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Where to watch the solar eclipse in London

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Do you remember the eclipse of 1999? We had made our peephole viewer a week in advanced and pictures from the astronomical event filled news channels across the country for days.

On Friday 20 March parts of the UK will once again be cast into partial darkness thanks to the moon passing between Earth and the Sun, consequently causing the moon to conceal the sun.

Unlike the total eclipse 16 years ago, this years the moon will cover 98% of the sun and in London it will appear to cover 85%.

The natural event kicks of at 8.25 and will reach its maximum obscuration at 9.31am, where the sun will look like a thin crescent in the sky like the smile of a Cheshire cat. The moon's visible movement will conclude at 10.41am.

It with our last chance to see a solar eclipse in Europe for over a decade, with the next one not due until 2026. So, here's the best places to make this one a memory if you're in the city this Friday...

The Rooftop Cafe

The Exchange, 28 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG, 

Closest tube stop London Bridge

Opens at 8am

Price Breakfast from £4-£8

Tucked away next to the Shard is this vibrant little rooftop cafe with equally incredible views of Londo and, particularly important for Friday, the sky. Tuck into porridge with golden syrup or go all out with truffled field mushrooms and poached egg on toast.

therooftopcafe.co.uk

The rooftop cafe

Sky Garden’s Darwin Brasserie

Darwin Brasserie, Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3BY

Nearest tube stop Monument

Opens at 7am

Price breakfast from £5.50-£9.50

Said to be London's highest public garden, the new Sky Garden in the building dubbed the Walkie Talkie is a brilliant place to go for breathtaking views. However, since it won't open early enough for the solar eclipse, book a table at its all-day restaurant Drawin Brasserie which caters for diners looking for a quick power brekkie and those that have time for a leisurely full English.

skygarden.london

Sky garden

Greenwich park, near The Royal Observatory 

Blackheath Avenue, London SE10 8XJ

Nearest station Greenwich on the DLR and South East Railway

Opens at anytime

Price free

The Royal Observatory will set up four telescopes for the public to safely view the eclipse from 8am. Members of the observatory’s astronomy team and the Flamsteed Astronomy Society will be on hand to answer any space questions you might have. Alternatively, take a breakfast picnic basket, find a comfortable spot on the grass and have a go at watching the event through a homemade pinhole viewer.

royalparks.org.uk and rmg.co.uk

Greenwich park views

One New Change, St Paul’s

Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF

Opens at 6am 

Price free

With 360 degree views of London, this public viewing deck is a great spot to follow the eclipse. If you're feeling peckish, walk over to rooftop restaurant Madison and ask for a table in the heated outdoor area, although we can't promise a clear view of the sun from there. 

onenewchange.com

http://www.onenewchange.com/roof-terrace

And remember...

Don't look directly at the eclipse. The Sun is harmful to your eyes at any time, and even during an eclipse it can cause serious eye injury that can leave temporary or permanent blurred vision or blind spots at the center of your view. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to watch the show safely. 

Here's the Royal Astronomical Society's guide to watching an eclipse properly.

If you're stuck in the office...

If you're going to be at your desk and without the view of a window, Slooh Community Observatory will broadcast live views of the solar eclipse from 8.30am on Slooh.com.

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