Britain's best locations for landscape photography
From the spectacular Cornish coastline to the stunning vistas of the Lake District, Britain is spoilt for choice when it comes to dramatic landscapes. Our expert guide looks at the best locations for landscape photography in the UK.
Whether you're in search of rugged mountain ranges, panoramic lakes, rolling pastoral countryside or wild coastlines, Britain has a rich diversity of landscapes to offer the keen photographer.
You don't need an expensive camera to get started – these days, smartphones are so technically advanced that it's possible to take beautiful photos with your smartphone. Why not enter your best pics into the Countryfile Calendar competition, which is open to all ages and abilities across all devices?
But if you're just looking for a fantastic day out away from crowds, we bring you the best locations in the UK for landscape photography. Don't forget your thermos.
Britain's best locations for landscape photography
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Best for: Photographers looking for dramatic, Tolkien-esque scenery and skies
Packed with great mountain climbs, idyllic river walks, lakeside rambles and coastal hikes, landscapes don't come much more inspiring for photographers than Snowdonia National Park. Try locations such as Capel Curig, Ogwen, Llyn Gwynant and Tall-y-Llyn for dramatic mountains mirrored in fantastically calm lakes and beautiful misty valleys. Snowdonia’s luminous greens and purples capture the best of dramatic landscape and moody weather, while Tall-y-Llyn is great for bluebells and in rusty red colouring in autumn.
Beachy Head, South Downs National Park
Best for: Striking coastal shots – look out for mysterious sea mists shrouding the cliffs and the iconic lighthouse in the sea below
The dramatic white chalky cliffs of Beachy Head in the South Downs National Park provides an iconic shot for photographers. From above and below, the contrast of blue, green, red and stark white of this famous cliff-side location in East Sussex has inspired many a photographer. Clear sunny days are probably the best time to capture the different colour variations.
Yorkshire Dales National Park, Northern England
Best for: Curious rock formations and the rolling green hills of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a medley of grassy mountainous terrain with strange ruins and rock formations that punctuate the landscape. See geological curiosities - the Norber Erratics near Crummock Dale, the steadfast Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside – the highest of Yorkshire’s ‘Three Peaks’. Take in the top-of-the-world views from Simon’s Seat, the strange limestone pavement of the Southerscales Scar and see Ingleborough’s peak in the winter when covered in snow.
Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Best for: marvels of nature
The Giant's Causeway in Antrim, Northern Ireland, is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, created through an ancient volcanic eruption. The hexagonal shapes of Northern Ireland’s honeycomb of rocks is breathtakingly weird and wonderful and creates fantastic light and shadows.
Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Best for: looming cliffs and sandy coves with crystal-clear seas.
The Jurassic Coast’s dramatic bays and cliffs are as famous as the fossils that give it World Heritage Site status. Some of the best places for photographs are Burton Bradstock – sunny days are best to capture the golden hue of the cliffs, the chalk sea stacks of Old Harry Rocks and the famous arch of Durdle Door. Chesil Beach and the Fleet are also very scenic, especially if photographed from the top of Abbotsbury Hill.
Lake District, North West England
Best for: panoramic views of lakes and mountains and lakeside shots
Snowscapes in winter, brassy tones in autumn and crisp blue skies in spring and summer, the Lake District is strikingly beautiful all year round. Striding Edge on Helvellyn in the winter is good for photos in the snow. Blea Tarn, Friars Crag, Ullswater and Haweswater are all great locations to make the most of the area's lakes. Also try Cat Bells for views and Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick.
River Avon, South West England
Best for: quaint Victorian-style boating canals surrounded by flat grassy fields
The river Avon covers a large area of countryside in South West England. As well as the famous sections in Bath and under the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol, the stretches from Trowbridge to Bath are very pretty – particularly near Freshford and Bradford-on-Avon.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Best for: fairytale scenery of lochs, castles, coast and mountainous hills
Explore the Quiraing, Glenbrittle, Elgol, Point of Neist and Eilean Donan castle to find perfect places to photograph this enchanted island in Scotland.
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Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor
Best for: eerie, ancient woodland shots
The green moss-covered boulders among the sprawling, stunted oaks of Wistman’s Wood in Devon make this a beautifully fantastical location for photos. It's not for no reason that classic fairy artist and creative director Brian Froud settled near here.
Camber Sands, East Sussex
Best for: dramatic beach scenes
Situated on Camber Sands in Sussex, the biggest sand beach on the South East of England, the rolling Rye dunes are great for photos of sand patters. The different shadows caused by the dunes and grasses can be very striking
New Forest, Hampshire
Best for: misty heath purples and pretty pond areas
The gorgeous soft purple and russet brown colours of the New Forest are best in August and late October to early November. Vales Moor and Hasley Hill are covered in bell heather and have a lovely mistiness in morning and evening.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly
Best for: tropical island-style photographs of the English coast
The Scilly Isles has a tropical feel to it and has lovely white sand beaches and aquamarine seas. It is best photographed in the summer to capture its summer-holiday feel.
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