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London’s best views and hotels to access them.

by Rajul on June 12, 2009

Panoramic views from the London Eye

Panoramic views from the London Eye

London has some truly stunning views to offer you.  This special feature highlights the best of them for you.

The obvious place to start is the London Eye.  Launched in 2000, it has already hosted around 30 million visitors.

It took 7 years to build and has won over 75 awards, carrying about 800 passengers per revolution.

The structure rises up 135 metres and sweeps you up in its sleek, transparent pods to enjoy 360 degree views across London and beyond.

Each flight takes 30 minutes but there are usually long queues to get on board.  Book online through the official website.

A high-quality hotel close to the London Eye is the Marriott County Hall: an ideal tourist base for sightseeing.

Views across the Thames from the Marriott County Hall

Views across the Thames from the Marriott County Hall

The hotel is walking distance from the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey and a host of other attractions.

What’s more, rooms are large for London with many enjoying superb river views.  Indeed, it’s lovely to take a leisurely walk along the riverside starting from the hotel along the culturally-vibrant South Bank.

Services and facilities at the hotel (including a huge swimming pool) are particularly recommended for families.

Check the best rate for Marriott County Hall from 30+ hotel booking sites

Guest bedroom at the Marriott County Hall

Guest bedroom at the Marriott County Hall

Another super view can be enjoyed from further south of the river, from Greenwich Royal Observatory.

View towards Docklands from Greenwich

View towards Docklands from Greenwich

The home of “Greenwich Mean Time” is a great place to visit in summer, with the Peter Harrison Planetarium a further draw.  The Cutty Sark ship (“the world’s last tea clipper”) is also close by.

The Cutty Sark is replete with historic detail and fun to explore

The Cutty Sark is replete with historic detail and fun to explore

For accommodation near Greenwich you might certainly consider the Devonport House Hotel.  It has mixed reviews but is convenient and offers fair value for the area.  Handy for catching a concert at the O2 arena.

Check the best rate for Devonport House Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

Alternatively, there are few complaints about the nearby Novotel Greenwich with its modern facilities and helpful staff.  Ask ahead if you want one of the limited number of family rooms (with sofa bed).

Check the best rate for Novotel Greenwich from 30+ hotel booking sites

The Novotel Greenwich is modern and functional

The Novotel Greenwich is modern and functional

Finally, here are further ideas for getting a great perspective on London:

  • From the river itself.  Take one of the many Thames cruises and see the city cruise by on both sides.  You can also easily hop onto a river taxi.  Here you can download a full river map and guide.
  • From the footbridge on Tower Bridge.  You can fully survey the River Thames from here as it bends its way through the city.
  • From the Galvin at Windows bar and restaurant on the 28th floor of the Hilton on Park Lane.  Sip your drink at sunset and enjoy!  They also serve tempting little tapas to go with your cocktail.
Galvin at Windows Bar and Restaurant has panoramic views

Galvin at Windows Bar and Restaurant has panoramic views

If you do elect to enjoy the latter by staying at the Hilton on Park Lane, this hotel is generally a solid-enough choice.

It offers a convenient location and decent-sized rooms with views over Hyde Park, as well as a typically good Hilton breakfast.

Check the best rate for Hilton on Park Lane from 30+ hotel booking sites

Room at the Hilton on Park Lane

Room at the Hilton on Park Lane

However, it’s not ranked as one of London’s best Hiltons, possibly because some of the décor is a touch dated.  But if you’re lucky (or ask) you may get a Hyde Park view similar to the nearby Dorchester and at a lower rate.

Try if you stay there to get one of the upper-floor suites which appear to have been recently refurbished.  And do ask for a room with a view!

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Photo credits: Marriott County Hall, Novotel Greenwich, Hilton on Park Lane.

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