Landmark of the Year 2016

Winner: Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh castle view

Straddling the coast at Bamburgh, this majestic stronghold was once the seat of the kings of Northumbria, and is today the largest inhabited castle in England. The first written reference to the existence of a fort on this whinstone outcrop dates to 547AD, when the citadel was captured by the Anglo-Saxon Ida of Bernicia – it was later built upon by Normans and later again by Henry II, all the while fending off raids from Scots over the border. After falling into disrepair it was restored in the 18th and 19th centuries, eventually completed by the industrialist William Armstrong (of Cragside fame). Today it stands proud and inimitable against the sky and sea, a magnificent relic of years of warfare and strife – these days, the most drama it witnesses are those produced by the film crews who regularly use it as a set.


Landscape photographer Guy Edwardes comments: “Great to see Bamburgh Castle triumph in this category.

“It is atrue icon of Northumberland and a location that I’ve been photographing for many years. Both windswept and easily accessible, I’m not at all surprised that it picked up the most votes. I’m looking forward to returning at the end of the month to photograph it once again!”


Runner up: The Old Man of Storr


Up he juts into the sky of Skye, that distinctive pinnacle of rock on the Trotternish ridge, conspicuous from the main road north of Portree. This striking finger of protruding jagged basalt, formed by an ancient landslide, is one of the most famous landmarks in the whole of Scotland, and a highly popular walk. Legend has it that the Old Man of Storr gets its name because the rock outline and the protruding pinnacle resemble that of the face of an old man (‘storr’ itself is Norse in origin and is thought to mean ‘great man’).