Friday 17th of May 2019
A must-visit for castle lovers and history buffs, Bamburgh has carefully conserved the interior so that it looks more like a castle that could have been built only 100 years ago. This huge complex is built on the coast of Northumberland which gives visitors sweeping views of the beach and ocean, not to mention spectacular sunset opportunities.
“Great place to stop on a road trip and stretch your legs.”
“Game of Thrones eat your heart out”
“All the white sand beaches in Australia & Asia are beautiful but how many of them have a castle?”
No doubt you’ve scrolled past a photograph of this beach at some point on Instagram. With thousands of domestic visitors a year, Folkestone South Beach is a largely popular beach destination for Londoners. The main beach has a promenade with plenty of places to eat as well as places to swim, fish, windsurf, watersports and a number of coastal footpaths. Keen photographers will be torn between the colourful beach huts along the prom and the quiet waves lapping at the pebbles.
“So colourful! My happy place.”
“The best of the South coast. How many coastal towns have such peaceful locations, no cars, no traffic, natures, green, pine trees?”
“A quiet place to take a walk and contemplate.”
A real diamond in the rough. The Royal Pavillion or Brighton Pavillion (as it’s often referred to) is an exotic looking palace in the centre of Brighton with a visual style straight out of India’s Taj Mahal. Historically it was built for King George IV as a seaside palace and has been used in the past as a civic building as well as serving as a hospital during the First World War. No matter what angle you catch it from, it always looks resplendent surrounded by luscious gardens and tropical palm trees.
“There is so much beauty inside this building.”
“Stunning architecture, a real captivation.”
“It’s hard to convey the grandness of this fantasy palace through a photograph. You have to see it.”
Named after the town it resides in, Cheddar Gorge is one of England’s most spectacular natural landscapes that you can visit and explore inside caves and walks that have been around for centuries. It’s almost 400 ft deep and about three miles long with crags and peaks, formed one million years ago during the last Ice Age when melting glaciers formed rivers and carved into the limestone rock. The Cheddar Yeo River gradually made its way underground, creating the famous Cheddar Caves.
“Really picturesque countryside to walk through.”
“Even more special during sunset, as the light is dying.”
“The kind of views that take your breath away.”
A legendary beauty spot on the South Downs, Devil’s Dyke, just five miles north of Brighton, offers stunning panoramas, a record-breaking valley, a curious history and England’s most colourful habitat. At nearly a mile long, the Dyke valley is the longest, deepest and widest ‘dry valley’ in the UK. Legend has it that the Devil dug this chasm to drown the parishioners of the Weald. On the other hand, scientists believe it was formed naturally just over 10,000 years ago in the last ice age.
“Walking up here, connecting with nature, meeting cattle along the way – it’s lovely.”
“Feels a million miles from anywhere.”
“Too beautiful not to take photos, especially during the golden hour.”
Eroded by centuries of time and nature, this rock formation is part of the Jurassic Coast in South Dorset. A gaping bridge at the end of the beach, this magnificent archway was formed when the power of the waves forged a hole through the middle – Durdle Door is so named from the old English word “thirl”, which means to pierce, bore or drill. As you look towards the sea, you can see Durdle Door beach on the right which has foot access from the car park which is located on the cliff top.
“More than just fun to see, there are multiple hiking trails that all start from the same place.”
“Let the sound of the ocean drown your thoughts away for a moment of bliss.”
“No filter needed for this beauty.”
Harry Potter fans will recognise this spot straight away. This underwater cave was used in the films to hide Salazar Slytherin’s Locket as a Horcrux. It’s on an uninhabited island in the Inner Hebrides, similar in structure to Giant’s Causeway (another popular spot coming up next). The unusual jagged rock face is caused by lava cooling perpendicular after an eruption many moons ago. You can get to this secret spot by boat tour from mainland Oban in Western Scotland.
“Marvellously atmospheric. Windswept and mystified, it was a real thrill to finally see.”
“If you’re adventurous enough you can jump into the sea from the rocks.”
“Absolutely worth the trip. Worth every penny.”
Famous in its’ own right, so many people visit Northern Ireland to come and walk this route and of course, take pictures with the unusual rock formations. Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it. Climb the Shepherd’s Steps and hike along the clifftop trail to get a bird’s eye view of the sublime causeway coast. Or enjoy the road less travelled capturing the World Heritage Site on an active five-mile hike along the stunning cliff-top path. The magnificent coastline gets its name from the old tale of Irish giant Finn MacCool who built the stones to face his rivals in Scotland.
“An adventure by the sea.”
“Such a unique location that has hundreds of possibilities. Be confident in your composition and standing your ground as the light changes.”
“Nature’s pattern play is inspiring.”
