In a city of around nine million people, sometimes it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle, and where better for that than a rooftop garden? Being surrounded by nature is often the best way to reset your batteries and get some R&R, so without further ado, here’s our rundown of ten of the best rooftop gardens in London:
1. Sky Garden, Monument
Kicking off this roundup of the best rooftop gardens in London is well, one that really needs no introduction. Situated on the 43rd floor of the iconic Walkie Talkie and claiming the title of ‘London’s highest garden’, this fantastic spot offers some of the best panoramic views you’ll find in town – and all from their foliage-filled atrium.
Aside from the spectacular view, Sky Garden’s main selling point – not that we need to work particularly hard to sell a free view of the city – is its leafy indoor garden. It’s the perfect place to get some botanical inspiration while remaining indoors, which is helpful if it’s raining (because it probably will be, knowing London’s track record for weather). Heck there are even a couple of restaurants and a couple of bars up here – perfect for a nightcap with a date we think? It is ruddy romantic after all…
📍You’ll find the Sky Garden at 1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF.
🚇 Nearest station is Monument.
2. Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Canary Wharf
Taking a wander around this serene spot is arguably the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of life within the working district. It’s a beautiful little spot, where funky geometric windows offer great views back over Canary Wharf. To be honest, it was expected given that the architects responsible also count the Gherkin, City Hall, and the British Museum’s swanky roof amongst their creations. The plants are just as pretty, too, encompassing trees, shrubs, and flowers from all over the globe.
It’s divided into hemispheres, with east and west represented on different sides of the park. Australasian ferns and American sweetgums give way to Chinese bamboo and Japanese maples, meaning you can literally (sort of) walk across the globe. And we all wanna do that right?!
📍You’ll find the Crossrail Place Roof Garden at Crossrail Place, London, E14 5AB.
🚇 Nearest station is Canary Wharf.
3. Garden at 120, Fenchurch Street
Sitting fifteen storeys up atop 120 Fenchurch Street – also shared by one of our favourite restaurants 14 Hills – this fantastic roof garden is open to the public (via a lift) throughout the year, and completely free to wander around. Which is always a winner in our books…
From all the way up here, you’ll be able to see London landmarks like The Shard, The Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge in all their glory, and there’s also neatly trimmed hedges, wildflower patches, and a tranquil water feature up here. So, if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet, then you’ve come to the right bloomin’ place.
📍You’ll find Garden at 120 at 120 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 5BA.
🚇 Nearest station Fenchurch Street.
4. Culpeper Roof Garden, Aldgate
In a heaving scene of sky-high bars and skyline views, one building-topping venue is taking a different approach to their offerings. The Culpeper, over in Spitalfields, is a complete gem offering quirky cocktails, incredible views of London, and a rooftop garden that provides ingredients for the kitchen and bar. Back in 2021, it was even ranked as ‘Europe’s Best Rooftop Bar‘ by Big 7 Travel.
Approximately 500 feet of the rooftop space is taken over by the garden, and there you can see ingredients bloom before they make their way onto your plate, or into your drink. Heck – it’s even got its own bloody gardener! That’s a first for a bar in the East End.
📍You’ll find the Culpeper Roof Garden at The Culpeper, 40 Commercial Street, London, E1 6TB.
🚇 Nearest station is Aldgate East.
5. Beech Gardens, Barbican
Now we all know about the stunning indoor rainforest here – which by the way is well worth a visit if you’ve never been – but did you also know that the Barbican has got its own rooftop garden too?
Set on top of the Beech Street tunnel, it features extensive areas of mixed perennial flowers, grasses and bulbs, all adapted to tolerate the unique conditions. After all, this garden is surrounded by Brutalist architecture and is open to the elements all year round. There’s also a lovely little water feature here, so it’s a great spot to while away the hours when the weather’s playing ball with a good book in hand.
📍You’ll find Beech Gardens at Beech Street, Barbican, London, EC2Y 8DE.
🚇 Nearest station is the Barbican.
6. Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden, Southbank
Nestled on top of Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall lies this gem of a rooftop garden, which is home to over 200 wild native plants, a lovely lawn and plenty of spots for you to take a pew and saviour the views of the Thames and beyond.
There’s also a rooftop bar and café here which whips up a whole lot of beverages – both of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety – perfect for sunset then? Perhaps the biggest draw of this little slice of heaven is that it is maintained by volunteers from Grounded Ecotherapy – a Social Enterprise set up by Paul Pulford who offer therapy via horticulture to those who may have experienced problems with substance addiction, poor mental health and/or homelessness.
📍You’ll find the Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX.
🚇 Nearest station is Waterloo.
7. Coq d’Argent, Bank
Offering manicured lawns, hedges and spectacular views of the City (what else), it’s the place to be on a sunny day in London – and the food ain’t bad either!
📍You’ll find Coq d’Argent at 1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ.
🚇 Nearest station is Bank.
8. Skylark Roof Garden, Paddington
The garden in question at this bougie rooftop bar is situated ten floors up and features plenty of foliage, parasols and even day beds – fancy right? Not to mention plenty of cocktails. So, if you’re wanting a bit more of a party vibe, then this one should be just the ticket.
📍You’ll find Skylark Roof Garden at 4 Kingdom Street, W2 6BD.
🚇 Nearest stations are Royal Oak and Paddington.
9. Netil360, London Fields
Our penultimate addition to this roundup of the best rooftop gardens in London is actually one of East London’s favourite rooftop bars – which sort of doubles as a garden. Ok, we might be cheating here, but it offers panoramic views of Shoreditch, Aldgate and beyond and has a plethora of plants dotted about the shop, so we figure we can get away with it…
Add in the fact that they’ve got some great craft beers on tap, DJs spinning the tunes at the weekends and some of the best sushi in town, and we see why we can’t get enough of this place.
📍You’ll find Netil360 at 1 Westgate Street, Hackney, London, E8 3RL.
🚇 Nearest station is London Fields.
10. The Aerial Walkway at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Rounding off this list of the best rooftop gardens is, well, a rooftop garden within an actual botanical garden. Towering a vertigo-inducing 18 metres above the ground, the Treetop Walkway is a chance to get closer to Kew Gardens’ beautiful trees.
From up here, you’ll be able to observe the complex ecosystem of the trees’ uppermost branches – a completely new world full with nesting birds and crawling insects, as well as lichen and fungi. It’s well worth a visit, so if you’re interested, then you can get a hold of your tickets here.
📍You’ll find the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE.
🚇 Nearest station is Kew Gardens.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best rooftop gardens in London where you can bag yourself some real peace and quiet. So whether you’re wanting to explore London’s highest public garden or are wanting to test your vertigo at the beautiful Kew Gardens, then this list has got you covered.