Photography Competition

The South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2023

Thank you to all those who entered our South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2023 competition. Entries to this competition closed on 31st January. We received a massive 1,500 entries and can't wait to announce this year's winners in March 2024. Read on to learn about this year's judging panel.

We are thrilled to announce that Great Western Railway have come on board as the gold sponsor of the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year competition and will support a large-scale exhibition in the summer of 2024. 

We are excited to be working with GWR and hope that many photographers have been inspired to enter their images for the opportunity to share the beauty and diversity of the South West Coast Path to a wider audience. 

Read the full Press Release HERE.

We are also delighted to announce that Luxury Coastal will be providing a fantastic prize of a £500 voucher to be used towards a self-catering holiday, alongside 2x GWR return tickets to transport you to your coastal holiday destination.*

Below are the categories for the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2023. 

Your Path 

Connections to the coast path and what people experience as they explore the coastal environment are unique and personal to them. We’re looking for images that reflect what makes the Path special to you.

Urban Lines

The urban environment is not what the South West Coast Path is famed for, but it’s an important element and often a significant place for rest and recuperation between the more remote sections. Get inspired by the townscapes and cityscapes and celebrate the urban lines of the South West Coast Path. 


By its very nature, the South West Coast Path transects incredibly diverse habitats along the coastal margin. It also can provide the perfect vantage point to see life in our seas along the varied geological and natural landscapes it passes through. Share your photographs of nature in and around the Path.

Climate Change

We live in a changing world. Increased storms and rising sea levels are causing coastal erosion and loss of habitat, sometimes impacting the Path itself. How is climate change affecting the Coast Path and its nature and landscapes? We are looking for images that capture the climate crisis and show the impact it is having on the Coast Path. 

Sky Shot

Aerial photography provides a unique perspective of the coastal environment. Panoramic land and seascapes will need to show the photographers eye for detail using colour, texture, and light.

NB Please ensure that all drone photography submitted adheres to CAA guidelines.

Young Photographer of the Year (under 18)

This is an opportunity to create images through the lens of young eyes. Photographs can be from any category or indeed something that doesn’t fit in any but reflects an inspirational image inspired by young eyes and the Coast Path.

Entries to the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2023 are now closed.

South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2022

Last year's winning photograph was by Paul Boomsma of a herring gull in flight near Exmouth.

Seagull at Sea
Exmouth, Jurassic Coast 
Photographer: Paul Boomsma 

South West Coast Photographer of the Year 2023

Judging Panel

Trevor Burrows, Photographer

I am absolutely thrilled to have been asked to help judge the SW Coast Path Photo Competition. What could be more rewarding than to be given the opportunity to see images that celebrate in various ways our glorious South West region, via the guilded thread of the coastal path that yields wonderful views come rain or shine!
I shall personally be looking at the competency of the image on various levels, which doesn't always mean it has to be technically brilliant, along with being appropriate for the category entered. The considerations will be manifold but composition, use of colour, light, shade and strength of overall 'feeling' are crucial. So either find those images that you cherish from your long walks along our stunning 630 mile SW Coast Path or take the opportunity to venture forth and take more images! They could be your best yet and a winner!

Jessica Lennan, Artist and Lecturer in Photography

Jessica Lennan is a UK-based artist and lecturer in Photography at the University of Plymouth. Using photography as her primary medium, she is interested in the connection between humans and their immediate environment. Working also with natural materials like earth pigments, clay, and plants, her work explores concepts of place and the significance of materials and processes in shaping a relationship with the environment.

She graduated from the Ostkreuzschool for Photography (Berlin/Germany) in 2009 and completed an MA in Photography and the Book at Plymouth University (UK) in 2012.

Additional judges to be announced soon.

Main Prize Package

Terms and Conditions
The prize consists of (I) 2x GWR Standard Class Off-Peak return tickets, for travel on GWR services only and (II)£500 voucher from Luxury Coastal Holidays. GWR tickets must be used by 31 December 2024.

GWR Terms and Conditions

  1. The overall winner will be selected by the South West Coast Path Association and their decision is final.
  2. The prize cannot be given to employees or immediate families of Great Western Railway, or anyone professionally connected to the Photography Competition.
  3. In the event the overall winner is under 18, the prize will be issued to their parents or guardians.
  4. The prize is subject to availability, to be used by 31 December 2024. This date will not be extended as the result of any Covid-19 restrictions. There is no cash alternative or credit alternative to the prize and the prize cannot be exchanged for its cash value.
  5. Any extra costs incurred are not included within this prize.
  6. Great Western Railway reserves the right to provide a substitute prize should the specified prize become unavailable for reasons beyond its control. The prize is not transferable.
  7. Except as otherwise provided by applicable law, your contract with GWR and these Terms and Conditions shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the law of England and Wales. Disputes arising under these Terms and Conditions are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. 
  8. GWR’s decision is final on any situation including any not covered in these terms and conditions. No correspondence will be entered into in relation to any decisions made.
  9. Entry implies acceptance of these rules.
  10. The promoter is First Greater Western Limited, company number 05113733, registered at Milford House, 1 Milford Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1HL.

Luxury Coastal Terms and Conditions 

  1. The prize is a £500 Luxury Coastal holiday voucher.
  2. The voucher can be used to cover the cost of a holiday or can be used toward the cost of a more expensive holiday. 
  3. The voucher must be used on a holiday arriving on or before the date stated on the voucher (12 months from the date the voucher is supplied). 
  4. Entrants must be over the age of 18 and UK residents. 
  5. Standard Luxury Coastal booking terms and conditions apply. 
  6. There is no cash alternative, and the prize is not transferable. 
  7. The prize is not available in conjunction with any other offer. 
  8. Luxury Coastal reserves the right to amend or withdraw this promotion at any time.

Category Winners will each win a 1 year SWCPA membership.

The Young Photographer of the Year Award prize will be a 1 year SWCPA membership and £50 voucher to be spent at the SWCPA online shop.

Why do we run this competition?

This competition helps our charitable work to protect, improve and champion the South West Coast Path corridor for the health of its wildlife, communities and local economies. Your entries help us raise the profile of the Trail and the amazing places which it connects – as well as tell the story of some of the threats to its future. We are so grateful to all our competition participants who get involved to make it a success. 

> Donate to support our work here


Be inspired by previous winners...

2021 Winner - Christian Coan

2020 Winner - Lee Searle

2019 Winner - Nick Shepherd

2018 Winner - Josef FitzGerald-Patrick