Winter Time: Photo Tours

Unlock the beauty of British winter - and take the perfect photos - with these five stunning driving routes. #Hibernot

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Whether you’re in the city or the countryside, in rain or snow, at dawn or dusk – winter's scenes are full of unique character. 

With a Land Rover, you can make the most of every glorious frosty morning or foggy afternoon and truly see winter differently. Just grab a coat and camera – or smartphone – and set off on a British driving adventure. You’ll discover winter has plenty to offer: from dramatic light and vivid skies to glossy pavements and moody landscapes.

Picking the brains of travel writers, regional experts and professional photographers, we’ve curated five captivating routes across Britain that showcase perfect seasonal photo stops along the way. Your Land Rover will relish the pacy open roads, snaking city streets and challenging country lanes. Meanwhile, you’ll come home with a head full of amazing sights… and a memory card full of great images. 

Give our routes a try and upload your favourite images to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #Hibernot

The 2016 Discovery Sport

York & the East Riding

York & the East Riding Route

Total miles: 88

Total time: 3.5 - 4.5 hours

Photo stops: 4

Suggested set-off time: 9.00am

Start within the old walls of York. You’ll be spoilt for photographic choice in this former capital of the north.

Photo 1: Arrive early to catch The Shambles relatively pedestrian free. Your reward will be an atmospheric shot of one of Britain’s most photogenic streets. 

Photo 1 (top): The Shambles, York; Photo 2 (left): The KP Glasshouse restaurant, Kilnwick Percy; Photo 3 (right): All Saints' Church, Londesborough

Photo 2: You wouldn’t necessarily expect to find cutting edge design and modern cuisine close to this quiet country market town but the KP Glasshouse restaurant, up the road in Kilnwick Percy, ticks both boxes…

Your Land Rover will relish the challenging tiny lanes through Nunburnholme to the gorgeous ‘model’ village of Londesborough. 

Photo 3: This picture-postcard settlement is worth exploring. For the best shots, head to the All Saints Church. Capture the church itself – perhaps coated in snow – or find the adjoining Londesborough Hall. These haunting terraces overlooking the Wolds are what’s left of a huge mansion demolished 200 years ago.

Drive east for the stylish cafes and shops around Beverley’s elegant minster, before turning south on the A1174 to the exciting redeveloped port of Hull. 

Photo 4 (left): The Deep, Hull; Photo 5 (right): Spurn Head, East Riding of Yorkshire

Photo 4: The Humber Bridge is a possible photographic star but we opt for the arresting modern architecture of The Deep, Hull’s award-winning waterfront aquarium. Capture it illuminated against a darkened winter sky from the Nelson Street in the Historic Quarter.

Take the lanes southeast. Stone Creek Road leads across reclaimed landscapes of Sunk Island. Head for Spurn Head, the windswept peninsular at the Humber’s mouth. 

Photo 5: Spurn Head is like an outdoor photographic studio - with fabulous natural light, ever-changing skies and inspiring sea all around. Experiment and create a winter image that’s really special.

Glasgow and Loch Lomond

Glasgow and Loch Lomond Route

Total miles: 57

Total time: 3.5 - 4 hours

Photo stops: 5

Suggested set-off time: 10.30am 

Start in the heart of Glasgow, at the ultra-modern waterfront of Pacific Quay, surrounded by sleek architecture.

Photo 1: Use the winter light to make the curvaceous Glasgow Science Centre look even more remarkable. Or turn through 90 degrees to see the eye-catching Clyde Arc Bridge, angled against the cityscape beyond.

Then seek out a perfect architectural contrast by crossing to the north of the river. Find the narrow, cobbled Renfrew Street and one of the city’s famous older buildings. 

Photo 1 (top): Glasgow Science Centre; Photo 2 (left): Glasgow School of Art; Photo 3 (right): Forth & Clyde Canal Bowling Basin

Photo 2: Glasgow School of Art is considered Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Victorian masterpiece. Try shooting from street level, looking up into the entrance façade.

