As the days slowly – ever so slowly – start to lengthen and we are able to make it past three in the afternoon without being shrouded in darkness, we can also start to look forward to some nice sunsets over the city. You might catch a glimpse of them from the District line on your way home from work – but if you fancy making the effort for something a little more peaceful, here are a few suggestions of great spots to watch the sunset from in London. Don’t forget the flask of tea/bottle of wine!
For those who like their sunsets (and sunrises for that matter) to be city-free, there are a few great spots to pretend you’re out in the country looking in. Try:
Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park is an incredibly popular one – but it’s still pretty chilly out there, so sunsets at this time of year will probably be quieter than in summer. For an even more rural option, Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath is further out of London – it’s essentially the same view as from Primrose Hill, but just with more of it.
And for those who are living south of the river, Richmond Park is accepted as the best rural spot, Henry VIII’s mound being the highest and best place for views. Pick a clear day, and Richmond Park is so big that you could do with some transport, be it car or bicycle. Don’t hang around after sunset – the gates close very soon afterwards!
For those who like to actually be in their city at sunset, and get a close-up of that incredible skyline sinking into red and gold, there are some wonderful places – free and otherwise – to check out. Now is not a bad time of year for it, either, because you might be able to tie it in with hometime. Otherwise, weekends it is.
If you’re prepared to pay the price of a beer or a coffee, you can even keep warm while watching the sunsets. Try the National Gallery Cafe on the top floor – views over the city are lovely. For something a bit more spectacular, try the Sky Lounge bar, on the 32nd (yes, 32nd) floor of the Nido Spitalfields building in Frying Pan Alley – go quickly on this one; it’s only open to the public until April 2012, and only Wednesday to Friday evenings.
If you’re prepared to pay properly for the experience, have a wander up the Monument. Priced these days are at £3 per adult and open until 5.30pm (still in time for sunset at the moment!), the views of the city are wonderful and worth the fee. The London Eye – ugh, a horribly splurgy one. If you’re absolutely minted, feel free to buy out a whole pod and have the most romantic sunset of your life – but saving such an occasion for a proposal is probably the way forward.
Image by Lars Plougmann courtesy of Flickr