London, the big smoke, Babylon – it’s the city that never sleeps, there’s always something to do, something to see. But what’s the best way to really experience the beauty of the UK’s capital?
Having just celebrated their 60th birthday, you could jump on a Routemaster bus and travel around the hectic London roads. Or you could venture below the city streets and tube hop your way around the ‘swinging city’, witness rush hour in the infamous London Underground where around 2.7 million tube journeys are made every single day.
Or, you could take yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets, where everyone’s in a rush and no one has time to stop for even a second to look around and take in the city’s most notorious buildings and illustrious sights. Far higher than the stuffy, underground tunnels, above the open top buses, atop the tower blocks, the skyscrapers, and even The Shard – one of the best ways to really see the city in all its glory is from the air.
This post, written by private helicopter hire company Charter-A, will talk you through the very best aerial sights London has to offer:
The Houses of Parliament
Built between 1840 and 1870, after the Great Fire of 1834, the Houses of Parliament, perched on the edge of the Thames are a must see. Looking down from the sky you’ll see the grand buildings reflected in the River.
Look to your left and you will see the city’s landmark clock. Commonly known as Big Ben, it’s actually name is the Elizabeth Tower, named after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Big Ben is the name given to the largest of the five bells which hang in the clock tower. Looking down on it, the tower looks even more splendid than when you’re staring up at it from the pavement.
Opposite the Elizabeth Tower on the South Bank of the River Thames stands the London Eye. Completed in 2000, the towering Ferris wheel stands at 135 metres tall – only in a helicopter will you get to view it from above!
The Olympic Park
Head North East across the city towards Stratford and you’ll reach the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Home of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the best way to view it in all its glory is from the sky. See the MittelArcelor Orbit from above, the Lee Valley Velo Park and of course that infamous Stadium.
Head towards London Bridge and an aerial visit to The Shard is not to be missed! Standing at 309.6 metres tall, the 95 storey building has enough glass panels covering its exterior to make up eight football pitches! Dominating London’s skyline, it’s the tallest building in the European Union.
You can’t visit London without seeing the Royal Family’s famous abode. Head East from the Shard and you’ll reach Buckingham Palace and get a fantastic view of that prominent balcony where the nation witnessed Kate and Will’s first kiss as a married couple.
Follow The Mall from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square and catch an aerial glimpse of Nelson’s Column guarded by the four lions – positioned at the very heart of the capital.
Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to see in the city, from your peaceful position in the sky, you can leave the hustle and bustle below and enjoy London at your leisure.