London: A Photography Guide To A Winter Wonderland
Have you ever been sitting in your home, woollen socks on your feet, woollen socks on your hands – because you can’t find your gloves – and your body as close as possible to the radiator, thinking: I’m pretty cold, but I guess I could be colder.
No? Well, perhaps you should, because it could lead to a pretty special vacation destination.
According to a recent survey, 35% of Americans prefer to go on vacation during the winter, with a good portion choosing warm locations to fend off the frosty temperatures.
We would suggest, however, that in 2023, you should bypass a warm location like Dubai or Crete and choose a similarly cold location instead. Why? Because if you choose the right location, then you’re going to have some stunning photo opportunities.
Take London, for instance. Us Americans have always had a bit of an obsession with the Brits. Maybe it’s the accent, maybe it’s the royal family, or maybe it’s the fact that they eat a dessert called “spotted dick”. There’s just something so uniquely fascinating about a country so similar to ours and yet so different.
London is the perfect place to experience this British culture and replace your winter blues with a winter wonderland in the process. To give you an idea of what we mean, we’ve concocted the best places you can visit and photograph during a fantastically, spiffing British vacation.
The Unbeaten Track
The first thing you’ll notice when landing in London is that it offers everything to you on a platter. You could touch down, visit Big Ben, look around the Tower of London, take a ride on the London Eye, have a lot of fun, snap a dozen photographs, and then create a photo book in 2 clicks – all just in one day.
But we would ask you to refrain from doing that. Obviously, still make the photo book! But instead of rushing to all the big tourist spots, try to explore what’s underneath the surface.
Places like Seymour Place, Marylebone Lane, Berwick Street, and Kingly Court are all beautiful, secret London streets that can provide some wonderful photo opportunities, and they deserve your time and attention just as much as any tourist spot does. They’re a great way to get the feel of the real London – not just the parts of London you recognise from the movies!
We mentioned before that London is a winter wonderland, and this is true. But for anyone wanting a winter wonderland inside of the winter wonderland, then you have to visit Hyde Park.
Every year, this part of London transforms into a snowy paradise, with ice skating, rides, great food, and some brilliant entertainment on offer.
Oh, as well as this, if you’re finding the queue for the London Eye a little too nightmarish, Hyde Park even has a giant Ferris wheel, giving you some stunning views across the park and the instantly Instagrammable city of London itself. Take it all in. Snap a few snaps. You get the picture. Literally!
A Shopper’s Paradise
The American dream isn’t about finding opportunities or success through hard work. The American dream is wandering through a busy London street in the snow, with a selection of shopping carriers in both hands and a line of red London buses zooming past you. Oh, and maybe a handsome British guy holding your arm. Like Hugh Grant.
Ahem, no one? Just us? Fine. Either way, the first part of the dream is guaranteed. Oxford Street is one of the most popular shopping streets in the world, and for good reason. This is a 2 km street in the City of Westminster, complete with a variety of stores that sell anything from gorgeous winter coats to quintessentially British treats.
This is also the perfect place to take some photographs, as in the winter, the street is strung with gorgeous sparkling lights and decorations. Places like Market Hall West End are buzzing, and the 100 Club is a great place to snap some new bands. Wandering the street at night will get a little frosty, and you might feel your fingers going numb, but it’s more than worth it -- so long as your fingers aren't too numb to take the photographs, of course.
The Night Wanderer
Speaking of beautiful photographs to take at night, Tower Bridge is another must-visit. Yeah, we know, we told you to seek out the less touristy places in London, but we already broke that by suggesting Oxford Street, so this is fine.
Tower Bridge is the perfect place for a nighttime wander with friends, especially with the Christmas market stalls that are dotted along the river. Here, you can find roasting chestnuts, quirky cheeses and a load of Christmassy knick-knacks to take home with you.
Oh, and do we need to talk about photo opportunities? With the bridge lit in a gorgeous icy blue, and the tower of Big Ben twinkling just beyond it, any picture you take here would immediately become the best you’ve ever uploaded to our photo book maker. Until the next one, that is.
A Pint Of Boddingtons, Please
To finish off, we have to talk about one of the best things about British culture: the pubs. Throughout London, there are tons of gorgeous, traditional pubs, serving everything from fish and chips to steak and kidney pie – along with foamy beers like Boddingtons and London Pride.
This is where you can provide the finishing touches to your London portfolio. There’s just something so cosy and magical about British pubs that makes them impossible to replicate here in the US.
Sometimes you feel like you’re in a quirky hamlet in the Harry Potter universe, other times you feel like you’re in a classic Victorian novel. But you’re not. You’re just in London. And if you do decide to visit, you’ll soon discover that that’s magical enough.