London’s simply awash with delicious colour, diversity, exoticism, eclecticism, cultural resonance and historical curiosities. Reason, indeed, then to make sure that on a visit to the place you take in all its handsome architecture, chic interiors, inviting green spaces and social-media-targeting gastronomy – and then upload all the photos you take of that lot on your Instagram page. But, so packed a place is the UK capital, so much is there to see from Paddington to Kings Cross and from Victoria to Waterloo; where should you head for those optimum Instagram moments? Well, here’s our guide to the very spots for unforgettable photo memories…
God’s Own Junkyard
A treasure trove of glowing neon in an East London warehouse space, God’s Own Junkyard’s is a Walthamstow gallery for the late British artist Chris Bracey’s work, which ranged from the signage of London’s Soho to sets of Hollywood classics like ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Batman’ and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. A dizzying cornucopia of snap-happy moments.
A tropical nirvana hidden away in the centre of the concrete jungle that’s the Barbican on the cusp of The City, it’s actual the Smoke’s second largest conservatory (after Kew) as it comprises more than 2,000 plant and tree species, tropical fish and terrapins swimming about and even a cactus room in the back. Only open to the public on a select few Sundays and bank holidays (more’s the pity), it is free to enter, mind. Put up a few photos from here and it’ll look like you’ve instantly jumped on a plane from rainy old London to rainy old Amazon.
Shoreditch’s street art
Literally a canvas for the most talented daubers to have emerged and evolved out of the graffiti scene (i.e. street artists), the roads, buildings, alleyways and nooks and crannies of the ‘hipsterville’ that’s Shoreditch is the place to head for ebullient designs and shapes and vividly bold colours right in the open air as the world around goes about its hum-drum existence. Surely the most famous an iconic of the works here are the efforts of the notorious Banksy, not least the one on Rivington Street depicting a security guard and poodle with the legend: ‘This wall is a designated graffiti area’. Quite so.
Let’s face it, a bit of peace and quiet and tranquillity isn’t easily achieved in the centre of the UK capital, which is reason enough to head to the area known as Little Venice near the Paddington district. A pocket of very un-urban perfection where canals converge in genuinely luscious surroundings; it’s brimming with brightly coloured narrowboats, aesthetically resplendent canalside restaurants, cafés, bars and bistros and relaxed, pleasure-seeking tourists and revellers milling to and fro. Sure, it’s not quite Venice itself but, in its way, it’s arguably just as paradisal, not least if you’re staying nearby at the likes of the Park Grand London Hyde Park hotel in Queens Gardens London.