London Photography Spots: My 8 Favourite Locations
The capital is famous for its iconic landmarks, today I share my favourite London Photography Spots and some hidden gems.
If you're searching for amazing London Photography spots, you're seriously spoilt for choice. I may be biased as it's my home town, but I believe the capital has the most beautiful buildings, skylines and scenery in Europe. In every corner of London you have so many iconic, photogenic locations that are begging to be captured on camera. From the skyline on Primrose Hill in the north to Greenwich village in the South. To striking street art in the East end and the luxurious streets of Knightsbridge to the West — you're never far away from a picture-perfect moment in London. And I didn't even mention central London!
The pandemic has forced us all to focus more on the world around us and appreciate what we have outside our own backdoor. For me, the whole of London is my backyard, and nothing makes me happier than taking a day to walk its streets and capture what I see at its countless photography spots. During the lockdown I took a socially distanced walk around the West end of London for example, capturing on film how terrifyingly different its streets were without the thousands of people scurrying around. You are welcome to check out the shots here. But in normal circumstances I am still always on the hunt for perfect London Photography spots, places where our iconic architecture looks its very best and shining a light on the places that are often overlooked. Today I want to share my 8 favourite locations with you, spots you just can't miss during your trip.
6 Amazing London Photography Spots
Grosvenor Street — Mayfair
Grosvenor Street may not be your first thought when it comes to London Photography spots, but it had to be on my list as it's a favourite of mine. Situated in Mayfair, this street is lined with luxury offices, embassies and places of commerce and its distinct yet subtle Georgian architecture suits its clientele perfectly. The buildings are not uniform in style, but they are similar in theme. Grand but not ostentatious, sophisticated yet still retaining personality. On a weekday Grosvenor street is filled with men in suits jumping in and out of black cabs, busy and bustling it feels like a snapshot of classic London. But on the weekend, the suits are far away and the streets are mainly deserted, offering the perfect chance to capture the iconic architecture free from crowds. This is the time I would suggest visiting, and then afterwards you can take a stroll around the equally fancy Park Lane and finish off in the expansive Hyde Park.
Michelin House — Fulham Road
This is a hidden gem for me and not a location you will find on many lists of great London photography spots. Opened in 1910, Michelin House was occupied until 1985 by the Michelin tyre company. Its Art Nouveau decor has been lovingly restored recently, and its tiled façade with huge windows has been thankfully retained, despite major construction work which has added a fourth floor to the building. Michelin House is now home to the Conran Shop and two restaurants which also belong to the Terence Conran chain. Its one of those buildings that seems to come out of nowhere as you walk along the Fulham Road. Its façade is imposing, yet still friendly with those branded caricatures captured in stained-glass. Giving the building a faintly religious feel, especially when paired with the stylised, twirling objects that decorate the top of the building, almost Mosque like in design. Close-up, the building is striking but far away you can really see how unusual this structure is compared to its surroundings.
The Pretty Houses of Notting Hill
Right behind Notting Hill Gate Underground station, you can find a little neighbourhood filled with colourful façades and luxurious housing. Hillgate Place, Hillgate Street, Farm Place, Uxbridge Street… You won’t be disappointed while getting lost in these little streets. After wandering around, get a coffee at one of the many trendy coffee shops and people watch for awhile.
The London Eye — Westminster
The now, Coca-Cola London Eye has been a must-visit in the capital since it opened at the start of the millennium (I still think of it as the Millennium wheel!). It’s a fabulous place to take pictures of the River Thames and the Palace of Westminster.
Hop into a capsule and grab that iconic shot of the capsule in front of you, the River Thames and the Palace of Westminster just after you reach the apex of the journey. Or when pictured from afar, across the river you can really see how the wheel has taken over the Westminster skyline, especially at night when its lit up in multicolour. The wheel is often moving (but slowly), so if you want an image showing motion then use a long exposure. If you want to have detail in the wheel and pods, then use a faster shutter speed, increase your ISO or wait for it to pause - or just go at night when its closed, like me! For more city photography tips click here.
Red Telephone Boxes — Covent Garden
Nothing screams London photography spots like a good old red telephone box. Unfortunately there aren’t many of the original K2 telephone boxes left in London, but this proud row still stands. Located around the back of Covent Garden, it is the perfect place for taking that 'London Calling' shot! If you are a Doctor Who fan, you may prefer to spend your time looking for a blue police box, with a popular one being found outside the Earl’s Court Tube Station. I'll stick to the red ones myself! Covent Garden is nearly always busy so you'll be waiting awhile if you want a shot devoid of people, but time it right and you'll be able to capture these iconic pieces of history.
Abbey Road — St. John's Wood
Round up four friends and recreate the iconic Beatles' album cover on the Abbey Road zebra crossing. The crossing has become somewhat of a pilgrimage point for fans of the Fab Four worldwide. While there, you can also take a tour of the world-famous Abbey Road Studio Two. Other famous names who have recorded here include Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Elton John, Oasis and Adele.
St Paul's Cathedral — The City of London
The current St. Paul’s Cathedral was built following the destruction of a prior cathedral on the same spot (also called St. Paul’s Cathedral) in the great fire of 1666. Sir Christopher Wren was given the task of replacing the churches in the City of London, and this was to be his masterpiece. It has dominated the London skyline ever since and was the tallest building in London until 1962. St. Paul’s Cathedral is always lit at night and is visible from quite a distance away. Along with its iconic status, this makes it one of my favourite places for night photography in London. Up close, you can capture the impressive craftsmanship in the stone statues that guard the entrance, while from a far you can see just how grand it stands against the modern cityscape. If you want to shoot up close, I would visit during the weekend as many commuters pass by its entrance on a weekday and you might get caught up in the crowds!
Harrods — Knightsbridge
With the capital being a top destination for shopping, I definitely couldn’t miss Harrods from my list of London Photography Spots. While the prices might not suit everyone’s budget, entry is completely free! The shop windows and interior are uniquely designed to keep your head turning constantly. During the winter, Harrods is covered with hundreds of little lights that make it perfect for night photography.
There are so many amazing London Photography Spots that I could share with you, but I need to do some real work! I would say, however, if you're visiting the capital anytime soon add Notting Hill, Leadenhall Market and The Churchhill Arms to your list of photo ops as they make the perfect Instagram backdrops!