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22 Incredible London Photo Spots You Can’t Miss

April 20, 2020
big ben clock tower in london next to a bridge on a cloudy day

London is filled with photogenic places, but like many touristy cities in Europe, taking photos here can be difficult especially due to the large crowds. This article will not only help you find the most spectacular and unique London photo spots, but also guide you on how to avoid crowds in your shots and other useful photography tips to keep in mind. The best bit? You’ve probably never even heard of some of these places. Get ready to explore some beautiful hidden gems of this city!

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1. Hampstead Pergola & Hill Garden

This gorgeous, mystical garden is one of the best hidden gems of London. Located right across Hampstead Heath (a large green space in the northern part of the city), it’s one of my favorite spots to visit thanks to its calming vibes, mysterious allure and of course – stunning photo ops. Aside from taking a relaxing stroll through the vines and flowers, you can also have a picnic or read a book in the soothing green area outside the garden.

Best time to visit: On weekdays for least amounts of people. During spring and summer for blossoms, although this place is equally beautiful covered in autumn leaves or winter snow!

Photo Tip: This garden makes the perfect backdrop for portrait photography! I recommend bringing a good prime lens for that. You can see all my camera gear recommendations here.

2. Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral is one of the best-kept secrets of London. Even though it’s near the popular Victoria Station and just a 15-min walk from Westminster Abbey, most tourists aren’t even aware of its existence. I recommend not just snapping a photo of its charming exterior, but also visiting inside – you can find mass times here.

BOOK YOUR TRAIN TO LONDON

3. Sky Garden

Sky Garden is a classy and elegant public garden and bar that offers a fantastic bird’s-eye view of the city. Located on the 37th floor of The Walkie Talkie building, it’s particularly a good place to visit during sunset, so I recommend getting there just before then to capture the sky turning orange! You can also visit late at night to get a fancy/high-end clubbing experience if that’s something you’re into. One thing is for sure – dancing to a spectacular aerial view of London is an experience you won’t forget.

Top Tip: Entrance to the Sky Garden is free, but there are limited spots available every day, so you must book your visit before you go. I highly recommend reserving your timeslot 2-3 weeks in advance as tickets tend to get snatched up really quicky!

4. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is probably one of the most tourist-packed London photography spots. But there’s a trick to getting good crowd-less shots there: arrive early in the morning, as soon as the sun rises! Most tourists are still in bed at that time, and you’ll see just a few bikers pass by. Plus, it’s quite a special experience to have London’s most iconic monument all to yourself for a little bit!

Photo Tip: Be sure to stop by Girl with a Dolphin Fountain near the northern entrance of the bridge for a wonderful photo angle!

5. Madison Roof Terrace – One of the Top London Photo Spots

The area surrounding St. Paul’s Cathedral is always filled with tourists. The good news, though, is that right next to the cathedral, there’s a shopping mall called One New Change with an incredible secret viewpoint. If you go up to the 6th floor of the mall, you’ll reach the restaurant Madison. Simply walk through the restaurant and you’ll come across its roof terrace ⁠— one of the most photogenic places in London. Grab a drink there while watching the sun set over London’s skyline, and get the majestic, closeup view of St. Paul’s Cathedral mostly to yourself!

Opening hours: 6 am - midnight daily
Best time for photos: Sunrise and sunset

6. Leadenhall Market

Situated in London’s financial center, Leadenhall Market is home to numerous boutique shops, restaurants and pubs. It’s a great place to go for a stroll, especially because the fun and lively atmosphere in there very much contrasts the suits-and-ties vibe of its surroundings! If you’re in London during the Christmas season, you’ll also see some amazing festive decorations here.

Best time for photos: Go during the weekend or non-working hours! On weekdays, this place is swamped with locals working in the area, especially during lunchtime. 

7. St Dunstan in the East

This peaceful, serene and eerie garden isn’t just one of the best places to take pictures in London – it’s also a great spot to relax with a book! St. Dunstan in the East used to be a church which was unfortunately destroyed during WWII. Its ruins have then been turned into a public garden, and it’s especially photogenic in the fall! This is also a great place for portrait photography.

