London Instagram Accounts To Inspire Your Own Photo Walk

I want to share with you my favourite London Instagram accounts. These are feeds I've followed for years, but they continue to inspire me every single day.

By scrolling through their images, these London photographers give me new ideas about where to visit, ways to edit, and thoughts about composition. Mostly, they provides tons of motivation for things I want to experience and capture on Instagram.

These are all huge accounts - the "smallest feed" (not small at all!) is over 15,000 followers. So I'll be back again soon to share my favourite accounts under 4,000.

Two of these (@prettylittlelondon and @prettycitylondon) are primarily aggregate feeds. Which means if you tag them in your own London posts, you might be featured.

I hope you love them as much as I do! And even though these are well know, I hope you might find at least one or two new Instagrammers to follow.

@prettylittlelondon

Horsies! 😍#mewsings

A post shared by Michelle Catherine (@crazycatladyldn) on

You are powerless to resist this house. We all are.

A post shared by Jessica Bride | London (@belleannee) on

I hope you enjoyed these!

I'll be back soon to share some smaller accounts with you! As well as some interviews with my favourite London Instagrammers. Bye for now!


A Walk Through Pretty, Pastel Notting Hill

Is there anywhere in London with more Instagram landmarks than delightful, idyllic Notting Hill?

Strolling through Notting Hill, you enter a dreamy, whimsical paradise with vintage shop fronts and painted terraced row houses. The neighbourhood shimmers in pastel tones of lilac, blush, mint, and pale blue.

I've been coming here for three years and finally feel I've worked out a route for capturing the maximum number of Instagram-famous sites in a single walk.

This week, I led a group from the American Women's Club of London on this photo walk. I loved the enthusiasm these ladies had for taking the cutest portraits. So I will also share some images which were kindly sent to me after the walk - they are lovely!

As always, I'm going to explain the walk in detail, but at the bottom of this post is a button you can use to see this route more clearly on a map.


Whenever I come to Notting Hill, I like to start at the tube exit on Notting Hill Gate. There are actually about four exits, so begin at the one nearest to Waterstones bookshop.

A charming flower shop is around the corner, off Kensington Church Street. It’s called John & Jesse and it's a perfect place to pick up some flowers for your walk. Portraits just look nicer with flowers!

So, if you're on Notting Hill Gate - the side of the street with Waterstones - I like to begin photographing in the residential area behind this busy, buzzing thoroughfare.

This section of subdued but photogenic streets doesn’t seem to have a distinct name. It's not exactly Notting Hill, but it's not fully Kensington either!

What you're aiming for is the tiny alleyway that's between Le Pain Quotidien cafe and The Gate Cinema. (The intersection of Farmer Street and Uxbridge Street.)

The area is comprised of about six parallel streets. It's a quiet, serene pastel wonderland!

I love it back here because it's a much less busy version of similarly styled cottages on Portobello Road. But most people don't know about these, so you're more likely to have the place to yourself.

There are three Insta-famous houses that you may not have realised are hiding in this little enclave:

If you wander in this area, you will definitely find these three landmarks with little trouble. But this entire area is really charming. And during my tour with the American Women's Club, we took some beautiful images here which I really want to share with you!

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 Photo courtesy of an AWC member.

Photo courtesy of an AWC member.

 Photo courtesy of an AWC member.

Photo courtesy of an AWC member.

 Photo courtesey of an AWC member, as are the two below.

Photo courtesey of an AWC member, as are the two below.

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After you've explored this area (and I could easily spend an hour here!), return to Notting Hill Gate (the main road). Cross the street and find Pembridge Road.


This area is dense with Instagram landmarks, so I'm going to number them for clarity. There are seven in total.

1. The Blue House on Pembridge Road

Look for this picturesque bright blue house on Pembridge Road, before Portobello Road. 

The shuttered house is made even cuter by the long-stemmed, red flowers cascading out of the upstairs windows - windows which I've noticed have been thrown open all summer long!

