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With the mercury rising, it’s time to nab a spot on London’s coolest rooftops. At the first sign of sunshine, Londoners make a beeline for breezy bars high above the hustle and bustle of the city. Up here, everything from stargazing to a game of pétanque is on the menu. From posh cocktail dens with skyline views to converted car parks pouring craft brews, check out our favourite legal highs in the city.

Summer above the city

  • Frank’s Café

    10th Floor, Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

    Best for: Sunset in South London

    On a balmy evening, Frank’s is the place to watch the sun set with a negroni in hand. It’s perched on an old car park, now reborn as Peckham Levels – a colourful cultural hub and studio complex.

  • Skylight

    Tobacco Dock – Pennington Street Entrance, E1W 2SF

    Best for: Sporty types

    Play croquet or pétanque at this East London behemoth, or catch Wimbledon and the World Cup on the big screens.

  • Sushi Samba

    Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

    Best for: Thrill-seekers

    Take a lift to Heron Tower’s 38th floor (warning: your ears will pop) for dizzying vistas, slick cocktails and a scene-stealing outdoor bar.

  • Piculpeper at the Culpeper

    40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP

    Best for: A taste of nature

    When the city gets too much, locals head to this pub’s bucolic rooftop, with its leafy planters and greenhouse. Look out for special events, such as the hugely popular stargazing sessions.

  • The 12th Knot

    20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD

    Best for: The posh life

    The Tom Dixon-tastic Mondrian hotel is topped off with this sleek, high-spirited bar, whose sunny sliver of balcony looks out over the Thames.

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Infants can travel for free on an adult’s lap and just need a passport. You can only take one infant per adult.

Image credits: © Skylight; © Skylight; © Frank’s Café; © Skylight; © Sushisamba; © Rachele Caretti; © The Rumpus Room