Opening hours: 8 am - 7 pm daily

8. Primrose Hill

If you’re into colorful houses, Primrose Hill is a very good alternative to the crowded and touristy Notting Hill. Be sure to stop by Chalcot Crescent and Chalcot Square, two spots right next to the hill with lots of charming buildings. Then, climb up the hill right before sunset to watch the sky put on a fantastic show!

Best time for photos: I recommend getting here an hour or so before the sun sets. You'll get good lighting for your photos with the buildings, and can then climb up the hill just in time to watch sunset!

9. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is about an hour away from central London by tube, but it’s totally worth the trip if you’re interested in botanic gardens, greenhouses, and blossoms! There are lots of exciting attractions inside Kew Gardens, including art galleries, pagodas, and museums. But the most photogenic spot is Palm House (pictured above) – an indoor rainforest with lots of tropical plants, many of which are endangered in the wild! This place is definitely also one of the most calming and peaceful London photo spots.

Opening hours: Please check this website for real-time info
Entrance fees: It's cheaper to buy tickets online than at the gate! Online prices are: Adults - £15.50 (concessions £14.50) | Children aged 4 - 16 - £2.50 | Children under 4 - free

10. St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel

This magnificent hotel has one of the most breathtaking interiors I’ve seen. Its incredibly Instagrammable staircase was made extra wide so that women could pass by each other in their large bustle dresses back in the days. It’s also where the Spice Girls filmed their Wannabe music video! If you have an early morning train to catch, you can also take an elevator from the hotel corridors and end up directly next to your Eurostar in King’s Cross St. Pancras International Station. How cool is that?

BOOK YOUR STAY AT ST. PANCRAS RENAISSANCE HOTEL

Please note: Only hotel guests are allowed to take photos inside the hotel. The location of this hotel is as central as it gets and it's definitely one of the best places to stay in London!

11. Belgravia

Belgravia is the perfect spot to take pictures if you’re into flowers and floral decorations! Amongst the most photogenic stops in this area are Peggy Porschen and Les Senteurs, two stores that always win at showing off their stunning facades. Peggy Porschen also changes their decorations every season! I recommend taking a walk in this area as there are many other gorgeous shops around too, such as Saint Aymes and Dominique Ansel. Please be respectful when taking pictures in front of these stores and make sure you’re not interfering with their business/customers!

Top Tip: Get to Peggy Porschen before opening time (8 am) to avoid having to queue for a photo. This place gets crowded quite fast!

12. Regent Street & Soho

Regent St. and Soho are pretty much London’s tourist central, but the key to getting good shots here is touring these spots early in the morning when most people are still waking up! This is especially true if you want to take pictures around the cute streets of Soho, where you can find Instagrammable buildings such as the pub pictured on the right. This area is also great for catching Christmas light decorations if you’re around during the festive season; you can get some cool evening shots on Regent Street – the picture on the left was taken right across Hamley’s!

13. Lancaster Road (Notting Hill)

Notting Hill is undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable places in London, and its countless colorful buildings definitely have something to do with it! My favorite spot there is a specific part of Lancaster Road where a row of captivating houses (pictured above) is located. This street always gives me inspiration on what color my future dream house could be!

Please be respectful when taking pictures in Notting Hill. This is a residential area so please don't create any disruptions for the locals here.

14. St Lukes Mews (Notting Hill)

Right next to the colorful buildings of Lancaster Road (spot #13) is St. Lukes Mews – a narrow alley with more charming houses! Built in the 17th and 18th centuries, the houses here used to be stables that housed horses. Nowadays, they’re residential flats and one of them is quite famous too – the pink house pictured above was the filming set of Love Actually!

Please note: There's a donation box in front of the pink house - if you want to take a photo there, please contribute a donation to the residents of the flat as they get a lot of tourists showing up.

15. Liberty London

Just a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus is Liberty London, a luxury department store that sells everything from clothes and accessories to beauty products and gifts. The exterior of this building is quite photogenic, and if you want to take photos there, I recommend doing so early in the morning when traffic is low and few people are around. The mall itself is also worth exploring if you’re in the mood for some shopping!

Food Tip: If you're a fan of the Hawaiian dish poke, there's an extremely good place for it called Island Poke just a 2-min walk from Liberty London. I highly recommend it!

