I’ve lived in London for over ten years and it has taken time to get to know this incredible city. There’s historic buildings, pretty palaces, beautiful neighbourhoods and iconic streets which make up this diverse city. In the age of social media, capturing picture-perfect moments at famous destinations has become a global trend. When it comes to Instagram-worthy spots, London is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. From historic landmarks to hidden gems, this article will guide you through the most Instagrammable places in London.
1 – London’s Most Instagrammable Places near Big Ben and Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster)
God I love Big Ben! For years he was covered in scaffolding but now (in 2023) he is all shiny and new. There are many places to snap Big Ben and Houses of Parliament from so head to Westminster Tube Station and let’s go.
London’s Most Instagrammable Red Phone Box near Big Ben
This is SO famous it is even listed on Goole maps. Wow! There are plenty of red phone boxes near Big Ben and they are all pretty nice and clean (which is rarer than you think!) The best one is on the corner of George Street and Parliament Street and has a direct view of Big Ben. When I got there it had a queue of about ten people but it went down pretty quickly. It was quiet for about ten minutes so I even managed to get changed in there (that’s a new one for me!). Click here for the location on Google Maps.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places – Arch across the Thames (Westminster Bridge) with Big Ben in the frame
I discovered this gem years ago and now it is quite a busy spot. It allows for an incredible uninterrupted view of the Houses of Parliament across the River Thames.
This archway is on the South side of the Thames just in front of St Thomas’ Hospital. It does get really busy so if you want a photo or video in the arch, you will need to go super early or be very quick. There is also an amazing set of stairs nearby and lots of chances to spend longer taking photos of videos further along (with similar outcome). Note it is a bit smelly down there but do it for the ‘gram! Look for Bridge Arch Photo on Google or here’s the link here.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places – Go inside Houses of Parliament
Did you know you can actually go in for a tour? You can only take photos in Westminster Hall BUT if you go to the restaurant afterwards (I had afternoon tea) you can grab quick photos while you’re there! Sorry about the photo quality – things have come a long way since then! Read more my visit to Parliament here.
2 – London’s Most Instagrammable Places Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is an absolute winner. I am obsessed with it! You’ll recognise this stunning Victorian turreted bridge (not to be confused with London Bridge) for the regal structure and the bridge blue shades. The nice thing about Tower Bridge is you can be quite far away from it and still get a cool shot. However, here’s my best places to go for a killer Instagram photo.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places Tower Bridge North East
If you aim for The Timepiece Sundial then you’ll start to see loads of opportunities for photos and the groups magically start to disappear. It can still be busy, but most people head up onto Tower Bridge itself, meaning you can get a calmer and clearer shot. Keep wandering around until you find a shot you love. The actual Timepiece Sundial is a work of art. And afterwards, head to nearby St Katharine Docks Marina as it is also super cute. Click here for location.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places Tower Bridge North West Tower Wharf (Traitors’ Gate Side)
Standing in front of the Tower of London is a cool shot of Tower Bridge but can be a lot more challenging as it is SUPER busy. This is my least favourite but if you like the angle, go forth and fight for your piece of the railings! Click here for the location.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places Tower Bridge South East Butler’s Wharf Pier (and beyond)
This is a really smart move if you value a quieter shot of Tower Bridge and there are so many cute looking restaurants along here including Le Port de la Tour and even All Bar One is a good shout for a cold lemonade and a cheeky outfit change. There are some cool features including a whopping great big anchor here if you like a nautical flavour in your shots. Click here for this location.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places Tower Bridge South West side – The Queens Walk
This is the most popular side as the light is likely to always be good from this angle and most people will have arrived from this side after a stroll on the Embankment. This side has quite a high wall to content with, and in the past I have sat on top of it. You can still get great shots from here but just keep in mind it may be busier. You can also go to the bar at HMS Belfast for a drink with a view. Click here for this side.
