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The Lazy Photographer's Guide 05 -South-East England (pt2)

by Chris Maddock

 

This 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.

I've called it The Lazy Photographer's Guide since most of the locations are less than half a mile from road access.

As 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


Hatchet Pond
Hayling Island
Hengistbury Head
Hurst Spit & Castle
Jack & Jill
Jevington Church
Kimmeridge Bay
Lepe
Lyme Regis
Mudeford
Newlands Corner
Ober Heath
Old Wardour Castle
Portland Bill


Puttenham Common
Reculver Towers
Richmond Park
Salisbury Cathedral
Seven Sisters from Seaford Head
Shere
Silbury Hill
Silent Pool
St Martha's Church
Stodmarsh NNR
Tyneham
Win Green Hill
Winkworth Arboretum
Worbarrow Tout

 


Hatchet Pond
A medium-sized expanse of water on Hatchet Moor in the New Forest

Access - 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 the junction.

What 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 food.

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Hayling Island
Between Portsmouth and Chichester, Hayling Island is surrounded by mudflats with open sea to the south

Access - 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.

What 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.

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Hengistbury Head
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.

Access - follow signs from Christchurch or Bournemouth, parking is available at the western end at GR SZ 164 911.

What 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

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Hurst 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.

Access - 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.

What to see - the beach along the spit, the castle (entry fee charged), ships passing through the channel between the spit and the Isle of Wight

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Jack & Jill
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.

Access - 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.

What 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.

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Jevington Church
A typical Sussex flint-built church in the village of Jevington near Eastbourne

Access - 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.

What to see - the church and churchyard with many old headstones, in spring a fine display of daffodils

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Kimmeridge Bay
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.

Access - 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.

What 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.

Note - 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 are displayed.

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Lepe
On the shores of The Solent, Lepe beach is a shingle beach with good views of the Isle of Wight.

Access - 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.

What 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

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Lyme Regis
An attractive fishing port and holiday town in Dorset.

Access - signposted off the A35 west of Morecombelake, there are several car parks in the town.

What 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

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Mudeford
The beach at Christchurch, sheltered by Hengistbury Head to the south

Access - from the A35 follow signs to the beach, parking at GR SZ 184 918

What to see - the beach and groynes, views of Hengistbury Head, along Christchurch Bay to Milford-on-Sea and across the bay to the Isle of Wight

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Newlands Corner
A parking area on top of the Surrey Downs

Access - Newlands Corner is on the A25 between Woking and Dorking, GR TQ 043 492

What 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

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Ober Heath
An area of heathland in the New Forest that is set aside for deer during the rutting season

Access - 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 yards northwest.

What 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.

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Old Wardour Castle
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!)

Access - 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 castle.

What 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"

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Portland Bill
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.

Access - 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.

What 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

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Puttenham Common
An expanse of common heathland near Guildford.

Access - 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

What to see - heathland scenery, plants and wildlife

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Reculver Towers
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.

Access - turn off the A299 just east of Herne Bay, for Hillborough and Reculver, there is parking in Reculver at GR TR 225 692

What to see - the towers and the remains of the Roman walls, views along the coast and, on clear days, across to East Anglia.

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Richmond Park
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.

Access - 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.

What to see - woodland, open grassland, deer, other flora and fauna.

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Salisbury Cathedral
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.

Access - 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.

What 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.

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Seven Sisters from Seaford Head
A classic view looking east across Cuckmere Haven and along the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs in Sussex from Seaford Head

Access - 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

What 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.

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Shere
A small village on the Surrey Downs

Access - Shere is just south of the A25 Woking-Dorking road at GR TQ 073 478. On-street parking wherever you can find it.

What to see - interesting old buildings including the old fire station and an nice church.

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Silbury Hill
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.

Access - Silbury Hill is right beside the A4 at GR SU 099 684, just south of Avebury, with a car park nearby.

What 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.

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Silent Pool
A small tree-lined lake near Shere in Surrey.

Access - 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

What 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.

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St Marthas Church
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 Surrey Downs

Access - 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.

What 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.

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Stodmarsh NNR
Five miles east of Canterbury in Kent, this National Nature Reserve comprises 241 hectares of wetland and reedbeds.

Access - 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)

What 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 moths.

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Tyneham
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.

Access - 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.

What 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.'

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Win Green Hill
The highest point in the Cranborne Chase hills, Win Green stands a few miles east of Shaftesbury in Wiltshire.

Access - 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

What 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.

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Winkworth Arboretum
A fine arboretum run by the National Trust near Godalming in Surrey

Access - Winkworth is signposted off the B2130 Godalming-Hascombe road, GR SU 990 412

What 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 be seen.

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Worbarrow Tout
A spectacular headland on the Dorset coast

Access - 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.

What to see - the headland itself and views to the east and west along the Jurassic Coast.

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All text and photos are copyright © Chris Maddock, 2007