London Landmarks – Iconic Instagram Spots in the UK Capital

London Landmarks – Iconic Locations in the Capital City

The British capital is full of iconic location.  Here are a few London landmarks you cannot miss;

  • Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
  • 10 Downing Street
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The Mall
  • London Eye (and view of the city)
  • Tower Bridge
  • Tower of London (Crown Jewels)
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Scotland Yard
  • The Shard (and view of the city)
  • Abbey Road (The Beatles famous album cover)
  • Day trips to Stonehenge (UNESCO world heritage site)

There are over 5000 hotels bookable online in London which means there are lots of good deals out there!

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

London Landmarks - Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Top of most peoples lists of things to see in London are the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.  You can take a tour of the Houses of Parliament, it’s recommended to book in advance and check available times.  I was more interested in photographing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben than going inside, there are so many different viewpoints to shoot from, if it’s been raining you can use a puddle to make some reflection photography of the buildings.

10 Downing Street

A short walk from the Houses of Parliament is 10 Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister of the UK.

Westminster Abbey

London Landmarks - Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a Gothic church and UNESCO world heritage site famous for many important events in British history.  It is the final resting place of 17 British monarchs.  There have been many royal coronations, weddings and funerals at Westminster Abbey.  For those interested in the British Royal family a visit to Westminster Abbey is a must.

It is free to go inside the abbey and an interesting tomb you’ll come across inside is the tomb of the unknown warrior.  This is the tomb of an unknown soldier killed in Europe during World War 1 but represents all unknown British soldiers killed during this war.  There is a similar tomb in Arc de Triomphe, Paris which also represents the unknown dead from World War 1.

The Mall

London Landmarks - The Mall, Buckingham Palace

The Queen of England lives in London, her residence is Buckingham Palace.  You may have seen on TV lot’s of people waving British flags whilst the Queen travels past.  Usually she is driving down the Mall (above) towards Buckingham Palace.  As you walk down the mall you’ll probably pass some of the Queens guards with the tall black hats and red coats.  The guards do not smile, just like in the famous Mr Bean sketch but feel free to have your photo taken with one.

You can check out the changing of the guard schedule and plan your visit to Buckingham Palace at the best time.  Personally I preferred Buckingham Palace at sunset when it was quieter (above).

London Landmarks – Buckingham Palace

London Landmarks - Buckingham Palace

London Eye

London Landmarks - The London Eye

Opposite the Houses of Parliament is the London Eye which is perfect for a birds eye view of the city.  The London Eye is very popular and quite expensive, I would recommend booking in advance if you have a strong desire to use this attraction.

Tower Bridge

London Landmarks - Tower Bridge

An iconic site of London is the Tower Bridge (above).  There’s a tour of Tower Bridge on which you can ascend the famous towers and walk on a glass floor over the road below.  There are so many angles from which you can photograph the bridge, if you photograph it from the other side you can get The Shard in the background.

London Landmarks – Tower of London

A short walk from Tower Bridge is the Tower of London where you can see the Crown Jewels.  Other things to do in the Tower of London are take photos of the Beefeaters, the guards and the fortress.  The Crown Jewels are a wanted item and have been attempted to be stolen by many famous characters from the Muppets to the Minions.

Piccadilly Circus

London Landmarks - Piccadilly Circus

Trafalgar Square

London Landmarks - Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is one of the most popular sites in London.  Most people take a photo with one of the famous lions of Trafalgar Square and you’ll probably have to get in line if you want your photo with a lion.  You are free to jump up and sit on the lion for your photo.

Scotland Yard

Scotland Yard is located close to Trafalgar Square.  You’ve probably seen Scotland Yard in a James Bond movie, it’s the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service.

London Landmarks – The Shard

Another option for a birds eye view of the city is the Shard.  The Shard is the tallest building in the UK.  You can book online your trip to the top of The Shard.  There is a Shangri La hotel in the Shard if you want bragging rights to having stayed in the tallest building in the UK.

Abbey Road

London Landmarks - Abbey Road

The most famous music group in the world, The Beatles are from Liverpool, England.  They made an album in 1969 called Abbey Road and on the front cover of the album they are crossing the street on this zebra crossing over Abbey Road.  To this day, fans from all over the world visit Abbey Road to recreate the album cover made almost 50 years ago.  I’m not sure what’s more entertaining, watching the tourists recreate the album cover or watching the car drivers getting frustrated at the road being blocked.

Day Trip to Stonehenge

Day trip to Stonehenge from London

Stonehenge is a 2 hour drive from London.  You can easily visit Stonehenge on a half day tour from London, you could even combine it with a Windsor Castle tour.  I chose to visit in the afternoon so I could catch the sunset (above) which was definitely worth it.  The tours leave from the Victoria coach station in central London.

Stonehenge is one of the seven wonders of the medieval world and a UNESCO world heritage site for this reason alone you should try make this trip.

How to get from London to Hanover, Germany by bus

How to get from London to Hanover by bus

From London I took a Eurolines bus from Victoria bus station.  The bus went all the way to Berlin but stopped in a few cities on the way in France, Belgium and of course, Germany.  The bus passed through the famous channel tunnel between England and France.  It was around 14 hours to Hanover and although the bus was not very comfortable it was significantly cheaper than taking the train.

A visit to the points of interest in London including, Buckingham Palace and The Mall, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge and Tower of London (Crown Jewels), Piccadilly Circus, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, London Eye (and view of the city), St Pauls Cathedral, Abbey Road (The Beatles famous album cover), 10 Downing Street, Hyde Park, The Shard (and view of the city), Day trips to Stonehenge (UNESCO world heritage site), Day trips to Windsor Castle before taking the bus to Hanover, Germany.

