Photo-worthy café spreads, hidden spots, and all the history! There’s no shortage of photography inspiration when it comes to the capital of the UK. Whether you’re looking for insta-worthy lattés, ancient pubs, or interesting architecture, these recommendations will have you covered. Here’s your ultimate London Instagram guide to the 20 must-see Instagrammable photo spots in the city.
Pretty in pink and pastel hues, Peggy Porschen should top your photo bucket list if you’re looking for an overdose of cuteness and a pop of colour for your photo feed. While the drinks are infinitely better than the cakes at this London coffee shop, it’s the façade of the cake emporium which really draws the eye. And with ever-changing displays each season, there’s always a reason to visit!
A Mews Street
If you’re looking for the best instagrammable photography spots in London, then you need to look no further than one of the many adorable Mews Streets found predominantly in the Chelsea and South Kensington areas of the city. Once used to house stable blocks when the city ran on horsepower, today the Mews Streets are quiet little pockets and green oases of calm away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. Head to Kynance Mews or Bathurst Mews in the wisteria season for an extra bloom of colour in your photos!
A Traditional British Pub
Of course, no trip to the UK capital would be complete without snapping at least a quick photo of a British pub or two. From themed pubs to taverns dating back centuries (and housing Roman ruins and old jail cells in their basements), there’s no shortage of quirky and unique drinking establishments to photograph. Some of my favourites include Ye Olde Chesire Cheese (yes, that’s really its name!), the Churchill Arms (covered in flower pots and pretty displays during any given time of the year) and the Sherlock Holmes (an ode to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous literary character).
Read more: On the Sherlock Holmes Trail in London.
The architecture of the British Museum is almost as impressive as the collection it holds. Entrance to the museum is free (with the exception of special exhibitions) and the building is a great rainy day activity when the weather is not so great in the capital. Head to the very heart of the Museum to capture a stunning picture of the British Museum’s architecture at its best.
Read more: Highlights of the British Musuem.
Oxford Street & Regent’s Street
The most famous shopping street in the UK is that of Oxford Street, located in the City of Westminster in London’s West End. Originally constructed as a Roman road two millennia ago, it has since become a hub of shopping and welcomes tens of thousands of national and international visitors on a daily basis. In the winter, Oxford Street and its nearby neighbour, Regent’s Street, are both decked out for Christmas with fairy lights, providing the perfect photo opportunity.
Read more: Christmas Activities in London.
From the cute London cafés in the area to the iconic locations used to film 90s Rom-Com Notting Hill, if there’s one area you should add to your London bucket list, make it Notting Hill. The area is also home to Portobello Road Market, purportedly the largest antique’s market in the world, and to Notting Hill Carnival, an annual event filled with festivities. As a result, there is always something going on in the area and there’s always something worth snapping a picture of!
The view from the top of the Shard is just as impressive as looking up to the top of the building from the bottom. Located near London Bridge, the Shard was once the tallest building in Europe and remains the tallest building in London to this day. As you can imagine, the panoramic view if you pay to reach the top (a hefty fee of £20+) is simply breathtaking if you’re lucky with the weather…
Read more: Top 4 Best Views of London.
Located in the heart of Notting Hill, not far from the insta-famous Farm Girl Café (if you’ve spent any time on Instagram you’ll know what I mean. For those with less of a phone addiction than myself, the Farm Girl Café has plenty of themed lattés and coffees which are beautifully presented!), you’ll find Biscuiteers. While the specialty of this coffee shop is clearly biscuits, you can also sit outside en terrace, sip on a coffee and watch the world go by. If you’re interested in sweets making courses, Biscuiteers also offers biscuit making and decorating classes!
Read more: Cutest Cafés in London.
The view from the top of the Sky Garden, located in the Walkie Talkie building is one of the most spectacular in all of London. And the best part is, it’s 100% free! If you want to visit the Sky Garden for yourself, then you’ll need to book a time slot well in advance. Once you reach the top, there’s a reasonably priced bar and coffee shop, as well as dozens of photo opportunities among the many plants that live there.
Read more: A Guide to Visiting the Sky Garden.
