I have this thing with views. Which is probably why when we first visited our London skyline flat, I gave Allyn a puppy dog eyed look that read “OH PLEASE CAN WE LIVE HERE?!”
My obsession goes quite far. I’ll research panoramic restaurants in every city I visit and some of my much-loved bars in London are those that let me face plant the window so that I can look out over my beloved city. And don’t even get me started on flying. How anyone has flight phobia goes beyond me. I’m like a kid in a cotton candy shop with my nose against the glass waiting for that moment that the plane bursts through the clouds and I feel like I’m in an Enid Blyton novel. It’s one of my favourite feelings in the world.
So yes. I like views.
With that established I’ve had a good ‘ole think and somehow got my collection down to my top 15 most wonderful views from across the world.
(P.S. The giveaway is at the bottom, if you can resist gawking at the views…)
1 | Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park
Yosemite feels like a great place to start, as a place that has wonderful views around every sequoia. Yet hiking up the Mist Trail to the peak of Nevada Falls was what made me release that sigh of beauty, where you are simply wow’ed by what you see and no words are needed. I managed to bum-shuffle my way over to the edge of a hanging rock, just long enough to throw my arms in the air and cuckoo like Peter Pan.
Read more: A guide to hiking the Yosemite Mist Trail
2 | Sky Garden, London
As one of my favourite spots in London, the Sky Garden combines everything I love about my city; panoramic views, an indoor-outdoor setting and god damn good cocktails. On our visit to the Sky Pod Bar I fell quickly and deeply in love with their botanical menu, whilst looking out over the Shard, Gherkin and miles upon miles of bustling London life. The Sky Garden can be booked for free online with reservations for two bars and three restaurants.
Read more: A review of Sky Pod Bar
3 | The Dolomites, Cortina
Of course some of the best views in the world are seen from above, one of which is the flight path from London to Venice. Before I could even get to my end destination, I saw it from the skies, looking down onto the Italian Alps. When I ultimately reached Cortina, the surroundings were just as jaw dropping, seen at their best from the peak of the ski slopes where the mountains peeped through the clouds.
4 | The Stratosphere, Las Vegas
Topped with the most terrifying rides in the world, Las Vegas’ Stratosphere is a beast of a building, with open views onto the strip down below. I’ll save my story of what happened at the top for another time, but let it be known that the 360 degree views of Sin City are phenomenal, making it seem like a little Lego strip among a patch of desert land.
5 | Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor
On my recent trip to Exmoor National Park, Dad and I walked the 20 minute path up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point in the county. Sitting on top of the mountainous pile of rocks, I felt very peaceful looking out at rolling lush green fields, thick forests and even the ocean, all from one point.
6 | Grand Canyon National Park
I couldn’t write this list without giving the Grand Canyon an honourable mention. I recently wrote about the top 3 ways to see this wonder of the world and each one provides an equally striking view over the national park. One of the most overwhelming moments on my travels was sitting in a helicopter, flying low over woodland before suddenly bursting out miles high above the striped canyon below.
Read more: Top 3 ways to see the Grand Canyon
7 | Sulphur Mountain, Banff
I could probably have filled this list with views from British Columbia. But that would be extreme favouritism. So instead I’ve picked one, the first I saw in West Canada which truly took my breath away. Riding the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, I was just blown away by the sheer scale of mountains, forests and deep winding rivers that surrounded us. It’s one of the first times that I’ve sat and felt completely overwhelmed by nature and truly understood Gustave Flaubert’s famous quote...
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
Read more: Top 3 ways to see Lake Louise
8 | The Acropolis, Lindos
Walking to the top of the Acropolis in Lindos is beastly, especially in 40 degree heat, but make it to the peak and you’ll be rewarded with striking views from every angle; the Old Town, ocean panoramas and the stunning St Paul’s Bay which is naturally heart shaped from above.
Read more: Why Lindos should be on your bucket list
9 | Rockefeller Center, New York
If you want the best views in the Big Apple than don’t head up the Empire State Building, instead pick a sunset slot at the Top of the Rock, where you’ll be able to see the famous skyscraper as well a clear view of Central Park.
Read more: 16 ideas for a perfect getaway in New York
10 | Lions Head, Cape Town
I’m a sucker for a sunset. The way the sky transforms so quickly, casting shapes and shadows whilst becoming a palette of colours. Gosh I might have to write a post about my top sunsets soon… but for now going with the ‘view’ theme, my Cape Town experience was definitely my favourite. Perched at the peak of Lions Head, we sat with a bottle of fizz and picnic, looking out over the ocean from above.
As the sky took its journey from blue to pink, we noticed two movements in the water below. From this distance it could have been impossible to identify the cause but with a large ship providing scale of size, we could see that it was two whales dancing among the waves. Pretty unbeatable ey?
Read more: Top tips for falling in love with Cape Town
This list started as a top ten but I genuinely couldn’t choose… so here are your bonus five!
11 | Riesenrad, Vienna
Now Vienna’s historical Ferris wheel might not offer the most conventional views of the capital but I loved looking out over the city and surrounding mountains from a wobbling wooden capsule. You could see far and wide over the historical skyline, a striking match to the dense wooded hills of the Wachau Valley.
Read more: Postcards from Vienna and the Wachau Valley
12 | Tsavo National Park, Kenya
I recently wrote a post about the trip that inspired me to travel, a 30 day adventure in Kenya when I was just 15. Here I described a moment that stays with me to this day and developed into a love for Africa and its wildlife. On a morning game drive we stopped on Tsavo’s very own Pride Rock, watching a herd of elephants, zebra and antelope graze around a watering hole. From the corner of my eye I noticed a slow creeping beast down below; a lion picking his next meal as he cautiously crawled forward. With the African plains and red burnt mountains in the distance, this view was definitely unforgettable.
13 | Harlech Beach, North Wales
Okay one more sunset… but you tell me that these skies don’t deserve a place in this list! The wide open stretch of Harlech Beach is a glorious place to visit, with dolphin and seal spotting by day and enchanting skies by night. These Welsh skies have created some of the most incredible natural patterns I’ve ever seen.
14 | The Montparnasse Tower, Paris
For views of Paris, then head to the Montparnasse Tower, where the panoramas are provided from a rooftop terrace offering champagne to chilly tourists. The sight that stands out is of course the Eiffel Tower in all its effortless glory. Even with a moody Parisian sky, the views still made my tummy go.
15 | Koh Phi Phi View Point, Thailand
One of my favourite spots on my travels around Thailand was Koh Phi Phi, with its tiny strip of restaurants, hotels and bars between the two great hills, it’s a tourist trap but one you can relax in. I wasn’t the camera geek that I am today when I went, so my pictures won’t do it justice. But that said, the view point is of course spectacular, looking down onto the patch of car-free land, surrounded by turquoise waters.
There’s so many more wonderful views across the world still on my bucket list, Machu Picchu, the beautiful Austrian Alps and of course the Tren a las Nubes in Argentina… among many. Please do share with me your favourite views too!
Now how would you like to win your own view? Unfortunately I’m not sending you to one of the above – wouldn’t that be dreamy – BUT I am giving away a vintage poster of the Austrian Alps in collaboration with Inntravel so you can gaze away and fantasise about the stunning views of the mountains. These guys offer a lovely selection of ‘slow holidays’ in Europe complete with detailed maps, transported luggage and self-guided routes, perfect for individuals who like to take a relaxed approach to exploring idyllic scenery and walk at their own pace.
For your chance to win, simply enter below as many times as you like before 12:00 GMT on Monday 15th August 2017. (UK entrants only).
Good luck lovelies!
This post was written in collaboration with Inntravel