Another dramatic natural rock arch with accompanying pillars down on the south-west coast of Pembrokeshire. It’s important to plan your visit for this one as they often close it for military purposes. Along this stretch of coast, you can walk from the Green Bridge for as far as you like. Recently it was damaged by a storm and you can see where a part has been lost on the right, where the rock looks lighter in colour and less aged. Whether more will be lost to the sea in the future is something only nature knows, just for us to witness.
“A favourite photo spot for locals and tourists alike. The Welsh coastline is truly incredible.”
“The sea! The sea! The open sea! The blue, the fresh, the ever free!”
“A place where all the colours in the spectrum come alive in one photo.”
Popular amongst Instagrammers down South, this farm is always popping up on family blogs. Huge acres of lavender crops colour the horizon bright purple and fill the air with the sweet scent of lavender. Bees buzz in and out while children run and play around the farm. They have an animal centre as well as a cafe and activity play area. A perfect day out for children!
“It’s irresistible not to jump in and get a selfie amongst the purple flowers.”
“Imagine the smell in Summer… Heavenly”
“The scent, the colour, the air & above all the flowers all line up to give you a purple carpet welcome.”
Come and stand on the ancient cobbles of Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, a steep, picturesque street made famous after featuring in the popular 1970s TV advert for Hovis bread. In the nostalgic advert, a boy pushes his bicycle up Gold Hill to deliver a loaf of bread before freewheeling back down to the bakers to the soundtrack of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The commercial is regularly voted Britain’s favourite of all time. The view looking down from the top of the street has been described as “one of the most romantic sights in England” and often appears on the covers of books, calendars and chocolate boxes.
“Golden Hour up on Gold Hill.”
“Looks like an old-fashioned movie set!”
“Quaint and glorious. The epitome of British countryside.”
This castle was built in the 1400s by the 1st Lord of Glenorchy and is shrouded in fascinating Scottish History. Throughout its history, the castle has served as a fortress, comfortable residence and later a garrison stronghold, and contains the oldest surviving barracks on the British mainland.
“Secretive, eery and silent, calling from the top of the lake.”
“The view from inside the castle of Loch Awe is just as attractive for lights and shadows”
“One of the most famous castles photography-wise and it’s no surprise when you visit.”
A second Harry Potter set location, this majestic cliff was used during filming of the Deathly Hallows and before that was thought to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s unforgettable fort at Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Malham Cove is basically a huge curved amphitheatre shaped cliff formation made of limestone rock that has cracked and split over time. Standing about 260 feet above the ground, the view from the top can be breathtaking.
“Stunning day walking through the Yorkshire Dales. What a beautiful place!”
“Makes you dizzy just looking at the climb.”
“From the top of the cliff face, you can see for miles.”
They define one of the most graceful skylines in – well we’d say the world – the Three Graces consist of the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building and they situate themselves on Liverpool’s Pier Head. These majestic buildings were conceived and constructed as visible symbols of Liverpool’s international prestige, proud emblems of its commercial prowess. The Pier Head itself forms part of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage site and has many other famous attractions and landmarks to visit from The Beatles Statue that was erected in 2015, to the famous Mersey Ferry that docks in front of the Mersey Ferries Building.
“Some of the most majestic and historical buildings in Liverpool.”
“The docks are the centre point of where Liverpool started.”
“I like to stand in front of the photo and become the fourth grace.”
Tucked away down a tiny side street in Seven Dials is Neal’s Yard, one of London’s most charming streets. It’s easy to miss, but it would be unfortunate if you did. Inside this little enclave, you can get everything from pizza to pedicures… and every business is committed to sustainable and ethical commercial practices. Not too long ago, Neal’s Yard was used as a waste area filled with bins. So, instead of people capturing that perfect Instagram shot, you’d probably find rats. Luckily, before it was demolished, a bloke called Nicholas Saunders used his entrepreneurial skills to save the space and create the buzzing, colourful corner that it is today.
“It’s never a dull day down in Neal’s Yard.”
“The best of sunny London. Always busy but always darling. A magical hotspot.”
Put your sturdy shoes on and enjoy some splendid walks around the historic centre of North Queensferry. As well as appreciating the amazing views of the iconic Forth Bridges and the new Queensferry Crossing, you can also take in the Carlingnose Nature reserve and Port Laing beach. This picturesque village is located on the southern end of the popular Fife Coastal Path, which is one of Scotland’s Great Trails. The pier is home to Queensferry Light Tower, the smallest one in the world of its kind. Until the opening of the Forth Road Bridge in 1964, the pier was the main port for ferries crossing the Forth. With so many things to see, you’ll have a challenge getting it all in the same picture(!)
“Not easy to sum up just how pleasant it is here on a calm day down by the river…”
“A great place for a panoramic, for sure. There’s a story to tell on this crossing.”
“You might be lucky enough to catch The Flying Scotsman steam train crossing the bridge.”
