Did you even go to London if you didn’t take a photo with a red phone box (or “phone booths” if you’re North American)? With heaps of them across the city of London alone, it’s super easy to get your must-do tourist shot with a red telephone box.
But Gaby, where do I go to get photos with the best phone boxes in London? Keep your giant Union Jack hat on (did you get my FRIENDs reference?), I’m here to tell you. Read on for 8 of the best phone boxes to take photos with in London.
Now if you aren’t going to be near any of these locations I want you to know that there are red phone scattered all across London. Much like a red bus, when you’re not looking for one you’ll find there’re everywhere. So rest assured you’ll be able to stumble across one easily. My guide just helps you to find ones in cute spots with landmarks in the background.
Don’t think phone boxes are only in London either. They can be found all over England, many of them in some of the cutest villages in the country. So you can either use this guide to find the ones that will look best in your photos and save you time searching or just keep your eyes peeled. I’m sure you could even Google “Red phone box near me” and find one that way too.
Things to take note of when taking photos with England’s red phone boxes
- Don’t touch anything inside, these phone booths aren’t cleaned and often stink of urine.
- The doors are remarkably heavy so watch out for your fingers.
- There aren’t many with working phones in so don’t expect to be able to pretend to make a call and refer back to my first point if there is one, phone boxes are not cleaned. That being said don’t add to the mess, dispose of your rubbish/trash correctly in the street bins/trash cans.
Ok then, let’s get to the good stuff. Here’s 8 of the most Instagrammable red phone boxes in London:
1. Parliament Square opposite Queen Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
On the corner of Parliament Square and Parliament St is where you’ll find the most amount of red phone boxes in London.
Unlike the phone booths on Broad Court near Covent Garden Market (refer to number 4 on this list), the 8 phone boxes along Parliament Square and Parliament Street are spaced far apart which actually makes getting a photo in this busy location way easier because there’s more to go around.
The most popular red phone box here is the one on the edge of Parliament Square, right before you turn the corner for Parliament St. This one has a view of Elizabeth Tower, frequently mistaken for Big Ben.
PFH fun fact: Big Ben is actually the name of the bell and is not the tower itself. Elizabeth Tower is the official clocktower name and is named after Queen Elizabeth II. You can learn more about that in my blog post, 10 iconic London landmarks you must see.
Hopefully you’re visiting after 2022 though as Elizabeth Tower will be covered by scaffolding for restoration until then. The five-year-long project started in 2017 but got postponed by the pandemic.
Closest tube station to the Parliament phone boxes
Westminster on Circle, District and Jubilee lines.
How to get to the Parliament phone boxes near Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
From Westminster station take a right down Bridge St, keeping Elizabeth Tower with Big Ben inside on your left. Cross the street and you’ll be on the corner of Parliament St and Square.
2. Victoria Embankment opposite the London Eye
The two red phone boxes on Victoria Embankment, along the River Thames, are my favourite telephone boxes in London to take photos with. Located opposite the London Eye ensures that your phone box pic is going to have one of the coolest backgrounds in the city.
Conveniently there’s two red phone booths here side-by-side which helps if someone else is there taking photos as you can take one side each and block the other one out. I’ve been here heaps of times for years and it’s always easy to take photos here. You just need a little patience for people walking in the background but you won’t have to wait long.
Closest tube station to the phone boxes on Victoria Embankment
Westminster on the Circle, District and Jubilee lines.
How to get to the phone boxes opposite the London Eye
From Westminster station, cross the A3211 at the traffic lights to get over the road and make a left onto Victoria Embankment then walk for one minute and you’ll be there.
3. Covent Garden Market
There are two red phone boxes in Covent Garden located on James St next to the Apple store. They are opposite Covent Garden market which gives you yet another iconic London backdrop.
The best time of year to visit the Covent Garden phone boxes is Christmas when there’s always a big festive display. If you’re there for the holidays, go around the right hand side of Covent Garden Market to find their big Christmas tree. The 60ft tall tree is lit by 30,000 lights and is real! You can find out more about the best holiday light displays in London in my blog post Best Christmas light displays in London – a walking tour.
Covent Garden gets very busy so I advise arriving as early in the morning as you can stomach to avoid crowds and street performers messing up your vibe or people staring.
