Winning image for Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide

The winning image for the cover of next year's Northumberland Coast AONB Visitor Guide.

A picture of Holy Island causeway by a self-taught, North-East photographer has been chosen as the front-cover image for next year’s Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide.

The winning entry was taken by Ben Wayman, a photographer who lives in Newcastle.

The winning image for the cover of next year's Northumberland Coast AONB Visitor Guide.

He said: “As a change from my usual Northumberland woodland or hill walk, I decided to head up the coast. I was familiar with the great sweeping beaches, but thought I’d head to Holy Island/Lindisfarne early to watch the sunrise.

“Luckily, the clouds began to break up and the sun burst through, lighting up the island. What better way to begin your day? We are so very lucky to have such a beautiful landscape on our doorstep; if we deserve to have it, then it deserves to be looked after and cherished.”

The image was chosen as the winner of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership’s photographic competition by judges Coun Jeff Watson, Ken Stait and Jane Coltman. The shot will feature on the cover of 50,000 visitor guides next summer. Ben will also receive a £150 voucher for Stait Photo in Morpeth.

Jane Coltman, deputy images editor at Johnston Press North of Tyne, which includes the Northumberland Gazette and Berwick Advertiser, said: “I was so impressed with the entry of images in this competition. The AONB celebrates our wonderful coast and the photographs we looked at reflected this so well. The winning picture is of an iconic place in Northumberland and the photographer’s skill combined with the glorious light has produced a superb image.”

Ken Stait, who runs Stait Photo in Morpeth and Hexham, sponsored the competition and was also a judge. “We had quite a few photos of Bamburgh Castle to judge, but the simplicity and serenity of this photograph set it apart,” he said. “It is a beautiful shot.”

Coun Jeff Watson, chairman of the AONB Partnership, added: “I was taken aback by the quality of the photos, there were some magnificent images. It was a difficult decision, but I’m very pleased with the outcome. I think it’s not only a beautiful photo, but also easily recognisable as Holy Island causeway.”

The Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide provides information to visitors about the landscape, history, wildlife and villages of the coast as well lots of things for visitors to do and see during their stay. It will be published next March.

Businesses wishing to advertise in the guide should contact Mike Jones at Command Print on 01665 713899 or email

The judges also chose a runner-up and highly-commended entry. Several other photographs that were short-listed will also feature in the Visitor Guide. Runner-up – Silky Waves at Stag Rock, by Valerie Seaward. Highly commended – Ross Sands, by Ben Wayman.

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