How To Be a Photographer in London

Sketch London
Sketch London | © Sketch

London is exceptionally photogenic but if you want to capture the city’s real gems, venture out of the centre to discover neon, pastel, floral and tropical lens-popping attractions. To celebrate the city’s picture-perfect locations, Culture Trip has teamed up with British Airways, the nation’s flag carrier, to take you on a photographer’s adventure. With convenient flight times to centrally located airports, you’ll get more time to spend exploring.

1. God's Own Junkyard

Art Gallery

Gods Own Junkyard
Courtesy of God's Own Junkyard

Forget Las Vegas: if it’s an illuminated extravaganza you’re after, head to Walthamstow. The 37-year-old collection of late artist Chris Bracey now lives in a quiet north London industrial estate, but don’t let that put you off. Inside you’ll find a warehouse packed floor-to-ceiling with vintage signs, movie props, artworks and spectacular light displays, many of which have been used in films, photoshoots and exhibitions. Once you’ve finished snapping, stay for tea at the Rolling Scones café or pop next door for a pint at Wild Card Brewery.

2. sketch

Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, Tea

Sketch in Mayfair, London
© Chrispictures / Shutterstock
This old Mayfair townhouse looks rather swish from the outside, but nothing prepares you for the feast for the senses that lies within. There’s the Gallery, a pastel pink dining room lined with comedic prints by Turner Prize-winning artist David Shrigley, which serves up a highly Instagrammable afternoon tea. Then the colourful two-Michelin-star Lecture Room and Library where every bite looks as good as it tastes. Finally, the Glade, a woodland-themed restaurant with a self-playing piano. Oh, and let’s not forget the toilets – futuristic egg-like pods that play the sound of birdsong. The whole place is begging to be photographed.

3. The Churchill Arms

Pub, Thai

The Churchill Arms
© The Churchill Arms
If you’re after a quintessentially British pub, look no further. As well as being a charming local boozer, this West London watering hole is also one of the most striking pubs in the capital because the outside is spectacularly covered in flowers and plants. Around 200 tubs, baskets and window boxes bursting with blossoms and evergreen foliage adorn the exterior, making it photo-worthy any time of year (though the Christmas lights are particularly stunning). Be sure to head inside for a pint too, as the bar is packed full of eccentric London and Winston Churchill memorabilia.

4. The Hill Garden and Pergola


Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden in London
© I-Wei Huang / Alamy Stock Photo
Hampstead Heath’s 320 hectares of lush greenery are well worth a wander, but if you’re looking for somewhere to get the perfect shot, meander in the direction of Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens. Originally built in 1906 by wealthy philanthropist Lord Leverhulme, this raised Georgian walkway and terrace fell into disrepair after his death, and although it’s undergoing refurbishment, its faded grandeur is what makes it so charming. Overgrown with flowers and vines and slightly crumbling, it has picturesque spots around every corner – plus its lofty position mean it boasts gorgeous views of the city.

5. Palm Vaults London

Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Palm Vaults
George Hughes / © Culture Trip

Spend a few hours in Palm Vaults in Hackney and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported off to the balmy climes of Miami. Leafy pink interiors are a far cry from the café’s urban surroundings and the dishes are similarly good looking. Offering vegetarian and vegan recipes as well as a wide selection of free-from options, it’s a clean-living paradise with an artsy edge. Drop in for coffee and cake without the guilty aftermath.

6. Richmond Park


Deer stag standing in Richmond park.
© Inguna Plume / Alamy Stock Photo
There are plenty of places to photograph animals in London (ZSL London Zoo, city farms, a cat café and regular sausage dog parades), but to encounter them roaming free in their natural habitat is a rare and beautiful sight. One of the best places to do just that is Richmond Park, home to 630 red and fallow deer. Autumn is breeding season and you can often witness dramatic moments when the large males roar, bark and clash antlers with each other to win over the females. Just be careful not to get within 50 metres, as you don’t want to end up taking part!

Plan your trip to London

Looking for flights or a great flight and hotel deal for your photographer’s tour of London? Check out British Airways for convenient flight options and carefully selected hotels in the heart of London to combine and save. Book your trip now with the nation’s flag carrier.

7. The Ampersand Hotel

Boutique Hotel

The Ampersand Hotel London
Courtesy of The Ampersand Hotel

Looking for the picture-perfect hotel in London? Then treat yourself to a stay at the stylish Ampersand Hotel in the heart of South Kensington. The hotel’s photogenic design is inspired by its setting, with sketches of birds that could have flown from the Natural History Museum and musical motifs that riff on the Royal Albert Hall. The beds are blissfully comfy, and there’s an excellent basement restaurant with pretty cocktails and a tempting menu. The K+K Hotel George is a mid-range option, stylishly converted from Victorian townhouses, and with its own private garden. To stay in central London on a budget, choose the Royal National for affordable comfort.

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