One of the things you must do when in London is cross the Thames River at night. Even if it’s freezing cold, deep winter, wrap a scarf around your ears and brave the ice-wind that kicks up off the water – it’s worth it for the view.
Crossing Waterloo Bridge is my pick because on either side you have a clear view of those iconic London buildings lit up at night – it’s like stepping into a postcard. St Paul’s Cathedral still dominates the skyline on the city side, surrounded by other church spires popping through the buildings crowding down to the riverbank. Down river you can see the modern Gherkin building, and Canary Wharf, and upriver there’s Big Ben and Parliament.
Across the water the arts buildings crowd together on Southbank, including the brutalist architecture of the Royal Festival Hall. The iconic wheel the London Eye glows blue high above. I love this view because you feel that you’re down amongst the city, but if you would prefer to get the view from above it all, take a turn on the Eye. It takes about half an hour and you can see for miles and miles and miles. Or head for a meal or drink in the Oxo Tower, which has wonderful views from the 8th floor. Alternately head further down the river to the Tate Modern Gallery, right opposite St Paul’s, and head up to the seventh floor to the restaurant and get one of the best views in London (although the only evenings it’s open is Friday so this is a better daytime option). The Millennium pedestrian bridge is also a great way to cross the river for a lovely view. Though I still recommend Waterloo Bridge for that sense of being right in the hub of London.