After a long, fun day of adventure exploring London, most visitors do one of three things: they head back to their hotel, they tuck into dinner at one London’s many fabulous restaurants, or they pop into a pub for a few pints before dinner and then their hotel.
But some savvy travelers know to keep their eyes peeled on the sky as the day winds down – depending on the time of year, of course; sunset in London is stunning and shouldn’t be missed if you see a good one starting.
Of course, I love sunrises too, but I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy many breathtaking sunsets in London during my time living there and visits since. Best of all, once you’ve enjoyed sunset in London you know your day is done and can relax, unwind, and rest easy knowing you’ve done all there was with that day in London.
So if you’re curious about when sunset happens in London – and how sunset times in London change throughout the year – read on. You’ll discover these important timing details plus the best places to view sunset in London from Westminster to the East End (and further around Greater London).
Sunset in London by Month/Season
While sunset viewing in Londo sounds like a spontaneous experience, the truth is, it takes a little bit of planning. If you want to catch a sunset in London, you need to know at what time the sun sets in this gorgeous city.
London Sunset Times by Month
The London sunset time will vary considerably depending on the season and the month you’re visiting.
Generally, winter means fewer hours of sunshine and shorter days. You can expect the sun to set at 3:54 pm in December. After the winter solstice, sunsets occur later each day, with the sun setting at 9:08 pm in June.
Regarding time differences, the sunset times in spring and fall are less apart, with the sun setting at 5:41 pm in March and 7:46 pm in September.
|Sunset (on the 1st)
|Sunset (on the 15th)
London Sunset Times by Season
Before we dive into the best spots for sunset viewing in London, it’s worth mentioning what you can expect in each season and the time frame in which the sun sets.
- Spring (March through May) – There’s nothing like visiting London in spring. Trees become greener, and flowers start to bloom; everything foretells the arrival of warmer and longer days. You can expect the sun to set between 6 pm and 8 pm during this magical season.
- Summer (June through August) – You’ll get to know London’s brightest side during the summer months. London summers are mild and pleasant, although the rain doesn’t go anywhere. Summer days are substantially longer, so expect the sun to set around 8 pm-9 pm.
- Autumn (September through November) – After spring, autumn is the most colorful season, with rich hues of yellow, orange, and red invading every park. Sunsets occur between 5 pm and 7 pm during the fall.
- Winter (December through February) – As we all know, winter isn’t as appealing as the other seasons. However, it still has its perks – like London’s unbeatable Christmas lights! During the winter, the sun sets around 4 pm and 5 pm.
No matter when you choose to visit though, there are plenty of opportunities to see a gorgeous sunset in London – and plenty of places to do so.
Best Places to See Sunset in London
Now that you know the general sunrise times are in the city, we can move on to places where you can get prime sunset views. Here are fifteen gorgeous spots to watch the sunset in London.
1. Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace, or Ally Pally as locals call it, is a theater where world-class musicians have played. It turns out the iconic entertainment venue has one of the best views of London. The walk to the top of the hill is a bit steep but worth every step—the reward: London’s skyline sprawling right in front of you.
2. Bōkan in Canary Wharf
Enjoy a few cocktails as you see the city fall into the night at Bōkan, one of the newest spots to witness a sunset in London. The bar stretches across the top three floors of the world’s tallest Novotel. While it’s a bit pricey, it’s worth the splurge. After all, being so high in the sky sipping on delightful cocktails isn’t an everyday treat.
3. Galvin at Windows at the Hilton Park Lane
You can’t beat the Galvin at Windows when it comes to the perfect location to catch a glimpse of the sun setting. The fancy restaurant sits on top of Hilton Hotel’s 28th floor on Park Lane in Mayfair. The hotel faces due west, which means you get unobstructed views of the sun hiding behind the horizon. To top it all, the restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows.
