London's Coolest Rooftop Spaces

There's a side to London that goes unseen for most of the year. But when the days start growing longer and the temperature starts improving, the capital's rooftops start opening up. In a city more beautiful and picturesque than many of us give it...

There's a side to London that goes unseen for most of the year. But when the days start growing longer and the temperature starts improving, the capital's rooftops start opening up. In a city more beautiful and picturesque than many of us give it credit for, plenty of places offer breathtaking views of the skyline and places to relax and socialise. Here are five of the best.

1. SushiSamba - London, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY MAP

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Thanks to some relaxed planning regulations, a stack of skyscrapers have popped up all over London in recent years, affording some excellent opportunities for ice-cool sky-high destinations. One of them is SushiSamba, found on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower (a building only completed in 2011). With a diverse blend of cuisines - Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian foods adorn the menu - you can enjoy fine dining with some of the most striking views in town.

2. Coq d'Argent- No.1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ MAP

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Another dining destination taking advantage of the square mile's many vertiginous heights, Coq d'Argent sits on the upper floor and roof of No.1 Poultry, boasting fine French dining and an authentic Parisian-style bar and bistro. The crowning glory, however, is the lush roof garden, designed by a Chelsea Flower Show winner and featuring manicured lawns and hedgerows - a rare sight in the area.

3. Cannon Bridge Roof Gardens - Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, EC4R 2YA MAP

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In a sea of concrete, asphalt, steel, and glass, there's been plenty of effort to reverse the trend, if only slightly, and add a bit of green to central London's greys. Cannon Bridge Roof Gardens is part of this fight, with its huge lawn and flowery garden high above London's streets. Only available for private parties, its proximity to offices and transport links makes it a popular choice for hospitality and corporate events.

4. Vista at the Trafalgar- 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1A 2TS MAP

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London views don't come more iconic than those found at Vista. Look to your left on this exclusive and popular rooftop bar and you'll see Nelson's Column, forever surrounded by a throng of tourists. Look to your right and you'll see the epic clock face of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Take it all in with a glass of champagne or one of the expertly made cocktails from the bar. Be sure to book ahead, though - tables here are, understandably, high in demand.

5. Selfridges- 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB MAP

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Selfridges, one of the biggest department stores in the world and the jewel in Oxford Street's crown, first opened its roof to Londoners in the 1920s for a hugely popular Pleasure Garden, which hosted everything from fashion shows to crazy golf. The second world war put a halt to such activities, but recent years have seen the tradition reignited, with restaurants, cafes, cocktail bars, a boating lake, and - yes - the return of crazy golf. If you're coming to London on a home swap this summer, keep your eyes peeled for this year's roof plans.

These five incredible rooftop spaces are just the beginning - London is home to reams of rooftops offering incredible views of the city. Whether you're a north London native or in town on a LoveHomeSwap.com holiday home exchange, they're well worth checking out.

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