Lazy Photographer's Guide 05 -South-East England (pt2)
by Chris Maddock
article is the fifth of a series of articles covering much of the
UK. It is basically a list of locations I have programmed into my
GPS Satellite Navigator - most of which I have visited, the rest
being places I intend to get to some day. It is not a comprehensive
guide to the Dales, only the parts I have been to and photographed
- or intend to.
It will not contain any photographs, the intention being simply
to provide information about location, access and likely subjects.
I have photographs of many of the locations in my Dorset, Hampshire,
Sussex and Wiltshire galleries at www.f22.org.uk
if you want to see what you could see before setting out.
called it The Lazy Photographer's Guide since most of the locations
are less than half a mile from road access.
the area covered is big and I can't think of a better split (since
I also have a large number of locations in the southwest too, I've
split the south roughly at the western borders of Dorset and Wiltshire),
this is a large list. Accordingly I've done it as two pages. This
is page 2, page 1 can
be found here
A medium-sized expanse
of water on Hatchet Moor in the New Forest
- the pond lies at the junction of the B3055 and B3054 roads between
Brockenhurst and Beaulieu, at GR SU 369 016. The car park is down
a gravel track off the B3055 Brockenhurst road about 100 yards from
to see - the pond is accessible all around although the best views
are from the eastern and southern shores. It is ideal for sunsets
and general cloudscapes with reflections in the water since the
land around is so flat and provides little obstructions. Water birds
inhabit the pond, including herons, little egrets and the ubiquitous
mute swans. New Forest Ponies come to the pond to drink and to scrounge
Between Portsmouth and Chichester, Hayling Island
is surrounded by mudflats with open sea to the south
- follow the signs off the A27 onto the A3023 which runs right down
to the beachfront road. Parking is available on the beachfront and
by the ferry on the western end of the island.
to see - to the south there is the open beach with groynes and other
sea defences, to the east and west are the mudflats of Chichester
and Langstone Harbours, so plenty of waders and other sea birds.
To the south of Christchurch,
Hengistbury head is a sandstone outcrop that encloses the southern
side of Christchurch harbour. It is known to have been inhabited
by Paleolithic peoples and is only one of four known sites that
are not caves. Later peoples have inhabited the Head up until Roman
times, when it fell into disuse.
- follow signs from Christchurch or Bournemouth, parking is available
at the western end at GR SZ 164 911.
to see - various dykes and tumuli and other ancient earthworks,
the shoreline and coastal defences, the view across Christchurch
Bay to the Isle of Wight
Spit & Castle
Hurst Spit is a mile and a half spit between
Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The end is only
¾ mile from the Isle of Wight and is dominated by Hurst castle,
originally commissioned by Henry VIII. The castle has been improved
and expanded over the centuries and was used as a coastal battery
during the Second World War.
- there is no vehicular access to the spit or castle, the only access
is by foot or by ferry from Keyhaven. Follow signs from Milford-on-Sea
to Keyhaven and park at Keyhaven (GR SZ 306 914) or at Milford-on-Sea
at GR SZ 289 913.
to see - the beach along the spit, the castle (entry fee charged),
ships passing through the channel between the spit and the Isle
The famous windmills above Clayton on the South
Downs near Brighton, Jack and Jill are right beside the South Downs
Way long distance footpath. Jill, a white-painted wooden post-mill
is open to the public on most summer Sundays. Jack, a black brick
tower with a white rotating cap, is in private ownership. They probably
acquired their names from railway travellers heading to and from
Brighton in the 1920s. Both are visible from the footpath.
- turn off the A23 London-Brighton road at Pyecombe on the A273
Hassocks road. At the top of the hill (before Clayton) the turning
to the mills is signposted on the right and the car park is on the
left about half a mile up the hill, just before Jill Mill.
to see - when open, Jill Mill can often be seen working so there
is the opportunity for moving sails and mechanisms, the miller at
work, etc. Jack Mill can only be seen from the path. Whilst there,
it's worth walking up the path a little way for the views all around,
along the Downs and across the Wield to the north.