3 – Instagrammable Places – London Eye
London Eye is a show stopper innit! So it’s like a 5 star for looks and 3 for being on it so I’m giving it a 4 overall! It’s a cracker on Southbank and I love it every time I see it…however if you go on it…not so impressive!
The queue might look ok when you arrive, but there’s like a queue to queue to queue – yikes the British like queuing but still! On board, you’re with loads of other tourists so you all have to take turns taking snaps, although it’s big enough for you all the hover around one side or another. It’s quite a slow ride especially when you might have waited a couple of hours to get on. The London Eye has a few cool spots but here’s my favourites.
Across the Thames on Victoria Embankment is a fantastic view but it does depend on lighting. On a super bright day, you might find yourself shooting into the light as the sun is often behind the London Eye (so have a look at the direction before you make a decision). It is a cool shot though and the eye can really frame the perfect Instagram shot. Click here for this location.
London’s Most Instagrammable Places London Eye From Westminster Bridge
Another popular shot is to go onto Westminster Bridge and shoot the London Eye from the side. This is one of my favourite shots but I remember it being really busy. The key is to take your time and be patient. Click here for this location.
You can also go right next to London Eye either in front of it or off to the side in the Jubilee Gardens here.
4 – London’s Most Instagrammable Places Regent Street
Regent Street is one of the most beautiful and recognisable of London’s streets with its famous curve running between Oxford Circus and Piccadilly. The best time to visit is of course morning, when it is quieter. Here is the perfect place for those shots of London taxis and buses. It was built in 1819 and did you know it is Grade II listed!
The pavement in the middle of Regent Street is a very generous size, so hop into the middle and be patient for a great shot. The iconic London flags are only added for Royal occasions (weddings, Coronation, Jubilees) so keep that in mind. The Christmas lights have been the gorgeous angels for the last few years.
5 – St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s
I adore St Paul’s and since you can’t take photos INSIDE, all the bang for your buck is going to be outside. There’s the beautiful steps and the impressive columns making the perfect blank canvas.
My favourite bit is on the Thames side, called St Paul’s Churchyard where you can pop over the road and snap St Paul’s with London buses and taxis in the background. Another fun shot is to shoot from Millennium Bridge (famous for the scenes in the Harry Potter film where it gets destroyed) with St Paul’s in the background.
6 – Instagrammable Places – Bond Street and New Bond Street, London
If you want your Instagram shots to be extra luxury, you’ll need to head to Bond Street, the home of designer boutiques. Probably the most iconic shot here is Cartier which with a stunning frontage, is the jewel in the crown of Bond Street. You’ll also see a very pretty red phone box here (we all love a phone box) and across the road, Ralph Lauren has a very photogenic cafe. Bond Street particularly comes alive in Winter as the Christmas decorations are next level decadent. Please enjoy this whole street, it is a treat for the eyes!
7 -Wild At Heart, Notting Hill, London
This has to be the most Instagrammable florist in London with the very best location! Wild At Heart florist is positioned in the middle of the road in Westbourne Grove in the heart of Notting Hill. It is covered in these super distinctive turquoise metro tiles and then the flowers spill out onto the streets. Pick up a lovely bunch of flowers, or even a single rose and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of this flower stand.
8 – Most Instagrammable Places London – Wild Things Flowers
This instagrammable location is just off Bond Street and is a tiny shop with a lot of impact. You can take snaps outside but don’t forget to look down. The floral buckets are SO gorgeous and seem to be unique in London.
9 – Most Instagrammable Places – Pastel houses, Notting Hill, London
The pastel houses come with a disclaimer as we all need to remember that the iconic sugary streets are places where real people live. If you exercise restraint, patience and respect, you are good to go.
One of the most obvious streets is just off Portobello Road, but a lot of people have added chains across their steps to stop people using them. My favourite street is Lancaster Road as there is every house in every colour you can imagine!
These shots with the pink backdrop was actually taken Lonsdale Road in Notting Hill – it seems to be the perfect blank canvas.