You’ll have heard of the Isle of Skye before, it’s where the majority of our holidaymakers in Edinburgh visit with their car rentals. This is probably the most famous walk on the Island and definitely the busiest. The ‘Old Man’ is a large pinnacle of rock that stands high and can be seen for miles around. As part of the Trotternish ridge, the Storr was created by a massive ancient landslide, leaving one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.
“The ultimate photo adventure. Get here for sunrise, it’s magical.”
“The fog up at the top moves so quickly, you can get a series of shots within minutes.”
“We spent hours up there, exploring the rock formations, plateaus, and tarns.”
Pistyll Rhaeadr is an enchanting waterfall in the Berwyn Mountains, just inside Wales, west of Oswestry and Shrewsbury. At 240ft high it is Britain’s tallest single-drop waterfall, captivating all who visit her. Generation after generation take in the spirit and presence of this special place. Many mention how quickly they find peace and reverence within themselves, seldom found in our busy and fragmented world. There’s a sweet little tea room with a garden and inside, a log fire to sit by called Tan-y-Pistyll (little house under the waterfall).
“Counted as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and a Site of Special Scientific Interest”
“We made it all the way to the top of the waterfall and managed to find another hidden waterfall & cave!”
“It’s impossible to fit the tallest waterfall in Wales into one photo.”
Well known and visited by thousands of tourists every year, this enchanting village is home to two hotels, a cluster of historic cottages, iconic architecture, a spa, stylish shops, award-winning restaurants, and Italian ice cream parlour, exotic gardens and sandy beaches. This village is one of the most photographed places on Instagram in the whole country of Wales. When you visit, you’ll see why. It’s like being transported to a faraway Mediterranean fantasy.
“From the moment I walked through the entrance I thought WOW, this place is insanely beautiful.”
“Costa Del Wales”
“Such a photogenic town. I guess that’s why there are so many paintings of this place.”
Not to be confused with the Scottish viaduct used in the Harry Potter films, this 400m long construction was built back in the 1870s over the Ribble Valley in Carnforth for trains to cross. Its iconic location in the middle of the Three Peaks makes it a popular photo stop. There are a number of laybys, a tea wagon and the popular Station Inn. Of course, the easiest way of getting there is on the train as there is a station at Ribblehead itself. You cannot walk across it but there is a popular circular route around this famous landmark in the Yorkshire Dales.
“A great monument left over from industrial Britain. One of the greatest feats of Victorian engineering.”
“A swell spot to take a picnic and sit right underneath the arches.”
“With the right light and a cloudless sky, you’re bound to get an awesome shot!”
A quiet English town near the coast in East Sussex. In the centre, cobbled lanes are lined with medieval, half-timbered houses and nearby, the tower of the Norman St. Mary’s Church overlooks the sleepy village. Popular for Londoners to take a relaxing weekend break with plenty of spots to get some great photography in. Highlights include Lamb House, former residence of author Henry James as well as Rye Museum, Mermaid Street and Camber Castle.
“Rye is best seen in the Spring when the blossom has bloomed and the wisteria adorns cottages.”
“Such a peaceful little village, it’s like stepping back in time.”
“The old cobbled streets, while not very practical, are certainly full of charm.”
Not many have heard of Silent Pool… Or if they have it’s only because of the Gin(!) Many feel an eerie stillness looking out over the still water surrounded by the evergreen box trees. This spring-fed lake sits at the foot of the North Downs, east of Guildford within the privately owned Albury Estate. Silent Pool was probably an old chalk quarry fed by underground springs and would have been a precious source of pure water in days gone by. The pool and nearby Sherbourne Pond became home to many different species of aquatic life and one can often glimpse the blue flash of a kingfisher as it darts across the water.
“The water is very turquoise and so are the dragonflies.”
“Tranquil and quiet. A nice spot for some Gin tasting.”
“When you are a big gin fan, a trip to Silent Pool Distillery is a must.”
Literally, thousands upon thousands of photos of this field grace Instagram’s pages. The bright yellow rapeseed field and abandoned barn have been captured and painted and sketched time and time over. Aside from this, the village of Sixpenny Handley also has a church with a wildflower graveyard and a square-towered church, mottled dark grey with the mixture of flint in its walls, and guarded by ancient yew trees. Although rather adorably named, the village of Sixpenny Handley has a rather devastating past, suffering from a fire so ferocious in May 1892 that most of the village was destroyed.
“After seeing many photos of this barn at Sixpenny Handley, I just had to visit and get my take on it.”
“The wonderful colours of nature and the famous barn at Sixpenny Handley”
“The Dutch barn contrasted by rolling grey clouds and acres of sunny oilseed rape – a common sight this time of year. “
The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most recognisable sights in the London skyline, designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London. It’s over 300 years old, but it’s timeless, and it never has a bad hair day making it another perfect Instagram spot in London. One of the best places to snap a shot of this gorgeous dome is from One New Change, a shopping centre with an incredible view. There’s also a rooftop terrace that overlooks the cathedral, so there are plenty of opportunities to find the right angle.
