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London, London, London. What a wonderful place. There are millions of photographs taken of the city year upon year, from traveler to traveler, street to street – but what are the most famous streets in London? Which ones most often get to be the backdrop of those millions of tourist photographs?
While you can’t actually get onto Downing Street itself, you can take picture of it through the guarded gates on Whitehall. It’s rare that you’ll catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister picking up his newspaper from the doorstep, but getting a snap in front of Number 10 is still as popular as it ever has been.
The colour of this paved avenue almost gives the effect that you’re walking down a red carpet to the home of the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace. Often lined with Union Jacks, it connects the 775-room palace with Trafalgar Square, so a picture at any point on this street is a picture worth taking.
London’s busiest shopping street stretches for one and a half miles from Marble Arch all the way to St Giles’ Circus, intersecting with Regent Street and Charing Cross Road. If you can find a convenient place to stop for a second without holding up the shopaholics, then you’ll have a snapshot to remember.
If you get a photo on Oxford Street, you have to get one on Regent Street, too. It is the home to Hamley’s, the oldest and biggest toy store in Europe. The curving architecture of Regent Street is more than aesthetically pleasing, so it will be difficult not to take a picture here.
This neon-flashing, full on frills central hub is a popular meeting place for many London nights on the town. The huge electric billboards overhead occasionally feature adverts that are specifically designed to provide the backdrop to visitors’ photographs – a bit like the ‘holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa’ effect.
In the 1960s, Carnaby Street was the coolest street in capital, the Mecca to the Mods. They, along with the hippies, converged to the boutique and quirky shops that still stretch along the street that is widely accredited with defining the fashion of the swinging 60s.
Tailors on Savile Row have been cutting suits for the likes of Winston Churchill and Napoleon for almost 300 years. It is world famous for the quality of its bespoke tailoring and, while you might need to win the lottery before you can buy a suit here, you can take a picture, keep it and dream on.
The Beatles (who actually played their last live gig on a Savile Row rooftop) immortalised Abbey Road with their final studio album by the same name. The front cover has probably become the most replicated photograph in London, but it’s not one you can do by yourself – if you’re heading to Abbey Road, take three or four friends with you and, like The Beatles did, suit up in Savile Row beforehand.
Old Compton Street
London’s gay community have made Old Compton Street their own. Whether you’re gay, straight or bi, this is undoubtedly one of the most characteristic and charismatic streets in London, so, if you’re stopping for a drink or just passing through on your way to Soho, it’s worth getting a picture here.
The famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes held residence at 221B Baker Street (an address that actually did not exist at the time of writing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 19th century classic). Over one hundred years later, the number was assigned to a building on the street and a Sherlock Holmes museum was officially opened. Thus, it has become a popular attraction for picture-taking fans of the cunning detective.
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