London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and full of amazing sights and attractions. It has also been my home for virtually my whole life.

As a local, I have spent many years taking countless photos around this amazing city, including many at sunset.

Watching sunset in London is one of life’s wonderful moments, where day turns to night and nature and the city become one. No two London sunsets are the same, meaning a magical experience every time.

A time lapse of sunset at Tower Bridge

In this article, I want to share my favourite locations to watch and photograph sunset in London, so you too can enjoy London at its prime. I’ll include tips of where to go, and the best times of the year for specific views as well as sharing some of my favourite sunset photos of London. I’ve even created a map at the bottom of the page showing where each location is.

What time is sunset in London?

From those short, chilly winter days to long summer evenings, sunsets in London will amaze you at any time of the year. Each season is different, and the changing position of the sun means that the best locations and times for sunset vary through the year.


Months: December – March

The days are shortest during winter, with the sun setting just before 4pm in late December. The good news is that the days begin to get longer now, and by the end of winter in March, sunset is around 6pm


Months: March – June

During spring, the weather in London can be variable, with some warm sunny days giving a glimpse of summer to come, mixed in with gloomy rainy days. Sunsets start at around 6:20pm in March, and by the time spring turns to summer at the end of June, they are much later at around 9:24pm which is around the time of the longest day.

Remember that the clocks go forward an hour at the end of March, which means sunset leaps ahead from around 6:30pm to 7:30pm.


Months: June – September

Once we get into summer, the weather is warming up nicely but the days begin to gradually reduce in length. From the latest sunset at 9:25pm at the end of June, they will be just before 7pm by the end of summer in late September.


Months: September – December

I love autumn, although it is always a little sad to realise that summer is over. But there is so much to look forward to in autumn. Sunsets begin at just before 7pm in late September, and will reach their earliest a few months later in December when the sun goes down before 4pm. Don’t forget the clocks go back an hour in October, meaning sunsets suddenly move from 5:45 pm to 4:45pm within a day.

Sunset behind Tower Bridge
Sunset behind Tower Bridge

Best places to photograph sunset in London

From iconic landmarks to the top of the UK’s tallest building, here’s my selection (in no particular order) of the best places to photograph sunset in London.

1. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Big Ben is one of the most photographed landmarks in London, but did you know that the name Big Ben actually refers to the bell inside the clock? Even though most people refer to the tower as Big Ben, it’s officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, and is part of the Houses of Parliament. The South Bank on the opposite side of the river is a great location to photograph Big Ben from, as you get a clear view of the tower, plus Westminster Bridge which lights up at night.

Big Ben Sunset
Sunset behind Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Best time of year to photograph this location

Any time of year is good, although you might need to adjust your position during winter as the sun sets quite a way to the left of Big Ben. During spring and autumn, the sun sets directly behind the tower which can give some dramatic colours or sunburst effects if you’re lucky with the clouds.

Can I use a tripod?

Yes you can. It’s fine to use a tripod on the embankment directly opposite the tower, to the west of Westmister Bridge. You can also use a tripod on Westminster Bridge itself, although bear in mind it does get rather busy so you should take care where you stand and watch out for the cycle lanes!

However once you move to the east of the bridge closer to the London Eye, this is private property and you may be asked to move on by security if they see you using a tripod.

Sunset Over Lambeth
Sunset over Lambeth from Westminster Bridge

How to get there

The best spot is just to the west of Westminster Bridge on the south of the river. It is a short walk from Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines) and Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee and Northern lines plus train) stations. There are also a number of bus routes that stop close by.

2. Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park is a large park in south-east London, and is home to the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House. It also has some stunning panoramic views over the City and Canary Wharf, which makes it a perfect location to watch and photograph sunset.

London Sunset From Greenwich Park
Panoramic view of sunset over London from Greenwich Park

Best time of year to photograph this location

The best time of year for sunset at Greenwich Park is during the summer months when the sun sets behind the City. Later in the year, the sun is a bit too far round to the south, although you can still get some nice colour in the sky if you’re lucky with the clouds. You also need to make sure the park is open late enough, as the closing times vary depending on the month.

