London Eye and County Hall, London

Best rooftop views in the south west

24 June 2022

Are you a fan of a stunning view? Well, now is your chance to shout it from the rooftops! Whether you want to take in the cityscape or admire the seaside, there’s no better way to do it than from a height.

Luckily, there’s a whole host of rooftop bars and restaurants in London and the south west, as well as a range of famous landmarks with viewpoints from which you can admire the surrounding scenery. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best rooftops to visit on our network. So hold on to your hats, let’s see what we have in store!

Best rooftop views in London

Find yourself mesmerised by the ever-changing skyline? Get up and personal with the London cityscape by visiting one of these famous viewing points.

London Eye

As one of the most iconic and most popular landmarks in London, a trip on the London Eye continues to be one of the best ways to see the city. Don’t be fooled into writing it off as a tourist trap – it really is worth a ride! You’ll enjoy the spectacular views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and so much more!

With SWR Rewards, you can get 10% off your ticket, and save more with our 2FOR1 deals – simply take a trip to London Waterloo, and it’s only seven minutes’ walk from the station.

Sky Garden

A garden in the sky? Sign us up! The viewing gallery on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie offers panoramic views over London from its foliage-filled atrium. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, this lush urban jungle provides fantastic views of the famous rooftops of London.

To access this Eden, simply hop on a train to London Waterloo and it’s only a 20-minute ride on the 26 bus to the Sky Garden!

A view inside the Sky Garden at sunset

St Paul’s Cathedral

If you’re truly fearless when it comes to heights, a trip to St.Paul’s will be right up your street. Start out with the ‘Whispering Gallery’, and then keep climbing to the ‘Stone Gallery’ for views that just get better and better.

If you have any energy left, climb the 528 steps to the ‘Golden Gallery’! With panoramic views of the River Thames, the Tate Modern and the Globe, it’s worth the workout.

Catch a train to London Waterloo, and it’s only a 14-minute journey on the 26 bus to get to this iconic landmark.

The Shard

As the tallest building in Western Europe, the Shard famously offers some incredible views of London’s skyline. From your perch on level 72, get a bird’s eye view of every landmark in the city!

With London’s ever-changing weather, they’ve got a great bad-weather policy that lets you return for free if visibility reaches a poor level, so even rain won’t ruin the fun!

Hop on a train to London Waterloo and hop on the jubilee line for 10 minutes to London Bridge.

Best rooftop bars in London

Londoners love a rooftop bar, and with so many incredible options to choose from, how could you blame them? From Skylon to Seabird, set your sights on these lofty venues for an experience worth scaling the skies for!

Bar Elba

Promising palm trees, prosecco and a proper good time, Bar Elba is the rooftop of choice if you’re looking to dance the night away. This hip spot offers some of London’s most epic views, and no matter if you’re an early bird or a night owl, Elba has everything you’re after.

Located a stone’s throw away from London Waterloo, it provides a tempting diversion from your commute home.

12th Knot at Sea Containers

For a seriously good view and a guaranteed good time, head to the Sea Containers. This eclectic spot overlooks the River Thames, and with stylish seating, a curated list of cocktails and live music, there really is something for everyone.

Only an 11-minute walk from London Waterloo, this is the perfect spot to salute the sunset and start your night off right.

Seabird

Fancy your cocktails with a side of seafood? This is the spot for you. You’ll find this gem on the 14th floor of The Hoxton’s Southwark hotel, and this stunning, sky-high restaurant lives up to the hype. With incredible views of the city, and an impressive list of oysters to accompany the view, this stunning venue elevates any occasion.

Seabird is only a nine-minute walk away from London Waterloo.

Seabird

Skylon

If you’re feeling a bit fancy, we have the bar for you. Located on the third floor of the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre, it offers the perfect spot to take in the sights.

With stunning views from huge floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll find it hard to focus on anything but this incredible vista. But with innovative cocktails (including delicious martinis), an extensive wine list and a buzzy atmosphere – at least you can try!

It’s just a six-minute walk from London Waterloo, so even your new heels will survive the journey unscathed.

Best rooftop bars in the South West

In case you feel like raising your glass to the amazing vistas in the south west, we’ve sought out some of the best rooftop bars on our network for you to enjoy.

The Chambers, Portsmouth

Searching for a perch with a view in Portsmouth? Book a table at The Chambers to sip your drinks above this scenic seascape, and enjoy al fresco dining in this beautiful setting. . Rain or shine, you can enjoy this restaurant’s gorgeous vista.

To enjoy these views, catch a train to Portsmouth & Southsea, and The Chambers is only a 14-minute walk from the station.

The Terrace, Exeter

A glass encased rooftop restaurant, a cocktail bar and a sun terrace with incredible views of Exeter – a trip to The Terrace is never a bad idea. Offering a delectable food menu with delicious cocktails to match, this beautiful venue is just what you’ve been looking for.

With greenery peeking from every corner, and flowers sprouting from the ceiling, this aesthetic heaven is perfect for everything from a girly brunch to a romantic dinner.

Only a 3-minute walk from Exeter Central, it’s a must the next time you visit this wonderful city.

The Whitecross, Richmond

No matter the season, this rooftop bar in Richmond won’t disappoint. Enjoy some of their home-cooked seasonal British food and raise a glass to the classic Richmond scenery in style at this inviting hub. Cosy up with a warming whisky in the winter or a soak in the sunset during the summer months on this gorgeous riverside terrace.

Hop on a train to Richmond, and this lovely nook is only a nine-minute walk away.

Level8ight Sky Bar, Bournemouth

In search of even greater heights? Well, as the highest bar in the south west, you can’t get much better than this. This Sky Bar is located on the eighth floor of Bournemouth’s Hilton hotel, and offers dramatic coastal views as far as the eye can see.

If you’re looking for a venue to celebrate a special occasion, with gorgeous fine wines and premium cocktails, this is the place to go. They also serve up a wonderful Afternoon Tea.

Take a train to Bournemouth, hop on the number 5 bus, and you’ll be at this beautiful venue in less than 10 minutes.

So what are you waiting for? Book your train tickets and get ready to take in some of the incredible views that these rooftops have to offer. Explore our flexible range of ticket types to find the best one for your journey, and see how you could save even more with a Railcard.