Hanover to Warsaw

2018-08-25T17:18:20+00:00April 16th, 2017|UK, Western Europe|27 Comments


  1. Michelle April 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Your photos are abSooooLutely gorgeous James. I love the one you took of the Houses of Parliament. Beautiful!!! I haven’t been to London in such a long time, it’s time I make a plan, me thinks. Thanks for the wonderful reminder of what I’m missing out on

  2. Lucy April 20, 2017 at 3:31 am - Reply

    London is my favourite city! You have given some fantastic tips for all types of traveller – thank you!

  3. Hannah April 20, 2017 at 6:17 am - Reply

    I love London, we always make special trips to visit the city! Thanks for sharing some great tips!

  4. Brian April 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I would love your post even more if you would pin all of your stops on the map!

  5. Courtney April 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    I would love to visit London someday! Your photos are beautiful and I love your descriptions and tips about each location along the way.

  6. jithin thomas k April 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Your description about London city was really nice.The travel tips are very helpful for those planning a short trip to this beautiful city. Very informative article.

  7. Kate Storm April 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Great ideas! I’m planning on visiting London for the first time this summer, I can’t wait.

  8. Firdaus Ysf April 21, 2017 at 3:55 am - Reply

    London is my favourite city! You have given some good tips for us.The setback about London is that it is expensive!But the scenery and the historical places are really amazing.

  9. Cat April 21, 2017 at 4:43 am - Reply

    So many great attractions in London! Personally, even though Stonehenge is a bit of drive, I would really love to see it in person!

  10. Veronica Cepeda April 21, 2017 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Your story and photos are amaizing. And the way you give tips for future travelers is without a doubt good. I wish one day I can visit London

  11. Torgeir Lindland April 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    London is such a great city With so much to see. You have certainly listed the most important and interesting sights here. Great article. But UK is still part of the EU, right? The Brexit process has started, but UK has no left yet.

    • James Smith April 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’m jumping the gun a little!

  12. Suzanne April 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    I have a soft spot for the UK because I lived there for four years as a student. London is also one of my favorite cities. I especially liked walking along the Thames and checking out the markets like Borough, Camden, Spitalfields and Notting Hill markets.

  13. I like that London has these beautiful tourist destinations that you can enjoy for free. You should have featured cheap eats in London too. It would be nice to know what you can eat on a budget while exploring these places.

    • James Smith April 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      I’d go for a meal deal at Tesco or Sainsbury’s express!

  14. Sandra Henriques Gajjar April 25, 2017 at 4:42 am - Reply

    I lived in London for almost 6 months but came back to Portugal (although I loved the parks, I couldn’t stand the winter with sunsets at 3 PM!). Walking by the river from the Millennial Bridge to the Tower Bridge is also a great way to get to know the city with lots of photo ops along the way. I’ve never been to the London Eye, though. I’m sure it’s an amazing spot to see the city, but I find it a bit overpriced. As for Stonehenge, I was expecting it to be overrated but I was pleasantly surprised (the trick is to go really early in the morning when the crowds are smaller).

  15. Abhinav Singh April 25, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I was just checking price tickets to London from New Delhi, India (My country). The ticket prices are tempting and I might just be there soon. I am saving your blog for my visit. Hanover is on my mind as well.

  16. Bhushavali April 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Ha ha! London it is!!! For shopping do include Camden as well! Btw, I see that the UNESCO bug has caught you too! Lolz.
    I went to Stonehenge by train – that was the first day trip out of London that I did when I was there.

  17. Marissa April 25, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    This is a great overview of London. I visited for a week a few years ago and got to most of these places – I think Stonehenge and Westminster Abbey were among my favorite things to do. Did you ride the London Eye while you were there?

    • James Smith April 26, 2017 at 12:37 am - Reply

      I did ride the London Eye on a previous trip, on a clear day the views are well worth the effort of organizing the ticket up there.

  18. Pierre April 26, 2017 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Yes bus definitely cheaper and less comfortable than train! If you can afford the train take it 🙂

  19. Jean April 26, 2017 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Oh I had no idea that there were so many hotels in London. It still surprised me! I love how affordable bus travel can be in Europe. Especially when you book slightly in advance.

  20. Rhiannon April 26, 2017 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Believe it or not I’ve never actually done the proper tourist thing in London! Aside from Buckingham Palace (only because I ran the Bupa 10k one year which starts & finishes at Green Park!) and the museum with the dinosaurs (Natural/National History Museum???) I’ve never really been to any of the main tourist attractions! Bit hypocritical really because I still recommend them all to international friends, and go on and on about how much I dislike London. Maybe I should give it a proper go one day!

  21. Julie Cao May 11, 2017 at 3:25 am - Reply

    i missed Stonehenge last time and I do not know it is so close to London, and the sunset picture is really beautiful. Wish I could be back to visit!

  22. ispyprettyplaces May 17, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

    A great summary of places to see in London. I always love seeing how other people perceive my home town.

  23. Anthony Jury July 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Never been to London but would love to some day for the mazing attractions and English football. Nice write p mate and hopefully I can get there soon.

  24. Lisa October 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I totally agree that the London Eye is too expensive; but if you go at a good time, ie summer sunset, you can catch some great colours in the sky. I also think the tomb in the Abbey is interesting; there’s so much history to see. Still haven’t seen Stonehenge! Ah well, one day…!

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