Magical winners of 2023's Landscape Photographer of the Year contest

Britain at its most spellbinding: The mesmerising winning shots in the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2023 contest, from misty hills to a magical full moon

  • The annual Landscape Photographer of the Year contest ‘celebrates the wonder of the British landscape’ 
  • This year, the top prize goes to Mik Dogherty for a stunning shot taken in the New Forest National Park
  • READ MORE: My night in Britain’s most haunted building, where I took photos that captured ‘spiritual energy’

Britain’s landscapes can leave you awestruck.

That’s made clear by the stunning photographs that have earned prizes at the 2023 Landscape Photographer of the Year contest, an annual awards that ‘celebrates the wonder of the British landscape’.

‘The competition aims to inspire profound engagement with the British landscape through photography,’ a statement notes.

A shot of a lightning storm off the Hampshire coast, a picture of a wintry scene in the Yorkshire Dales, and an image of a ‘monster’ sea stack in the Orkney archipelago are some of the photographs that have charmed the judges this year.

But the coveted title of Landscape Photographer of the Year 2023 goes to Mik Dogherty for his evocative picture of the aftermath of a heath fire in the New Forest National Park. Awards Founder Charlie Waite praises the ‘sheer striking beauty’ of the photo which he says ‘transports us to a place of transcendent emotional experience’.

The best entries in the contest have been compiled into a new book and will go on display in a touring exhibition that’s launching in late November at London’s Paddington Station, so to allow a wide net of people to ‘experience the wonderful diversity’ of the British landscape. Scroll down to see the photographs that have garnered acclaim – with Dogherty’s winning shot at the bottom…

This incredible shot, highly commended in the Coastal category, shows the moment a lightning bolt struck off the coast of Sussex. Writing about his love of photographing the sea on his website, photographer Jamie Fielding comments: ‘The sea presents nature in its rawest forms, from still and gentle to wild and powerful’

Commended in the Classic View category, this glorious image shows the river of Cowside Beck weaving through the landscape near Arncliffe village in the Yorkshire Dales. It was captured in the light of the evening by photographer Martin Priestley 

Martin Priestley captured this wintry scene, which is highly commended in the Classic View category. Titled ‘Dales Mist’, it shows the view from a hill known as Beamsley Beacon on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Martin says he likes the way the building in the frame ‘was highlighted by the sunlight, and also framed with autumnal trees’

This magical shot shows the landscape leading up to Ashcombe Mill, Sussex, under a pink haze. Highly commended in the Classic View category, it was captured by photographer Lloyd Lane 

This autumnal shot of the ‘Tu Hwnt I’r Bont Tearoom’ along the River Conwy in Llanrwst, Wales, is commended in the ‘Youth – Classic View’ category. It’s the work of young photographer Llewelyn Thorold

This atmospheric shot, captured by Guy Corbishley, shows early morning mist over the River Thames, ‘abstracting London Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast’. The picture is commended in the Cityscapes category

Belgian photographer Julien Delaval takes the top prize in the Classic View category with this beautiful image. It shows The Needle, a rock formation on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, on a November morning 

This enchanting image shows Glastonbury Tor in Glastonbury, Somerset, emerging from the morning mist. Taken by Adam Burton, it is highly commended in the Bird’s Eye View category

Lightning strikes the Solent, a strait between the Isle of Wight and mainland Britain, in this vibrant image, captured from the hamlet of Lepe along the Hampshire coast. Photographer Stuart Bennett comments: ‘The old boathouse at Lepe looks out towards the Isle of Wight with a storm overhead. A brief lull in the torrential rain allowed me to capture a shot that I’d been thinking about for a few years.’ He says that ‘fighting the wind and the rain’ proved the most challenging part of capturing this shot. The picture is commended in the Coastal category

In this eerie photograph, taken from the banks of the River Tamar in Saltash, Cornwall, the Grade-listed Royal Albert Bridge disappears into the fog. Captured by Elizabeth Coles, it’s highly commended in the My Railway Journey category 

