10 best Devon locations to photograph holiday cottages

10 best Devon locations to photograph

Simon L 06 June 2018

We all do it – we see a beautiful piece of countryside or coast and think: “I've got to take a photo of this.”

Whether we're uploading to our Instagram accounts, saving it to Facebook or simply keeping it to show friends and family exactly where we spent our time, we're all guilty of a snap or two! And when it comes to beautiful areas, there aren't many more picturesque than Devon.

That's why we've come up with 10 of our favourite places to photograph in the region (and when best to capture your snaps) from cliff-hugging villages, to rugged cliffs, via sensational cityscapes.

Jurassic Coast

Sun-drenched greenery frames the dramatic cliffs of Beer


This wonderful stretch of coast covers parts of East Devon and Dorset. Although some of the most picturesque points, like Durdle Door, are found in Dorset, there are still parts of the East Devon coast which look akin to something you'd find in the Mediterranean. Take Beer (also seen at the top of the page), for example; the seaside town in East Devon is beautiful all year round – but this picture taken in spring really showcases the rugged beauty.

Top three photo spots:

  • Beer - take a stroll through the pretty village down to the shingle beach and capture the white cliffs in all their glory
  • Sidmouth - photograph the impressive red cliffs from the top of Jacobs Ladder
  • Exmouth - walk along the beach and turn to shoot the elegant houses which line the seafront
Base yourself in one of our Devon coastal cottages and be perfectly positioned for photographing the Jurassic Coast.

Valley of Rocks

Valley of Rocks - where the moors meet the sea


No, this isn't New Zealand – this is the Valley of Rocks found on the northernmost part of Devon. It lies just outside Lynton and Lynmouth in North Devon, two locations which are linked by a Victorian cliff railway and are also well worth a visit. Visit in the summer to catch magical sunsets, with lush green fields surrounding you on all sides and feral goats happy to see you too.

Top three photo spots:

  • On the coast path - head off towards Lynton on the coast path and turn back to capture the rugged coastline
  • From the car park - a few metres from the car park you can frame your shot with castle rock and the steep side of the valley
  • Lee Bay and Woody Bay - turn left as you walk towards the sea from the car park and take your shot over towards Lee Bay and Woody Bay

Stay close to Valley of the Rocks in one of our holiday cottages in Lynton and Lynmouth.


Rushing River Lyn in Lynton
Rushing River Lyn in Lynmouth


Devon is home to two moors - Exmoor and Dartmoor – and they both have characteristic charm which discern themselves from each other. Exmoor, shared with Somerset, is full of wild beauty, with moorland stretching further than the naked eye can see accompanied by coastal cliffs, castles, waterfalls, rivers, woodland, the South West Coast Path and more. It's utterly stunning in the autumn when red and orange hues fill the fields.

Top three photo spots:

  • Valley of Rocks - see above, this stunning valley has dramatic cliffs and coastal beauty in bucketloads
  • Wistlandpound Reservoir - offering stunning reflections on a still day, this is a lovely place for a stroll too
  • Dark skies - drive out to rural Exmoor at night, set up your camera and capture the stars and colours of the night sky without light pollution to spoil the view

We have cottages across Exmoor to choose from so you can try and capture your own perfect shot.


Kings Tor at sunset
Kings Tor at sunset


A little further south you'll find the second moor, Dartmoor. Wild, open moorlands give way to deep river valleys on this cast land still grazed by rare, native Dartmoor ponies. The area is home to the largest area of granite in Britain, while its Tors are the subject of many photographs throughout the year. Although you'd need to wrap up warm, the winter is a wonderful time to get a stunning photo of the area, with frost and sometimes snow allow a gorgeous glint to imagery.

Top three photo spots:

  • Leather Tor - shoot down towards Burrator Reservoir, capturing the rocks of Leather Tor in the foreground
  • Great Staple Tor - the rock formations here are just asking to be photographed, so sit back and wait for the light to fall just right
  • Haytor - rising like toes from the top of a perfect hill, Haytor is one of the most photographed and visited tors on Dartmoor

Browse our large collection of Dartmoor cottages and stay right in the heart of the moors.


Pretty cobbled streets lined with jumbled houses tumble down to the harbour


There aren't many villages like Clovelly; a cliff-hugging community with donkeys, a working harbour and many fascinating historical insights to boot. It's spectacular all year round, with its nautical-themed Christmas lights a sensation to behold, but it's the summer when you can really get out and explore its surrounding paths, waterfalls and coastline.

