The most popular Instagram hashtags in the UK (2019)

Despite perhaps appearing gimmicky at first glance, there is far more to Instagram hashtags than the aimless pursuit of a trend. 

An effective Instagram hashtag strategy enables you to educate yourself more on what your target personas are discussing, engage better with your community and enhance the reach of your own posts.

So, what are Instagram hashtags?

It all started on Twitter, when back in 2007 former Google employee, Chris Messina, suggested the # as a way of connecting posts related to specific groups. 

Instagram hashtag origin

Although not everyone caught on at first, the adoption of the concept for the #SanDiegoFire later that year gave the movement momentum. And, the rest is history.

Today, hashtags are generally used to connect a post with an event, sector, issue, brand or specific marketing campaign - typically in combination. 

Being the Internet, it’s not surprising that “spamtags” quickly became a thing, with posters hashtagging anything and everything in an attempt to increase the reach and engagement of their posts. Today, Instagram hashtags are limited to 30 per post, but even then it’s crucial that your hashtags are relevant, consistent and not in any way spammy. 

We’ll touch upon more Instagram hashtag strategy later, but first let’s take a look at the #UKTOP10.

Top 10 Instagram hashtags in the UK 

The top Instagram hashtags can provide real insight into how the platform is being used in a specific location. This can also provide a great platform for understanding how to connect better with your target audience. 

Without further ado, here are the UK’s Top 10 Instagram hashtags:

1. #london 

When you consider that Instagram hashtags are often used to discuss events, shows, trends etc, it is understandable that #London comes out on top, with an incredible 126M posts on Instagram

Again, it comes as no surprise to discover that several of the most engaged posts using the #London are from influencers, including @dubaideserttwins, with most more focused on the person than the place.

There are, however, also some rather splendid included in the top results. 


2. #uk

It provides some indication as to the importance of London to UK culture that there were almost three times as many posts hashtagging the capital as there were #UK. 

Once again, the top posts are dominated by influencers. But, in celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural elements, it’s good to see two pubs finding their way into the top results.

Instagram hashtags pubs


There are also several other traditionally British landmarks, including phone boxes and buses (yes, we’re as vibrant a culture as they come):

View this post on Instagram

call me maybe¿ • Не хотела постить эту фотографию изначально, так как не самая моя любимая, но пролистала её ещё пару раз у себя в галерее и решила, что всё-таки она получилась забавной, ну, и неплохо вписывается в профиль, поэтому ловите❣️ • Didn’t what to post this photo in the beginning but smth made me change my mind and here it is‍♀️ • #telephonebooth #telephonebox #redtelephone #buckinghampalace #bigben #palace #redbox #london #england #uk #unitedkingdom #vscolondon #vscoengland #vsco #vscoedit #vscophoto #photography #like #likeforlike #likeforlikes #like4likes #followforfollowback #autumn #raincoat #summer #glasses #longhair #mebeingcute

A post shared by ɕαɾίηα (@crastars) on


3. #love

As a Brit myself, it’s good to see that #love comes in at number three in our top Instagram hashtags - and, even more so, in light of the complete absence of another buzzword (which we won’t mention). 

Among other things, #love is used to showcase some of the more romantic posts from the UK:

4. #travel

Travel posts on Instagram have played a major role in the exponential growth of the platform. Indeed, many say that Instagram has changed the world of travel and travel marketing for good. 

As a sector of social media popular with influencers, it again comes as no surprise to see influencer posts among the most popular. Of course, there is a combination of UK influencers going off on their travels and influencers from elsewhere visiting London. 

5. #photography 

Instagram is a photo sharing platform after all, with its overall image aesthetics playing a key role in its appeal. The overall standard of images on Instagram is certainly far higher than Facebook and other platforms, so it’s therefore unsurprising to see #photography at number 5 in our list. 

Of course, influencers are involved in the top results once more, with Instagram very much being the home of the selfie - in fact there’s very little else. Well, I suppose everyone’s a photographer these days.

6. #instagood 

This is a common Instagram hashtag used to attract likes to a post, with no real fixed theme. It’s really a way of saying that the image is Instagram-worthy - again highlighting how the platform is perceived as the social media for high quality pictures. 

Due to the vagueness of the hashtag, the top results include a diversity of subjects.

