London is one of the most diverse cities in the world and has something for every kind of photographer. From leafy, lush parkland to iconic, showstopper landmark buildings and some of the greatest art galleries and museums in the world, London is so diverse and interesting that when comparing different photographers’ images, you could easily think they were taken in different cities. This guide has been designed to explore all aspects of the city. It includes information on most of the iconic sites – classic London sites such as Westminster, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as some suggestions to get you exploring areas like the fast-changing East End, dynamic Shoreditch and the City of London and some out of town locations to enjoy London’s riverside panoramas and impressive royal parks.
I love all aspects of London – the classical landmarks and the hidden gems. A perfect day in London for me would start in morning light in front of Westminster Palace, a day exploring the maze of lanes in the City of London, taking in the views from St Paul’s Cathedral then catching evening light from the Millennium Bridge, with the modern skyline of the City of London and the Shard contrasted against classical structures such as the bridges and Tower of London.
Visit London any time of year and you’ll have an incredible trip. Summer is peak season with longer days and festivals around the city, but expect crowds. Spring and autumn are cooler, but colours in the parks are superb. Winter can be cold but the quieter feel to the city can work to your advantage. London is a fairly safe city for its size, but exercise common sense during your visit and as you photograph. Pickpocketing does happen in London, so keep an eye on your camera gear and wallet, especially in crowded areas and on the Underground. If I were visiting the city, I would take a train into the city from one of the airports and I’d spend the rest of the trip using public transport, mostly the underground system. Another good option is to cycle around the city – as long as you’re confident with city traffic. Driving a car through London is slow and expensive. You’ll spend more time searching for parking than you will actually taking photos. I encourage you to get to an area by public transport and then to explore on foot. London rewards the curious. Pop your head into open doors. Walk down dark passages. Chat to strangers. Discover London’s soul.