119 million photos on Instagram feature on the hashtag London, compared to 101 million for Paris and 83.4 for New York. (At the time of writing). Notting Hill is arguably the biggest of London Instagram locations. Leafy crescents filled with pastel houses and pink blossoming flowers. The W1 postcode balances luxurious beauty with cool, street vibes. Though London to me has better backdrops.
The Notting Hill Hype
Coloured cottages surrounded in heaps of vast space to capture images without bustling crowds. While Instagram users love bringing outfits to the doorsteps of Notting Hill, the local neighbours feel frustrated at the outpouring of influencers freely using their houses as photo opportunities. The Evening Standard reports on angry residents leaving “Grumpy notices”, complaining about the level of noise each weekend from photographers directing shoots and Instagrammers freely posing up-close to properties.
I’m confident some residents will realise the lucrative possibilities and begin charging for photoshoots on actual doorsteps. Instagram fashion centres around tourist clichés. People feeling inspired by the London Instagram locations of well-known bloggers, hoping to create something similar. I imagine if I visited New York, I’d try to find at least one Carrie Bradshaw location, in addition to recreating Monroe’s famous balcony shot and Hepburn waltzing down Fifth Avenue.
While Notting Hill has its famous Portobello Market (loved since Hugh Grant’s commentary in the iconic location’s rom-com), and pretty cafes to sip coffee, the place lacks the excitement and sightseeing found in other boroughs. My favourite remains Covent Garden. Cobbled streets, artisan cafes and quirky shops. From astrology to the 007 store and tea shop galore, independent and unique spots serenade the area.
London Instagram Locations – Covent Garden
Next door to Soho, Covent Garden is equally besides Holborn where I recently visited. To me this is a photographer’s dream; fewer people and yet grand city buildings. Me and my “Instagram Husband” ate lunch at The Poetry Society. Here I’m planning to recite my own poems. Downstairs hosts a performing centre and the upstairs is an artsy café. I naturally sat down and began discussing Mozart, art and cultural topics. Depending on where you sit, good lighting and coffee snaps against wood table backdrops happen seamlessly.
The Piazza is a perfect backdrop and is Henrietta Street in Covent Garden. Beautiful window displays, majestic entryways and neutral walls to coincide with minimalist dressing. Outside The Piazza – a hub for makeup addicts, sits a number of outdoor seating areas. To me it’s London’s closest Parisienne scenery. I recommend for inexpensive, fancy drinks. I spent £5 on the most delicious mocktail.
When the sun begins to set during summer, sit at one of these cafes with a cocktail and shoot the chicest photographs. Just be aware the cafes get seriously busy on sunshine days. What I love most about Covent Garden for London Instagram locations, besides the proximity to various attractions – the West End district secretly lines many peaceful roads. Near the stunning Royal Opera House, I did a shoot where only a handful of people walked by. This at peak 5pm – after work drinks time.
Noteworthy London Instagram Locations
The British Museum regularly features as an Instagrammable spot. The opening pans out to a white, lavish foyer complete with heavenly looking white steps. The space is a fixture for natural light and with so much room, there’s occasion to pose and not face photobombing. However, I did notice security don’t like digital cameras and though the museum is glorious throughout, lighting is not camera pretty.
My advice is to take pictures outside the museum in the garden area. The adjacent streets provide ideal images. Museum Street offers unusual cafes and souvenir shops. One café I love is The Camera Museum. A second-hand camera shop serving food and the coolest window display – Old Hollywood film cameras. The Atlantis Bookshop on the same road is super pretty for book addicts. It boasts a vintage vibe with flower displays on long rows of book shelfs and interesting knickknacks.
Last month, me and my sister travelled to Shoreditch to explore Old Spitalfields Market. Exciting, interesting and overall pretty. If you love handmade jewellery and edgy fashion, the market is a must. Walk in to InSpitafields and fall head over heels for their stationary, décor and overall unique pieces. After taking photos of home inspiration, step outside and buy authentic Italian coffee and then say cheese at the Instagram photo set-ups. A flowery phone booth and a wall of flowers. Click here to see the photos I took.