10 places to visit in london

London, London, London. London is actually as cinematic as it looks in movies. Whether it’s the classic Platform 9 ¾ scene at Kings Cross Station, the romantic vintage streets of Notting Hill or (shoutout to those Bollywood lovers!) the famous scene in DDLJ where Rahul catches Simran’s hand to pull her into the train at King’s Cross Station, one trip to London can bring back so many memories and emotions. I’m a Northerner in the UK so I can tell you even for us going to London is like a holiday in itself.

London is the kind of city that completely engulfs you. There are so many things to see and do, so many food spots, so many events that you’ll definitely need to visit several times to get the full feel of the city. Anyways, before I get lost in my thoughts, I wanted to share some of my favourite places and sights in London.

1) the london eye

A trip to London is incomplete without seeing the London Eye. Being one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the London Eye is not only amazing to see but a ride on it will provide you with some of the best panoramic views of the city.

Photography tips:

  1. One of the best places to take a photo of the London Eye is across the river and on Victoria Embankment. Walk along the promenade on the bank of Thames to get some fabulous views of the London Eye.
  2. Walk along the the Golden Jubilee Bridge (head near the south of the bridge) and Waterloo Bridge to get some unique perspectives.

2) tower bridge

London’s most famous bridge is what completes London’s skyline. Make sure you visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition which will give you access to high-level walkways and some amazing views of the city.

Photography tips

  1. In addition to a walk along South Bank, head over to London Bridge and Tower Wharf to get different views of Tower Bridge.
  2. Also, walking along the bridge itself will give you some interesting angles of the bridge.
  3. Make sure to get a shot of the bridge opening and closing.

3) big ben and palace of westminster

Big Ben is almost synonymous to London. Although it’s the UK’s most famous landmark a lot of people seem to think Big Ben is the name for the entire structure – no it’s just a nickname for the Great Bell within the clock itself. If you’re lucky the Big Ben might not be under maintenance. The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for the two houses of Parliament in the UK, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Photography tips:

  1. Head to Westminster Bridge and walk along the eastern side of South Bank to get an iconic view of the Big Ben.
  2. You can also get a full view by taking a ride on the London Eye.
  3. One of the best times to take a picture of the buildings is just before sunset, the buildings light up and shine with the sunset in the background.
  4. As a bonus try to get a photo with a London bus in the foreground! During my visit I tried to get a photo of the building with a red London bus. No luck!

4) king’s cross station

So naturally you must see Platform 9 ¾ when you go to King’s Cross but other than that the station itself is actually quite a work of wonder. The iconic structure of the roof is well worth capturing. Also, how many movies have you seen featuring King’s Cross Station – I’ve been trying to make a list myself for another blog!

Photography tips:

  1. Go up the escalator to the cafes and restaurants on the top floor to get a close-up view of the roof.
  2. If you head towards Platform 1 and 0 you’ll get a nice frame of the trains standing side by side.

5) millennium bridge

You might know this place as the “Wobbly Bridge” – yes it actually did wobble at one time! So I did some research on this and basically the bridge uses “lateral suspension” which allows suspension bridges to be built without the need for supporting columns. On its opening day, thousands crossed the bridge and the bridge actually started wobbling a bit (although it was perfectly capable of taking the weight on it). The problem was later resolved by the engineers with different types of dampers often used in buildings in earthquake zones.

Photography Tips:  

  1. Ofcourse, make sure you take classic photos of the bridge like the one above. However, close ups of the architecture itself is quite fascinating.
  2. The Millennium Bridge is also one of London’s most photographed places because of its proximity to St Paul’s Cathedral.
  3. You can get some exciting shots of the Globe Theatre while walking south.

6) St Paul’s Cathedral

With history dating back to more than 14 centuries, the cathedral is one of London’s most recognisable sights as well as an important symbol for the people of England. The cathedral is a fully functional church and home to the seat of the Bishop of London.

Did you know? The original cathedral was destroyed in 1087 and also in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Photography Tips:

  1. Other than from the Millennium Bridge itself, I’d say the best shots of St Paul’s cathedral can be taken by simply walking around the entire cathedral from a distance to capture the cathedral from all angles.
  2. Note that photography is not allowed inside the cathedral itself but you will be allowed to take photos in certain areas if you take the guided tour.

7) hyde park and kensington gardens

This stretch of beautiful green gardens and nature is a must see for all travellers. After walking around the gardens make sure you visit High Street Kensington to see some of the classiest and most expensive buildings in the world. I was lucky enough to visit South Kensington several times since my sister studied at Imperial and remember always enjoying the walk from her university to the station.

Photography tips:

  1. As with any park, walk around and soak in the scenery. A picture of the fountains would be a must though!

8) royal albert hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most iconic buildings and is beautiful inside and out (sorry I had to). If you’re taking a trip to the beautiful Kensington Gardens, do make a trip to the hall to capture some of its unique architecture. I personally feel the hall looks more majestic at night when it’s fully lit up. I had the chance to view the interior of the Royal Albert Hall during my sister’s graduation ceremony – what an experience it was!

p.s. Whilst walking around the area make sure you check out the Victoria and Albert Museum which is only a 10 minute walk from the Royal Albert Hall.

9) Royal botanic gardens, kew

If you are fascinated by plants, natural scenery, beautiful gardens and you want to see one of the prettiest glasshouses in the UK, you must visit Kew Gardens. The Botanic Garden covers almost 300 acres of land and not only provides some beautiful scenery but also provides workshops and speeches on plants. It’s, therefore, quite important to get a map at the beginning and also to plan out the exact places you want to see before going.

Places to see: The Palm Glasshouse, The Treetop Walk, The Japanese Garden, Minka House and Bamboo Forest and the Formal Gardens.

10) Leadenhall market

I decided to leave my favourite till the end!

Located in the heart of London, Leadenhall Market is like a bit of Edinburgh inside England. Dating back to the 14th Century and located on Gracechurch Street, Leadenhall Market is a covered market and home to restaurants, pubs, flower shops, cafes aaand…..is the location for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! As a Harry Potter fan I’ve made it a mission to visit all the Harry Potter film locations in the UK (doing my undergrad at Durham University helped a lot) so this place was a must see for me. The entrance to the Leaky Cauldron is actually in the Bull’s Head Passage in Leadenhall Market.

Photography Tips: Photograph everything! The different shops, the flowers and especially the beautiful multi-coloured roof.

Whether you’re visiting from outside the UK, whether you’ve visited before or even if it’s your first time, London always has something new to offer you. The capital of the United Kingdom is a splash of cultural, nightlife and endless sights.


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