Archives for category: Landscape

Third time I have now done this walk.  Third time it has been wet.  For much of the walk visibility was poor as the cloud and mist was our guide.  Spirits were low as we were constantly battered by wind and rain as we tried to walk across peat and heather.  Ah the great outdoors!

You may find the photos here reflected the mood on the day!


You know when something seems a good idea and reality cracks you in the nuts?

The idea was this.  Get up sharp, get down the quayside and capture the Newcastle Quayside waking up.  The people grasping their take away coffee to keep warm and the reflections in the tyne plus the waking sky.  The end results were satisfying but not only didnt I get a coffee myself, but my hands were freezing by the time I was done!

Thought for the day – someone needs to invent a tripod with heated legs…

I’m planning another trip down, this time when the sun has broken.  There is a lot of glass on the Quayside and I’m planning some reflection work as well.


Took a walk to the lake district this weekend and was fortunate enough to have near perfect weather.  I’ve started taking my camera on these walks packed with my kit lens (I have my eye on a Sigma wide angle lens for these walks, maybe after Christmas!).  I dont take my tripod though as would be a bit much to carry (though I may plan a climb for photos only so will take it).

The route I take for the Fairfield Horse shoe starts off in Rydal (tip! part on the road outside the church at the edge of Rydal Visitor Centre.  It’s free parking but I’d encourage you to leave a tip in the church box that’s there).  I walk clockwise around so thats takes you up Nab Scar, Heron Pike and Great Rigg before you arrive at the top of Fairfield.  The top can be a little confusing so Id certainly recommend a compass here as you double back on yourself for the horseshoe.  It’s all too easy to take the wrong path towards St Sunday crag and end up in Patterdale!

Coming off Fairfield you drop down on to Hart Crag, Dove Crag and High Pike before arriving back in Ambleside.

The walk has a total ascent of 3450 feet and is 10.5mile or 17.4 equivalent miles.  At an easy going pace it is 6 hours.

Some images from the walk:



So it’s 5.30am.  5.30am anywhere during October is generally cold.  5.30am in October in Northumberland you KNOW is going to be a bit chilly.  And Dark.  Oh, and in a Caravan, well, now maybe you start wondering how I even got out of bed.  That was kinda what was going through my head as I waited down on the beach at Amble.  This was my first attempt at a coastal sunrise and it didn’t disappoint.  I dont recall if it was really that cold.  Mild I think would be more accurate.  Either way, as soon as the light started to paint the slightly clouded sky I was in awe.  I was fortunate to keep some wits about me and load the grad filters and take some shots.  It was stunning.  Then when the sun did break the horizon it was like watching some cosmic event that only happens once every few hundred years.  I almost wanted to run back and grab the wife and kids (so the kids could look at the grass and say “what?, what do you see?”).

Yet, this happens every day.  But I think this is the first time I really saw it.


and finally to sneak this one in.  This was from later that day.  Amble Harbour.

A day out at the coast found us in Amble, Northumberland.  I’d love to go back a little better equipped (tripod and other lenses) but while there with my family I at least had my telephoto.  Few snaps later and a bit of processing here we go:

Few shots from a recent walk by the Quayside.

Well, what started as a potential visit to the air show became chilling out near Marsden Rock away from the crowds.  Good place to go if you want your head clearing.  Bit moody some of these, maybe it’s my mood tonight while processing!


Taken standing on a road that passes through Otterburn ranges.  This is looking North and the hill on the left of the horizon is Cheviot.  This was taken using 4 vertical images and stitched in PSE before importing and tweaking in LR. Thought of making it a b&w but I liked all of the different green tones.

The Coquet Valley is one of my favourite walking area’s of Northumberland.  There are so many in the area whether you head over to Simonside, further into the Cheviots, towards Kielder or even just the lowlands around Rothbury.  Stunning countryside but this was taking in the Coquet and initially starting at Harbottle.

Such is the importance of Harbottle it boasts not one, but two castles. The old castle was built by order of King Henry II soon after 1157

The current Harbottle Castle is a stately affair, being split into three private dwellings. History records Harbottle in the early 13th century as ‘Hirbottle’ ‘Here-botl’ or ‘Herbottle’, depending on which tongue you speak in! roughly translates to ‘station of the army’.  Harbottle is situated in the most beautiful part of the valley protected by the mighty Drakestone (see below) where you can experience breathtaking views to the Cheviot Hills. The walking is superb, you can still walk all day and hardly see a soul. Perfect!

I ventured on this walk with David Taylor and if you don’t know his work I’d recommend you visit I’ve learned more on a few days out with David than I have reading a multitude of books (mind, he also writes photography books!).

You can also find out more about Harbottle and the Coquet Valley at

Anyway, to the pictures.  We started off at the Castle and the views here are of the castle and at the castle looking down on to the village.  From here we head up to the Drakestone and then further along the Coquet Valley.  As we come back around through Otterburn ranges we took advantage of the view towards the Cheviots (Cheviot itself being on the left at the back) and getting down low with the Cotton Grass.  Oh, and do excuse the Top-Gear like imagery…

This next image was being framed by the trees.  A slightly longer shutter was to give movement to the branches etc.  Dont think I quite pulled this one off.

The Drake Stone.  Assume it is there as a result of a glacier.  Just not keen on the harsh shadow that crept in the bottom that hits the base of the stone.

Ok sorry, more of a snap shot but thought I’d leave it in!

While it’s easy to criticise your own work, I was happy with this what was likely my best shot of the day, also one of the last.  I like it’s warmth.  That which changed my mind about making this one b&w.

This last image was the only one taken with flash.  A very tricky shot as it was windy and the light was quickly going.  Needed a fast shutter to freeze the cotton grass in the wind but of course the fast shutter prevents light (that we needed).  The aperture was as wide as it could be (f/5.6) and still couldnt get enough light.  So, on went the flash.  Took a few shots while re-tweaking the aperture and shutter and this was the best one.






Ok so here are a couple of images from Slaley Hall though none actually of the hall itself.  I only gave myself a short window to grab some photographs while I was there and the weather wasn’t really playing ball.  The last two images are actually from Minsteracres which is a retreat near Slaley and I nipped there on the way past after Slaley.  Need to go back later in the year when the weather is more on my side.