London is the place to visit during the summer months when the weather is pleasant, with it being the best time to go sightseeing around the city. With its palaces, museums, arts galleries and numerous other attractions you will be spoilt for choice with places to see and explore.
Of late London city breaks have increased in popularity with people from different parts of the UK and even Europe, coming in on weekends to spend some quality time relaxing in the city. If you are new to the city you could opt for a guided tour of the place or even go in for guide books for the city, like the ultimate guide to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The city is well suited for those who are passionate about photography with loads of historical places and beautiful sights to photograph. Some of the places where you could hone your skills as a photographer are:
You could begin by photographing things that captivate your interest. You could photograph some of the city’s iconic landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the statue of Eros at Piccadilly even the ubiquitous red double-decker buses. Perhaps you want to click images that are unique and though provoking by moving around the city and observing the happenings in your surroundings. London is a multicultural and multiethnic city quite unlike others with neighbourhoods and streets which evoke very different moods. From its green suburbs to large estates, cobbled alleyways to skyscrapers there is so much to photograph. How do you make your choice? This could be done by choosing a specific theme like nature, architecture, people and so on. Keep an eye out for something that piques your interest. It could be the branches of trees in its parks like Hyde or Richmond Park, or you could photograph shoppers at Oxford Street or well-heeled Sloane Street. You might get lucky and be able to snap some wildlife pics at any of its famous parks.
Move around the Southbank area and you will come across throngs of people in dapper suits during the weekdays, at lunchtime. Then there are tourist hotspots which are great for people watching and taking photographs while they go about their business. Places like Oxford Circus or the bustling markets on a Saturday like Borough Market are good locations but ensure that you do not offend them or invade their personal space as they may not take to it too kindly. There are the areas of Camden and Shoreditch, which one considered not too attractive are now anything but, and you can see some great street art and funky shop fronts. If you want a majestic view of the city get aboard the London eye or the top of Primrose Hill, Forest Hill or the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
London being a city that is steeped in history, there is no scarcity of Victorian, gothic, neo-gothic and even brutalist constructions of the 1960s , to name just a few. There are modern buildings like the Barbican and the Trellick Tower that have opinions divided, with Victorian gothic masterpiece St. Pancras station being unanimously acclaimed. Then there the very modern edifices that give London its futuristic appearance like the Shard and the Gherkin two of the tallest buildings, which are also known to be eco-friendly through the installation of solar panels that save energy. You could visit Notting Hill well known for its pretty, pastel-coloured stuccoed houses or the more contemporary canal-side apartments with maritime inspired designs at King’s Cross.
Besides the exteriors there are fabulous interiors that are a photographer’s delight. The only caveat is to check if you require prior permission from the local authorities or caretakers before you begin your photo shoot. This is especially the case in museums and art galleries where prior permission is a must for photography within the interiors. In the month of every September there is the Open House Weekend when normally buildings that are not accessible to the general public open their doors, but again you need to check if photography is permitted.
Some of the most colourful events that could be of interest are….
Chinese New Year: This begins at end of Jan and lasts up to mid February. You will see a colourful procession of lions and dragons parade between Trafalgar Square and Soho. There is The Chap Olympics a unique tweed-wearing, pipe-smoking event when participants take part in unique events like the cucumber sandwich discus among other non-sporting activities in the summer at Bedford Square Gardens.
For actual sporting events there is the London Marathon, Wimbledon, the Oxford Boat Race and plenty more of sporting events all through the year. Then of course there is the famous Notting Hill Carnival which is billed as Europe’s largest street party with a colourful celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture with food, dancing and music. On November the 5th every year there is Guy Fawkes Day with Bonfires and effigies of the infamous Guy Fawkes being burnt, amidst the dazzle of fireworks. It is held at various locations all over London. Then of course there is Christmas when all through the month there are festive and artistically decorated Christmas markets including Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
Photography tours and classes: For those who are budding or amateur photographers you could choose to opt for a professional photography tour. Most of them have themes, which makes it easy to take a pick and you could select a theme that interests your artistic tastes. It could be on anything that catches your fancy. Join a photography class to brush up your knowledge that will help polish your skills and learn the finer details of the art of photography.
If you want to stay at London then M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City is a good option.