London has enough to offer to keep any photographer or tourist busy for decades. There are currently over 80.5 million pictures on Instagram tagged with #London and that number is growing by the second.
If you’re hoping to avoid more of the same London cliché tourist shots, there are plenty of locations in the city that make for stunning images that will really make your feed stand out.
1. Notting Hill
With its rows of cute candyfloss-coloured house and matching classic cars parked outside, it’s no wonder that the streets of Notting Hill are some of the most photographed in London. This location is particularly popular with fashion and lifestyle bloggers and you may well bump into a couple posing in front of the townhouses. You’ll find the pastel-coloured houses on several streets in Notting Hill, as well as some adorable mews with Instagram-worthy wisteria decorating the exterior.
Best streets to visit: Farmer Street, St Stephen’s Mews, Kensington Park Road, Ledbury Road, St Luke’s Mews, Hillgate Street, Portobello Road
2. Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden
Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden is another colourful location with its little boutiques and cafes painted in vivid colours. There’s something interesting to look at from every angle and you really can’t take a bad photo here. There’s plenty to be photographed inside the shops and eateries too. Visit first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds.
3. God’s Own Junkyard
An art gallery with a difference, God’s Own Junkyard showcases the work of late neon artist Chris Bracey. It’s a crazy mishmash of fluorescent lighting and signs that’s been used in a photoshoot for vogue magazine, among others. Many of the neon lights have been used as film props. The location even has a license to perform weddings if you’re looking for a particularly unique venue.
Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, London E17 9HQ
Open 11am – 9pm Friday to Sunday, closed Monday to Thursday
4. Tower Bridge
The riverside view of Tower Bridge is a classic shot but there are plenty of opportunities for more unique angles, such as from the top of one of the high-rise hotels in the area, or with the girl and dolphin statue on the north side of the Thames in the foreground. You’ll find plenty of Tower Bridge selfies on Instagram.
5. Borough Market
If you like to feature food in your feed, Borough Market is an absolute dream with piles of brightly-coloured fresh fruit, mouthwatering displays of gourmet cakes and donuts, and dishes from every corner of the globe. The market itself has some interesting architectural details such as the Victorian glass roof and a colourful umbrella covered walkway can be found at the edge of the market, off Park Street.
8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
Open 10am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, 10am – 6pm Friday, 8am – 5pm Saturday, and closed on Sunday
6. St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the most iconic landmarks of London and one of the most photographed. There are various different spots which make a great Instagram shot of St Paul’s, including from One New Change shopping centre (showing the contrast of modern glass buildings against the traditional architecture of the cathedral, or from across the river on the Southbank.
7. The Churchill Arms
The Churchill Arms in Kensington is probably London’s most Instagrammed pub. It’s a nice enough traditional British pub in its own right, but what really makes it special is the fact that it looks like a florist exploded all over it. Blooms in a rainbow of colours cover pretty much the entire exterior of the building in summer, making it oh so pretty and Instagrammable.
119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN
Open 11am – 11pm Monday to Wednesday, 11am – 12am Thursday to Saturday, and 12 – 10.30pm Sunday
8. Old Royal Naval College
Inside the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich you’ll find the Painted Gallery with an amazing baroque painted ceiling (the largest one in London) and grand arched windows. It makes for some really impressive, almost unreal shots and was used as a film set on Pirates of the Caribbean. The building and grounds are also rather beautiful from the outside, particularly in the afternoon light.
King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9NN
Open 10am – 5pm Monday to Sunday
9. Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament is one of the must-have shots for any visitor to London. As well as Big Ben and the architecturally impressive building itself, there is plenty worth photographing in the surrounding area and you can approach from a variety of different view points – the classic red telephone boxes in parliament square are popular with tourists and the view over the river with Westminster bridge in the foreground is particularly beautiful at sunset or lit up in the evening
10. Sky Garden
Sky Garden is free to enter and offers spectacular 360° panoramic views of the city from 155 metres high. It’s particularly beautiful around sunset, although it can also get very busy at this time – you need to book to enter at any time of the day. The garden itself is pretty impressive with its terraces of lush plants and the city skyline backdrop makes it seem almost futuristic.
20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF
Open 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 11am – 9pm Saturday and Sunday