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Best Places to Photograph the British Countryside


By , 14 October 2018

For such a small unassuming island, the UK is undoubtedly blessed with some truly incredible landscapes and photogenic vistas. To mark this, we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to for photographers to visit to try and capture the Great British countryside at its most insanely beautiful.

New Forest

Tucked away in the middle of Hampshire, this actually rather ancient forest has some amazing photo opportunities if you’re willing to explore a bit. The forest itself is estimated to be around 12,000 years old and in that short time it’s already become a very popular spot for holidaymakers looking to escape the busy hustle and bustle of nearby coastal towns, pretty good for such an up-and-coming forest, wouldn’t you say? For photographers, get ready to explore the largest remaining tracts of heathland and forest in the south of England. Specifically we can recommend Buckler’s Hard, a Georgian Hamlet overlooking the Beaulieu River in the south of the region. You can pretty much imagine every Jane Austen novel being set here. For a classic, quaint, traditional English countryside photo, there’s no place better.

Buckler's Hard

The Cotswolds

Similarly sedate and serene, the Cotswolds just seem to be at a slower pace to the rest of England. No matter how rushed you are, when you arrive in one of a number of villages you can almost feel your steps getting heavier and heavier, until you find a nice café and sit down to watch the world turn. But no time for that! You’ve got photos to take. Head immediately to Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire for some stunning riverside photo opportunities. The Windrush, that flows through this perfectly manicured village, offers up photos so good you won’t even need to #filter them. Staying in Gloucestershire, travel south-west to Chedworth; a charming village which is probably the closest you’ll get to Hobbiton in the UK. The rolling hills and dotted, quaint, picturesque cottages will be sure to keep you entertained with dozens of potential angles. This may sound strange, but make sure you walk away from the village, you can head to the Roman Villa, or find any suitably gentle slope to walk, then turn back and the ‘classic English countryside’ shot that will have you humming the theme tune to the Hovis advert in no time.

Bourton-on-the-Water

Lake District

A bit a of classic location up next. No countryside photo album would be complete without a few snaps of the immeasurably impressive Lake District. For the best picture spots, I would stay clear of the major tourist spots of Kendal, Coniston and Windermere, and instead head towards Wast-Water; a small lake in the shadow of England’s tallest peak, Scafell Pike. Wandering around the lake will afford you a host of unforgettable photo ops away from the crowds. For even more adventurous people, begin the Scafell climb to get a rare sun-soaked picture looking back at the lake. Similarly, the hike to Great Gable, another awe-inspiring peak, will offer further incredible shots.

Wast Water

Yorkshire Dales

Ay-up chuck. There’s no chance of us leaving the good ol’ Dales of this list. If the New forest screams Jane Austen, then the Yorkshire Dales will cry Emily Bronte. Ancient stone walls, rolling hills and the famous Malham Cove (from Harry Potter, don’t you know) are all draws to this blissful area of northern England. A good starting point is the village of Kettlewell. Not only is it central and within easy reach of several day hikes, but it is also a very picturesque village too. Follow the River Wharf, that meanders through the valley and if you set off in the morning, and are a little bit lucky, you may catch some very atmospheric shots of fog rolling through the fields at dawn.

Malham Cove

The Hebrides

A little less accessible this one, but off the West coast of Scotland lie some breath-taking, rugged and genuinely awesome islands. (Pro-tip: listen to Mendelsohn’s Hebrides Overture to get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up). Once you hit the West coast head to Clachan-Seil on the Isle of Seil; certainly one of the lesser known areas of the Hebrides but here you’ll be able to, quite literally, walk across the Atlantic Ocean. Since the 19th Century the Isle of Seil has been connected to the mainland by Clachan Bridge, a small arched stone bridge, that is a perfect opportunity to take a photo of narrowest part of the Atlantic Ocean. The Isle itself is home to a tonne of beautiful plants and greenery, so get there in spring for the best shots. For more well-known islands, such a Mull and Skye (equally beautiful by-the-way) you’ll need to catch a ferry, but either make sure you do it on an empty stomach or take some anti-sickness pills as the waters around there can be just a little bit difficult.

Isle of Skye

Wherever you find yourself taking photos, make sure you've got all your equipment covered. Head to our camera insurance page, and take a look at what we can do for you.