A typical Sussex flint-built church in the village of
Jevington near Eastbourne
- Jevington lies on an unclassified between the A2270 Polegate-Eastbourne
road and the A259 Eastbourne-Seaford road. The easier end from which
to approach is the south where you turn off the A259 at Friston,
heading north. When you reach Jevington, the first village, look
out for signs for the South Downs Way. The road to the church is
the one that the SDW takes to the west. Climb up the hill, watching
out for walkers and cyclists and park on the small grassy area opposite
the church. Note, it's not advisable to go during services times
as there won't be room to park and turning could also be tricky.
to see - the church and churchyard with many old headstones, in
spring a fine display of daffodils
Part of the Jurassic Coast, Kimmeridge Bay and its geology is world-renowned.
Rocky limestone reefs make the area a key habitat and the bay is
a designated Marine Nature Reserve.
- From Corfe castle, take the minor road through Church Knowle and
follow signs for Kimmeridge, turning left at GR SY 915 811. Follow
the road through Kimmeridge and take the very minor road down to
the bay. There is a large car park for which there is no charge,
however the access road is subject to a toll of £3.
to see - the bay is a round rocky bay with cliffs all around and
sloping reefs protruding right out into the bay. Possible subjects
include the reefs themselves, rock pools and marine life, the cliffs.
Kimmeridge is good for long exposure sunsets to smooth the water.
To the east on the cliff top is the Clavel Tower which is due to
be relocated as it is getting dangerously close to being undermined
by the eroding cliffs.
- Kimmeridge is right on the edge of the Army's Lulworth Ranges.
Check for firing days (usually not weekends of bank holidays) before
attempting to pass round to the west of the bay. If firing is in
progress or clearing-up hasn't been completed, notices and flags
On the shores of The Solent, Lepe beach is a shingle beach with
good views of the Isle of Wight.
- From the A326, turn off at the roundabout in Holbury (behind Fawley
oil refinery) and follow the road down to Lepe. The large pay &
display car park is at GR SZ 455 985 on the shore, with an overflow
car park inland.
to see - the shingle beach and views across to the Isle of Wight
with shipping travelling down the western branch of The Solent.
Further down the coast, the mouth of the Beaulieu River is good
for wading birds, there are a few spots where you can pull off the
road at GR SZ 432 986
An attractive fishing port and holiday town in Dorset.
- signposted off the A35 west of Morecombelake, there are several
car parks in the town.
to see - the beach and holiday amusements, the old harbour and The
Cobb (the harbour wall which snakes out to sea) and the view across
Lyme Bay as far as Portland
The beach at Christchurch, sheltered by Hengistbury
Head to the south
- from the A35 follow signs to the beach, parking at GR SZ 184 918
to see - the beach and groynes, views of Hengistbury Head, along
Christchurch Bay to Milford-on-Sea and across the bay to the Isle
A parking area on top of the Surrey Downs
- Newlands Corner is on the A25 between Woking and Dorking, GR TQ
to see - not much at the corner itself, but it's a good place for
heading out along the Downs for downland scenery and wildlife
An area of heathland in the New Forest that is set aside for deer
during the rutting season
- take the minor road out of Brockenhurst (on the A337) heading
towards Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. Just after you leave the village
there is a turning on the right. Take that and follow it to the
end, where there is a car park at GR SU 284 035. The heath is 100
to see - outside the rutting season, heathland. In the rutting season,
stags displaying, fighting and rounding up the hinds. In the rutting
season the middle of the heath is closed off and the limit of access
is a track that runs along the southeastern boundary. The Forestry
Commissioners do police this exclusion and no-one is exempt - not
even professional wildlife photographers.
The ruins of a castle near Shaftesbury in Wiltshire, now owned by
English Heritage, it was the scene for Robin of Loxley's destroyed
home in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (he didn't half travel around
that chap. He landed at Cuckmere Haven and went straight up to Sycamore
Gap on Hadrian's Wall, supposedly on his way to his home at Old
Wardour Castle, before next turning up at Aysgarth Falls in Yorkshire!)
