View from Hawley Wharf

25 best rooftop bars across Camden

With loads of glamourous new arrivals, plus others usually frequented by in-the-know locals, we bet you’ve not tried all of these – yet

The Lucky Club

VIBE: This hot new Margarita and Mezcal joint, is a sister bar to the Mayfair original bearing the same name. Whereas that one is renowned for Asian flavours, this brand new alfresco terrace focuses on all things Mexican, including a food menu of tacos and tostadas.

VIEW: The Lucky Club Camden sits atop the iconic curving wall of Camden’s Grade II-listed horse hospital, previously occupied by Fest and Proud. It’s had a striking £2m refurb, including the installation of a retractable roof and Function One sound, and is a real late afternoon sun trap from which to enjoy views of the Roundhouse and bustling Camden Market below.

CAMDENIST TIP: Make sure you have a gander around the rest of North Yard as part of your visit. It has a rich Victorian industrial heritage, a growing international foodie scene, and is becoming a hub of immersive games and theatre, too.

North Yard, Chalk Farm Rd

House of KOKO

VIBE: Elevating drinking and dining high above the main auditorium of Camden High Street’s world famous live music venue, where legends from Prince to Siouxsie Sioux, Noel Gallagher to Katy B have all performed. KOKO’s aim is no less than to be at the centre of the UK’s music universe, with tiered membership granting access to new areas up top, including a penthouse and recording studio, a hidden speakeasy and private dining.

VIEW: Looking down onto Camden High Street probably isn’t the best vista in town, however the people-watching, pre-gig excitement and special live performances are sure to make it one of London’s hottest rooftop hangouts. Move over Shoreditch house, (even with that swimming pool).

CAMDENIST TIP: KOKO’s rooftop also boasts a cocktail bar inside its iconic copper dome, which has been totally rebuilt after fire ripped through it during the venue’s multi-million pound restoration. If you can’t get up there, the smoking area above the main entrance is another great outdoor terrace.

1A Camden High St, NW1 7JE

Glasshouse at the NYX

VIBE: 125ft up in the air, with an all-weather retractable roof so it is possibly to make the most of every conceivable combination of the elements. The bar itself is filled with bold and colourful art including neon pieces and a playful cocktail menu matches the decor, with vibrant twists on the classics. 

VIEW: Excellent skyline eye-candy, Holborn is a great location for checking out the likes of the Barbican and the new financial towers across the City and out East.

CAMDENIST TIP: Although the rooftop can fit a fair few people, there are only 46 actual seats, so a trip here – especially on a balmy summer’s eve –  needs to be cleverly planned in advance.

50-60 Southampton Row, WC1B 4AR

Rooftop at The Standard

VIBE: Miami-style high-rolling fabulousness. Camden Council’s brutalist former town hall annexe and library has been totally reinvented. Everything about this hotel screams fun and decadence, so the roof – which debuted last summer – is the natural apex of all that. It’s back for a second season (if you can snag a table in good time) including a new taco truck run by the people behind the acclaimed Decimo downstairs.

VIEW: brilliant scenes of the intricate spires of St Pancras Station directly over the road, or around the other side for sunset across central London, all framed by the Standard’s colourful palate of parasols, astroturf and kitsch outdoor lounge furniture. 

CAMDENIST TIP: While the outside terrace might be the rooftop proper, don’t overlook new indoor cocktail bar, Sweeties, just one floor down on the 10th, either. It’s a late-night lounge with DJs and all manner of innovative alcohol-based ‘nootropic’ concoctions on the menu, with equally sweeping views of its own.

10 Argyle St, WC1H 8EG

Richard Corrigan at Hawley Wharf

VIBE: Celebrated Irish chef Corrigan leaked his own news to the press in an interview last year, revealing he was preparing to open a brand new restaurant in the prime rooftop space at Hawley Wharf. Little more is known about his plans so far, but we’re hoping he opens in time to catch some summer weather, as the outdoor waterfront terrace will be fantastic, combined with what’s very likely to become Camden Town’s most in-demand dining destination, too.

VIEW: Panoramic urban drama. From Camden Lock and it’s thronging bridge alongside the former TV-AM building (now Viacom) on the canal to one side, or the very close proximity to railway lines with the rolling hills of Hampstead Heath beyond.

CAMDENIST TIP: You’ll also be able to enjoy the photo ops from up top without a restaurant booking, as there’s a nice picnic style seated area where you can bring streetfood up from the 60 vendors downstairs to enjoy perched amongst the original chimney pots.

Hawley Wharf, Camden Town 

Big Chill Bar

VIBE: A King’s Cross classic, this huge party venue has a rather lovely roof that a lot of people might not even know exists if they get distracted by all that’s on offer on the other floors. An escape from the multi-room party below as much as a destination in it’s own right.

VIEW: Not the most stunning, but for the feeling of being right at the throbbing heart of London’s most dynamic neighbourhood, this rooftop space delivers in spades. 

CAMDENIST TIP: The various rooms and floors of Big Chill can be hired for private dos, and ‘the space’ up on the roof is a quirky spot for a gathering, from a party to a memorable work meeting.

257-259 Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL

Tattu

VIBE: This recently opened London outpost of Instagram-tastic Chinese empire Tattu is perched atop the Outernet Now Building, and it’s dazzling in every respect. Step through a corridor of 8k video walls (and ceiling) before being whisked into an oriental wonderland, with easy-on-the-eye food and drinks to match.

VIEW: The outdoor bar is not yet open to the public, but when it is later this summer, you’ll be across from St Giles in the Fields and the twinkling lights of Soho and the City beyond.

CAMDENIST TIP: After dinner and drinks, head into the 2,000 capacity live music venue that’s located in the basement below. It’s the biggest new venue to open in central London since the 1940s. For the dream package, book a room at the exclusive Chateau Denmark right next door.

The Now Building, Outernet, Denmark St, WC2H 0LA

Roof Garden at St Pancras

VIBE: A secret alfresco drinks rendezvous for those in the know. Not open yet this summer, but keep an ear to the ground or ask in The Hansom bar, situated in the old horse-drawn taxi rank below.

VIEW: It’s not the highest of rooftop spots, but you’ll still be blown away with unusual angles on a range of architectural landmarks, from the ultra-modern Crick opposite, to the hulking red brick British Library and, of course, the gothic splendour of St Pancras Station, upon which you are sitting.

CAMDENIST TIP: Before/after your drinks up on the roof, sashay down the hotel’s famous staircase (immortalised in a Spice Girls video) into the building’s depths. You’ll be rewarded with some serious pampering at the luxurious subterranean health spa.

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Rd, NW1 2AR

Zedwell Sky Bar

VIBE: The computer-generated images of this 1,000 capacity rooftop pleasure palace atop the Trocadero building look like nothing London has seen before, but a series of lockdown-related delays have seen it’s grand launch pushed back time and again, with a proposed new opening date still known.

VIEW: Rumoured to be operated by the glitzy Tao group of Las Vegas fame, when it does open the sights will no doubt be as much the patrons as the prime West End streetscape all around.

CAMDENIST TIP: While waiting to get a first peek at the Sky Bar, you can stay in the cocooned rooms of the Zedwell hotel beneath, where the outside world – including all natural light – is shut out so you can catch decent ‘z’s at any hour in the heart of Piccadilly Circus.

Zedwell Piccadilly Circus, Great Windmill St, W1D 7DH

8 at The Londoner

VIBE: High end decadent Japanese izakaya food and drinks high above the former Odeon cinema in Leicester Square. This gleaming new hotel has got enough going on to draw in actual Londoners as well as visiting tourists, particularly those who love a good rooftop terrace.

VIEW: Leicester Square is home to many bars with decent vantages, but the overall experience here is one to remember for a really special occasion, set under the stars in the Shima garden.

CAMDENIST TIP: There’s still a cinema downstairs despite the site being comprehensively flattened in the process of creating this luxe hotel. There are loads of other dinning and drinking options in the hotel to try too.

38 Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX

Royal Opera House Piazza Terrace Bar

VIBE: A bit of a hidden gem this one, as most people don’t know you can head up to the top of the Royal Opera House these days, even if you’re not a ticket holder. It’s heated and covered, too, but delightfully airy on summer nights.

VIEW: Beautiful views of Covent Garden and theatreland  make this a hit. You can also get a feel for the Opera crowd when there’s a show on, which is always fun.

CAMDENIST TIP: Try coming up here during the day when it’s very quiet. It’s like a dreamy little oasis in the hubbub of the West End. 

The Royal Opera House, Bow St, WC2E 9DD

The Lighterman

VIBE: The Lighterman was purpose-built from scratch in an enviable spot on Granary Square in the heart of King’s Cross. It’s a lively post-work spot, but also great for lunches, and the roof terrace is sizzling when the sun comes out. 

VIEW: Kids playing in the dancing fountains below, boats on the Regent’s Canal and sashaying fashion students heading to/from Central St Martins, it’s all go.

CAMDENIST TIP: If the roof is full, all is not lost. There’s also outdoor space on the Square below, plus a large waterfront terrace around on the canal side, so you can get your al fresco drinks fix one way or another.

3 Granary Square, N1C 4BH

Abbey Tavern

VIBE: This huge Victorian boozer in the middle of Kentish Town has all kinds of nooks and crannies from where to enjoy a pint. It’s beer garden is the area’s biggest and always lively when the weather obliges, but the rooftop is quite literally on another level, so snag a spot up there if you can.

VIEW: There are no vistas of St Paul’s here, but rather the surprisingly lush back gardens of NW5, complete with the throngs of drinkers below. There are quite enough sights to behold on the pub’s terrace, anyway. 

CAMDENIST TIP: The Abbey is also the pub with Kentish Town’s latest weekend license, so even when you are turfed inside, there will often be plenty more music and merriment to keep you occupied back down on ground level.  

124 Kentish Town Rd, NW1 9QB

Lockside Camden

VIBE: This long-standing party spot at the heart of Camden Market runs all kinds of music promotions, which often spill out onto it’s front terrace, which can be busier than the inside if the sun’s out.

VIEW: From its waterfront vantage on the Regent’s Canal, Lockside boasts some lovely views of Camden’s industrial heritage locations. These include the Lock, the thronging West Yard food market and it’s all in the shadow of the mighty red Interchange building behind the bar itself.

CAMDENIST TIP: Live music and DJs can start out on the rooftop as early as 2pm on big weekends, so get there early on if afternoon-into-evening party vibes are your thing. 

West Yard, Camden Market, NW1 8AF

Aqua Spirit

VIBE: The international Aqua Restaurant Group have swish restaurants and bars in the world’s top locations, and alongside one up The Shard, there are no less than three in one glam building on Regent’s Street. Aqua Spirit is the destination cocktail bar up top, for those looking to impress.

VIEW: You’re slap bang in the middle of the West End here, perched above the curvaceous splendour of  Regent’s Street, so this one is an effortless stunner in all directions. 

CAMDENIST TIP: To really push the boat out, your al fresco cocktails can be come either before or after a meal delicate Japanese cuisine at Aqua Kyoto, or contemporary Spanish tapas plates at Aqua Nueva, which also has a section of rooftop for dining.

240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
15 more Camden rooftops not to be missed

Find out more about them all in the map below

Near & Far

48 Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, NW1 8AJ

The Grafton

20 Prince of Wales Rd, NW5 3LG

Radio Rooftop

336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA

The Lock Tavern

35 Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, London NW1 8AJ

Sushi Samba Covent Garden

35 The Market, WC2E 8RF

The Spirited

Unit 3.18, 180-188 Camden High St, NW1 8QP

The Hawley Arms

2 Castlehaven Rd, NW1 8QU

Garden Rooftop

Assembly Hotel, 31 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0LS

LSQ Rooftop

1 Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA

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