City’s iconic Sky Garden hits 10 million visitors

A City of London rooftop garden which offers some of the capital’s best views has topped 10 million visitors.

Since opening in 2015 the Sky Garden, on top of 20 Fenchurch Street (the Walkie Talkie) has become a must-see tourist attraction, being London’s highest public garden with 360-degree panoramic views of the entire city and welcoming over 3,000 visitors a day.

The news comes amid an increase in public elevated roof gardens, terraces, and viewing galleries in the Square Mile, which are proving hugely popular destinations for workers, visitors, and residents.

They have become a key part of the City of London Corporation’s Destination City strategy to transform the City of London into a seven-day-a-week world-leading leisure destination for visitors, workers, and residents.

Free to visit, they are recognised as economically and socially inclusive places.

Meanwhile, the nearby ‘Garden at 120’, at the top of Fen Court building at 120 Fenchurch Street, is closing in on three quarters of a million visitors.

Two more free to visit City public viewing galleries at 8 Bishopsgate and 22 Bishopsgate are due to open in the coming months, and six new public roof gardens and terraces are currently under construction at 120 Fleet Street, Seal House, Millennium Bridge House, 81 Newgate Street, 1 Leadenhall Court and Citicape House.

The City Corporation’s work in this field has led to nominations for two awards - on sustainable planning, and creating accessible elevated public realms - for Best Borough-led Projects at Business LDN’s Building London Planning Awards 2023.

Christine Baldwin, UK Director at H Properties, which own and runs the Sky Garden, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement and a monumental milestone. The Sky Garden gives visitors breath-taking views across the Square Mile and beyond.

“We are huge fans of the City and proud that we draw so many people here. We love visitors to savour the experience of being at the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities.”

The award-winning ‘Garden at 120’ is famed for its wisteria trees, ecological biodiversity and state-of-the-art landscaping and has attracted over 730,000 visitors since it opened in 2019.

The garden, co-owned by Generali Real Estate and MEAG and managed by BNP Paribas Real Estate, has hosted almost 4,000 schoolchildren, who enjoyed 360-degree views and learned about the natural environment and the history of the City.

Major new developments at 8 Bishopsgate and 22 Bishopsgate are both nearing completion and due to open in the summer, each complete with a new public viewing gallery.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Chairman Shravan Joshi, said:

“The spectacular success of the Sky Garden and The Garden at 120 show how tall buildings in the City not only provide the high-quality office space we need, but offer benefits to the community and a boost to the Square Mile’s tourist appeal.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see schoolchildren and local communities being involved, giving them a feeling of belonging to and involvement in the City, its environment and its history.

“Both these gardens and the two soon-to-be opened viewing galleries in Bishopsgate are playing an important role in our Destination City vision for the Square Mile as a seven-day-a-week tourist destination.”

BNP Paribas Real Estate General Manager Lucy Taylor said:

“We are extremely proud to support both local community and schools further afield to showcase the building’s outstanding sustainability and design credentials.”