10 Of The Most Picturesque Places In The United Kingdom!

We all love a good picturesque view – some of us enjoy looking around and taking in the surrounding beautiful scenery, and many also love the photo op that comes with this! 

Professional Photographer, Steve Longbottom, gave us some expert tips on how to capture the perfect photo in different settings, and also advice on what makes a great image. 

It is the environmental factors that often make the shot great for me, whether that’s the weather, the season, or the time of day and the light conditions. There is nothing I love more than wild, wintry beach landscapes. The sea is often much more dramatic, the weather probably changeable and therefore more interesting visually, and the absence of tourists allows the landscape to speak for itself.” – Steve Longbottom

Regardless of whether you want to explore the most stunning places just to experience them, or share them on Instagram, we have compiled a list of the most magnificent places to see and shoot in the UK.


Bath is a city in Somerset which was used as a wellness retreat for Romans and is filled with beautiful Georgian architecture, which is one of the reasons it’s so picturesque. Not only has Bath got a UNESCO World Heritage status, but it’s also a thriving city filled with culture and experiences. Steve commented:

“Bath’s main attraction is its impressive architecture and history. It is the type of English location that international visitors seek out, to experience and learn about our rich history. And of course, it’s stunning and beautifully preserved.”

Below are some of the most picturesque areas located within Bath:

Roman Baths

The Roman Baths are the main reason this city is so popular. It was constructed as a grand socialising and bathing compound around 70AD. Today, the Roman Baths are one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world and are still filled daily with over 1,000 litres of 47°C spring water. This unique location has around 156,000 hashtags on Instagram.

Bath Abbey

Another incredible site in this city is Bath Abbey. It is a former Benedictine monastery and a parish church of the Church of England that has been restored throughout the centuries. The abbey’s ceiling is considered one of England’s best examples of fan vaulting. This beautiful landmark has 90,600 hashtags on Instagram. 


The county of Cornwall, located on England’s irregular South Western tip, is known for its world-renowned beaches and is the UK’s leading holiday destination. Cornwall as a whole is a stunning location – it has around 9 million hashtags on Instagram! 

With his expert knowledge and experience of visiting Cornwall growing up, Steve expanded:

“Cornwall offers a unique view of England. Partly due to it’s geographical location, being our most southernly county with the wild Atlantic Ocean within reach. It’s narrow country lanes with the characteristic high hedgerows are also what makes it unique.”

Below are some of the most picturesque areas that are perfect to snap incredible photos:

Lands End

This legendary location can be found in Western Cornwall. It is known for its cliff-top trails and breathtaking views. The famous signpost complete with the blue ocean backdrop makes for a perfect Instagram selfie (this location has around 433,000 hashtags on Instagram!) or a stunning landscape shot.

St Ives Bay 

St Ives Bay is a crescent-shaped six-mile stretch of coastline. The bay is home to the famous Godrevy lighthouse (a photo op in itself) and was the inspiration for the Virginia Woolf novel, To The Lighthouse. St Ives Bay has around 903,000 hashtags on Instagram. Steve said:

“A shot of St Ives Bay taken during the last light on a summer’s day would appeal based on the idea of it as a typically beautiful Cornish beach, emptied of but a few remaining people (or locals walking their dogs) and offering an enviable sunset viewpoint. It is the perfect romanticised perspective.” 


The city of Cambridge is most famous for its prestigious University but is also known for its breathtaking architecture. Rich in history, culture and science, Cambridge is a wonderful location to visit for a city break with endless sights, activities, and for a great Instagram post with 4.9 million hashtags.

Below are some of the most picturesque locations to visit in Cambridge:

Kings College and Kings College Chapel 

Kings College and Kings College Chapel are two of the most recognisable landmarks and iconic buildings in Cambridge. The chapel is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic English architecture, so it is the perfect place to capture a stunning architectural shot and is a must-see when visiting the city! Kings College has around 129,000 hashtags on Instagram, and Kings College Chapel has 16,600.

Photo by Chris Boland

River Cam

The River Cam is the main river flowing through Cambridge and is popular for its punting tours and scenic views of the famous Cambridge College ‘Backs’ and other iconic landmarks. It’s the perfect place to get some memorable photographs on a summer city break, whether it’s a selfie on a punting boat or a landscape shot of the river surrounded by history. The River Cam has around 84,800 hashtags on Instagram.