10 – More pastel houses, Kensington (near Notting Hill tube)
If you go the other way from Notting Hill tube (away from Portobello Road) there is a cuter (and quieter) set of streets in Kensington. You’ll find the Instagram-famous pink house on the corner too. Aim for the Hill Gate pub on the map for the general area. The cute pink house is on Kensington Place.
11- Blossom in Notting Hill, Stanley Crescent
The exact time of year for blossom and magnolia in London can really vary with the weather. I’ve seen it flower in late March some years but windy weather has blown it all away by mid April.
I’ve also seen it flower in April and last into May. Anyway, the most Instagrammable location for blossom has got to be the stunning corner in Notting Hill where creators come from far and wide for their shot. Top tip, follow your favourite London creators to keep an eye on the blossoming and get up early to shoot this one.
There is also plenty of blossom in Notting Hill and Kensington so move around to find the perfect one in bloom.
12 – Most Instagrammable Places Magnolia in Kensington
There is always a LOT of magnolia in Kensington and my favourite ones are on Sheffield Terrace and Bedford Gardens in April time.
13 – Instagrammable Places in London – Kensington Palace Gardens
Ignore Diana’s water slide or whatever it is called and instead head to the Sunken Garden which is right outside Kensington Palace.
This garden is said to be Princess Diana’s actual favourite and apparently she used to chat to the gardeners. It is where her statue stands now, and where Megs and Haz had their engagement photos. Alas you can’t go inside the garden but you can walk around the outside where the walkway is covered with leaves. There’s a natural photo opportunity where there is a circular wire frame to stand in front of which looks over the Round Pond.
You can also stand in front of the garden with the garden as your backdrop. The flowers change all year round and it is one of my favourites.
14 – Covent Garden
Covent Garden always has something, usually season specific happening. For example, the Coronation had a stack of Union Jack flags, Christmas has a huge Christmas tree and fake snow showers, and autumn often has benches surrounded by leaves. The best thing to do is keep an eye on their Instagram account and get an idea of the current vibe to see if it is worth a stop.
Mirrors Tunnel at Covent Garden
The Infinity Chamber is a little passageway in Conduit Court near Covent Garden which is like one of those cool mirrors at a fairground. It can take a little time to get the mirror all to yourself but it is worth the wait for a striking Instagram shot.
15 – Instagrammable Places – Pergola and Hill Garden Hampstead Heath
I have to say thanks to my friend Kate (she never gets a mention in my reviews so let’s give her a shout out) because she bought me a book about Hidden London, which I was obviously highly sceptical about, I mean what could there possibly be in London that I don’t know about?!? Well, hang fire people cos here we go!
Just thirty seconds from Hampstead Heath is a Pergola, and it’s so well hidden you could be yards from it and still not actually find it. But you’ll be glad you did!
Make the effort and you’ll find this spectacular Pergola and beautiful Hill Garden with roses wrapping around columns and plants climbing wooden structures. There’s real calm in this peaceful place and the views are to die for. My words will not do it justice so just look at the pics and go!
16 – Most Instagrammable Places Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, London
Heaven is a place on earth! Well to be specific about it, the gardens are! Actually to be even more technical, the gardens are absolutely beautiful in the month of May.
The walls of colourful rhododendrons are stunning in Spring and make one of the most dramatic gardens I’ve ever seen. We’re talking delicate white and blush pinks to hot fuchsia and onto pretty corals, bright orange and lemon shades, highlighted by purple making the most fabulous rainbow of colours.
And that’s just the garden because Kenwood House rises in the background, all white, elegant and composed with the grounds stretching out around it. You can go in the house if you want, but I prefer to head to the cafes, have a scone or cup of tea, or let’s face it a cider and hang around in the gardens. It’s situated in the delightful Hampstead Heath so lovely to wander around in the leafy surroundings.
17 – London’s Most Instagrammable Places Shoreditch Graffiti
If graffiti is your thing, then a visit to Shoreditch is a must. It is an ever changing backdrop which makes it a living and breathing canvas. Roam round the streets and explore from Brick Lane to beyond. These photos were all taken in 2018 but that is the beauty of visiting at different times, you will see a completely different set of artworks.
