Living in London, it’s rare that you ever get to be a tourist in your own city so when I was invited to an Instagram Walk to check out the most hashtagged places around Central London, how could I refuse?
Charlotte from Best LDN Walks was our lovely tour guide for the evening armed with balloons, fun facts and spray paint (more on that later) to guide an army of snappy happy bloggers from Waterloo, ending up right in the middle of London at Charing Cross. The event was courtesy of Giff Gaff and Phil Hibberd from Photography Made Simple was also on hand to offer tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your camera phone.
So with a fully charged iPhone (which died halfway through the walk!), we set off…
The first stop was Waterloo Bridge where the view over the London Eye and Westminster was stunning all lit up. Fun fact number one was that this bridge is also known as the Ladies Bridge as it was built in WW2 by women.
Next up was a walk along the Southbank, which is now sparkling with Christmas lights and the smell of doughnuts and hot chocolate wafting through the air from the little Christmas market was hard to resist. I was pretty tempted, but then I got distracted by the shining lights coming from the pretty vintage carousel!
The next stop was the Leake Street Graffiti tunnel, which was a mystery to me before last Wednesday. It’s a tunnel that goes under the platforms and tracks of Waterloo station and it’s legal to graffiti here so every tiny space is covered in colourful designs and tags. This is where the spray paint came in! Everyone got a chance to add their own graffiti to the walls. Me being the rebel that I am (ahem), started by drawing a heart…
After filling our lungs with paint fumes, we headed back out and along Westminster bridge. Even though I’ve seen Big Ben a million times, I still can never quite believe how much smaller it is in real life! It is such a beautiful tower and probably one of my favourite sights in London – definitely made better by being lit up like that at night!
Walking along Whitehall, we spotted two British icons – Paddington Bear and a real Banksy – pretty apt don’t you think? ;-)
And lastly, Charlotte brought us to the plaque at Charing Cross, which is classed as the centre of London where all distances are measured from. She also told us the story of how Admiral Nelson was brought back to England after the Battle of Trafalgar in a cask of alcohol… he was literally pickled!
It was a fun night and good to actually appreciate some of the sights that you don’t always register when you’re rushing around trying to get somewhere. It was also a nice way to meet new people as well as learn some new, unexpected facts about London.
If you would like to see any more Instagram photos or posts, search #giffgaffsnaps on Twitter and Instagram.