Having a staycation this Summer? Well, you are in luck! There are hundreds of beautiful locations to visit and photograph during the Summer holidays that doesn’t have to break the bank. Berkshire has some great rail and bus networks that you can easily get to these locations. There are a few locations that are a little further afield but really are worth the visit for a road trip day! Charge those camera batteries, make sure you have space on your memory card and get ready to explore these locations that are on our door step! Top 10 places to photograph in Berkshire and surrounding areas:
- The Look Out / Swinley Forest Bracknell. Swinley Forest is a large expanse of Crown Estate woodland mainly within the civil parishes of Windlesham in Surrey and Winkfield and Crowthorne in Berkshire, England. It’s main entrance and largest car park is in Bracknell opposite Coral Reef (huge swimming pool and water activiity centre). It is a popular bike trail location in the area and has a wonderful wooden play park for the kids. Think lots of forest space so ideal for making tee-pees and wigwams! If you are looking for flowers, then this isn’t your place to visit, but if you are looking for sweeping views, heather and forests; you are in the right place.
- Windsor – Think of Windsor and think of Windsor Castle and royal weddings; but there is so much more to Windsor than the castle (although it does hold a special place in our hearts!) If you are stood infront of the castle, go right and that will take you all the way down to the Long Walk. It is near enough 3 miles from the castle gates (where the royals tend to leave in cars) up to the copper horse statues. It is a great walk, smooth pathway and greenery both sides. If you are lucky, you might just see lots of deer as you walk up towards the statue.
- Virginia Water and Savill Gardens. If you were to keep walking from the Long Walk in Windsor, you would eventurally come onto Savill Gardens and Virginia Water in Egham. Savill hosts play parks, lakes, rivers and a newly regnerated visitors centre for a nice lunch and coffee; or a plant or two in their nursery! Entry into the gardens is paid if you want to see their seasonal displays, but is a great place to spend a few hours photographing. Virginia Water has the largest lake and man made waterfal in the area and is about 5 miles to walk around with plenty to photograph on the way including bridges, gates and ruins of all things! The sun sets over the lake and is really quite a sight.
- Cliveden National Trust. You cannot list places to photograph in Berkshire and not include Cliveden! Cliveden House is set on 376 acres, this luxe hotel in a sprawling mansion built in 1666 is 6 miles from Dorney Lake and 9 miles from Windsor Castle and home to Meghan Markle for the evneing before her wedding day! It is a part of the National Trust properties and grounds and if a wonderful place to visit. From photographing the water fountain at the entrance, to the tree lined estate, the house itself (you cannot go in to look around, you must have a booking) to the exquisite grounds, it really is a spectacular space. Take a look at this blog when Steve and I went for a family afternoon out and stumbled across a couple who was proposing to his future wife! Read all about it here.
- Richmond Park – if you are looking to photograph deer and stag; then you are in the correct place. This is affectionately known as deer park to locals it hosts hundreds of acres of space to explore. My favourite is Pembroke Lodge. It is a magnificent listed Georgian Mansion set in 13 acres of landscaped grounds. It is situated at the highest point in Richmond Park with spectacular views over the Thames Valley to the west. Wonderful to stop for lunch on the terrace after a morning of photographing!
- Henley and Marlow – perfect for sleepy afternoons and walks along the river. Take yourself a picnic, or pick something tasty up from the town’s central Waitrose and have a picnic by the river. You would think you are part of Wind and the Willows! The River and Rowing Museum is a ticketed museum, but lovely for the kids to walk through scenery from British novelist Kenneth Grahame’s childrens book.
- Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Surrey hosts the most wonderful views and walks across the Surrey Downs. Make sure you have those walking boots on!
- West Wittering Beach – the closest beach to Berkshire and is a lovely place for an ice cream and family fun. Get there early though as it can get exceptionally busy in the summer holidays and good weather. Careful your camera doesnt get sand it though!
- London! It only takes 55 minutes on the train from Bracknell to Waterloo and there is a whole host of things to photograph in the big smoke. Even just at Waterloo area – Big Ben, Westminister, London Eye, South Bank, all the bridges! If you stick to the South Bank side, and keep walking straight, straight, straight; it will eventually bring you to Tower Bridge, the Gherkin and Tate Modern. A briilliant way to spend the day photographing an urban environment.
- Brighton – takes about an hour and a half on a medium traffic day; it is great for wandering along the pier, the beach and the Lanes are full of eclectic shops and unusual architecture; it is so vibrant, colourful and has such a buzzy atmosphere.
I hope this has given you food for thought on where you would like your personal brand photo shoot. It doesn’t always have to be your home office or local coffee shop. Think a little outside the box as to where your clients would expect to see you and how that makes you feel for your personal and business brand.
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