8 best winter rooftop bars London, open all year round

Published: November 10, 2019

London is calling with rooftop bars, even in winter

London is one of the most visited cities in the world. And also, a city with many grand rooftop bars.

A bit surprisingly maybe, but most rooftop bars are open also during winter. It might be due to the fact that there are many rainy days in London every year, so the best bet is to build all-weather venues.

You can find both luxurious winter terraces, rooftop ice rinks, alp huts or just a place to chill out during the holiday season. Why not make the joyful days extra amazing, with a visit to one of the Christmas rooftop bars London has to offer?

Here’s a list of the 8 best winter rooftops in London. A list made by the world’s leading experts on rooftop bars – The Rooftop Guide.

1. Radio Rooftop Bar

Winter rooftop bars London - Radio Rooftop Bar
Radio Rooftop Bar | Photo: http://radiorooftop.com

Located at the ME London, this beautiful rooftop bar is as trendy as it is fun.

Offering awe-worthy views of London's landmarks –from Big Ben to the London Eye– this is the kind of place that aims to impress.

Live DJs, delicious snacks, and a collection of both classic and signature cocktails have earned this spot the title of one of London's best rooftop bars, if not the best.

Because of this, prices are quite high, and reservations are a must, but the Radio is more than worth it.

The Radio rooftop has both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as two immersive terraces; what's more, retractable roof and vertical blinds make this an ideal spot for winter rooftop visits as well.

The atmosphere is lively and classy, so make sure to dress your best.

The Radio Rooftop is open to the public from early morning until 11:00pm, after which it becomes exclusive for hotel guests. Keep that in mind when planning your visit.

RADIO ROOFTOP BAR

ME London, 336-337 The Strand, London

Mon-Wed: 7am-1am / Thu-Sat: 7am-2pm / Sun: 7am-midnight

More info

2. Aviary London

Winter rooftop bars London - Aviary London
Aviary | Photo: https://aviarylondon.com/

Located on top of one of London's most luxurious hotels, right in the heart of Finsbury Square, the Aviary aims to please.

This restaurant and bar combination offers both indoor and outdoor seating, great views of the city, and a relaxed yet sumptuous ambiance that you're sure to enjoy.

The restaurant focuses on internationally inspired food made with seasonal ingredients; the bar is well known for its botanical cocktails and a wide selection of beers and wine.

Reservations for the lounge area are only available for groups larger than 8, which makes Aviary an ideal place to visit when traveling with a group.

Winters are particularly enjoyable at the Aviary, as rooftop igloos are set up all over the terrace to protect you from the winter chill.

Woolen blankets and sheepskin rugs, plus a faux fern dome adds to the rooftop winter-wonderland illusion, and, if that wasn't enough, hot drinks are also available.

This is a trendy place, so make sure to arrive on time if you want to get a table. And if you want an igloo, make reservations.

AVIARY

22-25 Finsbury Square, London

Mon-Fri: 6.30am-midnight / Sat: 7am-midnight / Sun: 7am-11pm (Terrace closes daily at 10pm)

More info

3. Skylight

Winter rooftop bars London - Skylight
Skylight | Photo: www.tobaccodocklondon.com

This three-level rooftop bar has been described as an "adult playground" and with good reason!

Equipped with a croquet field, a péntaque area, multiple screens from which to watch sports, and both food and drinks, Skylight was designed with fun in mind.

While the above is fun for the summer season, this is a happening rooftop venue in winter as well. From November to January, the 'Winter at Skylight' means a rooftop ice rink (so make sure to bring your skates), along with cosy rooftop igloos and mountain huts.

Rooftop parties are the norm for this bar, and you can expect anything from summer BBQs to Christmas sing-a-longs to entertain guests.

The food served veers on the side of street-food, and the drinks tend to be seasonal, with fresh, fruity cocktails during summer and warming wintery cocktails and ciders during the colder months.

SKYLIGHT

Tobacco Dock, Pennington St entrance, St Katharine's & Wapping, London

Winter season: Mon-Wed: closed / Thu-Fri: 5pm-11pm* / Sat-Sun: 12 noon-11pm (Thu-Fri from 3pm in November)

More info

4. The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St. James

Winter rooftop bars London - The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St. James
The Rooftop | Photo: https://trafalgarstjames.com

Found on the 7th floor of The Trafalgar St. James, this is one of the best wining-and-dining locales in all of London.

Elegant, charming, and luxurious; this is the perfect place to enjoy a finely crafted cocktail or a fine wine.

Equipped with a retractable roof and outdoor blankets and heaters, The Rooftop is open year-round, even during the cold winter months.

The made-to-share food served in this restaurant is better described as pan-Asian, so make sure to visit with friends.

Thanks to its location, The Rooftop offers awe-worthy panoramic views of London's downtown. So much so that you won't want to leave.

Reservations are encouraged but not necessary.

If you're looking for seclusion, The Rooftop also has a small, private glass box that seats 14 people and boasts the best views in the house.

