Take a Helicopter Tour to see some Stunning Views Over London.
What better way than taking a helicopter for a bird’s eye view of London? This tour takes you around the central area of London, over the City, looking down at Docklands and the East End, and back over central London to the West End of London. A leading global city, London covers about 690 square miles. Taking the whole Metropolitan area, London is home to up to 14 million people.
The City of London
Starting with the City, its skyline must be one of the most impressive views of all. With a resident population of only around 7,000 in 2011, about a third of a million people work here, mainly in the financial services industry which is centred here. The sleek shape of the Gherkin in the distance, with Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers on the horizon, these buildings are home to the offices that form the economic hub that keeps the ‘Great’ in Britain (for better or worse!).
East End of London
Newly built for the 2012 Olympics, a few miles eastwards in the heart of the East End, you see the latest addition to London’s skyline. The Olympic Stadium and Village are particularly impressive from the air.
Continuing over the East End, you reach Docklands and Canary Wharf. With some of the tallest office blocks, the surrounding area still is relatively undeveloped. Though one of the poorest areas of London, the rich rub shoulders with the poor and the former docks and warehouses, have largely been replaced by highly sought-after residences for the rich.
On the other side of the river is The Dome. Also known as the Millennium Dome, it was first used in 2000 as the venue of the Millennium Experience, to celebrate the turn of the century. It was also featured in a fantastic chase scene in a Bond movie (The World is Not Enough 1999). It was a bit of a flop in terms of attracting the anticipated crowds. Now the complex and exhibition have long gone, but it’s still an elegant landmark on the banks of the Thames. The dome has been retained as the exterior feature of O2, a shopping and entertainment centre.
Heading back along the Thames, Norman Foster’s elegant suspension bridge set off to a wobbly start when it first opened in June 2000. Controversial at the time, it reopened two years later when the wobble was eliminated. It has become a well-loved landmark linking St Paul’s with Tate Modern, the direction from which this picture was taken. Continuing west from the Eye, following the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament can be seen, the imposing seat of the government.
West End of London
As you head west, to the north, you can see the greenery that surrounds Buckingham Palace and Green Park, with Pall Mall pointing down to Trafalgar Square. Leicester Square and Soho is London’s vibrant theatre-land and shines brightly by night.
From the air you can see London’s greenery and a welcome break from all the stone and concrete. Hyde Park is one of the largest of London’s parks and is a Royal Park. The Serpentine divides the park from Kensington Gardens and is a popular spot for boating. During the 2012 Olympics, some of the swimming events took place here. Every Christmas Day, the brave (or foolhardy) take the plunge to swim a 100 yard race to win the Peter Pan Cup, started by J.M.Barrie in 1864.
Looking down, you can easily make out the circular Royal Albert Hall, Speaker’s Corner and museums: the Natural History and Science Museums, along with the Victoria and Albert.
This is a tour that only looks at the centre of London. A huge city, covering with so much to see, it’s difficult to know where to start. This tour of London takes you over some of the most areas of central London. From the air, you will see stunning views over London and obtain a different view on those famous sights and it’s amazing how far you can see on a clear day.