UK’s top most photogenic streets

While images of far-flung landscapes and tropical sunset spots may stir the soul, the same can be said of unique photography that captures the streets that surround us.

London — Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets
Boasting cutting-edge street art, world famous curry houses, and countless galleries and bars, 21st-century Brick Lane in London presents photographers with thrilling options at every turn.

Visit during the day to shoot the ever-changing street art, eclectic architecture and vintage stores while absorbing the hip(ster) and happening vibe.

Alternatively, arm yourself with our tips on night photography and head here in the evening to capture this distinct district in all its neon glory. Afterwards, you could reward yourself with a legendary curry.

If you fancy sampling more local food, read up on alternative eating in Hackney, another East London area with bags of character and plenty of cool places to eat, drink and make merry.

London — Conduit Mews, Paddington
Though a mere hop, skip and jump from Paddington Station, Conduit Mews presents a rainbow of terraced houses that look like something from the set of a children’s TV show. This is thanks to the candy-coloured homes lining its stretch of quaint cobbles.

Though these days buying a pad here will set you back a packet, such mews used to be coach-houses and stables for the seriously wealthy.

If you’re not one of the super-rich who could afford to live here, read up on fab free things to do in London. You can thank us later.

London — Godwin’s Court, Covent Garden, one of the UK’s top 20 most photogenic streets
If it’s brooding Dickensian ambience you’re after, it doesn’t get better than Godwin’s Court. This row of near-perfectly preserved Georgian houses occupies a site that was first mentioned in 1690.

Stepping onto this street from the pandemonium of Covent Garden (mime artists, magicians and shopping tourists) feels like you’ve slipped back in time. It’s obvious why this is one of the UK’s top 20 most photogenic streets.

Though you’ll most likely have this atmospheric alley to yourself, it’s best to visit early — some Harry Potter tour guides have been known to take groups here claiming it was the inspiration for Diagon Alley. More on that later.

Northern England — Main Street, Haworth
Clinging to a steep hill with the brooding Pennines rising behind, West Yorkshire’s Haworth village may be remote, but it’s firmly on the map for its elite literary legacy. Notably, the Brontë sisters lived and worked here. It also has an abundance of photogenic allure.

You’ll most likely want to capture Haworth’s Main Street from both aspects. Stand at the top of the hill to take in its downward wind (and that dramatic moorland), then do the same from the bottom looking up.

A word of warning though — Haworth’s charms are no secret, so best come early.

Given the natural beauty of the region, photographers would to well to consider spending longer here. If you’re into unique experiences, Yorkshire isn’t short of unusual things to do, with plenty of practical info in The Rough Guide to Yorkshire.

Northern England — Eastgate Street, Chester
Founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st-century, Chester isn’t short of photo-worthy sites, with Eastgate Street and its celebrated Victorian turret clock sitting pretty (and we mean pretty) in the centre of town.

It’s immediately clear why it’s a listed landmark, and reputedly Britain’s most photographed clock after Big Ben. Built above a Georgian arch, it boasts a rich red-and-gold surround and lace-like ironwork that invites zooming-in for close-ups.

Eastgate Street is also home to the architecturally noteworthy Chester Rows. Dating from medieval times, these handsome half-timbered galleries are unique to Chester, making them another must-shoot.

Misty evening on a quiet cobbled street, steep hill lincoln

Northern England — The Shambles, York
One of Europe’s finest-preserved medieval shopping streets, The Shambles in York is a delight to amble, with your phone to hand to capture its old-world atmosphere.

The intriguing name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word “shammel”, which describes the shelves that used jut from the street’s open shop fronts.

Though no original features remain, restoration has been done with sensitive, historic accuracy. Supposedly JK Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley, the entire meandering thoroughfare is ripe for getting creative with angles and light.

Given that York made it into our best city breaks in the UK, it’s well worth spending at least a few days here, with a copy of Rough Guide Staycations York on hand to enhance your trip.

The Midlands — Steep Hill, Lincoln
If you’re looking to capture quintessential British quaintness, Lincoln’s Steep Hill — the fourth steepest in England, no less — is the perfect place to start, preferably from the bottom.

Work your way up the winding cobbled route to shoot a seemingly endless stream of elegantly painted shops and beautiful brick and stone buildings of historic significance — the street’s architecture spans centuries.

And don’t miss the chance to focus in on half-timbered Harlequin building. Here an 18th-century inn has been transformed into a beautiful 21st-century bookshop, and a 12th-century Norman House is now a tearoom.

The Midlands — Main Road, Hathersage
Located at the eastern end of Hope Valley, the pretty Derbyshire village of Hathersage has long been loved by hikers and literary types.

Charlotte Brontë has links to it — it appears in Jane Eyre as the village of Morton — while Robin Hood’s right-hand man, Little John, is buried in St Michael and All Saints Church.

Hathersage’s Main Street is a bustling hub with stacks of charisma. Its stunning grey-stone buildings provide a fine focus for town-based shots backed by a romantic rural landscape.

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