16. Royal Courts of Justice

You’ve probably never thought of this as a photo spot in London, but the Royal Courts of Justice showcases a beautiful example of Victorian Gothic style architecture. Built in the 1870s, it houses the High Court and Court of Appeal of England & Wales. It’s also one of the largest courts in Europe. It’s located right on the Strand – a large road running from Trafalgar Square to Temple Bar – a great place to take a relaxing walk if you have some time to kill in the city!

Best time for photos: This place doesn't really get crowded, so you don't need to get there early in the morning. I took my photos without any obstacles in the evening right before sunset!

17. Millenium Bridge

A photo tour of London would be incomplete without a stop at the famous Millenium Bridge, which offers a magnificent view of St. Paul’s Cathedral from start to end. There are lots of photo ops along the bridge, so I recommend taking your time here to enjoy the scenic stroll! At the opposite end of the bridge from St. Paul’s Cathedral, you’ll find lots of art and cultural hubs such as Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe!

Photo Tip: This bridge is extremely crowded during the day. I really recommend starting the day early and getting here during sunrise to get the best photos with few people around!

18. Kynance Mews & South Kensington

Kynance Mews is one of the most Instagrammable places in London, but the good thing about it is that it’s usually not crowded at all. This area is especially pretty during fall, when autumn leaves decorate the arches and houses of the mews. I suggest wandering around and admiring all the cute buildings here, but also taking the time to explore its surroundings as South Kensington is very stunning in general! The photo at the bottom left, for example, was taken in Southwell Gardens, right around the corner from Kynance Mews!

This is a residential area so please be respectful to the locals when taking pictures here.

19. Natural History Museum

A visit to South Kensington would not be complete without a stop at the majestic Natural History Museum. Not only is this establishment really photogenic both from the outside and the inside, it also houses lots of interesting galleries showcasing dinosaurs, volcanoes and earth’s most fascinating treasures, to name a few. If I had to recommend only one exhibition though, it would have to be Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The photography showcased there are some of the best wildlife shots you’ll see, and they always tell really important and insightful stories!

Opening hours: Please check real-time info here
Entrance fees: Free! (To see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, you have to buy tickets in advance though)

20. Kelly Street (Kentish Town)

If you’re looking to explore some more hidden gems in London, Kentish Town is totally worth checking out. This area has lots of cool pubs, a great music scene and some of the prettiest houses. I really recommend spending some time taking pictures and relaxing in this part of town if you want to wander off the tourist trail. The beautiful row of colorful houses (pictured above) are on Kelly Street – one of the most well-hidden and best Instagram spots in London.

This is a residential area so please be respectful to the locals when taking pictures here.

21. Covent Garden

Convent Garden is one of the top-visited places in London, but there are two spots in this tourist hub that stand out for their photo-worthiness. The Infinity Chamber (pictured on the left) houses thousands of LED lights that change colors throughout the year – from bright white to rainbow. It provides the perfect color therapy and is open 24/7! A 5-min walk from there is Neal’s Yard (pictured on the right) – a colorful courtyard with bakeries, coffee shops, and lots of other stores. Aside from being very photogenic, the vibe there is also really friendly and uplifting! When you’re in Covent Garden, make sure to also check out the amazing food market there.

Top Tip: Both spots can get very crowded during the day, especially Neal's Yard. I recommend getting to both places early in the morning and then grabbing a coffee in Neal's Yard after you're done with the photos!

22. Victoria Embankment

The best angles from which to photograph the London Eye are from Victoria Embankment near Westminster Station. From this road, you get a clear view of the London Eye and the Thames without too much crowd, and you can find multiple perspectives to shoot from – it’s a great chance to exercise your creativity!


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I hope you enjoyed my guide on the best London photo spots! You can also check out my Seville city guide, the best 28 hidden gems in Europe, and my top 32 favorite destinations in the world!

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58 Comments

  • Mayi April 22, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Yup London is gorgeous. I’ve been living here for ages and it’s the first time I have heard about some of the places you have mentioned like the Westminster Cathedral. How come I have never such a beautiful piece of architecture?

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 22, 2020 at 11:03 pm

      Haha yes Westminster Cathedral is a true hidden gem! I’m surprised it’s not more well-known!

