8 Bishopsgate | The New Free London Viewpoint

There’s a new place to look down over London and it’s free to book. The Look Out at 8 Bishopsgate is the latest skyscraper to open a viewing platform, so I popped in to admire the view.

The Look Out is on the 50th floor of 8 Bishopsgate.

In the image below it’s the glass block on the right, towering over the Royal Exchange

Ironically it’s neighbour, the tallest building in the City – 22 Bishopsgate – opens its own free viewing platform in a couple of weeks, you can book a free ticket to Horizon 22 here (booking opens 20 September).

View from 8 Bishopsgate

So what can you see from the 50th floor?

Despite the drizzle when I went up, you could get a fantastic view down onto the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

The views are fairly panoramic, covering (just about) Canary Wharf to the east on a clear day.

But the best are the uninterrupted views west. I particularly liked looking straight down on the spiky paths leading into Bank junction.

Of course, St Pauls’ Cathedral standing strong!

It was also quite cool to look down on the Walkie Talkie (and the new construction at One Leadenhall).

A cynical – but fair – response might be to ask whether they’ve just failed to let out this floor to prospective tenants? If that’s not the case then I imagine within the planning application process this view point was the community infrastructure levy, a clause which compels commercial private developments to offer something of value to the community within their plans.

It also stokes the ever-hotly debated point of whether we’ve hit a ceiling for office space in the Square Mile? According to all the new tall buildings planned, apparently not.

The space is available to hire for private events, so if that takes off it will presumably also affect the available times it’s open to the public.

The Look Out is open every day from 10.30am to around 5pm, the timings vary each day. It’s also open until 8.15pm on Friday evenings. You can book a free ticket to the viewing platform at 8 Bishopsgate on their website here.

If you’re interested in new buildings and construction in London, a great place to visit is The London Centre, home of New London Architecture at the Guildhall where you can see their epic model.

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