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Top 10 Best Rooftop Bars & Roof Terrace Bars In London

Picture of Top 10 Best Rooftop Bars & Roof Terrace Bars In London

Roof garden bars and rooftop terraces in London have become a symbol of not only summer, but winter too for us city folk. With limited green space available in the centre of London, sometimes the only direction to escape the crowds of London is up high in the sky, where the best views of London can be enjoyed from behind a cocktail, a beer, a DJ booth, or an Instagram selfie. Work hard during the day and you shall be rewarded with (occasional) sunshine, (occasional) blue skies, alfresco rooftop BBQs, cosy winter wigwams, hot summer bikini beaches, suntans and sunglasses, and romantic views of London that reinforce your rightful decision to choose to live in London in the first place. This guide to the top bars in London at altitude is simply the beginning.

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Bar / Restaurant

The journey from ground level alone is worth the visit. Entering near the London Palladium theatre and Liberty department store in Soho near Oxford Circus, you leave the throng of mankind behind and ascend to a dignified, more luxurious place where you're greeted by foreign accented angels who guide you through to Aqua Nueva Spanish restaurant and your rooftop terrace hideout. The rooftop bar, with its views over Regent Street, is outside, and there's also the option to order drinks at the bar inside. Simple tapas is served from the bar or, for something more substantial once you get tired of the sun, pop into the excellent restaurant for some Spanish sharing plates. Glass of cava anyone?

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Whitechapel & Wapping

If you find yourself in east London, visit Skylight rooftop bar in Wapping at Tobacco Docks for drinks, games and street food. It's just a five-minute walk from Shadwell station and it's free to get in. This large rooftop terrace is open from Thursday to Sunday for most of the year with sweeping views of London landmarks such The Shard and The Walkie-Talkie. Although it's a rooftop, there is space for four bars (the venue used to be a car park). As well as parties throughout the year, come Winter, Europe's only rooftop ice rink makes an appearance along with festive igloos that you can hire. There are also heaters and plenty of covered areas to protect from the elements.

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West End
Bar / Hotel

This rooftop bar and terrace on the Strand in the West End, has views across to Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tate Modern, Somerset House, The South Bank, The London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, and Covent Garden's Theatreland. The swanky rooftop bar ten floors up in ME London Hotel provides a wide range of angles to enjoy. The plush outdoor seating is best suited to sun worshipping, and lounging is the order of the day (or night). The bar staff have a range of cocktails and wines to make even the hardiest of lushes blush. It's a very popular roof terrace bar so arrive early and bring plenty of cash (it ain't cheap).

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The only sight better than a naked Brad Pitt? The 360-degree views at Boundary rooftop bar made up of Canary Wharf, the Gherkin, the Barbican and the spires of East London. This large rooftop bar terrace has seating around an open fireplace and a garden, just as faultless as the view. The garden's design also includes a vine canopy (with grapes) and a garrigue/wild herb theme. This would suit those laid back days when you bunk off work pulling a sickie with a couple of mates and lounge about in the sun drinking cocktails and munching on bar snacks. The best rooftop bar in Shoreditch for chilling out.

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City of London
Bar / Restaurant

This has to be one of London?s most unique, all-encompassing venues. Really, you could live here if you had the funds, it has everything any Londoner needs to survive ? A pub serving proper pub food, natural wines from small producers as well as locally brewed and bottled beers; a fabulous restaurant; beautifully designed boutique bedrooms; and a rooftop bar complete with breath-taking London skyline views. The rooftop itself is a working greenhouse where the herbs grown are used to help shape all menus including the cocktail menu! Green fingered enthusiasts can also take workshops on the roof. Pure bliss as far as we?re concerned.

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Kings Cross
Bar / Restaurant / Club

This rooftop terrace bar in Kings Cross is blessed with sunshine all day long. There's also giant Jenga to amuse those who simply cant chill out for 5 minutes, as well as sun loungers for those who certainly can. The roof terrace bar huts and serviced by a constantly cooking outdoor BBQ, which in turn is also fuelled by a herb garden where the bar grows its own herbs, plants and fruits. The roof terrace can hold around 50 lovely, chirpy, smiling (no frowning allowed) people, and the music policy is very much of the happy, chilled and feel-good variety. The best rooftop bar in Kings Cross for fun times.

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Bar / Club

This rooftop bar in Shoreditch has one of London's best roof terraces, by far. It has a monster BBQ, a hanging garden, plus, during the summer, classic and cult movies are screened here. During the winter, a giant cosy wigwam takes centre stage. The views of the City's skyscrapers are amazing. Due to the fortuitous positioning of the bar, it bathes in sunshine all day long. Arrive early (midday) and grab a seat as it does get busy (a one-in-one out policy later in the evening). And bring cash as there are no card payments up on the roof. Yes, the City is close by, but please, leave the suit at the office. Wear something summery instead; like a smile!

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