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What to Photograph on Coastal Paths

Mention Coastal Paths and initially you think of an idyllic quiet country location of green grass on the one side and an expanse of water, called the sea on the other and if you're lucky you might get to see the flora out in full splendour and the occasional wildlife activity. However this is a romantic view and there is much more to our coastline than we all might appreciate. With Britain being an island and the United Kingdom made up of many islands we have a lot of coastline and much of it, if not all is accessible to us. The photographic opportunities are vast, even if sometimes a little challenging, but we do have articles available that looks at how we might go about photographing our coastline and what tools we could use to help whilst out walking our Coastal Paths.

So what sort of things can you photograph on or from a Coastal Path.

The Coastline features

  • coastline
  • rock formations and structures
  • cliffs
  • fossils
  • rock pools
  • beaches, of sand, shingle, pebbles, and coves
  • sand dunes
  • islands
  • peninsulas
  • Lagoons


  • harbours - from the small fishing villages to the large Naval Dockyards
  • forts - from the iron age hill forts to the defence structures of more recent warfare
  • bridges
  • Piers
  • lighthouses
  • castles
  • Abbeys and Monasteries
  • historic houses
  • ruins
  • Windmills
  • Wind Farms out to sea
  • Tidal mills
  • Oil Rig Platforms
  • Buoys

Wildlife and Nature

  • wildlife from those at sea and those on land
  • Puffins
  • seals
  • dolphins
  • wildlife reserves
  • Butterflies
  • sea bird colonies
  • nature reserves
  • reed beds
  • coastal flora such as sea campion, seaweed
  • gardens
  • vineyards
  • National Parks
  • wildlife in rockpools


  • ships - naval and Ocean liners
  • ferries
  • boats - lifeboats and pleasure cruisers
  • yachts from single man to ocean going and Catamarans
  • cliff lifts
  • tramways
  • railways - both modern day and steam
  • activities out to sea, such as wind surfing, surfing, jet skis etc


  • Villages
  • towns from the small quaint cobblestone country type to large modern conurbations
  • Entertainment and activities such as the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, theme parks likes those at Lands End or the Oceanarium at Bournemouth.

.... and a vast number of other opportunities, all of which you could photograph.


See Larger Image The Gower - South Wales

See Larger Image The Cliff Side on the Severn Estuary

See Larger Image Brighton Pier

See Larger Image A Puffin

See Larger Image Jet Ski

To make the most of these opportunities we need to consider the timing, both in terms of season, and times of the day, we have a full article on this. We can also make use of lenses to control perspective and often find filters beneficial both of these topics are covered in separate articles. The only concern beside backing up and walking off the cliff!! is keeping the sand and sea water out of our equipment and as you may guess by now we have an article on that as well.

To find out more about coastal paths, and to access the articles mentioned above and much more go to our Coastal Paths and Heritage Coasts page.


See Also:

Time planning for coastal photography

Coastal Lenses

Coastal Water and sand proofing

Filters for Coastal Photography

How to Photograph Sea Water


By: Tracey Park Section: Walks Section Key:
Page Ref: to_photograph_coastal_paths Topic: Walks Last Updated: 05/2016

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