London is one of those cities that makes you want to soak up every ounce of its charm, history, and culture – and then bottle it up and take it home with you.
The closest I can come to that bottling-up part is through my camera. It’s not perfect – but at least it’s a start.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find myself in London for three bright spring days.
I had nothing on my agenda but to wander around and explore my favorite London neighborhoods from behind my camera lens. Today, I’m posting what I think are the 10 best London instagram spots, so that next time you’re there, you can share your love of the city, too!
But First: No Disrespect to the Queen
Everybody’s seen photos of the iconic places in London.
Say them with me: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Tower of London, and bright red double-decker busses.
And truthfully – they’re iconic for a reason.
All of these places and things immediately have you dreaming of All Things British. And if you’re me, they might remind you of the Royal Wedding (still).
Anyway, no disrespect to the Queen’s home, black cabs, or “Mind the Gap” signs…but sometimes, travel photos beg for something just a little more unique.
My 10 Best London Instagram Spots
If you’re in search of the best London instagram spots, here’s a collection of my top 10 favorites….including a few that I bet you’ve never seen before!
Columbia Road Flower Market
A quick walk from Shoreditch is the Columbia Road Flower Market, which – you guessed it – has a veritable BUFFET of gorgeous blooms for sale, just begging to be photographed.
Just don’t do what I did and try to go on a day that’s not a Sunday. Cuz it won’t be open. Aaaaand that’s why I’m not including one of my own instagram photos – I don’t have one! This photo is via Flickrr.
London is known for its parks, but most visitors stick to Hyde Park, Regents Park, or St. James Park – since they’re all in the center of the city and close to the aforementioned iconic sights.
It’s a shame because they’re missing what I think is the beauty of them all: Primrose Hill.
Primrose Hill is located in north London, but it’s an easy walk to the top of the hill, and you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the city.
The Shard or Duck and Waffle
Speaking of views, nothing beats a city view from 40 floors up. Especially when you can EAT at the same time.
Either way, make reservations well in advance since both destinations are quite popular.
Sky Garden, London’s highest public garden, is another really unique spot in London that’s great for taking photographs, especially if you prefer your views with a side of gorgeous landscaping.
For an even more unique experience, you can also take a sunrise yoga class at Skygarden.
This was something that I SO WANTED to do while in London but I couldn’t justify buying a yoga mat just for one class (they don’t have them there) – and let’s be honest, getting up at 6am while in the throes of jet lag is a superhuman feat that goes beyond my own strength.
image via skygarden.london.
Ye Old City Squares
Tucked away in central London neighborhoods are plenty of quaint squares and urban parks, and the buildings that surround them are such eye candy.
The best way to find these city squares is to simply wander off the main streets in the center of the city, but if you need somewhere to start, check out Easton Square, which you can find using Google Maps.
The shot above is from The King’s Road in Chelsea which, in addition to being perfect for photos, is a terrific shopping street.
Streets with Curb Appeal
London is also home to some of the most photogenic, hidden little side streets that I’ve ever seen.
The best finds are the ones that you’ll just stumble upon, but for a start, check out Carnaby Street or South Audley Street (both in Mayfair), Bywater Street (in Chelsea) or Floral Street (in Covent Garden).
Shoreditch Street Art
For endless street art, take a stroll through the trendy neighborhood of Shoreditch. From the beautiful, to the gritty, to the bright and abstract, to the just plain WEIRD, the street art in Shoreditch can’t be missed, and is a London instagram favorite of mine.
It’s ever-changing, too, so worth a visit every time you’re in town.
Phone Booth Dominos
I know what you’re thinking: red phone booths are one of those iconic London things that might not belong in a list of UNIQUE London photo spots..
BUT – I think the phone booth dominos in Richmond have their own twist and seeing them always puts a smile on my face. The last time I was there, I only had – gasp – a FILM CAMERA, so I’m sharing this pic from The Telegraph.
Sugar House Studios
Here you have it – my all-time favorite secret London instagram spot!
Even though nothing about this wall says “London”, I think it might be my favorite London instagram spot of all time – and I get TONS of questions about where I took this photo!
So here’s the deal. Your’e going to have to really want to see this building – because it’s NOWHERE NEAR any of the main tourist areas in London. If you’re still with me, here’s the details:
The building is part of Sugarhouse Studios, an event space and creative studio in east London. To get there, take the tube to Bow Road and then start walking east on the high street. Then keep walking. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the station.
Neighborhoods: Notting Hill, Chelsea, and Belgravia
For London instagram photos like none other, nothing beats a wander around one of the city’s photogenic neighborhoods.
Notting Hill is probably the best-known for it’s candy-colored homes and darling doorways – and it’s for a reason! Portobello Road market, the quaint shops, and adorable homes are like something out of a movie.
Despite Notting Hill’s, charm, my favorite neighborhoods to wander through are Belgravia and Chelsea – lesser known if only because there’s not (yet) a Hugh Grant movie that shares the same name.
What other London spots do you love to photograph?
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