  • Mayuri Patel April 23, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    This is just incredible Post, London has most beautiful architecture and my favorite is westminster abbey and its cathedral. I love your photography so much. I had seen many on social media, but you shared many other unique places of Lonadon.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 23, 2020 at 4:15 pm

      Aw thank you so much for the kind words, Mayuri! It means a lot 🙂

  • Patti April 23, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    These spots are so gorgeous! Your photos are amazing! I hope to visit London one day.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 23, 2020 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you Patti! 🙂

  • Suvarna Arora April 24, 2020 at 4:59 am

    London has so many beautiful spots and I so badly wanna visit this year.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 24, 2020 at 9:15 am

      Hope you’ll get to visit soon!

  • Cecilie April 25, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Wow these are some great spots! And photos of course 😉 Looks like I need to take my camera to London, whenever we have the chance again to explore the world again.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you Cecilie! 🙂 Can’t wait till things are normal again!

  • Lynne Nieman April 25, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Wow! Great pics and some beautiful spots in London. I’ve been to London once and wasn’t overly impressed. I prefer Paris. But now, as a photographer, I want to go back and find some of these places. Great post!!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 25, 2020 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Lynne! I’d pick Paris over London any day haha. But I live here so it’s been easy to find more hidden photography spots! 🙂

  • Michelle April 25, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Man, I wish I had this post when we visited London. I would love to have visited some of these places! I’ll save it for next time 😉

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Aw yes, next time! 🙂 Thanks Michelle!

  • Kriszti April 25, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Oh gosh your photos are so beautiful! I’ve only visited London pre-IG times so I would love to go back and create some content like yours 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Your content is stunning too, lovely! Can’t wait to see your London photos in the future 🙂

  • Charlotte Lint April 25, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    So many beautiful photos!!! Can’t wait to revisit London one day!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Charlotte! Yes, come visit! 🙂

  • Destiny April 25, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love all of these recommendations, so many beautiful locations! Hoping to visit London one day. Looking forward to the gardens and Belgravia the most.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks for reading, Destiny! Belgravia is the perfect place to relax in, I’m sure you’ll love it! 🙂

  • Ophelie April 25, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    There are still a few I didn’t do! A good reason to visit London again! Thank yo u for sharing Jiayi!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      Yes come visit again and we can hang out! 🙂

  • Lia Pontarelli April 26, 2020 at 1:35 am

    These photos are beautiful! Definitely makes me want to get back to London soon! Gorgeous!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you so much Lia! 🙂

  • Charu Goyal April 26, 2020 at 9:29 am

    These photos are so beautiful Jiayi and make me miss living in London so much!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      Aw thank you Charu! Didn’t know you lived here too!

  • roshni April 26, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Love love love it! I don’t know how as a Londoner I have never been to westminster cathedral but that is now on my list, great shots as always

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you Roshni! I discovered that cathedral purely by accident, looking out the window of a bus ride! It’s so hidden haha

  • Kez April 26, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    I like that most of these places are away from the tourist hot spots.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      Yes, so many hidden gems in this city! 🙂

  • Olivia April 26, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    Beautiful photos! I wish I had this list when I studied abroad in London 6 years ago – though I did make it to the gorgeous garden in Hampstead Heath 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 26, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks Olivia! Yes, that garden is precious 🙂

  • Marina April 26, 2020 at 11:57 pm

    How I miss London! There’s still plenty of places I haven’t seen yet, can’t wait to visit again! Thank you for sharing Jiayi!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 27, 2020 at 12:04 am

      Yes dear, come visit again in the future! 🙂

  • Fiona Mai April 27, 2020 at 2:13 am

    Love all your photos! The ones taken at Notting Hill look so cute. I’ve been to London twice but still don’t know some of these places. Need to come back again soon!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 27, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Thank you Fiona! Yes, lots of hidden gems here! 🙂

  • cass April 27, 2020 at 4:03 am

    I love how diverse London is (good and bad) – this is all unrecognisable from the suburb I lived, giving me a real chance to go back and explore one day.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 27, 2020 at 9:26 am

      I hope you’ll get to revisit one day!