Can I use a tripod?

Yes, there are no restrictions and plenty of room to use a tripod.

How to get there

There are a couple of particularly good locations to photograph sunset from. The first is close to the statue of General James Wolfe, located near the observatory and Pavilion Café. The other one is slightly further down the park, in a location called One Tree Hill Vista Point. Both are good, and give slightly different perspectives.

To get here, the nearest stations are Blackheath and Greenwich, both about 10 minutes walk. Cutty Sark (for Maritime Greenwich) is the closest DLR station, and links up to the Jubilee Line at Canary Wharf. The closest tube station is North Greenwich, which is a short bus ride away.

You can find more details about the park here.

3. London Eye

Best time of year to photograph this location

Any time of the year is good to either photograph the London Eye, or take photos from it as there are so many compositions to get with the Eye in shot. Two good spots are from Waterloo or Westminster Bridge where you can get a nice soft sunset glow in the sky, or go for a closer view and focus on the warm light illuminating the pods. If you want an amazing view of London from above, then it’s well worth taking a trip in one of the pods. The ride takes 30 minutes, and there is usually a bit of a wait to board, so you need to pick your slot to ensure you’re there at the right time for sunset.

London Eye Sunset
The London Eye at sunset

Can I use a tripod?

Yes, although not directly next to the London Eye on the South Bank, as this is private property. You also can’t use tripods on the London Eye itself. You can use tripods on the nearby bridges though, and on the north bank of the Thames.

How to get there

The London Eye is close to Waterloo train station, and also close to the best spot for photographing Big Ben so the same directions apply.

4. Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is often regarded as one of the most romantic places in London to watch sundown, but is it a good spot for photography too? The answer is yes!

Best time of year to photograph this location

As the sun sets behind the hill for most of the year, you tend to get the best colours through winter. However if you get the right conditions, you can get a lovely glow in the sky from the setting sun behind you at other times of the year.

Primrose Hill Sunset
Blue hour after sunset at Primorse Hill, with the moon rising

Can I use a tripod?

Yes, there are no restrictions and the park is open 24 hours a day.

How to get there

Primrose Hill is just to the north of Regent’s Park. The best spot to get panoramic views of London is from the top of the hill itself, and most of the paths lead up to this spot. The nearest tube stations are Swiss Cottage and St John’s Wood, both on the Jubilee Line.

5. Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is on the 35th floor at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the Walkie Talkie Building due to its unique curved looks. It’s London’s highest garden, and also has two bars as well as two restaurants. There are panoramic views over all of London, as well as an outside terrace on the south side facing the river and The Shard.

As well as the great views across London, you can also take some nice interior shots including the garden.

Access is free, although you do have to book in advance.

Sky Garden Sunset
Sunset views from the Sky Garden

Best time of year to photograph this location

Due to the views across the whole of London, any time of the year is good here. Although as the garden is naturally ventilated you might want to dress warmly during colder months.

Can I use a tripod?

No, tripods are not permitted here so you will need to hand-hold your camera.

London City Sunset
Sunset views of the City from the Sky Garden

How to get there

The Sky Garden is located at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street. The closest tube station is Monument, and nearest train station is Fenchurch Street.

6. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks, and probably one of the most photographed. But did you know it’s also a great location to take photos from? If you climb to the top of the dome, it offers fantastic panoramic views across London. From the top,  you can see the City, The Shard and Tate Modern to the east and south, and further west the views stretch out towards the London Eye and Big Ben.

You do need to pay to visit St Paul’s, so if you do visit to take photos then it’s worth getting there early enough to have a look around the rest of the cathedral. Currently (in 2023) it costs £23 if you buy tickets on the door, or £20.50 if you book in advance. You can convert your ticket to an annual pass for no extra cost when you purchase your ticket, and this allows you to visit as many times as you like during the following year.

