Vantage Points: where to take photos of Britain’s most popular landmarks

When visiting Britain’s landmarks, be it Big Ben, the Shard or Stonehenge, it can be hard to know where exactly is best to take your shot. At times, you can find yourself wondering if there’s a vantage point you don’t know about that frames the landmark in all its glory? Or have you seen a photo someone else has taken of it and wondered where they were to get that angle? Wonder no more, as we’ve taken some of Britain’s most popular landmarks and detailed a selection of the very best places to go to photograph them. Scroll through the list below and plan your shots for your next trip!


To help plan your trips to each landmark and their photo-perfect vantage points, we’ve also created this trusty map, pinpointing each landmark and where to photograph it. You’ll never get photo-envy again!

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The London Eye

Since being officially opened on December 31st 1999, The London Eye has become synonymous with the London skyline, and of course, photos of the capital. To get photos that stand out from the crowd though, try these options:

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Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

Shots of the London Eye don’t need to include the entire wheel, but can be a lot more effective when they partner the historical architecture of the city, with the glass capsules of the Eye. Head to the Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall for this photo of London both new and old.

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The Golden Jubilee Bridge

The Golden Jubilee Bridge

When visiting a city like London that has so many landmarks, you want a photo that gets as many of them in the frame as possible. For two of the most popular, the London Eye and Big Ben, this is made possible by standing on the Golden Jubilee Bridge! With the River Thames taking centre stage, Big Ben on the right and the Eye on the left.

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Stonehenge, Wiltshire

This megalithic monument and World Heritage Site is shrouded in ancient mystery. Erected around 2500 BC, being able to visit such a fascinating site means you’ll want to get the best shot:

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The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle

The closest you can get to the stone in public opening hours is around 10 yards away, but special access visits outside these hours allow you to go beyond the barriers and walk among the stones so you can get that all important inner circle photo.

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Perspective

Perspective

As with other large sites surrounded by land, gaining some perspective by including people within the shot is a good idea. Part of Stonehenge’s charm is the mystery surrounding how the stones were gathered with no engineering help, so a size comparison helps to illustrate this.

If you’re planning a trip to see the ancient columns, then check out our hotels in Wiltshire.

 

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Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has remained the official London residence of the UK's royals since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. The building raises the Royal Standard when The Queen is in residence, but when she’s not around, the standard is swapped out for the UK's national flag; great details to try and capture in a photo.

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The Mall

The Mall

Head to The Mall to get that iconic, tree lined shot of the Queen Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace in the distance. The Mall is pedestrianised apart from for Royal occasions, so you’ll be sure to get a great photo whether you’re close up or far away.

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St. James Park

St. James Park

As with many of the other landmarks, veering away from a traditional head on shot can add atmosphere and perspective, as shown in this image of Buckingham Palace in the evening. The reflections on the pond in St. James Park add depth, and the clever positioning also captures the Queen Victoria Memorial through the trees.

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Edinburgh Castle

This historic fortress was the inspiration for JK Rowling’s Hogwarts School in Harry Potter, and you can see why. Placed atop Castle Hill in Scotland’s capital, its elevation means you can capture it from all angles from many different spots in the city, but these are some of the more creative ways:

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St Cuthbert’s Graveyard

St Cuthbert’s Graveyard

It may seem a little eerie, but this vantage point from the graveyard of St Cuthbert’s Church captures Edinburgh Castle in a new light, set against a shadowy foreground. This angle is best shot at night to take advantage of the atmospheric up-lighting of the castle.

 

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Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

If you choose the right season to be in Princes Street Gardens, the foreground of your photo will feature an array of colourful plants, setting the scene for Edinburgh Castle in the background, including its impressive fortress.

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Durdle Door, Dorset

One of Dorset’s most photographed landscapes, Durdle Door is part of the Jurassic Coast and cuts some unique shapes above the sea and coast line. The iconic stone arch was created when the sea pierced through the Portland limestone around 10,000 years ago, and is still a fascinating sight today.

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Beach Steps

Beach Steps

The majority of Durdle Door shots are from the bay, pinpointing the famous Jurassic cove, but actually stepping back up the steps and framing the shot with them leads the eye down and makes the most of the full bay and the archway, too.

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Man O’War Bay

Man O’War Bay

If you want to embrace a new view of Durdle Door, you can get a great shot from the other side – known as Man O’War Bay. This example frames the iconic stone archway at the back, and small rocky islets poking through the sea at the front. Fancy visiting Durdle Door? Book a Dorset hotel.

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St. Paul’s Cathedral

A grade one listed building, St Paul’s Cathedral is so big it’s hard to capture a good picture of it from too close. You’re also unable to take any photographs from the inside, so these vantage points make sure you get its best angles nestled within its London home.

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One New Change

One New Change

The composition you can create from this vantage point perfectly frames St. Paul’s, and the contrast of the modern buildings against the 1,400-year-old Anglican Cathedral is unique.

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Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

Creating a visual walkway right to St Paul’s slap bang in the centre, Millennium Bridge is where you will capture this view.

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Hadrian’s Wall, Carlisle

This 73-mile wall stretches from the east to the west coast of England, and would take over a week to walk. But with some inspiring historical points along the way, you can focus on a small area to get the perfect shot without having to tackle the whole distance!

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Housestead Roman Fort

Housestead Roman Fort

Stepping back to include as much of Hadrian’s Wall as possible definitely yields the best shots. Taking a photo from the Housestead Roman Fort (the best-preserved fort in the country) allows the frame to show the winding wall as well as its untouched surroundings.

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Signage

Signage

Utilising the signage around Hadrian’s Wall creates an ideal focal point and gives the wall an interesting perspective. This image leads the eye off into the distance and beyond the blue sky. If you’re planning on visiting Hadrian’s Wall and its forts, our Northumberland hotels are perfectly placed for exploring. Find them here.

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The Bullring, Birmingham

Birmingham’s iconic shopping centre is extremely distinctive, so the photography possibilities are vast.

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Selfridges

Selfridges

Inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequinned dress, the Selfridges store is clad in 15,000 aluminium discs and makes for some intriguing photo opportunities. This shot only shows one side of the building, taken from the ground up, just touches on a small section of the surface but is instantly recognisable.

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Bullring Carpark

Bullring Carpark

It’s maybe not the first place you’d expect to take a great photo, but the carpark of the Bullring shopping centre is so futuristic it’s definitely one to head to for a space-age shot.

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