People sitting on a bench looking at a city view
Lens-Artists,  London,  Street photography,  Travel galleries

Gallery: welcome to my wonderful world

I love to travel and see other lands; I love to spend time in the country, time by the sea, time among mountains or deserts. But I am a city girl.

I was born in London and my earliest walks were in and around Primrose Hill and Regents Park in the north of the city. I grew up in its suburbs and have lived all my life here apart from three years away at university. This is where I belong, and if ever I leave London it will probably be to live in another city.

I have often amused myself with thinking how different a place London is to different people.

James Boswell

Boswell was right – there are as many Londons as you want there to be, and one for every mood.

In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.

Paddington Bear

And Paddington Bear, fictional though he may be, has also hit the nail on the head.

The constraints of living during a pandemic have taught all of us to appreciate what is on our doorstep. They have also reminded me of how much I love the wonderful, varied, dynamic world that lies just beyond my suburb. Under strict lockdown it was out of reach, and I missed it. As soon as I could I was back in the city, enjoying its buzz, its art, its river, its diversity, its big sights and little details.

Amy’s choice of Lens Artists Challenge theme this week is the perfect excuse to share some images of my wonderful London world. There may even be a few trees of green and, if not red roses, some flowers too among them!

Wide river with modern office buildings

The view from Tower Bridge

Lake with bare trees and buildings beyond

Winter view of Whitehall from St James’ Park

Large white buildings with lake and trees in front

The same view in summer

Dry grass, green trees and blue sky

Hampstead Heath in summer

Pond with houses beyond

One of the ponds on Hampstead Heath

Mauve flowers

Autumn crocuses in St James’ Park

Red flowers in front of a blue painted door

Blue front door and red geraniums in a Gloucester Road garden

Sculpture with white elephant and group of people

The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens – this sculpture group represents Africa

Terrace of houses painted in bright colours

Colourful terraced houses in Notting Hill

Canal with green trees and bright narrowboats

A narrowboat festival at Little Venice

Cityscape with older buildings in front, modern office blocks beyond

The view of Docklands from Greenwich Park

Square castle by a river

The Tower of London in winter

Wooden sculpture

On the south bank of the Thames

Statue of a man in a bowler hat

Statue of Charlie Chaplin in Leicester Square

Statue of a lion's face

One of the lions in Trafalgar Square

Lady and man walking past large poster

At a festival in Regent Street

Man looking at a photo of a green bird

At a photo exhibition in Kensington

Young people some with punk hairstyles

In Camden – visitors to the market

I have tried in these few photos to give you a sense of much that I love about London, but it would take a hundred posts to cover everything!

To finish, here is the full version of the most quoted quote about my city:

Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson

The photos in this post were taken between 2014 and 2021

33 Comments

  • pattimoed

    What a wonderful collection, Sarah. I didn’t realize you come from London–one of my favorite cities. Your images brought back wonderful memories for me. Primrose Hill! Hampstead Heath! Little Venice! Notting Hill! I love them all.

  • Wind Kisses

    What a fantastic collection of London, Sarah. And with the whole gallery of culture you showed us, I admit to loving the geranium against the blue door. All your photos brought back memories of a wonderful trip we took there, and still didn’t even touch the surface. Thank you, Donna

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Hi Donna and thank you for your comment – I’m happy you enjoyed all these photos. The red geranium is a favourite of mine 🙂 I’m glad to have brought back good memories for you too – but you’re right, no small collection of images like this could ever really touch the surface. To reflect London’s diversity properly I would have to post hundreds, maybe thousands, of photos!!

      • Wind Kisses

        Yes. hundreds per day. lol. A place that grabbed my heart was Princess Dianas garden. It is so well done. Very special. have a good rest of your day.

  • rosalieann37

    I agree with Sam Johnson and I don’t think you will find another city to move to that will satisfy you. Bob and I were both born in a small city (Baltimore – and my mother who was from Philadelphia did not think it was a ‘real’ city) but neither of us are city people.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      You could be right Rosalie, although I am very fond of Newcastle and we do sometimes talk about moving there one day. And I have a fantasy about living in Paris for a year!!

  • thehungrytravellers.blog

    I have so often quoted (and plagiarised) that Samuel Johnson line, because it’s so true. From the very first time I saw London as a 5-year old, I’ve loved it, and still do. Regular trips to London is one of the very few things I miss about work since retirement, especially as leisure trips have also been so limited in the past 18 months or so – we have always previously had at least a monthly fix. I’m due up this week though for a few beers with former business associates and am as excited as a little kid! I also love reading when someone is proud of, and still loves, their own city, so this post really made me smile a lot. Phil.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Phil 🙂 I hope you’re able to resume more frequent visits, as I am myself. I’m meeting up with friends for a day out on Friday and am also excited!

  • Anna

    Even though it’s been nearly 20 years since my “working holiday” there I still often think of London and miss it terribly! I think I explored every inch of that city when I wasn’t slaving away in a Kensington hotel! I lived around the corner from primrose hill and spent many a summer evening there. It’s just glorious!

  • maristravels

    Absolutely stunning images, Sarah, and I can’t thank you enough for reminding me of some places I had not forgotten, but neglected. I used to love Primrose Hill and sitting looking across London, Highgate too. I lived on a narrowboat in Little Venice in the fifties (long before it was a famous place to live – then it was just cheap accommodation)!
    PS Have you thought of selling your photos to an agency? They are so good.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks so much Mari 😊 It must have been interesting living in Little Venice back then!

      I do sell a few images through an online digital agency, Dreamstime, but they make peanuts 🤔 I do it more for the little thrill of knowing someone liked my photo enough to pay for it rather than the money, for sure. I’ve never been organised enough to make a more concentrated attempt to make money from my photography!

  • Rose

    I’ve only been to London once, and it was such a wonderful place. ❤ You are so lucky to get to live there. This post had me looking over all my old photos. It might be a few years before we can go back, but it would be so fun to have you as a tour guide to London! I’m a country girl, who loves to ‘visit’ the exciting big Cities and then go home to the peace and quiet. 😊

  • Tina Schell

    Wonderful views of your beautiful city Sarah. Have been many times but as tourists we don’t get to see it as you do. Next time I’ll call you first!!

  • Amy

    I enjoy your beautiful London world through your lens. Thank you, Sarah for touring us of its buzz, art, river, diversity… We have visited London three times, and still want to go back. 🙂

  • lisaonthebeach

    Great photos, great quotes Sarah! Oh how I would love to explore your corner of the world! I also love to travel. Thank you for taking me on a wonderful tour of what is so special to you😊❤

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