“This view never gets old.”
“Sometimes you take a picture and don’t realise how much it took someone to build it. St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most remarkable structures in London.”
“A place for both visitors and commuters to take a pause and look up once in a while. “
One of the most popular attractions in Northern Ireland is the Dark Hedges, a bewitching row of trees that have been made famous by appearances in TV shows and films such as Game of Thrones and the Transformers movie. The Dark Hedges makes for a popular stop for visitors to Northern Ireland and can be visited as part of a Coastal Causeway road trip or as a day trip from Belfast or Dublin. An avenue of large mature beech trees that were planted around 1775 by James Stuart to frame the path to his home form a tunnel that is 6-10m wide. The hedges are said to be haunted by a spirit known as the Grey Lady, who wanders the avenue of trees, always disappearing at the last beech tree. It’s said that on Halloween, she is joined by spirits from a nearby forgotten graveyard!
“You have to visit Kings Road if presented the opportunity!”
“They are absolutely stunning once the light starts coming in from the side.”
“We went back at night to take a moon shot and we had the feeling that someone’s watching. “
One of five inhabited islands in the Isles of Scilly, Tresco is just 28 miles from the coast of Cornwall, at the heart of a stunning archipelago of around 140 islands and rocky islets. This may be England, but it feels like another world entirely: impossibly remote, with no cars save a handful of service vehicles and tractors, and almost completely silent. This pretty little island provides the perfect setting for unwinding. Privately owned Tresco is almost all nature; there’s just a handful of buildings across the whole island, leaving plenty of room to roam through the stunning natural environments, which are surprisingly diverse for an island so small.
“The magic of a Scilly spring in the gardens”
“I’ve wanted to come here for so long. It did not disappoint. I’d live here if I could.”
“Familiar and tropical plants grow side by side.”
Waterloo Bridge provides a great photography spot allowing you to capture postcard-perfect pictures towards the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. For a good square Instagram photo try zooming in to compress the different elements together. This bridge is one of 33 that straddle the Thames. What we love about Waterloo Bridge is the hip-height railings on both sides to provide expansive views. With no barrier across the middle so you can freely cross to both sides of the bridge to capture Elizabeth Tower, Palace of Westminster and the London Eye before crossing the street to capture St Paul’s and The Shard amidst the cityscape.
“There’s just something about London’s skyline that inspires you to try and find a new perspective.”
“London at it’s best. A sunny view down the river of our grand old capital”
“Bring your colour and brightness up to really lift the blue of the River Thames.”
The White Cliffs of Dover are chalky, limestone cliffs that dangle 300 feet over the English Channel. With its snow-white semblance and epic backdrop, this rare geological formation is one of the most Instagrammable places in the UK. Whether you’re looking down from the top or up from the beach, the White Cliffs of Dover are clearly one of the country’s most spectacular natural features. They are an official icon of Britain and have been a sign of hope and freedom for centuries. Take your camera on a dramatic cliff-top walk to enjoy the beauty of the unrivalled views of the busy English Channel and the French coast.
“You forget what freedom feels like until you come up here.”
“The morning sun over the channel makes for a fabulous reflective scene.”
“One of the most picturesque locations I’ve visited this year. You can even get a glimpse of France on a clear day.”
For the more adventurous among of you – Whiteless Pike will be more of a challenge to get to. This large fell (larger than a hill, not quite a mountain) is for the serious hikers and climbers. The traveller who is fortunate to be out on this walk in late spring can, with impeccable timing, also add a massive carpet of bluebells to the attractions. The Rannerdale bluebells are rather famous. Legend has it they proliferate in the ‘secret valley’ of Rannerdale due to the blood of Norman warriors, as told in the historical fiction by local writer and character Nicholas Size.
“It’s worth coming here just for the scent of the bluebells.”
“Awesome light and epic views over Rannerdale bluebells and Crummock Water coming down off Whiteless Pike.”
“A sensational sight to behold.”
Last but by no means, with its gnarled trees, moss-covered boulders, and misty ambience, Wistman’s Wood—a remnant of an ancient forest near Devon, has captured the imaginations of visitors for thousands of years. It’s the stuff of fantasy and magic kingdoms, often shrouded in fog or carpeted in crisp, red leaves during Autumn. Visitors will enjoy walking through what is essentially a world left to go wild. You can see how the ancient trees have spread their branches and twisted their roots around giant granite boulders, while a thick carpet of moss covers the entire forest floor.
“I love to try and produce an atmosphere in my images and Wistman’s is one of the most atmospheric places I’ve visited.”
“The best time to visit is at “blue hour,” the hour just before sunrise.”
“Serene. Ancient. The wonderfully atmospheric Wistman’s Wood”
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