Victoria Tower

London’s Victoria Tower – better known as Big Ben

London is renowned for its eclectic mix of people, places and, admittedly, its weather.

We asked Fotolia’s UK  Manager to give us her tips for locals, tourists, and travellers looking to enjoy London, and where to see the city from a photographer’s perspective.

Fotolia: Where, in your opinion, are the most iconic locations in London?

UK: The Shard, London’s newest skyscraper; the view from Hungerford Bridge, connecting Waterloo and Embankment, giving amazing views of Westminster in the west, which of course includes Big Ben; and the City to the east, where the view of the Gherkin and London’s expanding city skyline is most evident.

Tower of London

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is always a spectacle, particularly at night when it’s lit up next to Tower Bridge – two of London’s most notorious landmarks side by side, juxtaposed against the City’s new architectural designs in the background and the Shard to the west. It’s simply breathtaking and perfectly characterizes London’s rich history.

Fo: Where in London would you recommend going for creative inspiration?

UK: There are so many places, ranging from the extensive range of free museums to whole areas where councils and communities have allowed and promoted street art.

The Tate Modern is home to an amazing selection of contemporary art from 1900 to the present day, and the National Gallery is home to over 2,000 paintings from the mid-13th to the 19th century, including some classic works by Titian, Stubbs, Botticelli, Degas and Rembrandt.

Tower Bridge, London

London’s iconic Tower Bridge

The area around Shoreditch High Street offers a very different vibe from the City. Renowned for being the hub of London’s creative scene, this is exemplified in the amount of graffiti covering buildings. In some respects it’s London’s most famous free outdoor art gallery!

Fo: Where would you recommend for anyone looking to take aerial photos of London?

UK: The great thing about so many of London’s tallest buildings is they have a restaurant and/or bar so you can combine a spectacular view with a cocktail or meal.

Duck and Waffle is on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower; an unprepossessing building in itself, it means that you won’t miss any of the stunning buildings which surround it. A panorama of London surrounds the restaurant and the staff are happy to snap photos of you against this wonderful backdrop.

Portobello Road houses

Portobello Road, home of a vibrant market

The highest view in London is not for the faint-hearted. The viewing platform on floors 68, 69, and 72 of The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, gives aspectacular unforgettable view and is more than twice as high as any other building in London. The previous record-holder, Canary Wharf Tower, looks positively tiny in comparison.

Fo: Can you recommend some hidden gems in London for someone looking to go off the tourist track?

UK: London’s many parks are a treat: there’s such a variety throughout the city in all different sizes. Richmond Park makes any Londoner feel as if they’re in the countryside, and the deer take priority over the people. Holland Park is far more central yet the tranquillity of it, in particular the Japanese water garden, makes one feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle.

Buildings such as the Natural History Museum, Buckingham Palace, and the O2 arena really showcase London’s historical achievements and its ability to stay relevant throughout the years.

Fo: There you have it – next time you’re in London there’s no excuse for not capturing some amazing images!

Fancy a trip to the home of Queen Elizabeth II? Want to try a Full English Breakfast? Or visit more pubs than you could ever dream of? The London images in this crafted Lightbox are bound to tempt you…