This evocative photograph shows locomotive 7029 Clun Castle hauling the Cumbrian Mountaineer Express north on the Settle-Carlisle Railway over Cumbria’s Arten Gill Viaduct. Photographer Matthew James Turner remarks: ‘Standing alone in the pouring rain for this picture was definitely worth it once the train arrived, as the stormy conditions and powerful steam trail combined to create a timeless railway scene.’ The shot is highly commended in the My Railway Journey category 

Bamburgh Castle along the Northumberland coast pierces through the fog in this remarkable picture by Alan Leghtley. It is commended in the ‘Classic View’ category

Shropshire’s Highley Station, a stop on the Severn Valley Railway, is illuminated by lamplight in this shot by Rebecca Lammas. It’s commended in the My Railway Journey category

In this image, Richard Bowden captures ‘intense light shining through a rainbow arch’ onto the base of Arkle mountain in the Scottish Highlands. The picture is highly commended in the Classic View category

This serene picture has earned Aaron Northwood the title of Young Landscape Photographer of the Year.  Titled ‘The Wishing Tree’, it was taken near the town of Craven Arms in Shropshire. Commenting on the image, awards founder Charlie Waite says: ‘The graceful arc and slant, the detail of every delicate branch, the supportive, appropriately vague adjacent hedges, and the snow dusting around the trunk base all deliver nature’s beauty to us to our immense satisfaction. Look carefully to see the suggestion of a rook or crow in the top left-hand segment’

Dorset’s Corfe Castle Station is the subject of this moody photograph by Tony Cowburn, which is commended in the My Railway Journey category

A rainstorm rolls over the landscape of Scotland’s Assynt region in this powerful picture by photographer Ben Lateu-Smith. He notes that Assynt ‘experiences all kinds of weather throughout the year’, adding: ‘This particular rain storm appeared as quickly as it vanished, saturating the mountains along the way.’ Lateu-Smith reveals he was on a ‘very cold and wet’ wintertime camping trip when he took the shot, which is highly commended in the Change in the Landscape category

This breathtaking image shows the Enys Dodnan Arch near Land’s End off the coast of Cornwall. Photographer Ewan Chen notes that when he captured the photograph, the weather was ‘dramatic’ with ‘short bursts of light breaking through the clouds’ and a ‘visibly incoming hailstorm’. The image takes the top prize in the ‘Coastal Views’ category in the youth section of the contest

LEFT: This eye-catching shot by Peter Thompson shows a full moon rising behind the top of the Shard skyscraper in London. It’s commended in the Cityscapes category. RIGHT: ‘As sea stacks go, North Gaulton Castle on the west coast of Orkney’s mainland is hard to beat,’ says Adam Burton of the subject of this epic photo, which is commended in the Coastal category. ‘At 170ft (52m) high, this incredible stack is a monster and yet to look at it from this angle you could be forgiven for thinking it is incredibly delicate and about to crumble into the sea,’ he adds. ‘However, the angle is deceptive… its depth is around four times greater than its width’

This brilliant photograph of the ‘iconic’ Burnham-on-Sea lighthouse, captured by Colette Hood, is highly commended in the ‘Change in the Landscape’ category 

Drumroll… this is the photograph that has earned Mik Dogherty the title of Landscape Photographer of the Year. It shows the aftermath of a heath fire near Beaulieu in the New Forest National Park, Hampshire. He says that the charred branches in the frame were later ‘mostly devoured by the New Forest ponies and cattle’ 

Landscape Photographer of the Year – Collection 16, published by Ilex Press, is on sale now for £35. The picture on the cover, showing Thurne Mill in Norfolk, is commended in the Classic View category. Setting the scene for the image, photographer Jay Birmingham says: ‘On this particular morning, the water was still and a mist hung over the [River Thurne].’ He adds: ‘As I took the photograph, a bird flew into the scene on the right-hand side, completing the moment of tranquillity.’ The image is commended in the Classic View category

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