Best UK landscape photography locations (part two)

Dunluce Castle

In the first part of this guide to the UK’s best landscape photography places, expert professional guides offered a list of locations in Scotland, Northern and Southeast England, the Midlands, East Anglia, and Wales. This 2nd part explores the most photogenic areas in Northern Ireland, South and Southwest England.

1. Colmer’s Hill, Bridport, Dorset
Best UK landscape photography locations Colmer’s Hill, Bridport, Dorset
Record this renowned Dorset scene at sunrise. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 70-300mm, 0.5 sec at f/11, ISO 100

The conical tree-clad Colmer’s Hill is a renowned landmark in West Dorset and a ‘need to visit’ place if you’re in the location. Daybreak is undoubtedly the very best time to photo it and misty conditions are an included reward. Parking is very minimal beside the A35, so show up early or be prepared for a long walk!

There are excellent perspective from both Quarr Hill and Eype Down, with walkways offering easy gain access to. In good conditions, there can be several structures to try, mainly based on utilizing Colmer’s Hill as a centerpiece within the larger landscape, or drifting in a sea of mist!

2. Portland Bill, Dorset
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England Portland Bill
Portland Bill Lighthouse and the Milky Way make a great mix. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 16-35mm, 10 sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400

The Isle of Portland provides much photographic capacity, but the red and white lighthouse at Portland Bill is the emphasize. It can be shot from either side with crashing waves in the foreground and at both daybreak and sunset. This is also among the very best places along the south coast for astro-landscape photography, with really little light pollution when looking south towards the Milky Way.

Simply below the lighthouse lies Pulpit Rock, another useful centerpiece for shots along the shoreline, especially at sunset. Portland can be an excellent location for long direct exposures, so take your 10-stop ND filter. Remarkable scenes can be caught in rainy conditions, but take care as the waves can be large and effective!

3. Rockford Common, New Forest National Park, Hampshire
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England Rockford Common
Capture the purple heather-clad heathland in misty conditions at daybreak. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24-105mm, 4 sec at f/16, ISO 200

Rockford Common lies above a shallow valley on the western side of the New Forest. The classic perspective with a course leading through a vibrant purple area of heather-clad heathland has become a popular spot, and rightly so. The valley is especially prone to morning mists throughout the year, so sunrise tends to use the best opportunities, although late afternoon likewise works well if the heather remains in blossom.

Do not restrict yourself to the one honeypot area though, since all of the surrounding heaths use much capacity and tend to be less busy into the deal. There is scope for expansive wide-angle shots in addition to for landscape information, layers and isolated trees.

Check out this list of the best wide-angle lenses for landscape photography..

4. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset.
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England Glastonbury Tor
Visit in mid-summer to catch the sun rising straight behind the Tor. Canon EOS 5DS R, 100-400mm, 1.4 X III, 7 bracketed direct exposures from 1/4000 sec to 1/60 sec, ISO 100.

The familiar outline of Glastonbury Tor can be seen from numerous places throughout the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels and from the surrounding hills. It can be used as a distant focal point, but there are likewise fantastic shots to be had from the top of the Tor itself.

Among the very best areas from which to photo The Tor surrounded by mist or set against the increasing sun is Walton Hill just south of Street. From here a telephoto lens of 300 to 600mm is needed. There is a hassle-free car park right at the very best viewpoint on the top. To get the sun rising directly behind the Tor you’ll need to go to in mid-summer. Use an app such as TPE or PhotoPills to ensure you pick the best day!

5. St Michael’s Mount, West Cornwall.
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England St Michael's Mount
Early morning sunlight will illuminate the Mount, while the old causeway makes a terrific lead-in, directing the audience’s eye toward the island. Nikon D800E, 16-35mm, 8 sec at f/14, ISO 100.

Simply a brief drive from Penzance is one of Cornwall’s most recognisable and picturesque landmarks. St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island, which at low tide links to the parish of Marazion by a man-made cobbled causeway. A tide in the area of 2-3m is often a good height, revealing the causeway, which provides an obvious and attractive lead-in line toward the Mount in wide-angle compositions.

This is a place that can work well throughout the day, however at dawn, the beach is quieter, cleaner and golden early morning sunlight will shower the bay and island. At greater tides, much of the beach is submerged, but there are slipways and rock pools that provide foreground interest.

