Christmas Gift Guide Week: Gifts for Everyone – London Sky Garden (by Sam)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for so long, it feels like a life time ago that I visited here now! But just looking back over the pictures reminds me of what an amazing day out this was.

I decided now was a good time to break this post out as we are getting closer to Christmas – hear me out! It is so easy to book and can be a lovely surprise for that special someone.

I booked my trip (way back when) to the Sky Garden to celebrate Father’s Day! Yep, that’s how long this post has been sitting here! Anyways, my Dad had mentioned a couple of times throughout the year that he would like to visit it. We had discussed going before on a day off we had together (a good year ago), but it was only in looking into going in more detail did I realise that you had to book a time slot to visit.

The visit itself is free; you don’t have to pay for the privilege of going to the top of this skyscraper – but as I found out, the time slots book up very quickly. They only release one week of tickets at a time, but it didn’t specify what day of the week the tickets would be released. Once I had decided this was definitely the present I was going to get my Dad (not because it was free, but because it was somewhere he wanted to go and it was a great way to go out and spend the day together), I think I went on their website at least 3 times a day to make sure I hadn’t missed the tickets. I wanted the lunch time slot, actually on Father’s Day, and I knew they would go as soon as they were put up so I had to be quick!

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So the point in all my waffle above! This trip makes for a brilliant special gift to someone that likes to try new places – and it’s free! The beauty of this gift, for me, was in the planning and the surprise. I told my Dad to get ready by a certain time and that we would be taking a train, oh and that he HAD to bring his camera. This well and truly peeked his curiosity. I had the tube route all planned out and the tickets all printed and ready to go.

This is my ideal present! A day out with it all arranged – no “what do you want to do?”, “where do you want to go?”, back and forth until you both can’t be bothered to do anything or go anywhere.

You get an hour and a half slot to go around the gardens as many times as you like. They also have a little cafe up there so you can stop for drinks and snacks while you take in the view – which is spectacular. They also have a restaurant (which you do need to prebook in a different way from the sky garden part itself); but we wasn’t there for the food – don’t tell Anna, she will disown me!

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One of the things I loved about the Sky Garden, was that printed on the glass windows were the names of the sights that you could see out across London. It was almost a game of who could spot them first! My Dad always won haha he knows London very well. I distinctly remember my Dad pointing the Olympic Stadium out to me in the distance. A touristy couple who stood nearby, right in front of the window, had obviously been trying to spot it but with not much luck, as the wife turned and asked my Dad “Where? Where is it?”

3 times my Dad tried to point it out to them!  You know when you can’t hear what someone says, so you keep having to ask them to repeat themselves – “Pardon?”. But once you get to the 3rd time you don’t fell like you can ask anymore without being a pain in the bum, so you just nod and laugh along to whatever they have said and hope for the best – I’m almost 100% sure that’s what they did here, coz it was obvious they still had no clue where it was, even with my Dad pointing right over their shoulder! Bless them haha

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So this concludes our Christmas Gift Guides for the week! I hope this gives you some new ideas on fun gifts you can give to those you care about it. And remember – it’s not always about how much you spend. Time and effort into planning something like a day out are just as valuable!

I’m sure there are plenty of other such adventures to be found in London; have you been to the Sky Garden, or done anything similar? I’d love some ideas for next year!

Until next time,

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