DescriptionNearest Stations
London Eye London Eye
Take a walk through the Jubilee Gardens and photograph this iconic landmark. There are plenty of locations around here to shoot this structure so walk around and try to find a unique view. Note that security at the base of the eye may ask photographers using tripods to to move along.
Waterloo, Westminster

Westminster Bridge - West Westminster Bridge - West
If you are crossing Westminster Bridge, make sure you stop to grab a few images. On this west side you will have views of the Houses of Parliament. Be sure to check out the view from the east side also.

View of St George Wharf View of St George Wharf
An interesting looking set of buildings, St George Wharf is best viewed from the north side of the river. The large circular tower can be difficult to get in frame, so a wide angle lens is a good idea. On the other side of the bridge you will find the MI6 building.
Pimlico, Vauxhall

Strata Tower Strata Tower
If in this area, drop by Strata Tower to see this lovely building tower above you. It's visible from several locations in London, and you can identify it by the three large fans it has on the top. I think these, combined with a cloudy, windy sky and an ND filter allow for a great photo opportunity.
Elephant & Castle

More London More London
The main feature of More London is City Hall, a large helmet like building. There are several other interesting architectural features in this area, along with Tower Bridge. A popular tourist area and active security can make photography difficult. Early morning or late at night are the best times to visit.
London Bridge

Tulip Staircase Tulip Staircase
You can find the Tulip Staircase within the chapel entrance at Queen's House in Greenwich. Though going up the stairs is usually cordoned off you can get a great upwards view from the base of the steps.
Cutty Sark

LED Lightwall LED Lightwall
This cool tunnel is open from 7am to 8pm and is great for futuristic architecture shots. You can find the entrance by walking underground between King's Cross and St Pancras. As an added bonus it's rather quiet for such a busy location.
King's Cross St. Pancras

Emirates Airline Cable Car Emirates Airline Cable Car
The Emirate's Airline Cable Car stretches from North Greenwich Pier to the Royal Docks. A unique way to cross the Thames you can get great views in good weather conditions. You will be shooting through glass so you may wish to bring something to aid in reducing reflections.
Royal Victoria, North Greenwich

Canary Wharf view from the Blackwall Basin Canary Wharf view from the Blackwall Basin
A visit to the far side of the Blackwall Basin means you will get a reflected view of the Canary Wharf skyline. It is also possible that you will also have the place to yourself. Visit for sunset and stay for the blue hour to watch the lights come on.
Canary Wharf, South Quay

Tate Modern Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is an art gallery that's contained within an old power station. It can often have some great exhibits, some of which are on a large scale in the expansive 'Turbine Hall'. It has a nice view from the public cafe, but being an old power station, the gallery itself is also pretty cool to look at. Also see the entry for 'Switch House' a new wing which has opened and offers great 360 degree views for free.
Blackfriar's, St Paul's, Southwark

Houses of Parliament Houses of Parliament
A popular spot looking across the Thames towards the Houses of Parliament. Here you will get one of the best views of Elizabeth Tower (often called Big Ben). Perhaps the most iconic location in London it will not surprise you to find it's also one of the busiest. Luckily walls facing the Thames will allow you to set up a tripod and catch a nice sunset.

Woolwich Foot Tunnel Woolwich Foot Tunnel
This is one of two foot tunnels which allow pedestrians to walk under the Thames. Further out than the one at Greenwich, the Woolwich Foot Tunnel is a little quieter.
King George V, Woolwich Arsenal

British Museum British Museum
An excellent museum with many interesting features and exhibits. The Great Hall is, as the name suggests, 'great' to look up at, but go up stairs found at the entrance for a better view. Use of tripods is not permitted but you may get away with using a Gorillapod on the balcony for this image.
Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Russell Square

River Walkway Platform River Walkway Platform
An often missed set of steps lead up to this raised viewing platform from the river front. From here you get a nice panoramic view from Tower Bridge round to London Bridge. The platform is opposite the Shard, which is the tallest building in Europe. Best visited at sunset, but stay a little while afterwards so you can see the lights coming on around you.
Monument, London Bridge

View of St Paul View of St Paul's from Millennium Bridge
St Paul's Cathedral is an iconic sight in London. Leading up to the cathedral from the south side of the Thames is the Millennium Bridge. The bridge is a busy one and moves when people walk over it, so you may have trouble with long exposures. Patience is the key, or returning at an early or late hour.
Blackfriar's, St Paul's, Southwark

Adam Plaza Bridge Adam Plaza Bridge
This walkway offers great symmetry and a nice vanishing point. Standing here feels a little like you're in a 1950's science fiction film. That is, it seems like it is aiming at a futuristic design, but one which feels quite dated. It's still lovely to look at though, and one loved by photographers.
Canary Wharf, West India Quay

