Add a London helicopter flight to your bucket list

There’s no better way to see a city you love than from the air. High in the sky, you can see the whole panorama of London laid out before you, with landmarks punctuating the jumble of historic buildings and famous streets. You can really get a feel for the sheer scale of the city as well as capturing some incredible snapshots to show off on Facebook.

There are several great ways to see London from above, depending on your budget and your sense of adventure. Head to Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park or Hampstead Heath for a free look at the skyline: it looks especially lovely at night. Primrose Hill is just outside Regents Park, a few short minutes away from the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate. Many tourists also opt to go up the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Located in South London, the Shard stands 308m tall and for just under £25, you can look out over London and experience 1000 years of history from its viewing deck.

But for the best panoramic views of London, you can’t beat a helicopter ride. The London Helicopter runs heli-tours from London’s only licensed helicopter pad, on the south bank of the Thames near Chelsea Harbour in west London. For £199 per person, they will take you on a mind-blowing 20 minute helicopter ride over the city, taking all the most famous landmarks. Each tour is flown by an experienced pilot with an expert knowledge of the city from above, so on top of an exhilarating flight you also get a running commentary pointing out landmarks and points of interest. Perhaps you’ll even be able to point out your rooms at the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate, if you’re not too excited to listen!

Flying in a helicopter feels a little like sitting in a goldfish bowl, with big glass windows for maximum visibility, especially if you manage to snag a seat at the front. It can be a little disconcerting to realise that you are hovering in the air with nothing underneath you: unlike flying in a passenger jet, in a helicopter you can feel every move the aircraft makes. Take-off and landing can be a little bumpier than you may be used to! If you are afraid of heights or have a fear of flying, this might not be the best holiday activity for you. That said, The London Helicopter gives all passengers a safety briefing before take-off, and testimonials from previous passengers are full of assurances that the ride is smooth and safe – like soaring through the skies on a magic carpet.

From the sky, you can see London’s beauty on an entirely different level. Go up in spring or summer and notice how many parks you can see – London has more green space than almost any other major city in the world, as well as streets lined with beautiful shady trees. Hyde Park dominates the city centre, close to the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate. If you’re feeling nosy, take a sneak peek into the Buckingham Palace gardens, off limits to common folk on the ground. Perhaps you’ll catch the Queen taking a casual stroll!

Look for the train lines and see if you can identify Paddington station, where trains run from London to many other corners of England. Follow the broad, winding Thames River through the city and try to identify each of its famous bridges. Tower Bridge is easy to pick out, with its beautiful architecture and elegant metalwork in bright blue – but can you point out Blackfriars, Waterloo and Westminster?
If you’re looking for something truly special to cap off your London holiday, you can’t go past a helicopter flight. To float through the skies in a hovering bubble over the best city in the world is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. You’ll come away with a new appreciation for the scale and beauty of this marvellous place.

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