Walkie Talkie Sky Garden: How to book a visit to the stunning public park with views across London

 
Lynsey Barber
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The Walkie Talkie's Sky Garden as it's expected to look when it opens tomorrow (Source: PR)

The Walkie Talkie building (or 20 Fenchurch Street as it’s officially known) is opening the doors to its crowning glory - spectacular views of the city amid a stunning park in the sky.

The huge skyscraper’s Sky Garden on floors 35, 36 and 37 is the final part of the building to open, and can be visited by the public, not just city workers lucky enough to work there.

There is a catch. Firstly, you have to book, and secondly, it’s near impossible to find where to make a booking.

The latter is easily solved (online here, you're welcome), the former, not so much.

Anyone can roam the high-rise garden, adding another landmark to the list of must-see places for any visitor to the capital. This was a requirement of the planning permission for the building, however, the compromise is visits have to be booked in advance, likely due to the number of visitors expected. This hasn't gone down well with everyone.

From tomorrow, visitors can see the sky garden if they’re dining at one of its three restaurants, the Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill, Darwin Brasserie or Sky Pod Bar.

If you are planning a visit without the meal (and for free), the garden is open from 10am-6pm on a weekday and 10am-10pm at the weekend if you fancy a late night visit. Booking is open now for visits beginning on 12 January and must be made at least three days in advance (and up to three months in advance).

Oh, and once you've bagged a spot, you do have to jump through a few more hoops.

Be warned, there are some pretty strict small print details to be aware of.

If you’re running more than 10 minutes late, you’re likely to miss your slot and the allotted time for anyone planning to relax up there is a maximum of 1.5 hours. Also, you can book for groups no bigger than six people and visitors must have ID that matches the reservation name.

Finally, security is rather airport-like, with only liquids of less than 100ml allowed, except for baby food and milk and no bags larger than 8 inches by 17 inches by 19 inches.

Other than those main points, oh, and the rest of the 4,000-word rules and regulations, (and what public space doesn't have those?), the sky garden is open to everyone.

Here's a (quite terrifying) leaf's-eye-view of it.

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