Published on May 15, 2014 | by Rebekah Thompson, Kate Lismore, Anuschka Ross, Bryndis Hjartardottir

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London’s best rooftop locations

Kensington Roof Gardens

Posh much? Well, yes – but if you enjoy a bit of a fairytale or ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vibe, this place is definitely worth a visit if you want to treat yourself a little.

Kensington Roof Gardens rooftop bar

The Kensington Roof Garden is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the natural atmosphere

With its three themed gardens and flamingos (yes, real flamingos!!) you can be sure that you won’t regret spending that money and will be awed accordingly by the surrounding. The gardens themselves can actually be visited free of charge, however, because they book loads of events you should probably phone and check availability first.

Also, for a real experience, it is definitely worth actually attending one of the many events like ‘Love Brunch’ that is hosted there on a monthly basis. Tickets start from as little as £15 and there are happy hours from 12-2pm with cocktails for only £6.

If you are looking for a more relaxed experience, the Roof Gardens offer an afternoon tea on the 24.May, where on top of the amazing atmosphere, various treats ensure you will have a memorable day!

Boxpark Shoreditch 

If you need a place to eat, drink and enjoy the sun the Boxpark is the perfect place for a sunny day.

Boxpark rooftop bar

Food, drinks and a site to chill is what you can expect from Boxpark rooftop bar

Located next to the Shoreditch High Street station, the Boxpark Shoreditch has it all. This two-level, all-in-one pop-up market can easily be compared to a mall built of Legos. On the ground floor there are all kinds of shops from Nike to lesser-known Swedish brands. The top floor, however, is not just your usual rooftop bar! You don’t go here for the view but it has everything you could ask for! You can choose between a variety of different food stalls, from Mexican, Turkish to barbeque or traditional pies. The same goes for the bars and there is even a X-box room to relax in. The first and last section of the roof is open aired and remember to arrive early if you want a place in the sun, as seats are limited and fill up quickly. There are weekly live music events. Drinks are reasonable priced and so is the food – for under £ 10 you can get a meal and a drink.

The Queen of Hoxton 

If you are looking for a place with a playful vibe look no further. The rooftop is decorated as a fun fair and lives up to it.

Queen of Hoxton rooftop bar

Innovative decorations and style make Queen of Hoxton an original rooftop bar

Multi-colored tables, a carrousel swing, tents and a big cinema screen are all part of the scenery lit up with fairy lights. You can get barbeque alfresco for £7.50 and prices for a pint are around £4.30. There is no music but the summer atmosphere makes up for it.

Also, the Rooftop Summer Club hosts various summer activities and workshops and there is a film screening every night at 9 PM. The rooftop closes at 10 PM but if you’re not ready to go home just yet, there is also a two-floor bar/club that is open until 2 AM on weekends.

The Red Lion – Hoxton 

The Red Lion rooftop barSet on a relative back street in Hoxton, The Red Lion doesn’t have the usual spectacular city vistas of most London rooftops, but they’ve made a good go of it; the terrace is covered with fairy lights and lanterns to give a fresh summer vibe.

They also do BBQ’s up there and inside they show football and have live music events. In general the pub doesn’t do food, however they run a nifty little operation with a take away around the corner, where you can purchase food from the pub and it gets delivered ASAP. The drinks aren’t cheap, but then they never are in London – a pint of cider and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps cost a crazy £7.50.

The Lock Tavern 

Situated just off the tourist saturated high-street on Chalk Farm Road, The Lock Tavern is one of Camden’s most laid back pubs.

The Lock Tavern rooftop bar

The Lock Tavern rooftop bar is a peaceful spot in Camden

Tired-looking leather sofas are dotted about two floors and with a ground floor garden full of fairy lights and benches the pub quickly fills up and becomes the perfect place for a late afternoon pint in the sunshine.

Such was the case on the Bank holiday when we visited, at £4.30 for a pint of Amstel, the prices vary with bottled beers and ciders being the most expensive. Camden is immensely popular on the weekends so it’s not uncommon for pubs and bars to hike up the prices to make the most of thirsty tourists with money to spend.

The pub sits on a corner so the rooftop area has a great view of the bridge and market, ideal for people watching and basking in the limited British sunshine. Enjoy it while you can people…

Radio Rooftop Bar 

If you’re looking for a night out in heels rather than sneakers, this centrally-located rooftop paradise offers you everything from an amazing skyline view and good drinks to gorgeous young people.

Radio Rooftop Bar - ME Hotel

Radio Rooftop Bar has the perfect location and is a great choice for a different night out

Being one of the few and very well selected hotels featured on the famous Conde Nast Travellers list, one shouldn’t expect to spend a cheap night out here on the Radio Rooftop Bar, but with prices for a bottle of Rosé wine (the ultimate summer drink) at around £30, they’re not considerably much higher than anywhere else in London.

So take one or two of your closest friends – huge groups don’t work very well here as it’s difficult to get seats – and enjoy your wine and if you time it right a stunning sunset. You’re guaranteed to soon forget about the high prices when overlooking the amazing city view including Tower Bridge, Southbank and St. Paul’s cathedral. And if you’re a girl you’ll maybe, just maybe, be lucky enough to have one of the handsome young business men, who populate this place, buy you a drink.

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