There’s a reason that London is a favorite with tourists and photographers. It may not have the awe-inspiring views of a mountain range or the rough and rugged appeal of a seascape, but walking around London's streets with a camera can fill your day with endless subjects.
Here are 10 of the most interesting (in my opinion) places to visit and take photos in London, the capital city of the UK There are so many other places that can be added to this list. But that’s part of the fun. You can soon start to explore and start to find your own photo spots to add to the mix.
Check out our guide on how to shoot cityscapes and urban landscapes if you need more inspiration and advice. These low-light cameras are also ideal for taking photos during the golden and blue hours when the city comes alive.
1. Tower Bridge
Sure, it has been photographed millions of times, and you may have to bat away constant harassment from the “self-appointed tripod police”, but it’s worth it! Because in beautiful light and a dramatic sky, you just can’t beat a photo of Tower Bridge. The wonderful thing about Tower Bridge is that it can be photographed from both sides of the river and either side of the bridge, so you can shoot it at any time of the day.
2. St. James' Park
Whilst the park itself is certainly worthy of being on this list, for me the time that makes this location so iconic is during the changing of the guards on The Mall. Capture a photo when the sun is shining, the trees are green, and the Union Jack is hung on the sides of the road, and you can’t get a photo that’s more “British” than that!
3. Borough market
The transformation in Borough Market over the last 20+ years has been remarkable. It is now widely recognized as one of the best food markets in the world with an array of products and foods from around the world cooked fresh in front of you. This also means there is immense photo potential for anyone with a passion for food or environmental portraits. The only downside is that the market is covered and so you will have to be careful with your shutter speed to ensure it is fast enough to avoid camera shake.
4. Brick Lane
There is a grittiness about Brick Lane that you won’t find in most of London these days. Wondering along the road you can marvel at the ever-changing street art on display. And if you are lucky you may even catch an artist or two painting the walls. The incredible artworks lend themselves perfectly for you to play around with some street photography using the artworks as a background and waiting for interesting characters to pass by.
5. Greenwich Park
This park in the east of London is home to the National Maritime Museum (a worthwhile photography location), but the real prize here is capturing a photo of the London skyline (or more specifically Canary Wharf) from the small hill in the park. On a beautiful sunny evening, the place will be packed with onlookers and photographers hoping to capture a stunning cityscape shot.
6. The Millenium Bridge
Even though the Millennium Bridge is one of the top “photo spots” in London, in my opinion, it’s not a particularly pretty bridge. But it’s the combination of the bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral that makes this such a popular photography location. Whether it’s from the bridge itself or from underneath the bride (along the river), the Millennium Bridge acts as a perfect leading line to St Paul’s Cathedral which presents plenty of different composition opportunities.
7. Tate Modern
Just next to the Millennium Bridge you will find the Tate Modern. While the building itself has some photographic interest (especially photos taken from the bridge or the gallery at the top of St Paul’s Cathedral), the real photography highlight is climbing up to the viewing area of the Tate Modern for elevated shots of St Paul’s Cathedral and the city skyline. What makes this photo location even better is that it’s free to enter so you can come back over and over again if the conditions are not right.
8. St Paul’s Cathedral
This is one of my favorite buildings to photograph in London. There are so many compositions all around this London landmark that you can spend all day just photographing it. I have already mentioned the views from the Tate Modern and around the Millennium Bridge. Closer in you will be able to include foreground points of interest like red buses or even people. Another great location is from One New Change where you can find interesting reflections of the Cathedral in the glass of the shops. Or head up on the elevators to the top floor for an eye-level shot of the dome of the Cathedral.
The Monument to the Great Fire of London stands at a modest 61 meters. The monument itself is worthy of a few photos, but for me, the real prize at this location is when you climb the 311 steps inside the Monument to get to the outdoor viewing gallery at the top for a fantastic unique elevated view of Tower Bridge.
10. Camden Market
London has no shortage of markets and Camden Market is another that is worthy of photography. The narrow pathways and stalls are interesting to photograph, as are the local vendors and even the public who browse the market. Some of the most picturesque parts of the market are covered so you may want to take a travel tripod with you.