Top three photo spots:

  • Down the street - wait for a gap in tourists and shoot down the cobbled street towards the harbour to catch the jumbled houses at their best
  • From the harbour wall - walk out along the harbour wall and turn to catch the whole of Clovelly, including the boats on the beach
  • The harbour - photograph the harbour itself, the boats and the pretty balconied houses which stand on the harbour beach

We have a number of cottages close to Clovelly for you to choose from.


Almost everywhere in Brixham has a harbour view!


When the evenings get darker, Brixham illuminates the night sky. That's why the beautiful South Devon town is a wonderful place to visit in the winter months when days are shorter and the lights seem brighter. Much like Clovelly, their Christmas lights are wondrous to behold, with their kaleidoscopic twinkles dancing in the water, allowing a shimmering edge to your photos.

Top three photo spots:

  • The Golden Hind - capture the replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship at high tide, surrounded by colourful boats in the harbour
  • King Street - climbing up beside the harbour, King Street is a good vantage point to photograph the vibrant houses of the town
  • The breakwater - head out along the breakwater a short way and turn back to your right to photograph the beach

Capture your own night time shot of the harbour by staying in one of our cottages in Brixham.


Majestic Exeter cathedral from an enviable vantage point


It's not all just countryside and coastline in Devon; there are some wonderful cities and towns which to capture some beautiful shots, too! Exeter, right in the heart of the county, has beautiful old-style streets, a gorgeous quay and gardens, but it's the cathedral which towers over the city centre. Visit in the springtime to enjoy a picnic in front of the cathedral on emerald green grass before taking your snaps.

Top three photo spots:

  • Cathedral Green - choose between photographing the impressive cathedral, or some of the old buildings around the green
  • Rougemont Castle - wait for a good light to shoot the remains of the red stone castle wall
  • The Quay - sunset is a good time to capture the quay in all its beautiful glory

Stay in Devon's capital in one of our great self-catering Exeter cottages.


Dune grasses sway in the warm breeze at Woolacombe beach


Although we've mentioned plenty of coastal spots, we haven't mentioned a beach yet (slaps own wrist)! There are so many to choose from, it's hard to narrow it down to one location. However, Woolacombe on the north coast has miles of sand stretching all the way down to its neighbouring beach of Putsborough, while the village is popular with holidaymakers all over the world. Late summer, with warm evenings and red sun, is a great time to take your snap.

Top three photo spots:

  • The sand dunes - crouch among the sand dunes where the sea grass gives added interest to the foreground
  • Beach huts - on a sunny day, the beach huts make for a cheerful photo
  • Barricane beach - flanked by rocky outcrops, this tiny bay makes for a beautiful shot

We have a great range of holiday cottages in Woolacombe for you to choose from so you can stay right by the world-renowned beach.


Looking over the river to Kingswear on a scorching summer's day


Set on the western bank of the River Dart estuary is Dartmouth; one of South Devon's most popular and enchanting towns. Not only does the town have charming streets ladened with beautiful shopfronts, museums and art galleries, it's also surrounded by gorgeous countryside – perfect in the autumn when the light is lower and the lights shine that little bit brighter.

Top three photo spots:

  • Towards Kingswear - pick a spot on the quayside and shoot towards Kingswear to capture the landscape and boats on the river
  • Harbour - stand on the side of the harbour closest to the river and take your photo towards the town to capture the old buildings
  • From a boat - take a boat trip and snap photos of the town and castle from the river

Try to capture your own great photo by staying in a cottage in Dartmouth.

Plymouth Hoe

Iconic Smeaton's Tower stands strong on the Hoe


One of the most photographed locations in Devon – and it's no surprise why! The red-and-white-striped Smeaton's Tower, views of Plymouth Sound, Drake's Island, and across the Hamoaze to Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall and the low limestone cliffs that form the seafront… you could end up with an album of images! It's a beauty in the summer when you can sit on the grass and enjoy an ice cream while eyeing up your perfect shot.

Top three photo spots: 

  • Smeaton's Tower - look out across the sea and snap your photo with Smeaton's tower in the foreground
  • Hoe Road - walk south west along Hoe Road and turn to capture Plymouth Hoe with the sea in the foreground
  • The Lido - take one of the little paths down from Madeira Road to get a good vantage point of the beach huts and lido with Smeaton's Tower and the Hoe above

A photo of Smeaton's Tower is not to be missed when you visit the city, so why not stay close by in one of our cottages in Plymouth.


Plan a photography trip to Devon

We hope we've inspired you to get out and about in Devon, visiting all of these beautiful places and finding your own hidden gems, too! Find somewhere to stay close by to all of these wonderful locations by booking one of our self-catering cottages in Devon!

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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