Last Updated on 12th August 2020 by Sophie Nadeau
Winding streets, red telephone boxes, and quaint pubs… When it comes to any city, there are certain areas, sites of interest and spots that shouldn’t be missed (particularly if you love photography). Here’s a guide to all of the best iconic photo locations in London:
#1 Big Ben & Houses of Parliament
If there’s one place that should be at the very top of your list, it’s the Houses of Parliament. The iconic structure of the Palace of Westminster, with its gothic architecture and fancy detailing, was constructed in the mid 19th-Century (following a fire which resulted in the complete destruction of the previous Palace of Westminster).
Little known is that Big Ben is not the clock tower’s actual name, but the name of the bell the tower houses. This means that the majority of London’s visitors never get to see Big Ben, but instead, snap photos of the Elizabeth Tower…
#2 Peggy Porschen Official
Pretty in pink and absolutely covered in flowers, Peggy Porschen Official may well be the cutest café in London. At any given time throughout the year, you can expect to see a colourful display on show outside this lovely little café in Belgravia. There is outdoor seating for sunnier days in the city. Inside the shop itself, you’ll find a large array of very ‘instagrammable‘ cakes, coffees and teas.
#3 Covent Garden
Filled with small boutiques, independent cafés, and market stalls on certain days of the week, Covent Garden is not only fun to visit, but gorgeous to look at. Located in the very heart of zone 1, not far from the river Thames, it’s one of the most iconic photo locations in London. Fun fact: it’s thought that the name Covent Garden arose as a misspelling of Convent Garden (after a nearby Convent in the area).
#4 Sky Garden
You can’t get much better views of the city than those from the top of the Sky Garden, London’s highest rooftop garden. Situated not far from Monument Tube Station (as well as the Monument to the Great Fire of London), the garden is at the top of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ Building.
Located in the financial district of the city. Here, you can enjoy coffee surrounded by plants and a 360-degree view over the city. What’s more is that a visit to the Sky Garden is completely free (you need only to book your tickets in advance).
#5 Neal’s Yard
The little courtyard of Neal’s Yard is one of those places that remains a genuine secret to this day, hidden in the very heart of Zone 1. Not far from Covent Garden tube stop, you’ll find a little enclave filled with small independent boutiques and cute eateries. The famous Skin and Healthcare Brand, Neal’s Yard Remedies also calls this little space home.
#6 Notting Hill
Ok, so this isn’t one site in particular, per se… But the area is still definitely worth a look! Notting Hill is one of those areas of London you could find yourself getting lost in for a few days, if not a week.
From all of the Notting Hill Filming Locations in the area to the famous Portobello Road Market (the largest antique market of its kind in the world), you can’t go wrong by dedicating at least an afternoon to wandering around its streets (and snapping a few photos)…
#7 The Shard
With impressive views from the top and equally impressive views from below, the Shard easily makes the list of the most iconic photo locations in London! Although a visit to the top will set you back around £25, a stroll along the Thames to admire the architecture of the building is completely free (and well worth the walk)… Book your Shard ticket here in advance.
#8 A red phone box
Red phone boxes can be found dotted around the city as frequently as the pubs! And there are few things more quintessentially British than snapping one of these red boxes…
#9 Snap an iconic London photo of a traditional Pub!
The United Kingdom is known around the world for its quaint little pubs; and in many villages, the only public place to visit is the village pub! As such, you can’t visit London and not see at least a pub or two (especially if you’re not seeing any of the rest of the UK)…
Recommended Picturesque Pubs:
- Churchill Arms: 119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN
- Sherlock Holmes Pub: Westminster, WC2N 5DB 10 Northumberland Street
- The Cross Keys: 31 Endell St, London WC2H 9BA
- Ye Olde Mitre Tavern: 1 Ely Pl, London EC1N 6SJ
#10 Queen’s House
The Queen’s House is a free art gallery in the heart of Greenwich (a picturesque area of the city which is also home to iconic sites such as the Cutty Sark ship and the Greenwich timeline). Inside the Queen’s House, you’ll find one of the prettiest staircases in all of London: the Tulip Stairs.
Reputedly haunted, this is the first unsupported helical set of stairs to have been built in England. For more Greenwich inspiration, check out our guide to the best of unusual things to do in Greenwich.