Famous for its libraries, museums and of course the University of Oxford, this city is home to some interesting, historic and beautiful architecture. It holds many breathtaking locations and quaint backstreets – the perfect place for exploring and taking amazing photos – Oxford has 4.5 million hashtags on Instagram. Below are some of the most picturesque areas that are perfect to capture unforgettable memories:

Botanical Gardens

Known to be the oldest botanical garden in the UK and one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world, this stunning location is home to over 5,000 different plant species! A great place to explore with a year-round biodiversity and right in the heart of the city, the gardens are the perfect location for nature photos.

Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/oxfordbga/?hl=en

Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera is a neo-classical style building that was built in 1737 to house the Radcliffe Science Library! Situated in the heart of the city, Radcliffe Camera is the focal point of the University of Oxford and one of the most iconic landmarks of the city, it is also the first example of a circular library in England. It is impossible to walk past Radcliffe Camera and not capture a photo of the stunning building – it has around 46,300 hashtags on Instagram.

Lake District 

The Lake District is a popular mountainous region in the North West of England and is the perfect location for sightseeing and photography with its stunning lakes and endless places to explore. The Lake District is England’s largest National Park and is a UNESCO world heritage site, providing unlimited views of moody and dramatic scenery. This location has around 3.9 million hashtags on Instagram! 

Steve mentions the beauty of the Lakes and how they have endured little change over the years, showing how the Lake District will always remain instantly recognisable in a photograph. 

“I love the unpredictable weather of the Lakes, and the drama this provides in the views over the landscape. Windermere, the town, may have changed to a degree but looking out over the Lake and over Ullswater, there’s probably little change visible to 50 or a 100 years ago. It is well known for it’s beautiful and dramatic landscapes with lakes and mountains, and land being used to farm.”

Here are some of the most picturesque locations to snap the perfect picture:

Lake Windermere

Windermere is the longest lake in England and has around one million hashtags on Instagram. This location is extremely popular for walkers and explorers alike. William Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes mapped not only points of significance and natural beauty but also how you should view certain points to achieve an all-encompassing feeling known as the sublime. This guide can be used to find the very best locations for the perfect photograph.

Ullswater Lake

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District and is close to Penrith town which is an attractive market town and gateway to the Eden Valley. There are cruises during the summertime which is the perfect way to take in the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings. With 178,000 hashtags on Instagram, Ullswater has three stretches meandering in and out of the surrounding hills, making for a stunning picture.


The Cotswolds covers an area of 800 square miles and runs through five counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. Famous for beautiful rolling pastures, and quaint stone villages with endless trails and walks. The Cotswolds is a great picturesque location, with around 2.3 million hashtags on Instagram.

Below are some of the most picturesque locations to visit in the Cotswolds:


The historic Roman market town of Cirencester is the largest town in the Cotswolds. The market square is dominated by the cathedral-like Parish Church of St. John Baptist, which is a great backdrop to any photograph with its impressive fan vaulting. The town has many interesting buildings spanning centuries, making it a wonderful place to explore stunning architecture. This beautiful town has 244,000 hashtags on Instagram.

Castle Combe

Known for being the ‘prettiest village in England’, Castle Combe is a quintessentially English village northwest of Wiltshire. The village has famously featured in films such as Stardust and Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse. Castle Combe is rich in history – it is home to a 13th-century church with one of the oldest working clocks in the country. It’s also famous for its perfect photography shots, with a key location being at the bottom of the village by the bridge to truly capture it’s beauty. Check out the village’s 143,000 hashtags on Instagram for some scenic photos.

Peak District

The Peak District is the original national park situated at the southern end of the Pennines. It is situated across Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. Known for its gritstone plateaus and heather moorlands, the landscape is wild and remote with many peaks providing incredible views. With around 2 million hashtags on Instagram, it is the perfect location for capturing beautiful imagery. Steve commented:

“The Peaks offer views that typify England, with it’s beautiful natural views and classic architecture. I imagine it as the American perception of what rural English countryside looks like.”

