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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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southbank skatepark, current events, Location Feature, london, south bank,

Saving Southbank Skatepark with @rich__

To view more photos and videos from Southbank skatepark, explore the Southbank Skate Park location page.

Strolling tourists along London’s Southbank next to the River Thames might at first miss the graffitied walls of the undercroft skatepark. The skatepark is home to skateboarders, graffiti artists and freestyle cyclists. Local Instagrammers also visit to shoot street art and take advantage of the park’s scenic vantage point of the London Eye and skyline.

"The main railing is a great place to stand and snap away," says Rich Pearce (@rich__) who often visits the location to shoot. “The far ends are where the jumps and wipeouts happen, but great shots can be taken from the inside as the light comes through in various places.”

Development plans have put the existing skatepark at risk, but Southbank Centre promises another skatepark just 120 meters (394 feet) away from the current site as part of the new plans. Still, protests to preserve the current skatepark, led by the group Long Live Southbank (@savesouthbank), have gained high-profile support from artist Damien Hirst, singer Rita Ora (@ritaora) and boxer Mike Tyson (@miketyson).

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local lens, london, Location Feature, User Feature, hampstead heath,

Local Lens: Exploring Hampstead Heath with @adamsheath

In this series, we let local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around their hometown. Explore more of Hampstead Heath on Pergola and Hill Garden, Kenwood House and Hampstead Heath location pages.

As the community of Instagrammers has grown and connected people across the globe, so too has our ability to share some of the personal, hidden and beautiful locations in our hometowns.

In the second of our two-part series of local guides to London, Instagrammer Adam Sheath (@adamsheath) takes us around one of the city’s most famous parks and its hidden secrets: “For lovers or nature and country walks, there’s no better place to escape the hustle and bustle of London life than Hampstead Heath. Not only does ‘The Heath’ offer great walking paths surrounded by woods, ponds and wildlife, you can stroll up to the top of Parliament Hill (otherwise known as Kite Hill) and be greeted with a skyline view of London – the Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Gherkin and can all be seen from here. Tip: visit in snowfall for a magical winter wonderland experience.

"Other treats in this great location include Kenwood House (a grand, white neo-classical building housing a free art gallery with famous works), the Pergola and Hill Garden, Hampstead’s best-kept secret and a firm favorite for fashion photographers wanting a perfect setting. Tip: Go in Summer when the Pergola is covered in fragrant flowers or on weekdays to have the place to yourself.”

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Location Feature, london, united kingdom, local lens, user feature,

Local Lens: Exploring London’s East End with @chaiwalla

Since launching, we’ve seen the Instagram community share their local places with the rest of the world through Instagram and meetups. In this series, we let local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot in their city. Explore more of London’s East end on the Columbia Road, Victoria Park and Hackney Wick location pages.

As our community of Instagrammers has grown and connected people across the globe, so too has our ability to share some of the personal, hidden and beautiful locations in our hometowns.

As part of a new series of local guides, London Instagrammer @chaiwalla shares his favorite places to Instagram in the UK capital, away from typical scenes of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, in the city’s East end:

Victoria Park is a beautiful and tranquil escape from the bustle of the city. The greatest thing about paying regular visits here is that you get to capture the seasons changing—vibrant orange colours in autumn, blooming flowers in spring and clean white snow in a vast expanse in winter. If you’re very lucky, you may find atmospheric thick fog!

Columbia Road with its cobbled streets, decorative and colourful front doors, twee shop façades and its lively flower market make this place an absolute must visit if you’re out and about on a Sunday.”

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user feature, london,

Stuff @lastopp Sees When Cycling London

Want to see more of Lindsey’s photos? Be sure to follow her on Instagram: @lastopp.

From Tower Bridge to the London Eye, London resident Lindsey Stopp (@lastopp) takes you on a grand tour of her city’s iconic sights from the seat of her beloved bicycle.

Lindsey started snapping Instagram photos in May 2012 when she bought her first bike and London was alive with Olympic preparations. She takes her mobile photos on the move and edits them later on Instagram. “I cycle everywhere, everyday, and there’s always something that catches my eye…even when I think I won’t find a photo in an area I’ve been 100 times before, I always do.”

Lindsey tells us her inspiration for the series came from other Instagrammers:

"I started to follow more and more talented people who were taking amazing pictures, and they inspired me to share mine. The Instagram experience so far has been incredible, and I love the sense of community and all the wonderful people I’ve come across who are extremely talented and have been very supportive of my photos."

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Millennium Bridge, london,

London’s Millennium Bridge

Want to see more photos? Visit the Millennium Bridge location page.

The London Millennium Footbridge is a steel suspension pedestrian bridge stretching across the River Thames. It connects the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern on one side, and faces St. Paul’s Cathedral on the other, framing the iconic dome perfectly and making the bridge one of the most photogenic places in London. Construction of the bridge began in 1998, and it officially opened in June, 2000.

Spotlight: London

spotlight, london, user feature,

@chaiwalla

@charlala

@flicpic

@theophilousus

Spotlight Since launching, we’ve seen Instagram spread from our headquarters in the Bay Area to every corner of the globe. In this series we’ll highlight top users from countries and cities with thriving Instagram communities.

By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show. — Samuel Johnson

It’s been a great year for Londoners. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee brought exhibitions, concerts and royal events to the city, and the Olympic Games will usher in hundreds of thousands of visitors when it kicks off this Friday, July 27th.

Want to see London for yourself? We’ve gathered together a group of our favorite users who are snapping pictures from the heart of it all.

82,000 Poppies Fall on London

green park, london, bomber command,

View more pictures of the Bomber Command events by browsing photos taken at Green Park or tagged #bombercommand

Yesterday in London’s Green Park the Queen unveiled a new memorial to the servicemen of the RAF’s Bomber Command who served during World War II. As part of the ceremony, the Lancaster Bomber scattered 82,000 poppies from the sky in tribute to the 55,573 airmen who lost their lives.

London Riots

london riots, instagram, mobile photography, London, events, photo feature,

From time to time, we see important world events unfold on Instagram. Last week, we saw Instagrammers in London document the protests and riots that broke out in their city. These photos serve as a reminder of how mobile photography and technology can give us insight into major world events as they happen. We’ve featured some of the photos here so those not already following Instagrammers in London could get a glimpse into the events that have taken place there recently. You can view more photos from the protest and riots by searching #londonriots in the app (Profile > Search Instagram > Tags).