The M8 and Erskine Bridge whisk you from the centre to the outskirts. Discover Bowling Harbour just off the motorway. 

Photo 3: Capture haunting wintery views across the railway viaduct and evocative industrial relics at Bowling Basin, where Forth & Clyde Canal joins the River Clyde. Try shooting across the boats and buildings with the bare hills looming behind.

To the west is the old industrial town of Dumbarton, now offering eagle-eyed photographers moody shots of urban decline. Look out for semi-derelict buildings as locations for a photograph – such as the fading grandeur of boarded-up 19th century school in Keil Gardens. 

Photo 4 (left): Helensburgh Waterfront; Photo 5 (right): Ben Lomond

Natural scenery becomes more impressive along the north shore of the Clyde as you head into Helensburgh. 

Photo 4: From Helensburgh waterfront try shooting to the south, across the ferry pier towards the buildings of Greenock on the far bank of the Clyde. Hope for sultry winter skies instead of bright sun to avoid glare – and give the scene gritty feel.

The loch-side A814 winds through Garelochead and along Loch Long. Your Land Rover will negotiate the steep, narrow Tulloch Road through Glen Douglas with ease, before you eventually wind down through forests to Loch Lomond. Head south for the pretty village of Luss, a recognised conservation area. 

Photo 5: Even in winter, it’s hard to take a bad photo at Luss. Look out towards the Loch and the snowy peak of Ben Lomond from Luss Pier.

Liverpool & the North Wales Borders

Liverpool & North Wales Borders Route

Total miles: 74

Total time: 4 - 5 hours

Photo stops: 6

Suggested set-off time: 10.00am

Start in the centre of Liverpool. The mix of grand period buildings and sharp modern architecture offers a gallery of photo opportunities.

Photo 1: Try looking north up Castle Street towards the Town Hall. Wet weather? That’s great for shiny pavements and perhaps some interesting reflections from the Town Hall dome.

Photo 1 (left): Liverpool Town Hall; Photo 2 (right): Grafton Street graffiti; Photo 3 (bottom): Eastgate Clock, Chester

Photo 2: Add some gritty Liverpudlian humour to your images. The city is famous for street art and graffiti – head for Grafton Street in the bohemian ‘Baltic Triangle’ district to find the latest examples. 

Take the Queensway toll tunnel under the Mersey to the Wirral. Shooting back to the landmarks of Liverpool waterfront is tempting from here. Then continue south to the elegant walled Roman city of Chester. 

Photo 3: Right in the middle of Chester, shoot west along Eastgate Street and under the Eastgate Clock arch – the perfect angle to capture the second-most photographed clock in the UK (after Big Ben). 

Photo 4: A short distance away you’ll find Northgate Street. Modern sculpture here creates a contrasting foreground for a shot of the traditional grandeur of Chester Town Hall. 

Photo 4 (left): Chester Town Hall; Photo 5 (right): Seven Eyes of Ruthin; Photo 6 (bottom): Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Next, take a rural ride to Ruthin, the bustling county town of Denbyshire (via A5104, A5118 and A494). Look for quirky independent shops, gastro pubs and traditional cafes. 

Photo 5: You could fill your camera roll with images around busy St Peter’s Square but don’t miss the ‘Seven Eyes of Ruthin’ on the roofs above you.

The A542 south leads to the spectacular Horseshoe Pass and the A5 winding though the Dee Valley. It’s an unlikely spot to find a masterpiece of industrial architecture. 

Photo 6: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is striking 200-year-old canal bridge over the River Dee. Try standing at the viewing point on the north east side for the most theatrical angles. 

Warwickshire Wanders

Warwickshire Wanders Route

Total miles: 52

Total time: 3 - 4 hours

Photo stops: 5

Suggested set-off time: 10.00am

Start in England’s historic 15th century capital city, Coventry. Urban photographers love its mix of crumbling industrial architecture, medieval relics and modern developments. 

Photo 1: Coventry Cathedral, a monument to British defiance during the Blitz, offers poignant winter photo opportunities. The bleaker the weather here, the stronger the image. Try shooting low from University Square to include the church tower, one of the tallest in Britain.