- From the A30, turn off at Donhead St Andrew and head north almost
as far as a railway line, 3½ miles or so. Turn right and
carry on for about a mile to Hazeldon. Turn right here and follow
the road up the hill, around a sweeping RH bend then watch out for
signs to the castle on the left. The car park is just before the
to see - the ruins of the castle, with potential for arty type shots
of spiral staircases, etc. The grounds are well kept with some nice
old trees and a "hermit's cave"
The Isle of Portland is a huge limestone block some 4½ miles
long and 1¾miles wide off the Dorset coast. The Bill is the
southern tip of the island.
- Take the A354 out of Weymouth across the end of Chesil Beach and
up the hill to to Easton. Then follow the roads south to the Bill,
where you will find the car park.
to see - a very rugged coastline battered by the weather coming
in straight from the Atlantic Ocean. Three lighthouses, one (the
southernmost) still in use and one now in use as bird observatory.
The remains of quarries and a crane that is still occasionally used
to offload boats. To the west of the modern lighthouse is Pulpit
Rock, a square block of rock at the edge of the sea. It used to
be a rock arch and after that collapsed the quarrymen carved the
remaining pillar into the square "lectern" that we see
today. From the Bill you can see both ways along the coast along
Chesil beach to the west and along the Jurassic Coast to the east
An expanse of common heathland
- From the A31 Guildford Hogsback turn off onto the B3000 for Puttenham.
In the village turn left, then left again towards Elstead, after
a mile the car park turning is on the right
to see - heathland scenery, plants and wildlife
Located on the North coast
of Kent, Reculver Towers are the remains of a Medieval church, built
on the original site of a Roman fort. Due to cliff erosion, in 1809
the church was relocated to Hillborough and all except the towers
was demolished. As it turned out, much of the remainder actually
ended up as foundations for Margate Pier! The towers now serve as
an important landmark for shipping, having been saved by Trinity
House, the UK lighthouses organisation.
- turn off the A299 just east of Herne Bay, for Hillborough and
Reculver, there is parking in Reculver at GR TR 225 692
to see - the towers and the remains of the Roman walls, views along
the coast and, on clear days, across to East Anglia.
One of the London Royal
Parks, Richmond is home to several herds of Red and Fallow Deer.
At around 2500 acres, it is the largest open space in London.
- the Park is located centrally between Richmond, Putney, Wimbledon
and Kingston Upon Thames in western London, about 2 miles south
of the end of the M4. There is access from the A205 Upper Richmond
Road and A307 (various road names for this one) There is no direct
access from the A3 Kingston Bypass.
to see - woodland, open grassland, deer, other flora and fauna.
Salisbury is unique amongst
the medieval English cathedrals, having been built within one century
and having no substantial later additions. It also has the tallest
spire in Britain, at 404 feet.
- Salisbury is in the heart of Wiltshire, on the A36 from Southampton
and a little way south of the A303 road from the M3 to the west
country. There is plenty of parking signposted in the town and the
Cathedral Close is but a short walk away. The Close is open from
07:00 till 23:30 daily times vary for the interior of the cathedral
and other amenities.
to see - the cathedral and the close, the best closeup view is from
the northeast corner of the grounds. Commercial photography is not
permitted without prior arrangement but non-commercial work inside
or outside is OK except during services or in the Chapter House.
Sisters from Seaford Head
A classic view looking
east across Cuckmere Haven and along the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs
in Sussex from Seaford Head
- leave the A259 in Seaford and take several minor roads and a track
to finish at the parking location at GR TV 504 980. The walk east
down a footpath to just above the old coastguard cottages at GR
TV 513 976
to see - heathland wildlife and the Seven Sisters view. This works
well with evening light illuminating the cliffs, however shadows
in the foreground can be a problem (either your own or the gorse
bushes that you can use to mask your shadow) if you want to include
the cottages in the foreground.
A small village on the Surrey Downs
- Shere is just south of the A25 Woking-Dorking road at GR TQ 073
478. On-street parking wherever you can find it.
to see - interesting old buildings including the old fire station
and an nice church.
Just south of Avebury in Wiltshire, Silbury
Hill is the largest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe and one
of the world's largest at 130 feet high. Its base is 550 feet in
diameter and is perfectly circular. Its use is unknown, several
excavations have revealed no evidence of any internal chambers so
it is unlikely to have been any form of burial mound.