A good range of lenses will work, however a wide-angle zoom– in the region of 16-35mm– is typically a good choice, producing vibrant results with depth and interest. This can be a popular location, so arrive and establish early.

6. Hartland Quay, North Devon.
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England Hartland Quay
This stretch of shoreline provides professional photographers a broad choice of perspectives. Nikon Z 7, 24-70mm, 131 sec at f/11, ISO 200.

This stretch of north Devon shoreline is among the most significant and spectacular you will find anywhere in South West England. Hartland Quay is on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean– it is a remote, wild and windswept location.

At high tide, explore the views from the cliff tops– in spring they are carpeted with sea pinks that include colour and interest to wide-angle vistas. You can stroll to Speke’s Mill Mouth, which is likewise photogenic. At low water, check out the rocky beach, which is house to photogenic ledges and rockpools. This is a good location for evening light and sundown. It’s worth bring a versatile range of focal lengths. A great strong tripod will be important, especially in windy, stormy conditions. The hotel is a fantastic spot to shelter and have a pint after an evening’s shoot.

7. Great Staple Tor, Dartmoor, Devon.
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England Great Staple Tor
In winter, a dusting of snow will include a seasonal feel to your shots. Nikon D810, 17-35mm, 1/5sec at f/14, ISO 200.

The landscape is wild, rugged and stressed with large, enforcing granite outcrops– or tors. This is not a landscape you want to shoot on a clear, bright day. During autumn, the bracken becomes golden and the light and skies tend to be more fit to landscapes.

Great Staple Tor is one of many terrific tors to visit. Stroll north up the slopes of Little Staple Tor and bring on to Greater Staple. The climb will take you about 30 minutes, however this is often a peaceful area and well fit to an early morning or evening light.

8. Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall.
Best landscape locations in South and Southwest England Trebarwith Strand
Trebarwith is an excellent area to shoot, however it works particularly well when sunset accompanies high tide. Tread thoroughly as the rocks can be slippery. Nikon D800E, 16-35mm, 25 sec at f/16, ISO 100.

Found about 2 miles south of Tintagel– house to the misconception and legend of King Arthur– Trebarwith is a golden, sandy beach, popular with tourists and internet users. It can be busy in the summer months, so visit out of the holiday and on a weekday to prevent the crowds and messy footprints. You can attain excellent chance ats either high or low water, however a mid-tide can prove more tough. At high tide, the beach is totally immersed, and you can stand on the Strand and shoot out towards the sea with incoming waves rushing in either side of you.

For security, always consult a great tide app, like AyeTides, before you visit. This is a great sundown location and Gull Rock on the horizon supplies an apparent focal point.

Other locations in South and Southwest England worth checking out.
Corton Denham is a traditional rural town scene in south Somerset best seen from Corton Hill. The lighting is best late in the afternoon between May and July.
Knowlton Church is a ruined Norman church set within a Neolithic henge earthwork. Great at daybreak and sundown or for creepy night photography, as this is among Dorset’s a lot of haunted areas!
Swyre Head, Worth Matravers in Dorset is among the most outstanding viewpoints along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Gorgeous at any time but particularly good at sundown.
Bolderwood Ornamental Drive in the New Forest National Park, Hampshire, is an impressive mix of trees, that makes this a fantastic place for capturing autumn foliage.
The Crowns Engine homes at Botallack in west Cornwall, perched above the sea, produce an iconic shot. The messed up tin mines make a terrific long exposure subject.
Bedruthan Steps are arguably Cornwall’s most excellent stretch of coast, house to big granite stacks– or steps. In spring, wildflowers carpet the cliff tops.
The lighthouse at Trevose Head supplies a terrific focal point in wideangle shots. Padstow Lifeboat Station is within walking distance and worth shooting too.
Valley of Rocks, just north of Lynton in Devon, is an excellent dry valley and boasts extraordinary views and geology. It is one of Exmoor’s a lot of picturesque areas.
Located on the south-western edge of Dartmoor, Shaugh Prior is home to boulder-strewn rivers, oak-woods and riverside strolls. Best shot in spring or fall after a little rainfall. There is a little National car park close by.


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