A new public roof terrace opened last year in central London, but if people don’t use it often enough, it could close. This is the 9th-floor roof terrace on top of the Post Building in Holborn, and it offers wonderful views across central London, and on clear days, much further beyond.

As part of the planning approval for the conversion of the former post office sorting building into offices, the free roof terrace has to be free for the public to visit for the next 20 years every day (except 25th/26th Dec) between 10am to 7pm (or dusk if earlier).

However, there’s a clause in the Section 106 agreement between Camden council and the property developer that allows the building owners to apply to the council to reduce the opening hours once a year if they can show that the roof terrace isn’t being used that much.

So, maybe reducing the opening hours to open from noon instead of 10am, might not be that big an issue.

BUT… there’s an extra option available to them to seek to close the roof terrace entirely during the winter months if they can show a lack of interest in standing on the 9th floor of an office block on a cold winter’s day.

So this is literally a “use it or lose it” situation, and numbers will be lower than may have been expected this winter due to the closure of the roof terrace for several weeks while the lift took a curiously long time to be repaired after it broke down.

So, pop along to the Post Building on New Oxford Street while it’s still wintery and make use of London’s newest roof terrace, and help to keep it open for future visitors.

Entry is via the fairly anonymous door next to the Nationwide building society.

There are the usual security checks — and there’s also a limit on bag sizes (615mm x 410mm) and you need to bring some form of ID with you as they keep a note of all the visitors.

The roof terrace also has a toilet, making it also central London’s best free loo.

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14 comments
  1. Gordon Jones says:

    I’d be interested to know how often the building owners have closed the rooftop due to maintenance or other issues. I’ve tried to visit but was met by a sign on the door to say it was closed.

  2. Tony says:

    Today at noon there was a sign saying rooftop closed due to maintenance or other issues. Doorman said it was because of ice and they might open later. There was no ice at ground level in the warm sun or in the shadows with an air temperature of 7 degrees C.

    Who does the counting and sends in the numbers? Someone in the developer’s pocket? Think we know which way this is going to go.

  3. Jen says:

    As of 3.30pm the maintenance issues were still keeping it closed. Perhaps the problem is maintaining a straight face as they put up the signs.

  4. Joanna Brown says:

    I was intending to go there today, since it should be a bright day with good views, but reading the comments it does seem that something fishy is going on – and now I don’t know whether to go at all, if it’s highly likely to be closed anyway…… 🙁

  5. John Smith says:

    It’s open today! Had it to myself which I was initially chuffed by but reading this…less so.

  6. A says:

    Right lets have a look here. I live a couple minutes from this thing and have been denied entry more times than I’ve been able to get in.

    1. Yes the suspicious previously mentioned ‘maintenance’. Everyone knows what this actually is.

    2. Temporary closures due to ‘weather conditions’ – again rubbish.

    3. No food or drink allowed up there – understandable but also discourages people from visiting. Could be a lovely lunch spot.

    4. Not officially advertised online, no opening times mentioned unless you find an article or Google Maps photo.

    5. Unpleasant staff member. They had this rude older woman for the longest time who I believe has most likely been fired now. She made visitors feel very unwelcome. The newer staff seem polite.

    6. No unaccompanied under 18s. Partially understandable however drives away a lot of people who do not have money and would greatly appreciate free things like this. When I was a poor teenager in London this would’ve been fantastic.

    7. Photo ID? The Gardens at 120 doesn’t make you do this.

    8. Very covert entrance, looks like a generic office lobby. Again pushes down visitor numbers.

    There’s a bunch of other points too that I don’t remember off the top of my head. They’ll close this thing down for sure, building owners are sneaky.

    • Jill Waters says:

      this was very much my experience too…no seating,no bins,not allowed to bring a sandwich ,access hard to find, security off putting…

      clearly a deliberate attempt to keep the plebs out.Is there any legal redress? They have also excluded us from the best part ..the prow of the building looking down Oxford Street .

  7. Chris Rogers says:

    I actually walk past this twce a day ever weekday and know one of the partners of the firm that built (well, remodelled) the Post Building but I’ve never been up it. Am always in a rush. If there’s a decent sunny day I must try soon. But yes the meanness essayed here is annoying and in contrst to say San Francisco’s famous POPOS programme

  8. M.Brown says:

    I also have had difficulties accessing the roof garden. Eventually got up there after 5 tries. Lift out of action 3 times, then maintenance on the roof. Success at last. Shall have to pop up regularly to keep the numbers up!

  9. Jonathan says:

    Sunday today. Is it open?

  10. Peter Serres says:

    The sneaky stuff by the Dev Faction are “time honoured”. Haha !
    I’m old enough to remember the closure of Bluebell Railway by Brutish Snail. Headcounts of passengers by Pro & Anti closure-groups always showed up marked differences. Same old same-old.

  11. Wayne says:

    Turned up today at 11:45am and was told to come back at 1pm because they have “fire alarm tests”. I’m pretty sceptical.

  12. Isa says:

    Came to the building on Saturday at 11h30 in sunny weather. No notice on the door but was told that terrace was closed due to fire evacuation test.

  13. James says:

    I travelled there on 29th April – you won’t believe it, it was still closed for maintenance. They must be doing so much maintenance up there, it’s going to be really well maintained when we are eventually allowed up there.

    Has anyone found any contact details? I have looked but found nothing.

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