20 fenchurch street – sky garden

we trotted along to 20 fenchurch street or more affectionately called “the walkie-talkie” because it basically looks like one. it is currently the 5th tallest building in the city of london and in 2015 it was awarded carbuncle cup for being the worst new building in the UK in the previous 12 months. a bit harsh you may think, but in fairness it’s not pretty.

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

it opened back in april 2014 and the first i heard of the building was when it hit the headlines when a fundamental flaw was discovered in the building design. on a sunny day, the shape of the building to the south side acts as a concave mirror and it focuses the light onto the streets below. it was recorded to hit readings of 91 °C (196 °F) and 117 °C (243 °F) during the summer of 2013. the reflective beams of light damaged parked vehicles, and the developers had to pay for repairs to melted bodywork! a permanent awning was installed to prevent any further damage to those parked below.

anyway we didn’t go to see its ugliness or to get zapped by those famous sun rays, instead we booked tickets to go to the top of the building where there is a sky garden. the garden spans the top three floors, with large viewing areas, seated areas with blankets and hot water bottles to keep you cozy. a terrace, a bar and two restaurants. you need to book your timed tickets in advance, which are free, and there is strict security at the entrance so don’t forget your tickets or id to get in.

now we have been lucky enough to have been up the shard, fortunately we won our tickets and didn’t have to pay the £25 ticket price to see the view from the shard but you know what i thought this was better. you see being bang in the middle of the city of london i think you get a much better sense of the size of the city. being not so high as the shard you can see the detail much clearer. the space feels open and not over crowed, it was very chilled (not just the temperature) and relaxed. it really was quite enjoyable.

here’s a few snaps of our visit and the views

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden

20 fenchurch street - walkie talkie - sky garden


  1. March 31, 2016 / 08:01

    We keep meaning to do this, but every time I know when we’re free the tickets have gone! My husband did it a few months ago, and it’s been on the to-do list. Looks ace!

    • April 5, 2016 / 11:44

      it’s a real little treasure, we were really quite taken by it!

  2. April 3, 2016 / 16:58

    Am I weird because I love how it looks and its flaw? I do. Or maybe I love it because it looks amazing on your photos! ANd your photos are lovely and the interior garden is lush! Also that view! One of the thing that I am missing from home is this landscape. Endless high rises.

    Thanks for sharing. I really love this one!


    • April 5, 2016 / 11:47

      you’re not weird there’s something for everyone! what’s super fab about london is the real mix of buildings in the city and in the sky garden you really get a sense of that. look one way you’ve got the shard but to your left the tower of london. brilliant!

  3. April 3, 2016 / 22:00

    Oh my word! I’ve heard of this but never visited. It looks like the view from an airplane. How amazing to go up there and such a perfect day to appreciate the views. It is a wonder the plats thrive up there but they look rather spectacular. Even a bumpkin like me can pick out the famous sights from your photos. I’m going to look into this for our next city visit. thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • April 5, 2016 / 11:48

      you must book when you come up for brit mums. you just have to book an entry time, the actual amount of time you have in there is totally up to you.

  4. April 4, 2016 / 09:06

    We went to the sky gardens last summer, we loved it. The views are amazing. A lovely place for a spot of lunch sitting amngst the greenery and looking out to London.

    • April 5, 2016 / 11:50

      the view are fab, i much preferred to the shard. also loved that they had blankets for you to get cosy!

  5. April 9, 2016 / 00:32

    Wow this looks amazing! And brilliant too that it is free, although I suppose they make their money through the refreshments 😀 I’ve been hearing about the sky garden a while now and should definitely book tickets there some time to finally see it. #countrykids

  6. April 9, 2016 / 20:04

    I really need to do this…only recently discovered it was free. the views do look better than the shard…especially as you can actually see the shard rather than the walkie talkie! #countrykids

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