St Katherine St Katherine's Docks
A beautiful location to visit on a sunny day and have a pleasant walk around. Security may approach you if using a tripod as this is private land.
Tower Hill

National Gallery National Gallery
Trafalgar Square is a popular tourist destination and can be busy night and day. There are several things to photograph, such as the National Gallery shown here. Security may approach you if using a tripod, but this can depend on how busy the area is.
Charing Cross

Newport Street Gallery Staircase Newport Street Gallery Staircase
This spacious gallery holds varying exhibitions that you can visit for free. Photographers may enjoy shooting one of their staircases while here. A free locker service is also available, which is a nice way to offload a heavy bag for an hour or so.
Lambeth North, Vauxhall

Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus
A hub of tourist activity, this place is always humming with people and traffic. Like Times Square in New York, photographs of these billboards screams 'London'.
Piccadilly Circus

Canary Wharf from West India Avenue Canary Wharf from West India Avenue
An interesting view of Canary Wharf with trees and bushes adding foreground interest. A couple of roads on either side can also add light trails to your image if you are taking shots at night.
Canary Wharf

Brewer Staircase Brewer Staircase
The Brewer Staircase is inside the Heal's department store. You can move up and down over several floors to get differing vantage points. Head to the lighting section to find it.
Goodge Street

Imperial War Museum Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum is an interesting place to visit. The museum has exhibits providing information on 'conflicts' since World War One. I feel the appeal for photographers are the two large canons that you can at the entrance.
Lambeth North, Elephant & Castle

Tower Bridge View Tower Bridge View
The area between the Tower of London and London Bridge is often busy. It does offer a good vantage point of Tower Bridge. Early morning is a good time to visit if you want nice light and less people.
Tower Hill, Tower Gateway

Premier Inn Staircase Premier Inn Staircase
The Premier Inn London Blackfriars hotel has a spiral staircase at the back. It climbs 7 storeys and can offer some nice images from various angles. Sneak in the back entrance to arrive straight at the stairs, or say hello to the wonderful staff as you arrive from the front.

London Eye view London Eye view
A great vantage point to view the London Eye in full, and with the ability to use a tripod without having any hassle. A good spot for a long exposure.
Westminster, Embankment

Leadenhall Market Leadenhall Market
One of the oldest markets in London, the covered Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th century. On weekdays there are various retailers and vendors found among the ornate passageways. Photographers may prefer visiting when closed to shoot the structure and cobblestones while empty​.
Liverpool Street, Bank, Monument

Beach access Beach access
The walkway here can get rather busy, but a gate in the fence allows you access to the beach. If the tide is low you can go down here and get a different vantage point of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul's. If the tide is high you can still access the raised platform which is quieter this side of the fence. Remember, safety first!
Blackfriar's, St Paul's, Southwark

Canary Wharf view from Millwall Outer Dock Canary Wharf view from Millwall Outer Dock
At the south side of Millwall Outer Dock you get a nice reflected view of the both the main buildings at Canary Wharf. There are sometimes boats moored here also, which provide a little added interest. It's a quiet area so you can visit regardless of the time of day.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance
There are many interesting buildings around the Naval College Gardens. This particular building is the 'Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance'. A good place to visit on a cloudy day.
Cutty Sark

View from the Shard View from the Shard
The Shard is the highest building in Europe. At the top are public viewing platforms allowing you the most extensive view of London. I recommend you take a telephoto lens so you can get closer to some of the details. Note also that you may not be able to take your tripod up there and you do need to pay for entry.
London Bridge

Royal Courts of Justice Royal Courts of Justice
The Royal Courts are difficult to photograph due to the space in front of them. A wide angle lens may allow you to get the whole building in shot. I like this place at night time when it's lit up in a cool purple colour.

St Pancras International St Pancras International
This station is busy, with passengers departing to various places around the UK. It is also the Eurostar terminal where passengers can travel to many European destinations. The upper levels are pretty quiet but are the most aesthetic internal part. It is also home to the longest champagne bar in the world.
King's Cross St. Pancras

Canary Wharf View from Millwall Inner Dock Canary Wharf View from Millwall Inner Dock
If you have made it out to Canary Wharf you should make the most of it. As you can see on this map, there are plenty of locations to shoot from. Here, a narrow walkway beside these buildings provides you with a nice area to place your tripod. Hold your breath to avoid the walkway shaking as you shoot the skyline with reflections.