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2. Iconic Cottages on Portobello Road

Painted pastel terrace row houses stretch along one side of Portobello Road. I take photos here over and over because something is always changing.

As the seasons progress, different flowers - wisteria in Spring, roses and dahlias in Summer, snowberries in Autumn, pine wreaths in Winter - continuously alter the appearance of these houses on your camera roll. The light plays upon the vibrant paint colours in different ways, at different times of the day and the year. 

At this point, if you want to stop for a super photogenic snack consider Farm Girl Cafe, just across from these houses.

4. Portobello Road Shops: Alice's 

From here, continue down Portobello Road photographing the colourful antique vendors, cafes, bakeries and shops.

Look out for Denbigh Terrace which is a little turn-off to the right, with even more brightly coloured houses.

And be sure to capture Alice's - the famous red antique shop on the corner with tea sets and wooden chests artfully overflowing onto the street.

5. The black and white facade of Bisquiteers

As you walk down Portobello, make a left onto Blenheim Crescent and another left at the end of the block.

Photograph the iconic Biscuiteers shop and then consider popping in for a cup of tea and one of their gorgeous cookies. Of course the shop is charming and it's worth taking a look at the colourful, edible masterpieces! My favourite is the box of iced Notting Hill houses.

Find your way back to Portobello Road. If you're looking for somewhere to sit down, have a peak into Fabrique at 212 Portobello Road.

This Sweedish bakery has become an Instagram foodie destination, and their treats are delicious. The marble tables yield beautiful photos, before you tuck in. Their specialties are the cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamon buns!

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6. St. Lukes Mews

From here you should see the intersecting street called Westbourne Park Road. You need to make a right onto this street and carry on, walking slightly up hill (but there are more cute pastel houses!) until you get to the second left which is called All Saints Road. If you turn here, you should see the instantly recognisable St. Lukes Mews.

These cottages are absolutely charming and couldn't be more perfect for photos: cobbled streets, yellow flowers, and bicycles leaning up against painted pink and green exteriors.

This pink one - used in the film Love Actually - has become so ubiquitous on Instagram that the owner now asks for a charity donation through the letterbox in exchange for photos!

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I love this group image of everyone standing on St. Lukes Mews, from our American Women's Club walk:

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7. Rainbow Houses

As you come out of St. Lukes Mews, aim for Lancaster Road. If you look to your left (West), you will see the recognisable Notting Hill rainbow houses.

These are so iconic! You can experiment with different types of light by coming to this spot at different times of day.

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This is where I would end my Instagram walk. But, in reality, stopping here in this residential area is not a convenient place to be.

From this point, you can either walk up Portobello Road (retracing your steps) - but you've already seen these sights.

With the American Women's Club, we wound our way to Westbourne Grove which brings you into an area full of cute shops and cafes, including a Daylesford if you're looking for another cup of tea and a rest!

If you decide to take this route, I recommend making your way east (see the map!) and finding Ledbury Road and then Lonsdale Road for a few more Instagram images! (The famous Union Jack flag-wrapped front door is on Ledbury Road, and the hot pink "bank robber" house is at the west end of Lonsdale Road.)

If you follow this route you will ultimately emerge at the Wild At Heart flower stall - located on the mint-coloured, Art Deco roundabout. 

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If you do this entire route start to finish with no breaks, it takes about three hours or maybe a bit more. It's roughly three and a half miles.

If you stop at a couple of the places I mentioned to enjoy a cup of tea and maybe eat something,  I think you can make a whole day of this route. There are also some interesting shops you might wish to explore along Portobello Road.

I hope you've enjoyed this tour!

By the way, this is my favourite route for photographing lots of spots that are already really famous on Instagram. But of course there are lots of other ways of seeing Notting Hill!

I want to do another route in the Spring that will reveal the best spots for wisteria photos in this lovely part of London.

