Sue and I went to Wales recently – it was planned that we’d go to South Wales first as she was born there but hadn’t physically seen the place because the family moved when she was a baby. We stayed in Crickhowell and used it as a base to cover walking by the River Usk and the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. The weather was forecast to be rainy but we managed to dodge it and find a few good places.

We then went up to Betws-y-Coed for a few days and did the same. Lovely hotel just by the River Llugwy and a room with a balcony thrown in for good measure overlooking the water. We had intended to go to Bodnant Gardens for one of the days but hadn’t realised about booking prior to going so couldn’t get in – I wonder how many people just turned up to be turned away!

Anyway – here’s a few photos of where we went.

Breaks in the Lakes

Only 3 days away but how we managed to recharge the batteries a bit mentally. On the other hand, not having had much exercise for a little while we drained the physical ones. Easedale Tarn, Elterwater, The Coffin Route, Rydal Caves and Rydal Water together with Grasmere meant that we had a series of good sleeps! Here’s a few images :-

Croatia – Places & other stuff

Further to my last post, here are some of the places we went to see. The Krka Falls are just spectacular and although there were plenty of people there, it was too early in the season for the swimmers so there was no roped off foreground where they were allowed to swim. The church and monastery on Vis by night was beautiful and looked so tranquil. Sue found the monument in Vodice to the Victims of Communist Yugoslavia particularly poignant. I liked the Monument to the Sun in Zadar – it is solar powered and lights up at night with constantly changing colours. Also, although we couldn’t see it, we heard the Sea Organ at Zadar – Google it for a good set of images and explanation.

The route into Milna on Brac Island was very picturesque and there was a lovely church interior to see, but next door was a really squalid looking building with no roof and varying amounts of detritus inside and outside.

As I said in my last post, this ship was small and there wasn’t really anywhere to be on your own but we met some nice people – the crew were very helpful and so was our tour leader, especially when I fell on the last but one evening. There was a leak coming through a light fitting and the wooden floor in the bedroom was saturated and I got up in the middle of the night and slipped flat on my back. Luckily no bones broken but I was sore for a week.

Finally, our cabin is the one indicated – the doors open directly on to the walkway around the ship so you need to keep the blind closed!

Falling Foss

I’ve never considered myself to be a mountain goat and yesterday proved the point. My mate Pete Stockton and I, had decided to make another trip to Falling Foss. It is a pretty place with a lovely tea room serving wonderful home make cakes and other tasty treats (it was shut). Never mind, Pete had been to get some pies from Stokesly on the way and we had something to drink so all was well.

The last time we ventured there we encountered a woodland nymph crashing through the undergrowth in a pair of hiking boots with mud up to her knees declaring that she wanted to be at one with nature and took her shoes and socks off and walked towards the waterfall. All we wanted was a bit of peace and quiet.

Anyway, this time the descent was a bit easier but I have to say that choosing the wrong way back up, I needed a bit of a pull up from Pete otherwise I’d have ended up back in the stream. If he hadn’t been there I’d still be there. So this brings me on to another point. My camera bag is too heavy and having talked about changing brands to a lighter option, I’m going to have to look seriously at it.

Here’s a couple of images from the day – yes, the trees were that colour and so was the sky. It clouded over an hour after we got there and we found refuge in a nice little pub!  :-


North Yorkshire Waterfalls+

My friend Pete Stockton and I, decided to have a day photographing red squirrels in Hawes – that post comes later. We needed something to fill our first day so naturally, waterfalls and landscapes were the order of the day. We started fairly late after brunch in Leyburn and then went up to West Burton. Not as much water there as we thought – considering there had been a stack of water the preceding day, not too far away where Pete lives. Nevertheless, we had a good couple of hours there, then moved on to Cotter Force and finally up to Keld where we saw a good barn with a few clouds, so here are some images from our excursion :-

West Burton Falls

Whilst walking in North Yorkshire recently, I took the opportunity to check out a place that my friend Pete Stockton and I had discussed going to last year but never had enough time. Waterfalls are a particular favourite of mine and West Burton Falls, being so close to Aysgarth Falls, are possibly underrated. They do, however, rattle through the village of West Burton at a great rate of knots. I met a couple of other photographers whilst I was there and one chap from Harrogate thought it unusual to see three photogs complete with tripod on one day so that sort of proves the point. Anyway, we thought the village was just stunning, so much so that we looked around for property whilst there. SWMBO was very taken with the place and explored in great detail whilst I happily took some images. Here are a few, together with one view taken whilst travelling towards Muker for a nice circular walk between Muker and Keld.

Swaledale view West Burton Falls 2 West Burton Falls 3 West Burton Falls

Summerhills Force

Following on from the previous post. I found Summerhills Force to be the most interesting of the three falls that we visited. There are a number of alternative tracks to walk – we only covered the right hand bank as you walk towards the falls. The left hand bank leads you away from the water and over a hill and I’m looking forward to that next time. There’s a great vantage point for an image about half way down. I’m unsure which I prefer – whether it’s the power of the main fall with the cave behind it, or the patterns made by the water, or the overall length with the minor falls as well. Everyone will, I hope, have their own favourite too. This place is well worth a visit. There’s a good car park and a short walk across the road leads you down to Low Force.

A short drive up the road takes you to High Force and you can photograph the Force from both sides of the water. The light had just gone from the main Force so my set of images weren’t anything special – I’d need to visit earlier in the day to get what I wanted.

I hope you like these of Summerhills Force.

Summerhills Falls 2 Summerhills Falls 3 Summerhills Force top

Low Force

There was a lot of rain earlier this week so quite fortuitously a friend and I had decided to venture up to High Force, Low Force and Summerhills Force to capture what we though would be great images. We weren’t disappointed – and just to confirm our choice, the car parks at each place were full!

We found a lovely little pub called The Strathmore Arms, just a few miles out of Middleton in Teesdale, well worth it. A further journey down to West Burton had been on the cards but by the time we’d walked over 5 miles with backpacks on and taken a good number of images, the sun was starting to descend and we’d have been out of light. Still, there’s always another day…

Here’s an image of Low Force :-

Low force

North Yorkshire calls

I have a friend up in the North East, called Pete Stockton, from a Photography forum called Canon Fodder Forums. We’ve met on a number of group shoots with CFF but as I had just got a new DSLR, the same as his, we decided to swap info and go on a couple of days shoot. When you’re planning a while in advance, you get what the weather gives you and typically, we had good and bad. Got soaked to the skin last Sunday at Thomason Foss but fared a lot better the following day at Saltwick Bay and Falling Foss. Here’s some images from the day :-

Admiral von Tromp at Saltwick Bay-1 Falling Foss Staithes tonemapped-2-Edit-2