Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer | Yorkshires Hidden Gems

Yorkshires Hidden Gems

October 21, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

5 places to photograph in Yorkshire that you may not have heard of or know about.


1. Runswick Bay


Just up the coast from the idyllic and ever so popular town of Whitby is Runswick Bay. Nestled away in the cliffs of the north sea is a small community, a flurry of local fishermen and one of the best bays on the East Coast. If you can get yourself here early on a morning, chances are you’ll only share the sunrise with the small fishing vessel heading out for the days catch.


Go here for:

  • A wide angle bay shot

  • Traditional fishing community

  • Small and pokey steets

  • Long exposure water and rock shots


Runswick Bay Runswick Bay

Runswick BayLooking Back to Hamlet


2. Hornsea


This tiny seaside town is my hometown and where I first studied photography so excuse me if I’m a little biased. Hornsea – famed for its pottery (sadly no longer in business) – boasts a great beach and Yorkshires largest fresh water lake-cum-mere. With only a handful of fish and chip shops and amusement arcades you don’t get the traffic jams and mess that comes with honeypot seaside towns. What makes Hornsea attractive for a photographer is 2 things. The weathered sand groynes that disappear into the North Sea, and its Mere which is a haven for local & migrating birds. If you haven’t got the time to sit in one of the bird hides dotted around the mere then take a rowing boat from the mereside cafe & boat house.


Go here for:

  • Long exposures of Sand Groynes & Rocks

  • Birds (particularly swans & geese) on Hornsea Mere

  • Fish & Chips

  • A steady rowing trip.



3. Farndale


From the coast to the moors now. When I mention Farndale to most people, the reply is always – Daffodils! Ok, I might be steering away from the subject of this article but here's the thing. Get away from the Daffy walk! What you probably didn’t know is that the daffodils grow wild the full length of the dale following the River Dove to the top. To really get a view of these, plan a walk that climbs up the moors but then take one of the many public footpaths that criss cross the dale, down into the valley and then up and back round. I guarantee that in the right time of year you will see thousands of daffodils unspoilt by human but maybe nibbled at by sheep. When you’re done, head to the Daffy cafe for a brew and some cake. You might want to keep this secret to your self though!


Go here for:

  • A challenging and rewarding walk in the moors
  • An exploration to find more daffodils
  • Head before Daffodil time to catch the bluebells.
  • Close up wild daffodil shots


4. Blow Gill Falls, nr. Hawnby


Continuing with the moors is a little place I cannot wait to visit again. Blow Gill waterfall is on the Hawnby to Osmotherley road, approx. 2 miles north of Hawnby. As waterfalls go in the North York Moors, its one of the smaller but this is what makes it better. Its lesser known! In autumn is its peak time of year, as the trees leave a carpet of beautifully coloured leaves. There are many of walks in the area you can take, to include this hidden gem or you can park up and have a look. The road where the water passes is a curving sweep ‘S’ bend, that lends to one of my favourite autumnal shots.


Go here for:

  • Long exposure water fall shots
  • Long exposure leaf pools
  • Autumnal shots
  • A moorland walk with trees & forest



5. Thornwick Bay


Thornwick Bay is another hidden bay, that’s shadowed by their more famous neighbouring bays. On the North Face of Flamborough head, when heading to the North Landing (known for its boat house and fishing vessels), take a left turn signpost ‘Thornwick Bay’. Many don’t see this, as they know only the North Landing, and are keen to get to the destination. Take it steady here, don’t rush on the path down to the bay ( try and get there at low tide), it'll be worth it. Unlike the other bays at Flamborough, here you can climb to the one of the rocky outcrops safely and just sit and take it all in. In Summer, the north facing cliffs lend to some amazing sunsets, just about over the water. If you’re there in the morning, there is a cafe to get a hot drink to warm up.


Go here for:

  • Sunsets over the sea (rare on the East Coast)
  • Quieter than the other areas on Flamborough Head
  • More to explore!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post, and I like to think it’ll give you an idea of somewhere else to visit that’s a little more ‘off the beaten track’. If you do visit let me know, I’d love to see your photos.


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