Horizons 22: Exploring Londons highest free public viewpoint

Horizons 22 Viewpoint in Central london England

I’ve always testified on this blog that the best way to see a city from above. So when a new one opened boasting to be London’s highest free viewpoint I knew I had to go. Horizon 22 opened in September 2023, and from 254 metres up, promised some of the best views of London. Showcasing some famous London tourist attractions as you tower above. London can be an expensive city, so when something crops up that is free I always jump at the chance to explore.

Back at the start of february I went online and booked my ticket, but there isn’t a huge amount of availability. With a lack of choice I ended up having to wait for 8 weeks for my ticket. I’m not surprised as it’s a beautiful view in the middle of London, and it’s free so no wonder I had to wait for so long. I didn’t mind as I live close by and it was free, but it’s worth noting if you are flying in for a weekend in London and are hoping to visit.

The booking system is all online and really easy to use. So you can do it far in advance of your visit to England. I’ll add an external link below to take you to the booming site. When eventually it was my day I arrived to see a family being turned away because they hadn’t booked, so I recommend you doing the same.

Making my way up

Security is pretty strict as you go in, as is the case with any of the towers across London. But it was really quick and easy to go through. Just an xray of my bag and a metal detector for me, and I was soon standing by the doors waiting for my lift to arrive. As you ascend in the lift a digital display gives an indication of how fast you’re climbing. I felt my ears pop due to the altitude. When the doors opened on the 58th floor I took my first steps out onto the viewpoint. 

Central London England UK City Break view from Horizons 22 free public viewpoint

The view of London from here is staggering, I have worked here for over a decade but finding new perspectives in the city is always a joy. There are two floors in Horizons 22, you start at the highest and look over an internal balcony. After taking in the sights I headed downstairs. Here you can get right up to the glass and walk around. You can only see in three directions, so you get 300° views featuring Central London landmarks. But those three views give you St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard and Sky Garden, and finally the O2 and Canary Wharf. 

London is full of rooftop bars, but this may be its first cafe. On one side is a small stand selling tea and coffee, as well as a few snacks. Little tables and chairs are set up so you can admire the view. This is a great addition, to be honest as amazing as the view is, it needed something to avoid you feeling rushed. Otherwise you would be up, check the view and then straight back down. 

Looking down on London’s landmarks

One of my favourite spots in London is the Sky Garden (a bit of a tourist trap but I love it) and that feels high enough. When you stand at Horizons 22 and you are quite literally towering over it, the Gardens feel miniscule. 

Tower Bridge from Horizons 22 Viewpoint London England

My ticket time was meant to be 4:30, but I did arrive a little bit late. The viewpoint closes at 6pm, so it was a lot quieter than I thought it would be. There were a few people but never so much that it blocked our view. The closer we got to closing the emptier it became, giving perfect views. The only thing that could have made it better was a sunset, but that would have been after closing. If you come in the winter though you could potentially time it with the sunset. Even if you arrived late, London looks fantastic lit up at night.

We did have to make our way out though, so we slowly made our way towards the lift.  If you like to get your camera out when travelling, then this is one of the best spots for Skyline photography spots in London. Horizons 22 viewpoint certainly lived up to my expectations and was worth the wait. As city breaks get more and more expensive it’s worth adding to your list. Free experiences are few and far between nowadays, so it’s not surprising it’s going to be booked up quickly. So if you feel like visiting Horizon 22 make sure you book a ticket and add it to your list. 

Horizons 22 FAQ’s

How much is the Horizon 22 viewpoint?

It is completely free to visit here, you just need to have a booking to get in.

How can I book my tickets to Horizon 22?

You can book tickets directly on their website. I have linked it below to make it easier for you.

Where should I go next?

The great thing about viewpoints if you can nearly always see your next place to visit. For inspiration though why not check out more of my London guides? or some of the latest activities with Get Your Guide highlighted below. By booking through the link I will receive a small commission. 

How do I get to Horizon 22?

The entrance is on 22 Bishopsgate, a short walk from Liverpool Street Station.

Is Horizon 22 taller than the Shard?

No, the Shard is the tallest building in London but Horizon 22 has a higher public viewing point as some of the upper floors of the Shard are private.

When is Horizon 22 open?

Horizon 22 is open 7 days a week.

Monday to Friday – 10am to 6pm

Saturday – 10am to 5pm

Sunday – 10am to 4pm

What is the nearest tube or train station?

The nearest is Liverpool Street Station, but the tube stations Bank and Monument are within a short walk too. 

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