Here are some of the Peak District’s most picturesque locations:


Known as the home of Buxton Water, this special thermal spa town is nestled in the centre of the Peak District. It provides interesting Georgian and Victorian architecture and has many stunning photo ops. Buxton’s sights include Poole’s Cavern, a limestone cavern; St Ann’s Well, fed by a geothermal spring bottled by Buxton Mineral Water Company; and many  nearby hiking spots such as the Monsal Trail. The town has around 290,000 hashtags on Instagram.

Mam Tor

Mam Tor, meaning ‘Mother Hill’, is a 517-metre-high hill near Castleton in the High Peak area and is one of the most famous walks in the Peak District, a must-see for anyone who loves to explore the outdoors! The high grounds make this a great location to capture impressive photos of the views and surrounding areas. Mam Tor has 118,000 hashtags on Instagram.

Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are a mountainous region encompassing northwest Scotland. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands is undeniable. From the heather-strewn hills to the craggy peaks and crashing waves of the North Sea, the Scottish Highlands is a magical location to visit throughout the year and a place for taking incredible pictures, with 1.3 million hashtags on Instagram.

Below are some of the most picturesque areas that are perfect to snap incredible photos:

Isle of Skye 

The Isle of Skye is teeming with incredible beauty spots to explore, including the famous ‘fairy pools’, the Cuillin mountain range and the ‘Old Man of Storr’. With 946,000 hashtags on Instagram, the vast Isle of Skye landscape has rugged mountains and islands, rushing rivers, and idyllic woodlands – great for capturing the perfect picture. 

Glen Coe 

Glen Coe is known for waterfalls and trails that climb peaks such as Buachaille Etive Mor and Bidean nam Bian. The mountains of Glen Coe were carved out centuries ago by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions, so it is certainly a sublime sight to see. With 543,000 hashtags on Instagram, Glen Coe is a fabulous location for hiking, mountain biking, and getting outdoors. It is also a well-loved photography spot in Scotland.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is an island off the south coast of England. It’s known for its beaches and seafront promenades such as sandy Shanklin Beach and south-facing Ventnor Beach, which is dotted with vintage beach huts. Dinosaur remains and fossils can be seen in areas like Compton Bay and Yaverland Beach.

With around 1.2 million hashtags on Instagram, here are some of the Isle of Wight’s most picturesque locations:


Also known as the Yachting Capital of the world, Cowes is home to the oldest and biggest sailing regatta in the world, which is partly why it is the number one destination for sailors during summer. In Cowes, you can catch the Floating Bridge Ferry across the River Medina to visit the famous Osbourne house, a popular tourist destination which has even been a favourite for royals! After visiting Osborne, Queen Victoria wrote: ‘It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot’. Cowes has 136,000 hashtags on Instagram. 

The Needles 

The Needles are a row of three chalk stacks, rising 30 metres out of the sea, leading to the Needles lighthouse. This natural beauty is not only amazing to look at and take photographs of, but the Isle of Wight has truly made this landmark special. It offers a range of nearby tourist attractions, including boat trips to see them, the lighthouse up close and a chairlift to catch a birds-eye view of it. The Needles has around 45,000 hashtags on Instagram. 


Eryri, also known as Snowdonia, is Wales’ largest national park, covering 823 square miles with culture, history and heritage. This is one of the first places in the UK to be declared a national park (after the Lake and Peak District) and is made up of 9 mountain ranges, 11,000 acres of woodland, and 23 miles of coastline. With 1.1 million hashtags on Instagram, photo opportunities are endless!

Mount Snowdon

Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales at 1,085 metres. In 2017, Snowdon was voted as having the BEST view in the UK, which isn’t surprising with 54,700 Instagram hashtags. On a clear day, you can see panoramic views of Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, as well as 29 lakes, 17 islands, and 29 counties, making that photograph worth climbing a huge mountain for.


This village is straight out of a fairytale! Based in North Wales, just on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, this village has a truly magical setting with an Alpine feel, thanks to the Gwydyr Forest surrounding Betws-y-Coed. With over 58,000 hashtags on Instagram, Betws-y-Coed is a picture-perfect village with its Victorian buildings, lakes and waterfalls, and thousands of fir trees. 

Above are just a few of the wonderful places within the United Kingdom that are perfect to photograph, whether it’s professionally or just for your Instagram feed! There are many more we wanted to feature on this list, but the above are particular standouts that have a lot of shares on Instagram and are a favourite among professional photographers.

Posted on August 1st, 2023, by the Traditional Punting Company Editor