Photo 1 (left): Coventry Cathedral; Photo 2 (right): Stoneleigh Abbey; Photo 3 (bottom): Royal Leamington Spa Pump Rooms.

Photo 2: Stoneleigh Abbey may be worth shooting against a foreboding sky but instead take your best shots in the marvelously long, tree-lined driveway heading west from the house instead. If it’s wet and misty or white and frosty, all the better.

Follow Stoneleigh Road and the A452 towards the regency town of Royal Leamington Spa. 

Photo 3: Try shooting the elegant colonnade along the front of Royal Leamington Spa Pump Rooms from one end. To add some life to your photograph, get a partner, friend or family member to pose between the pillars halfway along.

Take the A429 through the leafy south of the city to Kenilworth’s classy independent shops and restaurants, and its photogenic castle. But we suggest going to a lesser-known site to find stunning images in wintery light. 

Photo 4 (left): Warwick Castle; Photo 5 (right): Chesterton Windmill

Photo 4: The best winter shots of the castle are from the A425 bridge over the Avon. Snow would make this scene particularly spectacular.

Tackle the rural Harbury Lane southeast, piloting your Land Rover across the Fosse Way to Chesterton Windmill. 

Photo 5: The bleak winter landscape needs a strong image in the foreground. This distinctive 17th-century stone windmill is perfect.

Return to Coventry via the enchanting country town of Southam and the seasonal landscapes around Draycote Water. 

The Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast Route

Total miles: 52

Total time: 3 – 3.5 hours

Photo stops: 5

Suggested set-off time: 11.30am

Start in the magnificent arena of Exeter’s historic Cathedral Close, surrounded by eccentric old buildings that house cafes and hotels. 

Photo 1: The Cathedral West Front is the iconic Devon image. The pale cream stonework is particularly striking against a murky winter’s sky. 

Head south to explore picturesque Topsham, the exclusive Exeter riverside suburb full of trendy bistros, bars and galleries. It’s a fine spot for lunch. 

Photo 2: Seasonal weather makes the narrow streets of Topsham’s old fishermen’s and merchants’ houses even more charming. Try shooting north along Follett Road.

Photo 1 (left): Exeter Cathedral; Photo 2 (top): Topsham Bay; Photo 3 (right): Fairlynch Museum, Budleigh Salterton

Follow winding lanes across rugged Woodbury Common to the seaside town of Budleigh Salterton, known for its distinctive red cliffs and rock formations. Situated in one of Devon’s government-appointed Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Budleigh is a relaxed seaside town, perfect for a quick stop and stroll. Head along the seafront or into the town centre to find the Fairlynch Museum. 

Photo 3: Use the unusually shaped windows and thatched sections of Fairlynch Museum on Fore Street to capture a distinctive image of Devonshire.

Continue through high-hedged lanes via Otterton, through steep woods and cliff-tops to Sidmouth and Branscombe to bustling coastal town Lyme Regis. 

Photo 4 (left): The Cobb, Lyme Regis; Photo 5 (right): St Mary's Church, Axminster

Photo 4: The Lyme Regis Cobb was made famous by Meryl Streep in the 1969 film The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The huge stones of this monumental harbour wall are particularly photogenic amid wild wintery seas. 

Head inland to the market town of Axminster – taking a detour through the beautiful Blackdown Hills, if you wish. 

Photo 5: If you needed an excuse for dinner at Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s acclaimed River Cottage Canteen & Deli restaurant, now you have one. Axminster’s unspoilt town centre should offer you plenty of scope for a final photo location – try St Mary’s Parish Church, a short walk down Lyme Road from the restaurant. 

City trip or country retreat? At Land Rover, we have a range of vehicles that can handle any adventure. Click the links below to find the model for you:

> Range Rover Evoque

> Range Rover Evoque Convertible

> Discovery Sport

Words: Simon Heptinstall
PHOTOGRAPHY: Various - Click images for full credits