Spectator readers are known for their views — fierce, funny, original. Now we want not only your opinions, but your visual views as well. This week’s magazine features Sam Leith’s lovely review of Simon Jenkins’ wonderful book, ‘England’s 100 Best Views’. What are your favourite views, from these shores and beyond? Send them to us. Also, don’t forget we’re canvassing your viewpoint with our Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize — the £2,000 award for unconventional travel writing. Only three more weeks till that competition closes.
To kick off our reader photo spree, we thought we’d give you some views of our own.
The photo above shows editor Fraser Nelson’s favourite view, Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich. Fraser says: ‘We Highlanders have a great many stunning views to choose from; this is perhaps, for me, the most emotional. It’s an iconic image of Scotland: the bridge, the loch, the glen. Not nearly as old as it looks, but it’s almost as if the architect wanted to create the perfect vista, the image most likely to pull at the heartstrings of Scots. You see this driving from the Isle of Skye. It leaves you in no doubt that you’re in God’s country.’
Our Coffee House editor Isabel Hardman’s view is of Coniston Water in Cumbria, where she spent a late autumn holiday last year. ‘Everyone clearly thought the Lakes in November would be a stupid idea, so we had a whole week of clear weather and empty fells to trudge over for hours, setting the world to rights. There was a slightly awkward half an hour of wading knee-deep through an icy bog, determined to find a footpath that clearly only exists in the summer. But I’ve never had a lovelier, or quieter, holiday.’
For Spectator Australia‘s editor Tom Switzer, ‘The views of Sydney Harbour at day and night are the world’s most spectacular. If I could turn back time, I’d want to be in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 to witness the arrival of the First Fleet. I’m sure Governor Arthur Phillip, his officers and the convicts were in awe. Even without the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and city skyline, this place is nirvana.’
Ben Saunders is the consummate traveller – he is preparing to make the first return journey to the South Pole on foot, completing Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition. Look out for our interview with him in the winter issue of Spectator Life. Ben loves the Watkins Mountains of Greenland – ‘everywhere you look, there’s a spectacular view.’
Pulitzer Prize-winning Anne Applebaum, once deputy editor at the Spectator, says: ‘There is no view in the world like the one from the highway to Ghost Ranch, New Mexico: almost no cars, almost no people, only mountains which change colour according to the light and the weather, and Indian ghosts….’
Aidan Hartley is our Wild Life columnist and recently wrote a series of scorching reports on what’s been happening in Nairobi. His favourite view is of Mount Kenya. ‘Africa’s second highest mountain is the centre of my world. It is there below me as I fly out on an assignment, there in the gate of clouds welcoming me back. Next year I am taking our daughter Eve to climb the mountain, and our son Rider follows the year after.’
Mary Wakefield’s view is of Lindisfarne Castle, on Holy Island on the Northumberland coast. She grew up in this area and often goes back there to paint. Mary was the winner of the Shiva Naipaul Prize in 2000, with her piece about laying a honeytrap for a Texan televangelist. She is now deputy editor of the Spectator.
Now it’s up to you to send us your views from all over world. Do try to make them as high-res as possible, make sure they don’t infringe any copyright, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish the best of the crop in a blogpost – and in an album on our Facebook page - two weeks from now. And don’t forget you have until 25 October to send in your entry for our £2,000 Shiva Naipaul Prize for travel writing. The winning piece is published in the Spectator’s special Christmas issue. Past winners include a young Hilary Mantel. More details here.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite views. It’s the Perhentian Islands off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, where the waters are transparent for miles and miles around.
Update: Taki has given us his view. Our always opinionated High Life columnist (this week he says that Mayor Bloomberg is ruining New York) picks a small bay in Cephalonia island in the Ionian Sea called Assos. ‘It is a deep water bay, with green-blueish water, totally forested with a large ruined castle on top overlooking the bay. I drop anchor there and at times swim towards a cave where a seal swims guarding her babies. You can only see their green eyes as it’s dark inside. Best place in Greece, and still undiscovered by the ghastly Russians.’
Update 2: The Spectator’s chairman Andrew Neil has picked a high-rise vantage point. ‘It’s the view from my apartment in New York – my favourite view in my favourite city.’
One more week to send us your view! (email@example.com)
Tags: Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize, Travel