England’s best landscape photography locations
Posted on Dec 8, 2020 • 5 minute read
One of the greatest joys of landscape photography is getting out into the world and exploring new places as you search for ever more beautiful photos. As you explore, you never know what you’ll find, but if you’re thinking of going further afield, you may want to be sure you’re going to get some great results – or give yourself the best setting to work with, at least!
The enthusiastic shooters on the Photography News editorial team have been to all manner of places to capture photos and have a wealth of experience between them. For your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled each of our picks for best landscape locations across England, from top to bottom and a few places in between.
Photography News editor, Will Cheung, has taken more photos than most in his time, though that’s only natural after decades of consistency. He is a well-known and respected photographer and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and if you’re a regular reader of the magazine, you’ll know he’s a real fountain of knowledge.
“My chosen location is East Sussex, primarily for Birling Gap and its view of the Seven Sisters cliff. I was inspired to visit the place years ago when I saw Bill Brandt’s pinhole nudes. The location looked awesome and when I first went it was a quiet spot. Now it’s not and the car park is often rammed, so I try to go very early or late – and when the tide is on its way out.”
Likely, you’ll be coming for the seascapes and coastline, but further in-land you’ll also find flat, endless vistas which make for beautiful scenes. There are also picturesque towns which look like they’ve been plucked straight from a fairytale, if you feel like trying your hand at some street or urban landscape photography.
“I’ve always been a fan of coastal locations, largely because of their diversity and, for my money, they don’t come much more diverse than the North Norfolk coast,” says Roger Payne, editorial director and photography veteran of 30+ years.
“Within a few miles you can go from pebble beaches to sprawling sand dunes, and from rugged heathland to quaint villages complete with fishing boats hauled up on the quay. There are beach huts, churches and amazing skies. Plus, to top it all off, in Hunstanton, Heacham and Snettisham, you’ll find the only places on the eastern side of the country where you can watch the sun set over the sea.
Brancaster, Sheringham and Holkham are my go-to spots but there’s plenty to explore and a multitude of images to uncover.”
Even on emptier stretches of beach, there’s still plenty of photographic opportunity thanks to huge skies and the blue North Sea. Why not try some intentional camera movement for a more abstract approach, as Roger demonstrates here.
For Kingsley Singleton, contributing editor, landscapes are a real first photographic love. He’s been all over the world in search of the perfect shot, but in England, it doesn’t get better than Northumberland for him.
“It’s a broad choice, but that’s because there’s a great mix of coastal and moorland landscapes, superb sunrises, castles, and rusting tanks. Not to forget that it’s home to one of the best dark sky spots at Kielder. It’s also really easy to get to from southern and eastern England – you only need to head up the A1 until the accents change.”
I myself haven’t travelled too far from the Photography News home of Cambridge for photos of any variety, but neighbouring Suffolk is a real delight and I’d say it certainly ranks as one of England’s best landscape locations. I enjoy the element of being in nature that comes with landscape photography and Suffolk offers that in volumes. There are woodlands, beaches and endless rolling fields which are ideal for silhouetting against a perfect sunset gradient.
Plus, there are countless hidden rural gems like the farmhouse pictured below, if a little bit of added interest is what you’re after – or, try the busy Felixstowe port for an industrial twist on your seascapes.
One particular draw for me is the Orwell River, seen here. I love an element of water in a landscape, there’s plenty of foreground subject on the riverbanks, the boats make for a nice addition and the towering Orwell Bridge can be incorporated if you’re so inclined.
What are your picks for best landscape locations? It could be in England, or elsewhere! Let us know and show us your pictures on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You can find us using the handle @photonewspn
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