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Prepare to get happy I’m sprinkling that glitter everywhere! and Who’s that #girl you ask? It’s me AmazingArabella coming right at you with the coolest tween teen makeup collection! I have bought you my favourite festival looks with @whosthatgirluk.. you too can have achieve these awesome looks by getting your very own kit and omg would love to see your fantastic looks - it’s in stores everywhere! #WTGxVictoriousFestival I also love #icecream Comment If you love ice cream!!! #amazingarabella #rainbow #glitter #hearts #diamonds #love #instagram #instagood #girls #fun #portsmouth #beach #ferriswheel #funfair #kiss #london #newlook #happy #vibes #picoftheday #festival #kidinfluencer #victoriousfestival #tartan #kids #teens #influencer

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7. #england

Is it the UK, Great Britain or England? It seems the decision has not yet been made by Instagrammers, with #england appearing 7th on our list. 

When we look at the top results, however, it becomes clear that #england is most commonly used for national sports teams - which makes sense, considering that’s how we are represented in most major sports.

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#Trent #LFC #England #LiverpoolFC

A post shared by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on

8. #photooftheday

At number 8 on our list is another photo-focused hashtag, #photooftheday. Unfortunately, despite its claim, it has once more been largely adopted by influencers and doesn’t really showcase the platform’s best photographic moments.

There are a few nice images in there, however:

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Have you visited the @coppaclub yet near #TowerBridge? Tag a friend who you'd like to go with! || #CoppaClub #ThisIsLondon ======================================== @London @Instagram @Beautifuldestinations @TimeoutLondon @visitlondon @earthpix @zeisscameralenses ======================================== #London #Zeisscameralenses #LoveTheWorld #BBCTravel #ItsSoLondon #BeautifulDestinations #Europe #travellingthroughtheworld #VisitLondon #LondonIsOpen #Mylondon #LondonCity #timeoutlondon #LondoncityWorld #MySecretLondon #uk #england #Londonthroughmycam #instagram #photooftheday #LuxWT #Moodygrams #Photosofengland #London4All #Bestcitybreaks #londonforyou #Photosofbritain @zeisscameralenses @londondecanted @wonderfuldestinations_ @londondisclosure @londoncityworld @travellingthroughtheworld @its_so_london @bestcitybreaks

A post shared by London UK Europe (@tmnikonian) on

9. #art

It’s good to see that amidst the selfies and landscapes, there is still room for #art on Instagram. It certainly does have the fundamental assets to be a great platform for showcasing artworks.

So, let’s take a look at a couple of examples - it’s certainly no surprise to see Banksy in there:

View this post on Instagram

British street artist Banksy’s iconic “Balloon Girl” painting self-destructed after it sold for $1.3 million at an auction at Sotheby’s in London. Right after the auctioneer’s hammer went down, the painting began to slip down and shred itself through its frame, having apparently been triggered by a remote device. In a statement, Sotheby’s said they had “been Banksy-ed” and that they were in discussions with the successful bidder about next steps. Banksy has since posted a video on Instagram showing how he secretly built a shredder into the painting “in case it was ever put up for auction.” It was shared with the caption: “‘The urge to destroy is also a creative urge’ —Picasso.” (: @banksy) - #banksy #balloongirl #girlwithballoon #girlwiththeredballoon #streetart #painting #art #artist #streetartist #artistsoninstagram #instart #artwork #artistoninstagram #artstagram #auction #artauction #destruction #shredding #shredded #prank #modernart #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #sothebys #london #uk #british

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10. #fashion

Again, an unsurprising inclusion in the UK’s top 10 most popular Instagram hashtags. The fashion world has always had a prominent Instagram presence - somewhat spearheading business adoption of the platform. In fact, I wrote an article on this very subject earlier in the year - check it out!

Both brands and influencers dominate this space, so let’s take a look at some of the prime examples of #fashion on Instagram - spoiler alert, there’s another London bus:

Hash out your own hashtag strategy 

It's great to know the most popular hashtags in your location, but also it goes without saying that you can go even further by identifying hashtags relevant to your brand or industry. 

Our Quick Search platform enables you to do just that and, as the name suggests, it takes no time at all. Here's an example of the Top 50 Instagram hashtags related to fashion in the UK:

Instagram hashtag UK


By arranging a free demo of Quick Search, you'll be able to instantly see what hashtags are most relevant to your brand and gain a deeper understanding of the other insights you can find on the platform. 

You can also better keep up with the latest trending hashtags by downloading our Free Hashtag Tracker below: 

Hashtag tracker


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