The UK boasts a varied and vast range of landscapes that allows photographers to easily build up a rich portfolio of landscape images without ever needing to dust off the passport.
From the rugged coastline of Cornwall to the flats of Norfolk, the stunning vistas of the Lakes to the castles dotted along the Northumberland shoreline – and, let’s not forget, the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.
With so much choice on offer, knowing where to visit with your camera can prove a little overwhelming, so this feature will highlight a selection of beautiful locations to get you started.
The views we’ve picked are spread out throughout the UK, so there’s a great chance at least one will be fairly close to you, although all are worth visiting.
1. Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
Sycamore Gap, found via a ten-minute walk after parking up at Twice Brewed, is possibly the most famous tree in the UK.
This location offers plenty of opportunity to be creative. You can shoot a classic view of the tree that sits within a dip in the Roman Wall, for example, or you could choose to add an ND filter and blur any clouds in the background.
Stepping back and going wide means you can introduce rocks as foreground interest too. Furthermore, because the skies around this areas are free from light pollution, you can stay when night falls and capture a starry sky.
2. St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall
Cut off from the coastal Cornish town of Marazion by the tide for a few hours each day, St Michael’s Mount is a compositional gem.
When the waters recede, a brick causeway provides a much-needed leading line to guide the viewer’s eye towards the castle.
There’s plenty of parking nearby, but check tide times before visiting to capture the scene when the tide is out. To the east of the main causeway is a harbour, which is a good secondary shooting point for alternative foreground interest, especially if you visit when the tide is in.
3. Padley Gorge, Derbyshire
Although this gorgeous gorge looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s actually easy to reach and requires just a five-minute walk from a parking spot in the village of Grindleford. Better still, there’s a cafe at the entrance to the trail leading up to the gorge.
A slow shutter speed will turn the waters into a milky blur and, if you visit during the autumn, the falling leaves in the water will add an extra dimension to the image.
Make sure to pack wellies too, so you can stand in the stream and shoot low down.
4. Cley Windmill, Norfolk
The picturesque windmill, which is now a bed and breakfast, stands tall over the flat village of Cley, close to the Norfolk coast.
A little waterway runs right past the windmill and makes for an excellent leading line, perhaps with some of the upturned boats used as foreground interest for good measure.
Alternatively, walk onto the raised flood defences a short distance away and this will provide you with a wider, elevated viewpoint.
Visiting on a windy day? You can use a slightly slower shutter to capture the blur of the swaying reeds on the breeze.
5. Durdle Door, Dorset
Located on the Dorset coast, Durdle Door is one of the most popular photographic locations in the UK.
After parking at the Lulworth Estate car park (take change!), it’s a ten minute walk down to the arch, though getting back up takes longer due to the incline.
Many photographers prefer to shoot from the cliffs, but getting down to the beach can pay off, as you can use the shingle as foreground interest.
It’s always busy here, so if there are people in the frame, take multiple images and overlay them in post processing to erase unwanted subjects.
6. Derwent Water, Cumbria
Another location that allows photographers to capture multiple compositions per visit, Derwent Water in the Lake District should be on every photographer’s list.
A great place to start, preferably early in the morning, is by the boat moorings just south of Keswick. The beautiful wooden boats make for fantastic foreground interest and the jetties are great to capture with an ultra wide-angle lens that stretches perspective.
What’s more, if the water is choppy, an ND filter and a long exposure will calm things down. This location is great to photograph all year round, but there are obviously less crowds outside of school holidays.