The Garden At 120: A Sky Garden Alternative | London, UK

Last Updated on September 7, 2023

Every person and their dog has heard of London’s Sky Garden, located in the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building.  It has exploded in popularity and has found itself as one of the top free things to do in London.  However, move over Sky Garden, there’s a new kid on the block! Literally! Just 0.1 mile, a 2 minute walk away, is ‘The Garden at 120’, and for now, it’s still relatively unknown. If you’re looking for Sky Garden alternatives, this could be what you’re looking for!

Disclosure: I do my best to try and keep information up-to-date but please check direct with businesses for current opening times and prices.

The Garden at 120

🗺Location: The Garden at 120, 120 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 5BA, UK


We stumbled across The Garden at 120, ironically while walking to Sky Garden.  At first we didn’t even realise what it was, what caught our eye was a large ceiling screen up above, displaying various videos from: trees, to water, to a (possibly?) live webcam of Tower Bridge.

It was pretty mesmerising and took us a little while to realise what was staring us in the face at ground level!

120 Fenchurch St London
Entrance to The Garden at 120

At first it’s not really obvious what it is.  Tucked away in the corner is a small room with an airport style scanner and 2 lifts…no fancy front desk and the signage is very ‘business’ like, in the sense that it looks more like an entrance to an office block rather than an attraction.  We even had to Google what it was to find out more!

The Garden at 120 Fenchurch
The Garden at 120

Rooftop Garden

Just like Sky Garden, The Garden at 120 is completely FREE to visit.  One of the biggest differences is that if you visit Sky Garden during popular times, you have to book a time slot in advance. These slots are available from 3 weeks in advance and can fill up quite quickly.  

At the time of writing, The Garden at 120 does not require tickets, you can simply just turn up, making it a great alternative to Sky Garden if you’re visiting spontaneously!

Walkie Talkie Building London (Sky Garden)
Sky Garden building from The Garden at 120

The Garden at 120 has a ‘live’ capacity tracker so you are able to see how busy it is.  On a Sunday morning, there was no one in line when it opened at 10am and while we were up there, there were only 3 other people!

The Garden at 120 is located on the 15th floor and is completely open air.  14 Hills on the 14th floor is said to be one of the biggest rooftop restaurants in London!

The Garden at 120 rooftop garden London
Flower bed at The Garden at 120

The rooftop garden is indeed a garden, with various flowers and plants, my favourite part being the water feature element, gardens have to have a pond after all!

However there aren’t as many plants at The Garden at 120 compared to that of Sky Garden. Due to it being open to the elements, the flowers are more native species, rather than tropical flowers.

There are also several benches to sit and enjoy the view and I liked the fact that the garden was outside (even though it was a little cold and windy during my visit)!

The Garden at 120 London
Sky Garden overlooking The Garden at 120!

London Landmarks

The rooftop is surrounded by glass panels, giving you 360 degree unobstructed views across the London skyline.

You’ll be able to see landmarks such as:

Tower Bridge view from The Garden at 120
Tower Bridge from The Garden at 120
  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • The Walkie Talkie building
  • The Gherkin
  • The London Eye
  • The Shard
  • The River Thames
Rooftop garden at The Garden at 120 London
The Garden at 120 with The Shard in the background

There aren’t public toilets on the same floor as The Garden at 120. You’ll need to go down onto the 14th floor where the restaurant is.

If you are looking for an alternative to the Sky Garden or have missed out on tickets, The Garden at 120 is definitely a good option for free rooftop views of London!

120 Fenchurch St Rooftop Garden London
The Garden at 120 taken from Sky Garden

🕖The Garden at 120: Opening Times

The Garden at 120 is open year round.

April – September: 10am – 9pm

October – March: 10am – 6.30pm

(Saturday and Sundays 10am – 5pm, closed on bank holidays)

The Garden at 120
The Garden at 120

Related Reading: Skydeck or 360 Chicago: Which Chicago Observation Deck is Better?

The Garden At 120 vs Sky Garden

Sky Garden London

🗺Location: Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF


Sky Garden almost double the height of The Garden at 120, with the main level being on the 35th floor.  The majority of Sky Garden is inside, with a small outside terrace on the River Thames ‘side’ of the building.

Sky Garden London
Sky Garden London

As you walk around the gardens and the observation floors, the windows have stickers pointing out some of the major landmarks that you can see. This is great for tourists or visitors that may be unfamiliar with what the buildings are. You’ll also get a better view of the River Thames from Sky Garden.

Sky Garden terrace
River Thames from Sky Garden

There are several options for food and drink at Sky Garden, the most popular being the cafe, which is actually reasonably priced considering its location.

The only downside of Sky Garden is how busy it is, even with the control on numbers.  As soon as the outside terrace opened it was hard to even get a spot to see out of the glass.  

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool space, I loved the windows and the gardens but it was loud and busy and there was a queue for the toilets (unisex and each cubicle has its own sink and hand dryer which was nice but obviously it takes longer for a cubicle to become free!).

Sky Garden flower London
Bird of Paradise flower at Sky Garden

Sky Garden, despite being inside, is naturally ventilated so can actually be a similar temperature to what it is on the outside. During my visit I thought it was warmer than the outside temperature but that could have been because it had cut out the wind.

Sky Garden rooftop London
Sky Garden
Sky Garden Dress Code

There is also a dress code at Sky Garden, although during the day I’m not sure exactly how strict it is, we were all wearing jeans and trainers and we weren’t even looked twice at. This may be different during the evenings or in the restaurants. After 6pm there are also age restrictions for the bar and restaurant areas.

Sky Garden Shard view
The Shard from Sky Garden

🕖Sky Garden Opening Times

The opening times are all over the place so it’s worth checking the website for details. The times that require a booked time slot are as follows:

Monday to Friday: 10am until 6pm

Saturday & Sunday: 11am until 9pm

Sky Garden London rooftop garden

Time slots are staggered at 15 minute intervals and are meant to last for an hour, although this doesn’t seem to be tracked. Unless you are planning to eat or drink, an hour is more than enough time. Restaurant reservations would obviously allow more time.

Garden at 120 and Sky Garden FAQs

Is The Garden at 120 free entry?

Yes, The Garden at 120 has free entry.

Can you bring food to garden at 120?

Yes, you can bring food to Garden at 120, however alcohol is not allowed. Alcohol can be purchased at 14 Hills restaurant.

What is the nearest station to The Garden at 120?

The nearest station is Fenchurch Street. The nearest tube stations are Tower Hill, Monument and Aldgate.

Does The Garden at 120 have toilets?

The Garden at 120 has toilets on the restaurant floor, the floor below the rooftop garden.

What are the closest stations to Sky Garden?

The closest stations to Sky Garden are Monument on the underground or Fenchurch Street overground.

Is Sky Garden higher than Shard?

No, Sky Garden is 525ft/160m high, the Shard is 801ft/244m.

Can you just turn up to the sky garden?

No, tickets can be reserved online up to 3 weeks in advance (released on Mondays for the whole week). They do sell out quite quickly. Tickets to Sky Garden are free.

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2 thoughts on “The Garden At 120: A Sky Garden Alternative | London, UK

  1. The ‘live’ capacity tracker is something that I really admire! Most of the weekends The Garden at 120 is jam packed and it is really difficult to get in there, this live capacity tracker service really helps me in scheduling my weekend activities as I mostly visit The Garden at 120 on weekends

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