If you’re looking for picture-perfect postcard London, then head to Tower Bridge! A trip to the iconic London photo spot can easily be combined with a visit to the nearby Tower of London, a view onto the Shard and plenty of river walks along the Thames. Tower Bridge is best photographed at sunrise when there are fewer tourists around and the sun creates pastel hues across the London skyline.
Read more: Top 10 Photo Spots in London Worth a Visit.
Neal’s Yard is easily one of the most photogenic hidden gems of London’s Zone one. Accessible via only two little cobbled lanes, wander inside this secret spot and you’ll be rewarded with colourfully painted houses, specialty restaurants and the flagship store of iconic Beauty Shop Brand, Neal’s Yard. Top tip: ironically since the rise of Social Media, and particularly Instagram, Neal’s Yard has experienced a huge upsurge of popularity. In order to get the best views, with the fewest people in your shot, head to the little courtyard earlier in the day rather than later.
Read more: Neal’s Yard, Hidden Gem of London.
The Victorian covered façade of Leadenhall Market was first created during the 1800s and remains picture perfect to this day. Situated in the very heart of the city of London, it’s always well worth a wander down, especially so on the weekend when the financial district is a lot quieter! Leadenhall Market was even used in the Harry Potter films as the setting for Diagon Alley!
Read more: 10 Secret Spots in London.
In what may well be the best bookshop in London, you’ll find a stunning interior dating back over a Century. The Edwardian Bookshop specialises in travel books (always a great thing to hear) and is located in leafy Marylebone, not far from Oxford Street. Head to Daunt Books if you love to get lost in the pages of a good book, all the while surrounded by oodles of history.
St Paul’s Cathedral
No guide to Instagrammable London would be complete without at least a quick mention of St Paul’s Cathedral. Topped with pineapples (no, seriously!), the Cathedral is iconic Christopher Wren architecture at its best and has dominated the London skyline for over 300 years. Once the tallest building in London, it’s a ‘must see’ attraction in central London, both for its interior and exterior!
Read more: City of London Neighbourhood Guide.
Apple Market, Covent Garden
Covent Garden is best known for its abundance of nearby theatres, upscale hotels, luxury restaurants, and all of its boutique stores. But one of the very best photo spots in this Instagram guide to London is the Apple Market, a covered building filled with eateries and small stores. There are also seasonal decorations to be found in the apple market throughout the year, including sparkling lights for Christmas, and pumpkings during the autumn!
Read more: London Life Snapshots
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Staircase
If you’ve spent any length of time on Instagram looking at London photography, then you’ll likely have spotted the iconic staircase of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. I was lucky enough to attend an event at the hotel a couple of years ago, and memories of the beautiful decor and architecture of the hotel’s staircase have remained with me ever since.
The Queen’s House, Greenwich
In the heart of Greenwich (home to the UK’s official Meridien line), you’ll find the remnants of Kensington Palace. Housed within them, there’s a special set of stairs known as ‘the Tulip Stairs’. This staircase is the oldest set of self-supporting stairs in the UK and dates back centuries. The pretty geometric shape they form is well worth a look, as is the rest of the Queen’s House impressive furniture and paintings collection. Oh, and entry to the former palace is free- bonus!
Houses of Parliament
The term ‘going to see Big Ben’ is a little misleading because unless you get special permission from your MP (and you’re a UK resident), you can’t actually see Big Ben! That’s because Big Ben is actually the name of the Bell housed in the Elizabeth Clock Tower. Nevertheless, head to the Houses of Parliament for an iconic London snap, or simply if you love Gothic architecture!
Read more: How to Spend Three Days in London.
On the opposite side of the Thames to the Houses of Parliament, of all the secret photo spots listed in this Instagram guide to London, the London Eye may well be the most iconic of them all. After all, it rises up and above the city skyline and can be seen for miles in any direction. Play hide and seek with the Eye to create the most interesting photographs and thought-provoking imagery.
Read more: London Eye As Seen from the One Aldwych
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, then you may well recognise Millennium Bridge, a suspension pedestrian bridge linking the heart of the City of London to nearby attractions such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate museum. This steel bridge is best viewed under morning light, and if you head to the structure earlier in the day, you’re likely to find it filled with fewer tourists than later on in the day!
Read more: Harry Potter Guide to London.