Sunset From St Paul's Cathedral
Sunset views over London from St Paul’s Cathedral

Best time of year to photograph this location

Unfortunately, due to the cathedral’s opening hours, you’re really only able to see sunset from the dome on two occasions. Firstly, is at the end of December when sunset is at its earliest. The other is during selected evenings in August when St Paul’s runs special late opening events called Summer Lates.

Can I use a tripod?

No, tripods are not permitted at the top of St Paul’s. Even if they were, it’s very cramped at the top and there wouldn’t be room to use one.

How to get there

St Paul’s is very close to its own tube station – St Paul’s. There are two galleries on the dome. The first one is the Stone Gallery, and you need to climb up 376 steps to get here. Higher up is the Golden Gallery, and this is reached via a total of 528 steps from the cathedral floor. It’s rather cramped, and not recommended if you’re scared of heights, but the amazing views make the climb worth the effort.

7. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the most popular landmarks in London, and one of the most photographed. It’s a great subject to photograph at sunset, and there are several locations to get a great photo of the bridge. It’s also a really good location to take sunset photos from – either from the west side of the road, or from the upper walkway.

London Panoramic Sunset
Panoramic views over the London skyline at sunset, taken from Tower Bridge

Best time of year to photograph this location

There are great sunset photos to be taken at any time of the year, but the locations to shoot from will vary depending on where the sun sets. During the summer, it goes down behind the skyscrapers of the City, so a good place to photograph from is Shad Thames on the south of the river. As sunset starts to get earlier, and the sun sets further round to the south you’re better off on the north side of the river.

Tower Bridge Sunset From Wapping
Sunset behind Tower Bridge and The Shard

Another good view of Tower Bridge can be found a little further away on the south of the river, along Bermondsey Wall East near Cherry Garden Pier. This is better during the summer months when the sun sets behind the City.

Photographing from Tower Bridge is good at any time of the year, but if you want a sunset photo from the upper walkway, it’ll need to be during the winter as you need to do the Tower Bridge Experience to get access to the upper walkway, and this closes at 6pm. If you’re interested in doing this tour, I’ve written a detailed guide with everything you need to know about visiting Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge Sunset
Tower Bridge and The Shard at sunset

Can I use a tripod?

Yes, for almost all these locations I’ve mentioned you can use a tripod. The only place you can’t is within Tower Bridge itself.

How to get there

Tower Bridge is quite hard to miss, but I’ve put details about how to get there on my Tower Bridge Guide. You will be shooting sunset from the east of the bridge, either on the north or south banks of the river – both are easy to get to from the bridge itself.

A popular spot is the Thames Path at the front of Tower Bridge Wharf in Wapping. Another nearby location which isn’t as well-known is down on the shore at low tide, accessed by Alderman Stairs, just off St Katherine’s Way.

8. View From the Shard

What better way to take in sunset over London than London’s highest viewing gallery, with 360 degree panoramic views of the London skyline. You can even sip a cocktail or glass of champagne as you take photos at sundown, as there’s a bar there too.

Sunset From The Shard
Sunset views over the City of London taken from The Shard

Best time of year to photograph this location

As you get 360 degree views of the whole of London, any time of year is good for sunset at the top of The Shard.

Can I use a tripod?

No, tripods aren’t permitted at the View from the Shard.

How to get there

The Shard is located very close to London Bridge train station, and it’s hard to miss. The gallery is accessed via the main entrance, and is on the 72nd floor.

Map of sunset photography locations

How to use this map: Click on the icon in the top-left corner of the map to reveal a list of locations. If you click on one of the locations in the list, or one of the pins on the map, you can get more information or directions to it.

Click on the star just to the right of the title to save to your Google Maps account. You can then view the map on your phone or computer by opening Google Maps, clicking the “Saved” icon and then selecting Maps. You’ll then see this map in your list.

To open a larger version of the map in a new tab, click on the icon to the top right.

Like this article? Share the word!

About the Author

An award-winning travel and landscape photographer from London.

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *