London Drum

Visit One New Change Rooftop Terrace, and see views of St Pauls & the London skyline

Where? One New Change, 1 New Change, The City · Web: Opening times? Roof terrace: 6 AM to midnight (Mon-Sun) · Shops: 10 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat); 10 AM to 8 PM (Thu); 12 noon to 6 PM (Sun) Visiting hours may change Price? Free Time required? A typical visit is 20-30 mins Parking: Nearby car parks Buses: 4, 8, 25, 56, 100, 172, 242, 521 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is St. Paul’s Central Other nearby stations: Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Mansion House Train fares

Craig’s review… If you’re coming to London with someone who’s visited every attraction in their dogged-eared copy of Lonely Planet then you might still be able to surprise them with a visit to this place.

But let’s start with a quick little sit down in St. Paul’s Churchyard first (that little garden round the north-side of the cathedral). Tourists are always taking photos of its gilded column because they think it might be important, but it’s just marking the location of a long-gone preaching pulpit where medieval priests used to make incendiary speeches about our sinful society.

If you try the same thing nowadays then you’ll be preaching to a bench full of builders, drivers and skivers eating their Pret A Manger sandwiches on their lunch break.

One New Change shopping centrePhoto: Craig Cross
One New Change shopping centre

Now walk to the very end of the garden and you’ll see the One New Change shopping centre over the road. I don’t normally recommend visiting a shopping centre on a day out but this is no ordinary shopping centre… can you see that path leading straight through the centre of it towards a couple of glass lifts? Tell your friend that you’re just nipping inside to use the loo and watch their face as St. Paul’s rises up during your ride to the rooftop observation deck.

View of St. Paul’s Cathedral from the rooftop terrace

The open-air rooftop terrace at One New ChangePhoto: Craig Cross
The open-air rooftop terrace at One New Change

How cool is that view! I think this is the finest view of St. Paul’s from anywhere in London, but what else can we see… if you can’t see the Tate Modern then you’ve probably got your glasses on back to front. The same with The Shard and the London Eye. But I’ll give you a point for spotting Southwark Cathedral and the top few feet of Shakespeare’s Globe (that’s literally all you can see of it).

See if you can find the Houses of Parliament – that will give you a good test. And I’ll give you another point if you can spot the top tip of Westminster Cathedral. (But I do mean the cathedral and not the abbey – there’s a difference!) For a bonus point try and find the ornate clock that’s hanging off the side of the Royal Courts of Justice.

View of St. Paul’s Cathedral from One New ChangePhoto: Craig Cross
View of St. Paul’s Cathedral from One New Change

If you don’t mind hanging around in the blustery wind for five minutes then you’ll eventually see some trains rattling into Cannon Street station, but you won’t be able to hear them with the white noise of the wind drowning everything out. You can see the busy streets below and occasional plane passing overhead but all you can hear over the wind are the wheeling seagulls being buffeted around in the clouds.

When the weather’s a bit nicer people like to eat their lunch up here because they’ve got some concrete benches and a bar if you want a beer. And they sometimes put up a big TV screen so everyone can watch the summer sports.

Roman mosaic on the roof of One New ChangePhoto: Craig Cross
Roman-esque mosaic on the roof of One New Change

Roman mosaics inside One New Change shopping centre

Twenty years ago this location used to be home to one of the Bank of England’s old buildings and if you walk to the end of the roof then you’ll find one of the Romanesque mosaics that originally furnished its foyer.

Roman mosaics in the One New Change shopping centrePhoto: Craig Cross
Roman-esque mosaics in the basement level of One New Change

You can find some more of these modern mosaics down in the basement level, tucked away behind the escalators – there’s a decorative pointed star, and some more of Elizabeth II, William III and Mary.

Worth a visit? Value for money? freeGood for kids? Easy to get to?

I also recommend… If you enjoy this then try The Monument (walk it in 12 mins or travel from St Pauls to Monument by underground); The Shard (walk it in 16 mins or travel from St Pauls to London Bridge via tube) and Sky Garden (walk it in 12 mins or travel from St Pauls to Monument by underground)

London Squire bookThe owns and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

Your comments and questions

Jan Hi Craig. Thank you for your review because we had never heard of One New Change and we loved it. My husband and I took our grandchildren up there to see St Paul's and they were wowed, as we were. I recommend the view to everyone - and it's free!

MStock Do you have to pay to visit the roof view?

Craig Hi MStock. You don't have to pay, it's totally free. You just ride the lift in the middle of the shopping centre up to the roof

Amanda My husband and I visited the One New Change and we had never knew it existed. It was great to go to the top and have a great view of St. Pauls and other buildings. If you want an even better view of London, visit the Sky Garden (Walkie Talkie Building) 35 floors up and a cafe is also on this floor. Its also free. At the moment you need to pre book your free tickets online and there is a timed entry

Craig I definitely agree with you there -​attractions/​sky-garden.php

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