30 St Mary Axe 30 St Mary Axe
If you're in London, then the chances are you will have already seen this iconic building at 30 St Mary Axe. Most people call it the 'Gherkin' due to it's shape. Security do not allow tripod use within the walled section so keep on the pedestrian side if using one. Heavy development work means this structure is starting to disappear from the London skyline.
Liverpool Street, Bank, Monument

King King's Cross Station
King's Cross station has a beautiful concourse area for those who love architecture. To avoid people it is best to shoot there during the early or late hours. I like the view either from the restaurant area upstairs or while looking up from underneath.
King's Cross St. Pancras

Thames Barrier, South Side Thames Barrier, South Side
These barriers are what prevent London from flooding. From the South Side you get a view of Canary Wharf through the barriers. It's a little off the beaten track so you may wish to make use of Charlton overground station or a bus to get here.
North Greenwich, Woolwich Arsenal, Cutty Sark

Switch House at the Tate Modern Switch House at the Tate Modern
The Switch House wing of the Tate Modern opened in 2016 and offers great public views. Head on up to the 10th floor where you can get a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Blackfriar's, St Paul's, Southwark

Tower Bridge Tower Bridge
You can view this famous bridge from many locations. At night I like to capture the light trails of traffic from on the bridge itself, especially as a bus drives past. Remember - safety first!
Tower Hill

Nelson Nelson's Column
Nelson's Column may be the most iconic statue in London and has pride of place in Trafalgar Square. Join the millions of people who take a photo of it on an annual basis, you may as well.
Charing Cross

Greenwich Foot Tunnel Greenwich Foot Tunnel
This is one of two foot tunnels which allow pedestrians to walk under the Thames. An easier one to reach than the one at Woolwich, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel is a little busier. Aesthetically they are very similar, so there is no need to visit both.
Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich, Island Gardens

Royal Observatory Royal Observatory
You get a nice view of London from the hill beside the observatory at Greenwich. This is where Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) originates. At night the Meridian laser marks the route of the Greenwich Meridian.
Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Chelsea Bridge Chelsea Bridge
This was the first self-anchored suspension bridge in Britain and is now Grade II listed. The bridge is lit up at night which allows you to get great light trails with passing traffic.
Sloane Square, Pimlico

Old Royal Naval College View Old Royal Naval College View
From this park at Island Gardens you have a nice view across the Thames to the Old Royal Naval College. Be sure to head through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to walk over to the venue itself.
Island Gardens

Waterloo Bridge Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge is my favourite bridge in the whole of London. There may be more iconic ones, such as Tower Bridge, but this one offers such great views from both sides. I like this bridge at blue hour with lights coming on all around.
Waterloo, Temple

Nelson Staircase, Somerset House Nelson Staircase, Somerset House
This is a lovely staircase, and usually very quiet so you can capture a shot without people in it. It can be difficult to capture this staircase from a good angle, so be sure to walk up and down each level.

Look Up Look Up
As always in London, you should be sure to look up as you walk around. I like these balconies, found in such an otherwise nondescript location.
London Bridge

Centre Point Centre Point
On the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road stands Centre Point. This brutalist tower block was recently converted from offices to luxury flats.
Tottenham Court Road

St Paul St Paul's Cathedral
The famous St Paul's Cathedral is a wonderful location that you can shoot from many angles. Photography is not allowed inside the cathedral itself. Take a visit to the Golden Circle viewing platform at the top for spectacular 360 views.
St Paul's

Leake Street graffiti tunnel Leake Street graffiti tunnel
A short walk from the London Eye is Leake Street. Here, graffiti is legal and lines the walls of this tunnel. The artwork changes on a regular basis so you're bound to see something new on each trip.

Beach access Beach access
As with the South side of the river, you are able to access the beach area in low tide. from here you have a great view of the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and the Shard.
Blackfriar's, Mansion House

Hammersmith Bridge Hammersmith Bridge
One of many bridges that cross the Thames, Hammersmith Bridge is a nice one to visit at sunset when the tide is low. There are several waterfront pubs nearby offering the perfect place to take a rest.

Trafalgar Square Fountains Trafalgar Square Fountains
The fountains in Trafalgar Square make great subjects for a long exposure at night. The original reason for installation was to prevent crowds from gathering. This was to reduce the risk of rioting. This area can be busy so you may need patience...but at least you know there will be little chance of riots around you.
Charing Cross

Bank of England - Rear Bank of England - Rear
Be sure to look up when stood in this spot, as it's only then that you will see this great piece of architecture.  It's sometimes hard to frame, but if you have a tripod and a super wide lens you will be in for a treat, day or night.

