My London Photographic Bucket List. Tick and... tick!
I am relatively new to Instagram. I have not figured out exactly how everything works nor do I understand why a photo that I thought was so awesome only gets something like 6 "likes" compared to the thousands of "likes" someone got for posting a photo of their breakfast. But even in my confusion I have to say I really like Instagram. So I wondered where in London are the most Instagrammed places? London is 3rd as the most Instagrammed city (after New York and Paris) so you know there are a ton of photos being pushed into the atmosphere. So with the help from Instragram and their geotags I found out and created my London Photographic Bucket List.
So counting down ... here are The 10 Most Instragrammed Places in London. Some might even surprise you.
10. VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM (V & A)
Two museums hit the Top Ten List. I love going to museums and even more so now that I live in London. They are most often free and there are some incredible things to see.
9. THE BRITISH MUSEUM
The interior of this place is incredible. It rivals its millions of artifacts
8. HEATHROW AIRPORT
This one was surprising as the airport itself really lacks any great visually interesting places that I have seen to support its high ranking. I guess its ranking in this list has to be chalked up the volumes of people saying hello and good-bye at the airport, plane spotters or like this photo here, me taking a photo outside my window just after take-off.
Ahhh Harrods. One of London's most iconic and high-end department stores. Even though the store occupies over 1,000,000 square feet (largest department store in Europe) most of the photos are taken on the outside as is it such a beautiful building. Inside, the famous Harrods Food Hall is a close second in the Insta-world as their food hall is spectacular. Harrods was the home of England's first escalator which at the time was no more than a leather conveyor belt. Apparently it made some people so nervous that there was a free shot of Brandy that awaited them on top to ease their nerves. I think Harrods need to get with that program again as their prices scare me and I would like my nerves "eased". But boy is this my happy place. There is a dress code in Harrods and people have actually been turned away for not looking the part. I will keep that in mind next time I am in my sweats and Converse.
6. BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Buckingham Palace comes as no surprise. Home of the Queen, it attracts tourists from all around the world.
5. CAMDEN TOWN
Camden Town is a fantastic, colourful area of town and rich with photo opps. The market stalls that line the streets and Regent's Canal are always lively. Buskers are top notch and the retail by London standards is inexpensive... although AllSaints has moved into the hood. Some fun vintage shopping too. I have been several times to Camden and there is always something new to see. If you go, go hungry. Great selection of food.
4. BIG BEN
Known to most of us as Big Ben, its name now (it has had several names) is actually the Elizabeth Tower that sits at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Big Ben is actually the nickname of the giant bell in the clock. The way the late afternoon light hits the building is so fantastic it is worth timing your visit around then. Big Ben says its just after 4:00.
3. THE LONDON EYE
Or as I call it... one big mother of a ferris wheel! I mean really big. I would suggest pre-ordering tickets if you plan on taking a ride because without doing that the wait could be nuts. There are a lot of great shots that can be taken not actually on the London Eye but rather around it although the view is great from inside on a clear day. But if you are looking for that magic shot I would wait until dusk as the view is wonderful. It was fun (albeit pricey). Close to Big Ben and some other touristy things to do.
2. HYDE PARK AND KENSINGTON GARDENS
Hyde Park combined with Kensington Gardens (adjacent) is one of London's largest parks at over 350 acres. So it is no wonder why there are so many photos taken there, it is actually larger than the Principality of Monaco. There are always so many things happening in the park. Hyde Park has hosted many concerts however interesting to note that both Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney had their microphones actually turned off when they played past the 10:30 noise curfew. How could they do that to Sir Paul??? Springsteen I get, he is American and he does play on.
FEEDING THE BIRDS IN HYDE PARK
One of my favorite things to do there and so sorry if I sound like Mary Poppins is feed the birds, and I am not talking pigeons. Aside from the swans (which are indeed lovely but way more aggressive than their appearance would suggest) there is a place in Kensington Gardens just south of the Peter Pan statue that in the morning and early evening you will see people standing still with their arms outstretched.. sorta looking like they are doing Tai Chi. There are these green tropical birds and they will come and eat out of your hand if you keep very still. I would never think that one would see tropical birds along with palm trees in London. Love that this city surprises. Bring crackers with you and you will have them eating out of the palm of your hand, literally.
And finally...drum roll please...The number one Instagrammed place in London is...
1. TOWER BRIDGE
Ta Da. Tower Bridge. Number One! Not a surprise. Often mistaken as London Bridge, Tower Bridge is not only one of London's most recognizable bridges but also one of London's most iconic landmarks. If you are lucky enough to be there when the draw bridge is up it makes for an incredible photo (did not get that timing right so guess I will have to return). Many an selfie has been taken with Tower Bridge framed beautifully in the background.
Although not officially on Instagram's "Ten Most List" I have three honourable mentions to add to the final list. First, the red phone booths. You have to do it, it is so very London. Plus never sure how long they will be around, I mean really when was the last time you used a payphone?
Oxford Street at Christmas...magical.
....and finally Abbey Road. You grab three friends, ask one to take off their shoes and then cross the world's most famous crosswalk. Found the photo blasts on the iphone helped with getting that perfect walking position. Be prepared to ask someone to take photos of you (there are always people around) and you do the same for others.
My parting words, if you are not planning on visiting London anytime soon, do your own "top ten list" in your own city or town. You will learn a ton, it's a fun time and you see more than you ever knew was out there ....
Happy Instagramming all.
Beep Beep. Beep Beep. Yeah!