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Shivani Patel May 18 2022

They say “a picture paints a thousand words” which is surely why, when we see a spectacular view, we are compelled to capture the moment with a mental snapshot or a click of the camera!

The UK’s woven network of walking trails will lead you to some simply breathtaking scenery, and with such a diverse range of landscapes, it truly is a photographer’s paradise.

From man-made marvels to natural wonders, read on for our round-up of stunning viewpoints on some of our best-loved walking holidays.

 

Forth Bridges, near Edinburgh

Stretching across the Firth of Forth and connecting Edinburgh with the Kingdom of Fife are the incredible Forth Bridges. Standing side by side, three magnificent bridges showcase an evolution in technology, with the 19th-century railway bridge awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015.

The iconic red steel arches juxtaposed with the younger Queensferry Crossing make for a truly impressive snapshot when taken from Blackness Castle on the John Muir Way.

For a different perspective, get up close on the Fife Coastal Path which begins in North Queensferry, which lies in the shadows of the three structures. Sunset or dawn is the perfect time to capture these engineering marvels.

 

Durdle Door, Dorset

England’s much-loved South West Coast Path is a series of scenic viewpoints, with natural treasures around every corner.

One of the most recognisable landmarks is the limestone archway of Durdle Door which is a real highlight of the Jurassic Coast section.

The coastal path takes you to the edge of the clifftop, with sweeping views curving around the steps down to the shingle beach and archway below. From this viewpoint, if you look directly behind, you will have a splendid view of Man O’War Bay and St Oswald’s Bay beyond it.

The seabed here is full of chalk and this, along with the non-stop supply being eroded from the cliffs, gives the sea a dazzling blue hue reminiscent of beaches from distant tropical shores.

 

Conic Hill, Balmaha

Scotland’s most popular long-distance walking trail, the West Highland Way, offers awe-inspiring views as you walk from near Glasgow into the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

From the banks of Loch Lomond, it’s not long before you reach the elevated viewpoint of Conic Hill – the boundary point between the Lowlands and the Highlands known as The Great Divide. As you reach the summit, an amazing view of Loch Lomond opens up in front of you – the expanse of water studded with little islands.

On a good day, you can see the rocky peaks of the Arrochar Alps in the distance along with the most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond.

 

Staithes Harbour, North Yorkshire

One of our favourite places in glorious Yorkshire is the colourful harbour village of Staithes, one of England’s most picturesque locations. The approach from Bouley on the Cleveland Way is mesmerising as you descend into the charming village, with its quaint cottages and winding streets.

For a simply stunning shot, our Marketing Manager, Scott recommends photographing the scene at dusk, as all the lights start to flicker on. Use a slow shutter speed to capture the warm glow and bask in the cosy atmosphere of this charming coastal village.

 

Church Doors Cove, Pembrokeshire

Church Doors Cove on Wales’ Pembrokeshire Coast Path is another geological marvel, carved out of the cliffs by the sea, but perhaps without as many crowds as the famous Durdle Door.

This enchanting viewpoint can be found between the pretty harbour town of Tenby and the dune-backed beaches of Manorbier.

The cove gets its name from the lofty, perfectly narrow archway – much like the entrance to a grand cathedral and yet formed by tightly compacted slices of sandstone rock. From the clifftop vantage point, a beautiful sheltered stretch of golden sand is exposed at low tide – so be sure to time your walk to see the doors in all their glory.

 

Galleny Force Waterfall, The Lake District

A hidden gem on the Cumbria Way, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast and the Tour of the Lake District, is the Fairy Glen and Galleny Force Waterfall. Adorned with grassy knolls and ancient rowan trees, this secluded spot is home to a series of waterfalls and sparkling rock pools.

Take a long exposure photograph to capture the cascading water as it plunges into the pools below. Perhaps you’ll have time for a lunchtime picnic and a refreshing dip too!

 

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

If you’re looking for unique viewpoints, you can’t beat the otherworldly landscapes of the Isle of Skye. Challenge yourself to a walking holiday on the unmarked Skye Trail and you will be rewarded with views that make you stop in your tracks.

While the iconic Old Man of Storr is a classic shot, The Quiraing on the Trotternish Ridge is also a spectacular viewpoint. After a short climb, you will find yourself in the heart of The Quiraing with the dramatic triple summit of the Prison on the left, and on the other side, the prominent Needle Rock piercing through the remarkable landscapes.

Our resident photographer and Travel Specialist, Zoe, captured a fantastic shot on a trip to the Isle of Skye and can attest that the views are definitely worth the scramble! Follow Zoe’s photography adventures @Wanderingzo and get in touch for some photography tips before you head out on the trails.

 

Ribblehead Viaduct, Yorkshire Dales

The Ribblehead Viaduct in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is one of the many marvellous sights on the Dales Way and just a short detour from the Pennine Way. This spectacular feat of Victorian engineering spans around 400 metres across the rough boggy ground of Batty Green, with 24 giant stone arches stretching out across the Moors.

While the history surrounding the viaduct’s construction is bleak, there is no denying the awe that it inspires – especially if you stand right beneath one of the towering arches. Surrounded by the three Yorkshire Peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside, this viewpoint is one of those places that showcases a wonderful combination of elegant architecture and nature’s wonder.

The silhouette of the viaduct at golden hour is truly magical and our Senior Travel Specialist, Daisy, recommends this location for those interested in night photography. The Yorkshire Dales National Park, where the Viaduct sits, is designated as a ‘Dark Sky Reserve’ with very little light pollution, resulting in wondrous views of the expansive night sky. Daisy recommends using a high ISO setting and shutter speed of about 15-25 seconds on your camera to help bring out the stars in your photographs.

 

The Sycamore Gap, Northumberland

Amongst the historical landmarks along Hadrian’s Wall Path, you will find 2017’s ‘Tree of the Year’ between the Roman Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough Lake.

The Sycamore Gap is a dramatic dip in the landscape with Hadrian’s Wall rising up either side. Nestled in the gap is a single Sycamore tree, thought to be at least several hundred years old. This is one of the most delightful spots in the Northumberland National Park and one of the most photographed trees in the country!

Not only was this place significant to the Romans, but there were also Bronze Age artefacts found nearby too, which suggests that the site has had cultural significance throughout history.

You may also recognise the tree from the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, although in the film, the characters were a long way from Hadrian’s Wall Country!

 

Bow Fiddle Rock, Moray Coast

Voted one of the best in the world by National Geographic, the coastline along the Moray Firth is a must-see for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.

A highlight along the Moray Coast Trail is the Bow Fiddle Rock, a popular landmark formed from Cullen Quartzite. Over time, the pressure of the waves in the North Sea has sculpted the rock into its unique bow-shaped formation, which makes for a great photo opportunity. Be sure to pack a zoom lens as the rock is also a popular nesting place for a variety of seabirds, who can make delightful guest appearances in your photos.

As with many natural wonders, the Bow Fiddle Rock is especially scenic at sunrise or sunset. Due to its perfect alignment facing east, you can get some spectacular sunrise photos, perhaps capturing the sun rising inside the rock arch itself. If you’re super lucky, and conditions are just right, it is even possible to see the Northern Lights at this latitude, dancing behind the rock’s silhouette.

 

Boots on and camera ready?

Absolute Escapes have been organising self-guided walking holidays in the UK and Ireland since 2004. With a multitude of jaw-dropping vistas awaiting on the trails, there is no better time to get in touch with our team of Travel Specialists. Get in touch and start planning your next walking holiday today.

Shivani Patel

P.S. Remember to tag us in your best shots on Instagram for a chance to win our annual photo competition!

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