- Silbury Hill is right beside the A4 at GR SU 099 684, just south
of Avebury, with a car park nearby.
to see - well, a conical hill, what else? Access to the hill itself
is not allowed but views from the A4 and the car park are possible.
In winter the fields around are sometimes flooded, giving an interesting
alternative look with the hill standing alone in water.
A small tree-lined lake near Shere in Surrey.
- beside the A25 between Newlands Corner and Shere, a hundred yards
or so west of the A248 Albury turning. There is a layby on the north
side of the road (at that point it's dual carriageway so the layby
is off the eastbound carriageway) and a footpath leads to Silent
Pool at GR TQ 060 485
to see - a rather pretty little lake with a viewing platform built
to look like a small boathouse. Reflections in the water, especially
in autumnal colours.
Just about a Lazy Photographer classification
this one, provided you discount the climb. St Martha's is a small,
not unattractive, church on St Martha's Hill near Guildford on the
- turn off the A25 Woking-Dorking road onto the A248. Just after
leaving Albury, take the 2nd turning on the right and the car park
is on the left after about a mile, at GR TQ 034 484. The track leads
up the hill to the church.
to see - the church and graveyard, with views around. All of the
graveyard slopes away from the church so some good "looking
up" angles are possible. Some of the gravestones and tombs
could also make interesting subjects.
Five miles east of Canterbury
in Kent, this National Nature Reserve comprises 241 hectares of
wetland and reedbeds.
- from Canterbury take the A257, Sandwich Road and turn left past
the Golf Course into Stodmarsh Road. A car park is situated up the
track leading from the village of Stodmarsh, next to the Red Lion
Public House. (GR TR 221609)
to see - wetland and reedbed plantlife and birds. Mallard, gadwall,
shoveler and pochard ducks breed at the site. In the winter they
are joined by teal, wigeon, water rail, white-fronted goose, and
tufted duck. Other birds seen at the site include reed and sedge
warbler, bearded tit, bearded reedling, bittern, hen harrier, great
crested grebe, corn bunting and coot. In the autumn and spring large
flocks of martin, swallow and wagtail use the reserve as a stop-over.
The site also has the first breeding record for Cetti's warbler
in the UK and is also inhabited by a number of invertebrates and
A small abandoned village near Lulworth in Dorset.
In 1943 the residents were given notice and ordered to leave so
that the Army could train in the area. The promise was that the
people could return after the war, that promise was never kept and
the land was compulsorily purchased in 1948 for use in what became
the Lulworth Artillery Ranges.
- turn off the back road across Lulworth Ranges where signposted
and follow the road down to the village and car park. Note that
access is only open at weekends and holidays, if the ranges are
not in use.
to see - the remains of the abandoned buildings, in various states
of repair. Only the church and schoolhouse have been repaired as
museums and occasional commemorative services are held in the church.
Some signs of the original population remain such as the names of
the pupils in the schoolhouse with their coat pegs, their work still
on the old desks. Most poignant of all is the notice that the people
left pinned to the church door;
'Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given
up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win
the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you
for treating the village kindly.'
highest point in the Cranborne Chase hills, Win Green stands a few
miles east of Shaftesbury in Wiltshire.
- turn off the A30 at Ludwell, a few miles east of Shaftesbury and
continue south for about a mile and a half. Take the gravel lane
on the left at the crest of the hill, to the car park on Win Green,
GR ST 922 204
to see - the hill itself, crowned by a dense stand of trees, with
fine views across the Wiltshire countryside below. In spring an
summer, the hill is covered in a wide range of wild flowers.
A fine arboretum run by the National Trust near Godalming in Surrey
- Winkworth is signposted off the B2130 Godalming-Hascombe road,
GR SU 990 412
to see - trees, what else did you expect? Over 1000 species of trees
and shrubs to be more precise, the colours in autumn just have to
A spectacular headland on the Dorset coast
- only possible by foot, about half a mile from Tyneham,
when the Lulworth Ranges are not in use. Park at Tyneham and take
the path west out of the village.
to see - the headland itself and views to the east and west along
the Jurassic Coast.
to Articles Index
to Photography Index
to Front Page
text and photos are copyright © Chris Maddock, 2007