18 – Heart Mural near London Bridge
This photo was taken in 2018 but I have only just found out (thanks Google) that the mural was painted to honour the victims of the London Bridge terror attack a year earlier. It is really beautiful, and there are lots more floating hearts than you see picture here. You’ll find this on Stoney Street, in Southwark.
19 – White houses of Kensington and Chelsea
When it comes to luxury, the most uber sleek properties are in Kensington and Chelsea. You’ll find white houses with sweeping staircases, elaborate monochrome porches, beautiful flowers and wide clean streets. You can find amazing streets pretty much anywhere in London but my favourite one is wide, quiet and gorgeous.
20 – Churchill Arms Pub, Kensington Church Street
If you want THE best looking pub in the world, here it is. Churchill Arms is Instagram famous already thanks to being completely covered in flowers, plants and flags all year round.
For Christmas it switches to a stack of Christmas trees. The spectacle is something to behold and you will hardly believe your eyes. It is situated moments away from Notting Hill Gate – but away from the crazy world of Portobello Road and it is gloriously covered with flowers and flags. Its amazing and I want to live there.
21 – Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London
This is so cutesy you’re gonna love it. It is a street specifically aimed at independent and artisan businesses. The whole street is underpinned by the iconic pink cafe Peggy Porschen with their ever-evolving floral decorations which change with the seasons.
Think oversize mushrooms for Halloween and bee-hives for Spring. The rest of the street follows suit and you have Joanna Wood with a floral covered bench and perfume shop Les Sentieurs with gorgeous flowers too. It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit, it is a treat with lots to discover.
22 – Instagrammable Places Wisteria in Kensington, Stafford Terrace, London
Wisteria blooms everywhere in London but the most epic place is Stafford Terrace in Kensington on the corner. It is SO beautiful you will want to move in! This seemed to flower early this year in end of April so I suggest keeping an eye on the weather and heading over early morning.
23 – The Hive at Kew Garden
My second attempted visit to The Hive at Kew Gardens is on a blisteringly hot summers day – as opposed to the first where the electrically charged skies meant that we were unable to go anywhere near it as thunder and lightning are considered a tad on the dangerous side for a metal structure.
So there’s my first tip, go in fairly good weather if you can and my second tip is to go at the beginning or end of day to do your best to avoid the crowds. The Hive is an impressive, curious structure from the outside, visible from all sides and protected by wild flower bankings. The silver metal, which in sunlight almost seems to have a rose gold hue, feels imposing but somehow still delicate with slender pieces holding together like an elaborate and arty giant Jenga and accented with glowing, flickering bulbs.
If you enter the structure from the bottom you can look up to the people above visible through a Perspex walkway. It you enter the floor above, The Hive is all around you, glowing and buzzing with gentle music and then look up to see the sky above through the skylight and light streaming in through gaps in the structure.
From all the Perspex and metal it’s a reflective dream with light chaotically bouncing about so makes for wonderful photos with people becoming chic silhouettes against the backdrop. Take a seat on this level or even lie on the floor if you can and it becomes a gallery space with gentle sounds all around it’s a meditative space. Enjoy the sensory experience of The Hive.
24 – Little Venice
I used to live in Maida Vale so Little Venice is one of my favourite places ever. Travel to the area via Warwick Avenue tube and try not to start singing Warwick Avenueeeeee. The take a short walk to Little Venice where the canals are and the Instagrammable
25 – Free Immersive Entertainment at Outernet London, Tottenham Court Road
I’m going to show you The Butterfly Trail exhibition but this incredible space switches up all the time. This location is an open exhibition so you can just wander in during opening times with no need to book. Pixel Artworks created The Butterfly Trail and the display is inside the magical Now Building – the giant covered screens next to Tottenham Court tube. You can even interact with the display by freeing the butterflies from the glass house! The Butterfly Trail is on display everyday from 12-6pm until Christmas 2023.
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