Photographing the South West – Coastal Paths
The welcome arrival of summer is the cue to get out and explore the stunning countryside across the length and breadth of the British Isles. We are fortunate in this country to have such a diverse and contrasting landscape that readily lends itself to photography. For many part of the enjoyment of walking or hiking across this beautiful land is to capture the experience digitally and produce stunning images to share and keep our precious holiday memories in Britain alive in vivid HD. At this time of year the British coastline is at its stunning best and the South West Atlantic shores have all of the ingredients to create great photography and of course to enjoy a memorable holiday.
Early summer is the perfect time to make the most of the hundreds of miles of coastal path accessible throughout Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Brits complain a lot about the weather but the winter rains help nurture a rich lush texture along the coastline creating emerald summer tones that contrast perfectly with the azure seas and deep blue summer skies. With a subject matter with such stunning natural good looks, it is very easy for photographers of all abilities to capture great images from cove to delightful cove.
Photography in Cornwall
The ancient rugged and sometimes unforgiving Celtic landscape of Cornwall has the longest coastline in Britain. Recently intrepid runners competed in a 100 mile race along the Cornish coastal path, surely one of the most testing endurance challenges in the whole of Europe! The majority of us will prefer to enjoy the cliff top and beachside paths at a more sedate pace, with of course camera in hand. The beauty of coastal walking is the diversity and the range of shots that you can create as a result. Whilst there is a prescribed walking route it is difficult to resist the temptation to traverse across the dunes and paddle along the waters edge across beaches that sometimes extend for miles. The landscape alternates between rolling lush greenery to imposing cliff’s that offer the perfect vantage points to frame great shots and with a westerly facing north coast, Cornwall is ideal for creating that perfect sunset scene. It is really difficult to single out any one area for photography but the route heading from Crantock beach south down towards Godrevy will give you a fantastic range of varied landscape shots. This will take a full day but you will pass deserted coves, expansive beaches and then find yourself just north of Hayle with the evocative Godrevy lighthouse as your subject, perhaps just as the sun vanishes exquisitely into the golden Cornish horizon!
Photography in Dorset
Dorset evokes thoughts of chocolate box thatched cottages set in archetypal quaint villages amidst stunning rolling countryside. Dorset has of course a fascinating world heritage coastline that rivals any in Britain, much of which are sites of designated scientific interest. Dorset has much in common with its Cornish cousin, with beach after pristine beach and dramatic cliff top walks across a limestone landscape forged across the millennia. The result is a photogenic coastline with many uniquely dramatic features, perhaps none more stunning that then arching outcrop that is Chesil Beach. This is a seascape that is shrouded in myth and legend, playing a major part in the nation’s history across the centuries. Whether that be coves harbouring a smuggling past or beaches that played major roles in the Second World War preparing our brave forefathers for Normandy, Dorset is enjoys a rich and fascinating historic past. For photographer’s the enigmatic Corfe Castle ruins lying just inland from Swanage providing a fantastic backdrop to frame the gorgeous Dorset countryside. Again it seems churlish to single out any one route but the path from West Lulworth extending west towards the lagoon at Fleet offers a memorable range of vistas taking in the picture perfect Durdle Door, the cliffs at West Bay and the unforgettable Chesil Beach itself.
Photography in Devon
With the benefit of both north and south coasts, Devon has a sumptuous array of coastal paths to delight the most exacting of discerning hikers and photographers. Eternally linked with the seafaring history of the nation, Devon is a natural choice for a coastal holiday with inviting beaches and delightful seaside villages. One of the most fascinating is Clovelly, a village almost frozen in time offering an opportunity to take a glimpse of life in a village during the nineteenth century. Closed to traffic, the steep winding lanes and delightful cottages present ideal photo opportunities to create unique shots conjuring images of Devon’s past. One of the most interesting routes for photography on the Devon coastal path is between Woolacombe and Combe Martin on the north coast. Part of the Tarka Trail, there is an abundance of wildlife and fauna. Watch out for playful seals in the rocky shallows and vibrant butterflies fluttering from flower to flower, this is perhaps Devon at its wild best. With stunning views towards Lundy Island and indeed Wales in the distance there is plenty of natural beauty to fill the lens and help create those ‘once in a lifetime shots’. After a day photographing the Devon coast, what better way to round off the evening toasting your success whilst relaxing with a chilled local cider in a traditional Devon Inn!