Jacob Jacob
A statue of Jacob, a dray horse, which commemorates the workhorses that used to be in this area of London. Horses like Jacob would cart beer around this area for the Courage Brewery.
London Bridge

Southgate Tube Station Southgate Tube Station
London has many beautiful tube stations, and Southgate is one of my favourites. Perfect for a rainy day. Note that you cannot use flash on platforms, or tripods in the station. Station staff may also approach you stating photography is not permitted.

Batman building Batman building
This is a plain office block in a busy area of London. Yet if you look up at the right angle, then the architecture can represent the Batman symbol.
London Bridge

Stamp Stairs at Somerset House Stamp Stairs at Somerset House
Somerset House has several staircases on offer for photographers. Stamp Stairs have a heavier footfall than the others, but still offers a good view.

Shell HQ Shell HQ
This building is the HQ for Shell. In the right conditions, it's a great building to take a long exposure of. Otherwise visit for blue hour as the lights are coming on.

Millennium Bridge Millennium Bridge
Nicknamed the 'wobbly' bridge due to the amount of movement. It can be difficult to get a great shot while on the bridge itself due to people passing, but it is possible. The surrounding area offers some great vantage points for shooting back at this bridge. Can you find a unique shot?
Blackfriar's, St Paul's, Southwark

Look up Look up
This is a popular spot to look upwards and shoot some great lines and edges. Day or night you can get a nice architectural image here.
London Bridge

Heron Tower Heron Tower
You'll get a great view looking up at this imposing building from immediately below it. You can also go up to the Duck & Waffle restaurant/bar on the 40th floor to grab a cocktail and a great view.
Liverpool Street

Poplar Station Walkway Poplar Station Walkway
A nice walkway at Poplar station, a great starting point if you are taking photos in Canary Wharf. Nice curves along with a vanishing point makes this walkway photogenic.

Traffic Light Tree Traffic Light Tree
This traffic light tree is an art installation outside the famous Billingsgate Fish Market. It is on a roundabout, so I'm hopeful that it's not confusing to drivers. Best visited during blue hour or night to see the lights in bright action.
Canary Wharf, Blackwall, Poplar

Tower Bridge view Tower Bridge view
Tower Bridge is awesome, and an iconic symbol of London. Luckily you can get shots of it from every angle. This particular spot allows you to see the Gherkin through the bridge.
London Bridge

New Street Square New Street Square
Busy with suits during this week this little square is rather empty at the weekend. I like the view looking up between the buildings. Security may approach you here, especially if using a tripod.
Chancery Lane

Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace
The famous home of our Queen, Buckingham Palace may be on your 'to visit' list when coming to London. Stick around and watch the changing of the guards if it happens to coincide with your visit. Check here for dates and times.
St James's Park, Hyde Park Corner

Buckingham Palace view Buckingham Palace view
You don't need to be right in front of Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of it. This park is lovely and allows you to sneak a glimpse from various locations.
St James's Park

Natural History Museum - Hintze Hall Natural History Museum - Hintze Hall
You'll feel like you've stepped into Hogwarts when you visit this museum. The main hall is beautiful and you will find many angles for great architectural images.
South Kensington

Bankside Bankside
When the tide is low you'll be able to see the large letters spelling out 'Bankside' on the side of the wall.
Blackfriar's, St Paul's, Southwark

Canary Wharf view from Olympian Way Canary Wharf view from Olympian Way
A view of the Canary Wharf skyline from near the O2 Arena. I feel this particular location is best visited at night time.
North Greenwich

Senate House Senate House
Behind the British Museum is Senate House Library. It is an administrative centre for the University of London. You will need to be a member to look around inside the building. The building itself can be interesting though. You can shoot it either from the grounds, or viewed from Russell Square park nearby.

Sunborn Yacht Hotel Sunborn Yacht Hotel
You can find the Sunborn Yacht Hotel by the ExCeL Centre. The Royal Victoria docks can offer crisp reflections on a calm day.
Custom House for ExCeL

Roof Garden Roof Garden
This indoor roof garden offers a nice contrast between architecture and nature. Based on the third floor the geometric roof allows you to glimpse the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.
Canary Wharf, West India Quay

Westminster Cathedral Westminster Cathedral
You should not confuse this cathedral with the nearby Westminster Abbey. Westminster Cathedral is often overlooked but a lovely spot to visit. As well as a beautiful interior and exterior, be sure to visit the public viewing gallery. From there you will get a great view of nearby London.

