A handy travel guide with London photography locations
Maybe it's the close cultural ties that Canadians have to the Brits but every time I visit London I feel right at home.
With a mixture of tall modern buildings and traditional brown brick houses, eccentric London street style and markets filled with unique trinkets, London has so many great photography spots.
You also never get bored eating in London. Whether it's an aromatic Indian curry in London's famed East end or a posh high tea in the West end, it's always delicious and comforting.
GO IF YOU LIKE:
PINTS OF ALE | PIE | EDGY FASHION | MEDIEVAL HISTORY | ARCHITECTURE | FEELING POSH
EXPAND THE LEGEND ON MY MAP FOR London Photography Locations
Most of my highlights in London consist of eating so be sure to check out the below “Fill Your Belly” section for details on some of my favourite meals.
When I’m not eating these are some of my favourite highlights from London.
explore one of the many markets in London
If there’s one thing that London knows how to do well, it’s put on a good market. Each market has it's own vibe but I really liked Portobello Road Market. There you’ll find an array of clothing, food and trinkets. It's packed on Saturdays but that makes it kind of fun, no?
Go back in time at the Tower of London
The tourist in me loves The Tower of London. I find it fascinating that surrounded by a city of modern glass buildings you can go back in time to experience this old castle and prison. It's fun to explore and provides some great photo ops of the Shard and Tower Bridge.
On the inside, grab a map and wander through the different rooms. You’ll learn about the history of the tower and some of it’s famous prisoners. If this type of destination is really your flavour, then check out some more London sightseeing tips, provided by a local.
Get a Free View of the City at the Sky Garden
I was thrilled when I discovered the Sky Garden. The views of the city are impressive and the best part is, it’s free. An added bonus is there’s a café, which is a welcomed relief from a busy day of walking.
You’re going to want to get tickets in advance to jump the line. If you show up during non-peak hours you can likely enter without a huge wait. I did anyways.
Fill That Belly
Whenever I go to London I always have 6 things on my bucket list for food.
1. A Sunday roast - preferably lamb, with mint sauce and Yorkshire pudding. So far my favourite has been at The Royal Oak. This pub is in the heart of the flower market, making for a perfect Sunday. And don't forget to complete your meal with a sticky toffee pudding.
2. A proper fish and chips - visit Kennedy's of Goswell Road for some fish and chips. I love when my chips are swimming in malt vinegar. Word of caution the oil can seep through the container and onto your clothes, I learned the hard way.
3. British pie - my favourite being steak and ale. I loved The Ginger Pig which offers pies and sausage rolls.
4. Indian curry - head over to Brick Lane and follow your nose. Most restaurants have a BYOB policy. I really enjoyed my meal at Tayyabs, a Punjabi-Pakistani restaurant that does amazing lamb skewers. Note it gets packed in the evenings, so the earlier you go the better.
Dishoom is also delicious, though controversial among most Londoners who either love it or claim it's not authentic. Try it out and you be the judge.
5. High tea - Spend a few hours sipping on tea and snacking on tiny sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam and colourful desserts. I've enjoyed Brown's Hotel, which is cozy and traditional.
6. Prawn cocktail crisps - just stock up at them in the airport and thank me later.
The tube is really simple to use, runs regularly and certain lines offer night service. If you're not walking this is a great way to get around. Uber also runs in London or hail one of the famous old school black taxi cabs. Note that the taxi cabs tend to stay in the city, and you should pay about a 10% tip but they are generally more knowledgable about the backroads of London.
Obviously no trip is complete in London without a ride on a double decker bus. The great thing about public transport in London now is you can easily get around with just a tap of your credit card. No need to fuss over tokens or tickets. The rates get added up and you get charged at the end of the day. If you’re looking for more London sightseeing tips, here’s a list provided by a local.
While I absolutely love London, it’s also good to note that you’re only a few hours away from Paris by the Eurostar train. If you want to add a Paris visit to your itinerary, check out my travel guide to Paris. It’s filled with helpful tips, itineraries and lots of photos that will make you say “ahhh, oui”.
Where to Stay
Some central and fun areas to stay in are: Mayfair, Marylebone, Fitzrovia and Knightsbridge. Because of their location they come at a higher cost.
Spitalfields, Borough, Bankside and Victoria are also great and more affordable.
Full disclosure, I always stay with friends so I can't give exact recos, but if I were to chose something I'd probably pick an AirBnB in one of the above areas.
I've wandered through London as a solo female traveller and I've never had issues. Pickpocketing can happen in densely touristy areas and ladies be weary late at night when people are coming home from the bar. Some guys are not as refined as Mr. Bond.
Note that the London Eye and Sky Garden (below picture) are viewed behind glass. I didn't use anything fancy but consider carrying some wet wipes with you to clean the windows and avoid smudging.
For the Sky Garden, you're going to want to reserve a time slot to visit. Don't fret if you forget though, I ended up going without a slot on a Friday and I didn't have to wait any longer than those who had times.
London is known to be frequently overcast. This can be great for lighting but the rain can be a burden. Having weatherproof gear and ample stock of wipes, can help combat the drizzle.