Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from social media, and Instagram is arguably the most beguiling of all – drawing you in with its inspirational images, enviable fashion shots and swoon-worthy interiors.
In fact, there’s now an entire industry that revolves around finding and photographing the most picture-perfect backdrops. A single iconic Instagram photo can turn a location into a buzzing hotspot, teaming with unicorn-latte-sipping, floral-wall preening, selfie-taking millennials.
So to help you achieve that perfect pic, here are eight of the most scenic Instagram locations you can visit in the UK.
SAINT AYMES, Central London
This impossibly pretty floral oasis can be found tucked into the urban sprawl of London, just north of Hyde Park.
Only open since February of this year, Saint Aymes has rapidly found its way into the hearts of the capital’s most stylish diners, who come to pose by their iconic flower wall, sip rainbow-coloured unicorn lattés and nibble on cakes sprinkled with actual 24-carat gold.
You can’t book tables, so just turn up to nab your very own seat with a view.
Saint Aymes, 59 Connaught St, London W2 2BB.
GOD’S OWN JUNKYARD, East London
Nothing quite prepares you for this electric heaven.
Once the workshop of the late neon designer, Chris Bracey, this iconic East End attraction is filled from floor-to-rafters with fluorescent signs salvaged from West End film sets, theatres and Soho strip clubs. Lights twinkle from every direction as the illuminations fight for your attention, creating the perfect blinged-out background for your selfies.
God’s Own Junkyard, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ.
PALM HOUSE – KEW GARDENS, Richmond
The world-famous Kew Gardens are filled with photo-worthy treasures, including the iconic Palm House, but the new jewel in its Instagram crown is the recently reopened Temperate House.
This stunning Victorian glasshouse first opened 155 years ago and underwent five years of painstaking restoration before being unveiled again this year. This iron and glass masterpiece is twice the size of the Palm House and the lush interior includes 10,000 plants, including some of the world’s rarest species.
Arrive early to beat the crowds and snatch a pic on the whimsical spiral staircase.
Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE
CASTLE ASHBY ORANGERY, Northampton
This fairytale orangery was built in 1872 on the sprawling grounds of Castle Ashby.
Once a place for English upper classes to pleasantly while away the hours, this stunning traditional Victorian greenhouse reveals a water lily-smothered hexagonal pond filled with fish, and surrounded by lush foliage, including eucalyptus, ficus, camellia and fuchsia plants.
With pretty photo ops at every turn, this is a picture-perfect location for an Instagram shoot.
Castle Ashby, Northampton, NN7 1LQ
KINGS CROSS LIGHT TUNNEL, Central London
This subway tunnel with a futuristic twist links St Pancras International and King’s Cross Underground stations to the fancy new public spaces, restaurants, offices and homes of the King’s Cross development.
Open to pedestrians between 7am and 8pm, the 90-metre-long underground tunnel includes a gently curving LED-lit wall currently displaying a colourful commissioned artwork called ‘Pipette’ – the perfect pastel backdrop for your IG shots.
Avoid peak travelling times to beat the commuter crowds.
Kings Cross Light Tunnel, King’s Cross Visitor Centre, 11 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB
BODNANT GARDEN’S LABURNUM ARCH, Wales
Every spring at this National Trust property the famous Laburnum Arch bursts into golden bloom (usually the end of May – updates can be found on the National Trust website).
The 55 metre-long flowering feature was planted in 1880, and is believed to be the longest and oldest in the UK
More than 140 years later, the arrival of the vibrant yellow Laburnum flowers is the most anticipated event of the whole year, with around 50,000 visitors flocking to the gardens. The blaze of colour is at its finest for just three weeks each year, so plan your visit carefully.
Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales
PEGGY PORSCHEN CAFÉ, Belgravia & Chelsea
This pastel-pink corner cake shop gives a whole new meaning to ‘pretty-as-a-picture’ . Opened in 2010, this London café quickly became just as famous for its floral-draped entrance and fairytale interior as its award-winning cookies and cakes.
This boutique bakery has proved so popular with the sweet-toothed fashionistas that a second shop has just opened in Chelsea. Arrive as the doors open at 8am, or be prepared to take your place in the queue for photos.
Peggy Porschen, 116 Ebury Street, Belgravia SW1W 9QQ; 219 King’s Road, Chelsea,SW3 5EJ
CASTLE COMBE, Wiltshire
It’s not hard to see why this medieval village was named the prettiest in England. With winding streets, vine-covered stone cottages and a gentle river running right through it, walking through Castle Combe is like stepping back in time.
With stunning photo opportunities everywhere you turn, you can explore the charming this village then stop for a classic pub lunch. At certain times of year you can even buy homemade cakes, sweets and bunches of flowers from outside the locals’ houses.
Castle Combe, Wiltshire, SN14 7NG
These are just a few of the most Instagrammable places in the UK – there are thousands more picture-perfect spots dotted all throughout Britain and Northern Ireland – let me know your favourites!
• have a read of my Top 10 Instagram Tips