4. GŎNG at Shangri-La Shard
Popping into the GŎNG at Shangri-La Shard is yet another opportunity to enjoy eating and drinking amongst the clouds. Perched on the 52nd floor, GŎNG is an Asian-themed cocktail bar that became the highest hotel bar in London and Western Europe in 2019. There is a huge selection of cocktails and spirits you can order to accompany your viewing session.
5. Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park is a safe bet for catching sunset views year-round. It is a Royal Park, sprawling over 183 acres. You’ll find a lot of space to enjoy spectacular views of London and its skyline. For the best sunset views, head up to The Royal Observatory.
6. Iris Bar at The Gherkin
The top floors of The Gherkin are home to lovely bars and restaurants. Iris Bar is one of them. The panoramic restaurant and bar is located right at the top, below the building’s top glass eggy roof. Naturally, you can get excellent views of the city. If you can, try to book a reservation and ask for a table near the windows for unobstructed views.
7. Little Venice
Little Venice is a picturesque nook of London, with houseboats, wrought iron bridges, and canals. You won’t get unobstructed views since Little Venice isn’t particularly high. However, since it faces west, the reddish sunlight covers much of it. Find a cozy pub by the canals and watch the sunset with a cocktail or beer in hand.
9. Millennium Bridge
I don’t need to tell you that London bridges offer unparalleled views of the city’s skyline. They are also a vantage point when it comes to sunset viewing. Millennium Bridge is one of the few pedestrian-only bridges in the capital, and it grants gorgeous sunset views with St.Paul’s Cathedral in the background.
10. Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill enjoys a good reputation for sunset viewing. It is Hampstead Heath’s highest point and stretches across 800 acres. The gorgeous hill feels like the English countryside, with nothing but silence and nature around. Take your time and steal a quick glimpse of the skyline through the foliage at sunset.
11. Primrose Hill
With a summit of 210 ft., Primrose Hill is another of London’s best viewpoints. You’ll find it north of Regent’s Park, so you can expect views over Central London from here. The hike to the top can feel a bit strenuous, but you can take pauses and witness the entirety of the London skyline becoming more visible with each step. During warm months, locals love to flock to Primrose Hill for a picnic.
12. Richmond Park
London’s largest Royal Park, Richmond Park, sprawls over 2500 acres. The park has a stunning variety of landscapes and is one of the few green spaces where you can see deer in London. While the whole park has nice spots to watch the sunset, King Henry’s Mound has the best seats in the house.
13. Sky Garden
Sky Garden is another fantastic example of London’s architecture finding ways to introduce nature into a bustling city. Opened in 2015, The Sky Garden is on the 36th floor of the ‘Walkie Talkie Building,’ a location that earned the venue the title of the highest public garden in London. The place is brimming with lush plants and features floor-to-ceiling windows for guests to appreciate London’s skyline in all its glory.
14. Sushisamba in Heron Tower
Foodies can stop by Sushisamba in Heron Tower to watch the sunset. Although I must warn you, dining here is a very expensive affair. The fusion restaurant stretches over the building’s 38th and 39th floors. While the restaurant’s location is fabulous, you need to book a window seat in advance to get the views.
15. The London Eye
Taking a spin on the London Eye is a surefire way to watch the sunset in London. The iconic venue sits right in the middle of South Bank, providing gorgeous views over Westminster. Book your tickets to start 45 minutes before sunset. You’ll be able to witness how the sun bathes the city in red and yellow hues. It also grants perfect views of the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament.
16. Up at The O2
The O2 area is a fascinating place for a day out. Be it the cinema you are after or dining out, O2 has you covered. It is an excellent venue for concerts (when they return), shopping trips, bargains on brands, and even some adventure for enthusiasts. So, spend the day and then head to the O2 arena for unmatched views of London. The venue runs daily tours that take you to the top of the 170 feet-high building to enjoy spectacular sunset and twilight views.
That wraps up my list, and you now know all the best places to see sunset in London. Have any questions about planning your own excursion to watch sunset in London? Let me know in the comments or ask over in my London Travel Tips Facebook community.