Totally free to visit, London has gained a new viewing gallery at the top of a skyscraper, right in the middle of the City of London.

Officially known as The Lookout, it sits on the 50th floor of a newly completed building on Bishopsgate and gives really good views across most of the south and west of London – taking in everything from the Wembley Arch around to the Tower of London.

The entrance isn’t hidden away either, but right on the main road, and once through the usual security checks, a dedicated lift zooms you straight up to the 50th floor. And oh, my, that’s a view!

The viewing gallery is currently unadorned save for a few seats, and having only just opened this week, very few people know about it yet, so the space is cavernously empty. The double-height space also adds to a sense of spectacle as you leave the lifts and enter the viewing gallery, with most of West London right in front of you.

And of course, peer down at the tiny ants on the streets far below your feet.

Due to the design of the building, the viewing gallery sits on the southwestern corner of the rectangular skyscraper, with a view mainly of the west and south London, and a bit of a peek over the top of Tower 42 towards the north.

What’s remarkable is how tall buildings I once thought of as excitingly tall and jumped at the chance to visit the top floors are now not just below me, but far below me.

Remember the fuss when the Sky Garden opened? Now you’re looking down at it.

The Shard may still have the height (for a few more weeks only), but arguably, the view from The Lookout is more interesting as you’re surrounded by the City of London, and there are so many interesting buildings to look down at, as well as across into the far distance.

And it’s free, and also open quite late on Mondays and Fridays, so ideal to time a visit for sunset and get that “golden hour” for photography. There’s talk of a bar being opened up here later as well.

You are recommended to book tickets in advance, although there seems to be plenty of capacity for walk-ins, and I spotted a few taking advantage of that on my visit. (Edit, best to book in advance as walk-ins are now harder to get)

Tickets can be booked from here.

Opening hours

  • Mondays and Fridays: 12pm-9pm
  • Tuesdays to Thursdays: 10.30am-5.30pm
  • Saturdays: 11am-6pm
  • Sundays & Bank Holidays: 10am-5pm

What else is up here

The viewing gallery takes up about a quarter of the top floor, with about half for plant and services. What’s the rest? Well, running along the south wall are three large offices that can be used for meetings if you want a meeting with a view.

You can also hire the viewing gallery for events, and they have a catering facility for parties.


The viewing gallery entrance is at the top of 8 Bishopsgate, a few minutes walk from Liverpool Street station or Bank tube station. The entrance is right next to where London’s highest viewing gallery, Horizon 22 is opening shortly, so you’ll have two sky-high viewing galleries next to each other.


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  1. Elizabeth T says:

    A very good idea for London workers and visitors. I should think it should be popular as I imagine it will be a very sought-after venue, particularly the restaurant for meeting members and people visiting London.
    I wish you every success.

  2. Keith says:

    Thanks for the heads up of this place. Went there this afternoon, thankfully before the thunderstorm so a reasonable view. Watching a bit of the lightning from 50 floors up was interesting though.

  3. Juno says:

    Full up this morning and no walk-ins. Full up all month, in fact.

  4. Reaper says:

    Looking at the booking page and the word has clearly hit the streets. Lot of days now with no availablility. That will teach me not to look at my inbox until evening.

  5. Ben says:

    @Juno @Reaper

    Unfortunately a substantial chunk of those bookings will be purely speculative. Most of them will not go. There’s no function to cancel or swap your booking so people will just use them to book out slots ‘just in case’. Would be great if there was a small refundable deposit. Gardens At 120 also have a great system, I’ve never waited more than 10 mins in their queue.

    • Juno says:

      It’s booked up till September 18 now – the same as the Sky Garden; that was quick. Maybe the staff will learn to anticipate no-shows and let a few walk-ins walk in; or maybe everyone really is showing up for their bookings at the moment.

      Trying to predict good camera weather three weeks ahead isn’t easy.

  6. David Thomas says:

    9 Sept. Ticket booking form refuses to show anything but zero, with no calendar to chose a date.

  7. John S says:

    Did a walk-in yesterday with my son, a quick Qr code scan from the display unit, booked 1130, a 45 minutes wait, so I nipped over to the Bank of England museum, 4 minute walk nearby.

    I suspect during the school holidays it’ll be hard to get walk-in tickets unless you arrive at 10am in the morning.

    Otherwise outside of school holidays, every slot was available from 1130am.

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