Waterloo Bridge - Light Trails Waterloo Bridge - Light Trails
From the middle of Waterloo bridge at night you can get some nice light trails. There are plenty of red buses going past which make for the best trails.
Waterloo, Temple

Waltham Forest Town Hall Waltham Forest Town Hall
Waltham Forest Town Hall is a Grade II listed building. Though not worthy of a trek to this area of London just for this building, it is worth stopping by if you are in the area.
Walthamstow Central

View from St Paul View from St Paul's Cathedral
Take a trip to the Golden Gallery for spectacular views across London. It's paid entry to the Cathedral where you can't take interior images. You can't take in large backpacks. It's over 500 steps to the top. But it's worth it! One of the best public viewing platforms in London.
St Paul's

Tower Bridge view from Beach Tower Bridge view from Beach
When the tide is low and gates unlocked you can go through to the beach at this spot. This provides you with yet another vantage point of Tower Bridge.
London Bridge

Somerset House Somerset House
Somerset House is an arts centre. The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at the entrance is great to shoot, especially at night. Be sure sure you go inside to view the Nelson Staircase if the building is open when you visit.

OXO Pier OXO Pier
A small pier in front of the OXO Tower. When the tide is low you can access the beach and shoot back at the pier. If you have a wide angle lens you can also shoot back on the pier itself towards the OXO Tower.
Blackfriars, Southwark

ArcelorMittal Orbit ArcelorMittal Orbit
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the largest sculpture in Britain, and designed by Anish Kapoor. Put in place for the 2012 London Olympics it is now also a giant slide. Interesting to photograph from the outside, you can pay to go up and pay again to slide down if you want to.
Pudding Mill Lane, Stratford

O2 View O2 View
From this spot you get a great view of the O2 Arena. At night time you can also see the green laser designating the Greenwich Meridian line.
East India

View from Monument View from Monument
The Monument to the Great Fire of London offers wonderful 360-degree panoramic views. Note that it's paid entry and you may not be able to take large bags up there. Over 300 steps to get to the top but a nice view when you are there. Final warning, you will be shooting through a cage so it's best to use a telephoto lens.

Kew Gardens Pagoda Kew Gardens Pagoda
You can spend a long time wandering around Kew Gardens so go there on a nice day with a few hours to spare. One of the iconic attractions is this 10 storey high pagoda. Note that you need to pay to enter Kew Gardens.
Kew Gardens

Covent Garden Market - Night Covent Garden Market - Night
One of the quieter times to photograph Covent Garden Market is at night time. Throw in a little rain and you get lovely light reflections from the cobblestones.
Covent Garden

Canary Wharf Station from West India Quay Canary Wharf Station from West India Quay
From West India Quay you can catch a view of trains entering and leaving the nearby Canary Wharf station. Grab a quick shot or two if you are passing through here at night time. Remember, no flash photography and security may approach you.
West India Quay

Battersea Park Pagoda Battersea Park Pagoda
Is one of your photography quests to travel the world taking photos of Peace Pagodas? If so, then you will find the one in London here in Battersea Park. If this is not your mission, you will still find it here, so grab a few images if you are passing by.
Sloane Square

Barbican Barbican
The Barbican Estate features three brutalist residential towers, some of the highest in London. You can see the 'three sisters' from various locations in London. I like to look up at them from below, watching as they tower above you.

Westminster Bridge - East Westminster Bridge - East
From the east side of the bridge you can see the London Eye. A popular choice at night is to take photos of the Elizabeth Tower with traffic passing.

Tank Tank
A decommissioned Soviet T-34 battle tank sat on a piece of scrub-land. The tank has a fresh lick of paint every now and then, as well as graffiti, so it may change design each visit.
Elephant & Castle

Natural History Museum - Earth Hall Natural History Museum - Earth Hall
You can access the museum from Exhibition Road, which is often the quieter entrance. Doing so means you will see the wonderful metal planet in Earth Hall. You can take an escalator ride through the planet also.
South Kensington

Clock Tower - Caledonian Park Clock Tower - Caledonian Park
A Grade II listed building and survivor of the Metropolitan Cattle Market, this Clock Tower sits on the outskirts of Caledonian Park. Generally closed to the public you can get into the clock tower a few times per year during Open House/Open Garden weekends.
Caledonian Road

Victoria & Albert Museum Victoria & Albert Museum
There's lots of offer at the Victoria & Albert Museum. A perfect place to visit on a rainy day so you can walk around looking at exhibitions and shooting some lovely architecture. Be sure to head to the nearby Natural History Museum while you're here.
South Kensington

Hyde Park Bandstand Hyde Park Bandstand
A great little bandstand that can be found in the beautiful Hyde Park. Great for long exposures if the clouds are in your favour.
Queensway, Marble Arch


© Michael Murphy 2018