The Best Family Photoshoot Locations
near London and Hampshire

best family photography locations hampshire

The Best Family Photoshoot Locations in Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and London

As a family photographer in Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and London, my greatest passion is to shoot on location portraits.

We have so many incredible locations near us, and after 15 years as a family photographer, I have developed something of a guru-level local knowledge of the spots that photograph the best!

I am often asked by clients about advice about the best location for their family photoshoot. So today, I am sharing my top ten public locations for family portraits near me.  Read on – if you are looking for a source of inspiration for our next photo session, there is plenty to be found here.

Odiham Ford, Hampshire

Probably one of my most beloved portrait locations in Hampshire is this small, unassuming ford in Odiham, near Hook.  The water is clear and shallow – perfect for a splash on a hot summer’s day – or any time of the year, so long as you have wellies! It’s surrounded by a wooden walkway and soft grassy verges, both of which enhance its appeal as a photographic backdrop.  

Located just a short walk away along the Basingstoke Canal, and a frequent combination with a splash in the pond, are the ruins of Odiham Castle. The site is very compact and provides an attractive and textured backdrop to family photography sessions with children of any age.

Best features:

  • Stunning foliage in autumn 
  • Plenty of water – the canal, streams and a ford 
  • Mix of historical and naturalistic backdrop.

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Micheldever Wood, Winchester, Hampshire

Micheldever Wood is a beech woodland near Winchester, and the ultimate natural location for family photo sessions. It is beautiful all year round, but offers particularly impressive backdrops in Spring and Autumn.

Its springtime bluebell displays in April are renowned, and for good reason! Carpets of delicate purple flowers adorn the floors of the woods, with a rewarding visual effect for family photography with children of all ages.  

The tall beech trees turn all shades of gold, orange and red in October, again allowing us to capture breathtaking combinations of textures and colours for your family portraits.

Shooting in the early morning or sunset ensures the most beautiful light to accentuate the colours of the season. 

Best features:

  • Sweeping woodland views
  • One of the best bluebell displays in the country
  • Intense colour all year round
  • Easily accessible paths

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West Wittering Beach, Chichester, West Sussex

West Wittering Beach in East Sussex has everything you could ever ask for from a seaside location. Fine white sands stretching for miles, and clear blue waters (with Blue Flag status!) to swim in, or shallow lagoons to splash around in at low tide.

The sand dunes are the perfect growing environment for a number of beach grasses and other vegetations, while the multicoloured beach huts give the beach that unmistakeable British seaside charm. 

It is one of my most requested locations and, at around 1h30m drive from the Home Counties, one the farthest of the locations listed in this post. However, trust me – the early start are absolutely worth the effort. We can shoot there during the warmer months, usually between the Spring and the early Autumn. 

Best features:

  • Blue sea, white sands and colourful huts;
  • Shallow lagoons perfect for splashing;
  • Huge beach, rarely overcrowded;
  • Family day at the beach after we’re done with the shoot!

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Basing House, Old Basing, Hampshire

Basing House is very local to me and I often suggest it as a location to out-of-town clients, especially when coupled with a studio session. The short walk from the car park to the site coasts the Basingstoke Canal and features an old railway bridge, a wooden bridge and many opportunities for bird spotting. The location itself is a fascinating journey into the English Civil War, with a well preserved barn still bearing the signs of a siege, and the remains of the once-opulent House.

The well-kept grounds feature a garden, an orchard, and even some ancient cannons. 

As an added bonus, the fantastic The Street Bakeshop is just around the corner, with plenty of delicious cakes and pastries for a post-session treat! 

Best features:

  • Riverside walk with ducks!
  • Scenic bridge arches
  • Ancient walls
  • Walled garden 


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Hitchin Lavender, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Lavender is in full bloom during the month of July, so it makes a great backdrop for summer photo shoots. Hitchin Lavender is perfect for clients based in London, as it is only 40 minutes away.

The Lavender Fields at Alton, Lordington Lavender at Chichester and Mayfield Lavender at Banstead also boast picturesque lavender field locations, and may be more convenient to you depending on where you are based.

Please note that a small photography fee, levied by the farm owners, applies to shoots at all the above locations.

Best features:

  • Sweeping field views; 
  • Incredible colours;
  • Facilities on site.

More info

Dinton Pastures, nr. Reading, Berkshire

Dinton Pastures is a lovely natural haven situated in Wokingham, Berkshire. It is constituted by a a series of picturesque lakes surrounded by a sprawling area of woodland and meadows.

With its well-kept paths and picturesque wooden jetties and bridges, there is so much to explore, making it ideal for photoshoots with children of all ages. 

Best features:

  • Scenic lakeside views
  • Variety of foliage all year round
  • Very accessible for people of all ages
  • Walled garden 
  • Easy access

More info

The Royal Gardens at Kew, London

The wild botanic gardens of Kew are one of London’s best known tourist destinations. The 330-acre site in South-West London combines shrubland and wild landscapes with perfectly manicured English gardens, sculptures, bridges and other structures of interest.

It really is an all-year-round location, where we can photograph blossom in the Spring, wildflowers and woodland in Summer and colourful foliage in the Autumn.

It combines natural beauty with architectural interest, enabling us to achieve lots of different looks within the same session – and make sure that children of all ages never get bored.

Best features:

  • Large spaces so it doesn’t feel crowded; 
  • Huge variety of trees and flowers;
  • Artistic features, like buildings and sculptures. Great for children to explore!

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Waverley Abbey, Farnham, Surrey

Waverley Abbey is the ruin of a 10th century monastery. It is located in a peaceful rural location near Farnham, in Surrey. 

It is a hauntingly beautiful naturalistic site, where many of the features of the original building can still be identified. Arches, columns, weathered walls and even the perimeter of the original building are still visible. 

 It has an otherworldly atmosphere and is most often very quiet, making it not only a fantastic location for a family photoshoot, but just a charming place in which to spend time in its own right.

Best features:

  • The ancient beautiful ancient ruins 
  • Charming walk from the parking area alongside the river (lots of swans, ducks and other waterfowl!);
  • Fun around the old yew tree on the site (2023 Tree of the Year!)

More info

Donnington Castle, Newbury, Berkshire

A picturesque 14th century ruin perched on top of a hill in the town of Donnington, just outside of Newbury. Donnington Castle has it all:  open countryside views, ancient walls with character, history and texture, and soft green space for even the youngest of visitors. Your children will love running along the wall perimeter and playing hide-and-seek among the trees surrounding the monument. 

A lovely quiet spot for light, airy and summery images.

Best features:

  • Sweeping views
  • Historical castle site
  • Ancient perimeter walls
  • Wildflowers in summer

More info

St Catherine’s Hill, Winchester, Hampshire

This one’s for the hikers and walkers! If you would like to combine a family photo shoot with a hike or a picnic, St Catherine’s Hill is the place for you.

On the way up, your children will love the accessible woodland, which is particularly colourful during the autumn. And once on the top, you will be rewarded by spectacular views over the city of Winchester and an extensive wild flower display during the summer months. 

So many butterflies to be spotted! My favourite part would have to be the steps on the clearer side of the hill, which look straight out of a fairytale illustration.

Best features:

  • Diverse scenery at every season;
  • Scenic views;
  • Variety of wildlife to spot!

More info

Thank you for staying with me to the very end of this long post! As comprehensive as it is, it’s just a starting point – there are at least twice as many gorgeous settings that I could recommend for your portrait photo shoots. So let’s get inspired together – drop me a line using the form below, and let’s see where your next portraits will take us.

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