You’ll probably be surprised to know that Brad and I have never been to London before as tourists. We’ve drove through a few times, but we’ve never done the whole sightseeing weekend, and considering we only live a few hours away, it’s actually pretty crazy that neither of us have visited even for a day.
What’s even crazier is that London is actually a blogger’s heaven (Em and I actually get left out of a lot of blogger’s events because they’re all located down south), so you’d think that would give us even more reason to go. I think the only reason why I haven’t visited sooner is that whenever the opportunity arises to travel, I would rather explore an unknown faraway country than a city basically on my doorstep.
That said, come summertime, I knew it was time to finally make a trip to the famous city. Me being me, I made a long list of the places I wanted to go before we actually went, despite us only being in the actual city for a day (so a lot of the things on the list will sadly have to wait until we re-visit). I thought I’d list below all the stop-offs we made as they’re basically a blogger’s dream, so if you’re heading to London soon and you’re after some picture-perfect spots, this post is definitely for you.
- The London Eye
I’m not going to lie here and say I got a good enough photo at the London Eye, because I didn’t- well, other than a typical touristy selfie, London Eye in the background, with Brad. We’re currently having lens issues with our new camera: for anyone who knows camera speak, the only lens we currently have is a 50mm, which is obviously pretty useless as it means Brad has to stand at least 20 large steps away from me to get a full-body shot. Of course, surrounded by crowds at the London Eye, I didn’t have a chance of getting more than a headshot, with one pod of the Eye in the background.
Verdict: My picture definitely wasn’t Instagram-worthy, but there is still potential for anyone with a wide angle lens (or even just an iPhone!).
2. The Big Ben
It was pretty devastating to arrive at the Big Ben and discover it was having work done to it, and there was ugly scaffolding concealing the lower half of it. Still, Brad and I managed a few shots in the typical tourist locations- Brad taking the photo a mile away from where I was standing, again- and I was pretty pleased with the results. The Big Ben always makes a good photo background, especially if you up the contrast and structure of the image when it comes to editing.
Verdict: It was a shame the building was covered in scaffolding, but it made a good photo nevertheless. There’s lots of opportunities for different shots in different locations, also.
3. Downing street
There’s not a lot I can say about Downing street, except that the buildings in the area are pretty. But Brad and I couldn’t even see the famous Number 10 through the huge wrought iron gates flanked by guards, which was a little disappointing. At this point, we decided to give up on the tourist hotspots and move onto some of the lesser-known places.
Verdict: There was nothing to see, and the crowds of people made it impossible to take a photo, especially in our current camera situation.
4. Neal’s Yard
I found Neal’s Yard while I was researching pretty places to visit London and it definitely didn’t disappoint in real life. For anyone who doesn’t know, Neal’s yard is basically a pretty courtyard surrounded by colourful buildings, which gave me the feeling that I’d somehow walked into the middle of a Barcelona backstreet. Yes, it might have been far too busy to take an outfit shot, but the pretty buildings were enough of a picture in themselves- it’s just a shame I couldn’t fit more on with my lens!
Verdict: Definitely stop here for lunch; there’s an amazing restaurant selection. Neal’s yard is always super busy, so if you’re after a shot of yourself there, it’s best to go early in the morning.
5. Peggy Porschen Cakes
Of course I had to drag Brad along to one of London’s prettiest cake shops for food and photos. Peggy Porschen Cakes really is something else, with its archway of flowers and gorgeous pink bike outside (which you can actually win via a competition on their website). You only have to look on Instagram to see just how popular this place is with bloggers and tourists alike, and I was no exception. Brad actually risked his life standing in the middle of a three-way crossing to get the below shot of me, but I rewarded him with cake so there were no complaints!
Verdict: Absolutely stunning. Peggy Porschen is one of those places that looks beautiful no matter what the season, but I definitely loved the blooming summer flowers that were there on our visit.
6. West End
The whole purpose of our London visit was actually to watch Thriller! Live at London’s West End. With it being another bustling, touristy spot, we didn’t bother to attempt any photos, and instead mooched around some of the huge tourist shops in the area. There were a few street performances going on during that afternoon, which kept us entertained until it was time to see the show.
Verdict: A busy place, but without the claustrophobic, rushed feeling I got when we were by the London eye. And the musical was brilliant!
That sums up my list, as that’s all Brad and I had time to squeeze into one day. We missed out a few places, such as Notting Hill, where I know you can get some stunning outfit shots, but I know we’ll be back again soon enough. If there’s anything else I missed off the list that you recommend me visiting in my next trip, I’d love to hear your suggestions!