THE ROOFTOP

Trafalgar Square, Cross Street:2 Spring Gardens, London

Mon-Sun: 12 noon-midnight / Fri: 1pm-2am / Sat: 11.30am-2am / Sun: 11.30am-midnight

More info

5. Queen of Hoxton

Winter rooftop bars London - Queen of Hoxton
Queen of Hoxton | Photo: http://queenofhoxton.com/

Set in the heart of Shoreditch, Queen of Hoxton is really an eventful place. Here you find three floors of bar, nightclub, performance space, art gallery and rooftop terrace.

With a new theme every season, Queen of Hoxton is a rooftop you can visit again, and again, and again, and again...

Starting October 24th, 2019, the theme of the winter is 'Emerald City'. A place where "nothing is quite what it seems and even the beer runs green".

Fire pits and a cosy WigWam makes sure everyone stays warm, and events run from workshops on how to make Christmas gifts from kitchen scraps to learning the art of Pxssy magic and how to cast spells.

If casting spells is not your cup of tea, head up to the bar and just enjoy some mulled wine, hot and cold green cocktails, hearty Kansas style food and a vibrant atmosphere. All you need for a great London winter rooftop experience.

QUEEN OF HOXTON

1 Curtain Rd, London

Mon–Wed: 4pm–midnight / Thu-Sat: 4pm–2am / Sun: 2pm-midnight

More info

6. Savage Garden

Winter rooftop bars London - Savage Garden
Savage Garden | Photo: www.savagegarden.co.uk/

Located at the 12th floor of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London in Tower Hill, Savage Garden is a really cool and modern rooftop bar that opened its doors in 2018.

From two seperate terraces you can enjoy amazing 360-views over the London skyline, while sipping creative and exciting cocktails in the sun. In summer, that is...

But don't despair. This winter season the rooftop will turn into Savage Schloss, offering all the fun of a ski lodge in the Austrian Alps, right in central London.

Available from November 9 (2019) to March 29 (2020), the retractable roof-hut comes with Christmas trees, wooden community benches, skies on the wall and red & white table cloths. All you need to get into the alp- and winterish mood.

There is a special rooftop winter-menu, offering food and drinks suitable for the setting, like 'Baked Pretzel', 'BBQ Bratwurst', 'French Mule' and all the glühwein you could want.

Open to the public on weekends from 4pm to midnight (reservations recommended), anyone longing for some cheesy Europop and views over the London skyline instead of the Alps should visit. Other times, Savage Schloss is a great venue for a private rooftop winter party (up to 120 guests).

SAVAGE GARDEN

DoubleTree by Hilton London, 7 Pepys St, London

Savage Schloss: Public - Sat & Sun 4pm–midnight / Other times for private events

More info

7. John Lewis Roof Garden

Winter rooftop bars London - John Lewis Roof Garden
John Lewis Roof Garden | Photo: www.johnlewis.com

On top of the famous retail store John Lewis, located on the equally famous Oxford Street, you find one of London's largest roof gardens.

An urban and happening venue in summer, and this season also in winter, when the rooftop turns into 'The Winter Carnival'.

Things to do and experience up here are just about as many as the rooftop is large.

You can challange your friends and family in a battle of curling at the Google curling lane. Or maybe learn how to make quality coffee in one of the Coffee Masterclasses. If classes is not your thing, then just enjoy some of the coffee-inspired winter warmers.

The Background Bars offer cocktails, wine, beers and soft drinks, while Jimmy's Carnival Diner serves delicious Americana street food. It is no problem to keep the stomach and taste buds happy up here.

For that extra special experience, book a Carnival House. There are 3 cosy and different little dens (House of Lights, House of Fortune & House of Mirrors), which seat between 4-8 people.

The roof garden on top of John Lewis is really the perfect spot for a fun and cosy break in the (usually) hectic holiday shopping.

JOHN LEWIS ROOF GARDEN

300 Oxford St, Marylebone, London

18 October - 5 January: Mon-Sat 12 noon-10pm / Sun: 12 noon-9pm

More info

8. Bar Elba

Winter rooftop bars London - Bar Elba
Bar Elba | Photo: www.bar-elba.co.uk/

Named after the Mediterranean island where Napoleon was exiled, Bar Elba is one of Waterloo's most desired destinations. Year round!

The rooftop bar has been covered and cosy during the colder months before, but a new and exciting feature for 2019 is the rooftop ice rink.

Combined with a curling lane, you can skate and compete with friends, all while enjoying fantastic views over London and sipping mugs of hot gin cocktails & mulled wine.

The ice rink is available from 4pm everyday until the end of February, and if you manage to squeeze in a visit in November, skating is even free of charge.

If ice-related fun is not your cup of tea, just settle for a table at the rooftop bar, where you can enjoy good vibes, sharable jugs of cocktails and juicy burgers from Dip & Flip.

BAR ELBA

109-117 Waterloo Rd, London

Sun-Wed: 4pm-12am / Thu-Sat: 4pm-1am

More info

Written by:
The Rooftop Guide

- the world's leading experts on rooftop venues

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