The light is constantly changing as you walk around the garden.

SkyGardenK 2
First visited the garden in early spring with Ken Samudio, Lynn Syliangco, and Adiben Ferando.

You can visit Sky Garden by tube, Monument is the closest. Tower Hill, Tower Gate, Aldgate and Bank are less than 10 minutes walk. By train, it’s close to Fenchurch Street, Cannon Street, and London Bridge.

20 Fenchurch Street building is nicknamed “The Walkie Talkie” but I’m not sure if it looks much like one. Taken from The Shard’s Oblix Restaurant on the same day we first visited Sky Garden. I only had my iPhone with me and didn’t get good quality photos. Sorry guys. 🙁