Closest tube station to the phone boxes opposite Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line.
How to get to the Covent Garden phone boxes.
From Covent Garden station, take a right down James St and walk straight towards Covent Garden Market. You’ll find the red phone booths at the end of the street on the right, next to Apple.
4. Broad Court near Covent Garden Market
When you’ve finished taking photos with the red phone boxes in front of Covent Garden Market, head over to Broad Court where you’ll find a whole bunch of them lined up, 5 to be exact!
The red phone boxes on Broad Court are the only ones on this list where you’ll find more than two next to each other.
Closest tube station to the row of phone boxes near Covent Garden
Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line.
How to get to the row of phone boxes on Broad Court
From Covent Garden station, take a right down James St and before you get to the end take the left down Floral Street. Walk to the end of Floral Street and cross the road when you see the ballerina statue. Walk past the statue and you’ll be at the row of five red phone boxes/booths.
5. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Hiding within Festival Gardens is the famous red telephone box with the specular backdrop of St. Paul’s cathedral, the second largest church building in England.
You can learn more about St. Paul’s Cathedral, like which iconic Royals got married there, in my blog post, 6 royal landmarks in London to visit.
Closest tube station to the phone box next to St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s on the Central line.
How to get to the St. Paul’s Cathedral phone box in Festival Gardens
From St. Paul’s station take Panyer Alley into St. Paul’s Churchyard. With St. Paul’s cathedral in front of you, walk around the left of it and keep going until the cathedral is behind you and you reach a type of crossroads in the paths through Festival Gardens. Make a left here and walk a few steps where you’ll find the red phone box on your left.
6. New Bond Street opposite Cartier
The red phone box on New Bond Street is located opposite Cartier and is particular popular during the Holidays when Cartier turns their store front into a giant Christmas gift, wrapped under a glittering red bow. Expect it to be busy at all times at this location, it’s a very popular one for fashion bloggers and influencers.
Be prepared for a little audience from Ralph’s Coffee where the terrace sits opposite the phone box.
Closest tube station to the red phone box on New Bond Street
Piccadilly on the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines.
How to get to the phone box opposite Cartier on New Bond Street
From Piccadilly station take the Regent Street exit and walk on the left around the curve of the street. Just as the road starts to straighten up, take a left onto Vigo Street and continue to walk down it even as it turns into Burlington Gardens. The end of the road is where you’ll enter onto New Bond Street at which point you’ll probably see Cartier opposite and just off to the right. Turn right and you’ll find the red telephone box on the pavement between Ralph Lauren and Cartier.
7. South Molton Street
The phone box on South Molton is probably the most central telephone box on this list and ideal if you’re shopping or dining in or around Mayfair or Soho. This red phone box stands out on its own at the far end of South Molton St from Bond St station and has a stretch of boutique shops.
Closest tube station to the phone box on South Molton Street
Bond Street on the Central and Jubilee lines.
How to get to the South Molton Street phone box
South Molton St is just off Bond Street Station in Mayfair. Walk to the end of the street and you’ll find the phone box just before Brook St.
8. St Katharine Docks Marina
St Katharine Docks Marina can be found nestled behind the Thames next to the Tower of London.
Hidden within St Katharine Docks Marina is a red phone box where you can utilise the unique backdrop of adorable sail boats and the fancy pants yachts that are moored there. Sure it’s not the most obvious “I’m in London” phone booth but it’s super cute in summer and makes for a unique red phone box photo.
Closest tube station to St Katharine Docks Marina phone box
Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines.
How to get to the phone box in St Katharine Docks
From Tower Hill station take the underpass that’s opposite the exit of the station to the gardens at the Tower of London. Take the path around Tower of London, keeping it on your right. Keep going straight, through the underpass then come up on the other side to street level. Make a left onto St Katharine’s Way, so that you face Tower Bridge. Make the first left off St Katharine’s Way where you’ll find the marina. Keep straight, walking along the docks then make a right at the end. Just before you reach a bunch of restaurants (including Emilia’s Handcrafted Pasta, which is amazing by the way) is the red phone box on the right.
Have you found any red phone boxes (or booths if you’re from across the pond) in London that you think should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below so I can add them and credit you!
Do more on & for the planet, Gabriella