Please use the button below to generate a map! And see you again soon!


A Walk Through Shoreditch & Spitalfields

At the end of Summer I met a group of Makelight photography friends for an East London walk.

We began in Barber & Parlour on Redchurch Street which I recommend as the perfect starting point for exploring this area. 

The gritty exterior gives way to a light and bright all day cafe where potted plants abound, alongside wooden furniture, comfy leather sofas and velvet chairs - in other words, it's a dreamy Instagram destination all on it's own.

Come here to photograph the Mid-Century, industrial interior with plenty of natural light to brightly capture your food and drink. 

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There are four Instagram icons I recommend in the East End. The first three are dotted along Redchurch Street and a bit further north on Boundary Street. The last site is further south, near Spitalfields Market (and it's actually a collection of intersecting streets).

I'll describe the route as we go, but there is a map at the end for more precise directions.

1. The first destination is Labour & Wait on Redchurch Street, just down from Barbour & Parlour. It's known for its jade and bottle-green tiled exterior. Gorgeous on its own, and it makes the perfect background for a portrait.

After you've taken your photos, it's worth a peak inside at their simple but strikingly traditional home wares.

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From here travel west on Redchurch Street until it intersects with Boundary Street and you will reach the second destination.

2. Albion is a cafe and shop that's become Insta-famous for it's oversized awning and rustic wooden crates overflowing with colourful, just-pulled-from-the-patch vegetables. 

From Albion continue north on Boundary Street to iconic blue and white Paper & Cup.

3. Paper & Cup is a coffee shop for book lovers and the exterior seems to pop up at least once a day in my Instagram feed.

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From here, the goal is to find Brick Lane so you can begin your walk south to Spitalfields - where a collection of evocative Georgian row houses awaits!

You can make your way to Brick Lane by first walking east towards Arnolds Circus. If you find the street named Club Row, you can pop into the hidden garden of Rochelle Canteen for a quick coffee in their converted bike shed - it really is charming!

I also like to stop for a snack at Crosstown Donuts which you can find at 157 Brick Lane. They do quirky, pastel iced sourdough donuts in trendy flavour combinations which are a treat. (I like the apricot and lavender best!)

Brick Lane itself is a fascinating walk and you will definitely get images with a grittier vibe. Just keep walking in a straight line south. Look out for the storefront This Shop Rocks - also a cute capture.

Along the way, you also might want to get a few images at the charming indoor / outdoor florist called Grace & Thorn.

Follow Brick Lane past the Old Truman Brewary.

4. Find the cluster of streets named Fournier Street, Princelet Street and Wilkes Street.

This quiet residential area is lovely to take your time photographing. The architecture is always beautiful and has an especially haunted, wintry feel. It must be the heavy wooden shutters and smokey, muted colours: aubergine, hunter green, battleship grey and stormy navy blue. In December lots of the doors have old fashioned Christmas wreathes ... it really looks so perfect!

It's a historical wonderland, and I'm always astounded how this area - on the doorstep of London's financial centre - has remained so exquisetly preserved and intact.

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If you want to continue on your photo walk, you're perfectly positioned to explore Spitalfields Market which is full of interesting shops, cafes, and restaurants. 

You can also find a street called Artillery Lane. It's a moody, dark Dickensian-feeling narrow street that retains its atmosphere, even on a sunny day. The area has become dotted with some trendy shops and higher end places for food like a little Ottolenghi. It also brings you nearer to Liverpool Street Station if you're getting the tube.

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You can wind your away around to the Denis Severs's House at 18 Folgate Street. The exterior has recently become another popular Instagram scene - especially when it's festooned with boughs of holly at Christmas! 

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If you take this walk, I'd love to know your thoughts and see some of your photos on Instagram. You can tag your posts #wanderforawhile so I can see your images.

If you have other favourites in the East End, I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below.

Please use the button to generate a map of the above route for your London Instagram adventure in Shoreditch and Spitalfields!