  • Travelling Tam April 27, 2020 at 6:05 am

    Gahh your photos are stunning!! How can you make London look so gorgeous haha?! I was born in London and lived there for a number of years as an adult but I realise I actually havent visited a few of these places too.. It’ll have to be when I’m next in the country hah 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 27, 2020 at 9:27 am

      Thank you so much Tam! 🙂 Yes, too many hidden gems in this city haha

  • Rhonda Albom April 27, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Wow, I am in love with your photography style. There is a crispness and texture to your photos that I don’t often see. London is a masterpiece through your eyes. My favourite shot is the one looking down at that hotel staircase.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 27, 2020 at 9:27 am

      Thank you so much Rhonda! That means a lot! <3

  • Merryl April 27, 2020 at 10:30 am

    What gorgeous pictures! Makes me want to book my flights to London for when things get better!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 27, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Aw thank you Merryl! 🙂

  • Francesca April 28, 2020 at 1:39 am

    I love London so much! These are some great spots to take pictures. I love the millenium bridge. have a trip booked for July so hopefully, I will get to go!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 28, 2020 at 1:42 am

      I hope you’ll get to go indeed! So many great hidden gems here! 🙂

  • Kelly April 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Love London so much and this just makes me so excited for when I get to go visit again one day! Beautiful photos!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 30, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      Aw thank you Kelly! I’m happy you enjoyed it! Definitely visit again, there are too many hidden gems here! 🙂

  • Lily April 30, 2020 at 2:59 am

    I totally love your photos! SO so gorgeous. I lived in London for a year but I don’t think I’ve been to a lot of these….something to bookmark for my next visit!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 30, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you so much Lily! London is definitely worth visiting again! 🙂

  • Helga May 2, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Wow! I mean… really wow! Now I really can’t wait for the lockdown to end, so I can travel up to London for a day!!! So many places I’ve never been to yet!

    • The Diary of a Nomad May 2, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      I’m sure you’ll discover some amazing things here! 🙂

  • Federica June 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I wish I had this guide ready for all the times I’ve been to London..! =,D I,ve been there quite a few times, and basically didn’t know about most of those places… Maybe because I was not yet in the photos/IG “circuit” so I was more for visiting main areas than for photo spots scouting…! =’D I only know that one day I went on purpose to Nothing Hill to find those famous colorful houses, but I had to leave without even finding them…! :/
    Next time in London I’ll go to some of this places, and if it’s gonna be with you, it’s gonna be even better! 😉

  • Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad June 13, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Haha I was wandering down a road once and spotted Westminster Cathedral (cause it’s kind of tucked away, isn’t it?), and I was like WHAT?! Why does nobody ever post about this? I love love LOVE the look of that hotel too! Would never have twigged that it was the Wannabe hotel lol. So many beautiful places! I still need to get to the Sky Garden as well.

  • Zarina July 13, 2020 at 10:45 am

    What a gorgeous post! And as a London blogger myself I have to say that you showed me some places in London I never knew of before (she admits in shame ha ha)! I especially love the Westminster Cathedral but how did I not know of it before?!? 😉 Thanks for the inspiration and new information!

    • The Diary of a Nomad July 13, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Aw thanks so much Zarina! 🙂 Haha yes, I literally only found out about Westminster Cathedral cause a bus I was on happened to pass by it. It’s so hidden! 😉 There are always so many cool places to discover in this city right? 🙂

  • Olivia July 18, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Amazing photos! 😍 Who takes the photos that have you in them? Do you use a timer, or is someone else taking those? ♡ I’m hoping to go overseas soon, but I’ll be the only adult traveller, so am wondering!

    • The Diary of a Nomad July 18, 2020 at 11:08 am

      Thank you! 🙂 It’s a mixture of asking my friends/partner to help for some photos and others where I used a tripod! If you’re going alone, I’d suggest bringing a tripod and shooting in the morning when it’s safest. Some of the areas on this list are super safe, like Belgravia, South Kensington (Kynance Mews), Kentish Town, Primrose Hill etc. Any other questions just lemme know 🙂

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    Welcome to my travel blog!

    I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer and writer who has no idea where to call home. What I do know is I'm most in my element when I'm in a new country, immersed in a new culture. To me, it's one of the most humbling, educational, and valuable experiences one can have! I've lived in 5 continents, visited 60 countries, and plan to never stop. I hope my detailed guides and itineraries will be useful in helping you plan your next big trip! Make sure to subscribe if you don't want to miss my new articles. Happy travels! :)

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