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A gentle stroll around the Old Carriageways of the Cragside Estate starting at Rothbury afforded several good views of the Simonside Hills and surrounding countryside. First off a nice cup of coffee at one of the several tea/coffee shops along with several early motorcyclists.

Rothbury with the Simonside Hills Above

The route was very moderate with easy paths to find and walk on. Climbing out of the valley and Rothbury was possibly the most difficult part after that it was easy walking. We passed the entrance way into Cragside House which is a significant National Trust property with a very interesting history.

The Lake and Entrance to Cragside House
The Woodland Path
Simonside Hills Leading out to The Cheviots

Beverley was originally known as Inderawuda and was founded around 700 CE by St. John of Beverley during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. Beverley was once the tenth-largest town in England, as well as one of the richest, because of its wool and the pilgrims who came to venerate its founding saint, John of Beverley. After the Reformation, the stature of Beverley was much reduced.

Beverley Minster
Beverley Minster

The town best known for Beverley Minster, Beverley Westwood, North Beverley means beaver stream (beavers were once common in Britain). Bar (a 15th-century gate) and Beverley Racecourse.

North Bar Within (15th-century gate)

Within the market area of the town is a wonderful bandstand. Possibly used in the many festivals and street entertainment held in the market town over the years.

Beverley Bandstand

To the East of the market town you have the River Hull which leads all the way toHull and the Humber River. Beverley Shipyard opened in 1884 and continued to build ships until the yard closed completely in 1977. Ships were launched sideways into the river Hull.

The River Hull near Weel

Easter Sunday 2019

Masham is a small market town and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England. The market days of the area are Wednesday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday with a Farmers’ Market every first Sunday of the month from April to September. Although a relatively small town Masham has two working breweries, Black Sheep Bewery and Theakstons, situated a few hundred yards from each other.

The walk was to be a circular walk using parts of the Ripon Rowel long distance footpath which in its entirety is a 49 mile path around Ripon. This is a 13 mile walk using parts of the walk and ending back at Masham Market Place. The weather was very warm 23 degrees with full blue skies and little or no breeze, not ideal hiking conditions!

St Mary the Virgin church

It was a gentle drop down into the valley, across several fields heading all the way towards Leighton Reservoir. At this point we took a turn and headed towards the Druid’s Temple, High Knowle and Ilton with grand views over to Healey.

Healey
Old Barns and Dry Stone Walls

After several climbs many of them steep to get us back out of the valley we eventually headed back towards the River Ure via Nutwith Common and Oak Bank woodland. Then followed the River Ure back to Masham.

All in all an enjoyable day walking and photography in several different habitats.

Swaledale

Swaledale

Beautiful Swaledale on a spring day with intermittent sunshine and no rain, what could be more enjoyable. There are several waterfalls in the Keld, Upper Swaledale area and on a short 2.5 mile walking route. Which is probably fine for myself as it has been several months since I last exercised my hiking boots!

Not a great deal of water flowing in the river but enough to give a gentle, milky flow to the images of three main waterfalls. Wain Wath Force was just gently tumbling over the rocks but looked good with the blue cliffs which overshadow it.

Wain With Force

Then we have a waterfall which I couldn’t find a name for on my map. It was next to a house and looked very much as if it should have had a waterwheel attached to it. Being set next to the house and the Scots Pines growing beside it, it certainly added to the visual beauty of the scene.

After a short walk we then had Catrake Force and Kisdon Force to photograph. Each spectacular in it’s own right. Catrake certainly had the edge on Kisdon with it’s height and the way the water fell over the rocky face of the waterfall.

Cat Rake Force
Kisdon Force

All in all a very enjoyable day, easy walking and a few images to remember the day by!

Bamburgh

Arrived too late for sunrise but the sky was still clear and the light was good. Tried a different angle on getting images of the castle, from the righthand side there is a large pond which when I arrived was still and clear. The reflection was excellent but there were too many bushes and reeds to get what I wanted. Onto the sand and as the tide was on it’s way back in the sand was very nice and reflective with a good image of the castle in the wet sand.

Bamburgh Castle on the  Northumberland Coast

Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland Coast

Up early and a friend drove us both down to Ingleton for a full day’s hiking up Ingleborough then over to Twisleton and onto Scales Moor for the return journey back to the car park. Total distance of the walk was 18 miles with lots of image possibilities.

The weather was fair with lots of sunlight and blue sky to begin with, once we reached the summit of Ingleborough the cloud moved in and added some well needed atmospherics to the vista below.

Illustrated here is possibly the best image of the day, taken on the route back down from the summit.

Ingleborough

Who could want for better scenery for the second event of “Walking with your Camera” than that which is found at Buttermere in the heart of the English Lake District. The group of 16 photographers were all very enthusiastic as they arrived throughout the late afternoon, with lots of Oooo’s and Arrrrrr’s at the imposing grandeur of High Stile, Goat Crag and conversation about their own “White Knuckle Ride” down Honister Pass.

Alan Paul the group leader gave the first briefing before dinner with a short demonstration from myself on how to keep one’s camera dry should the traditional Cumbrian weather give us its normal “Four Seasons” in one day routine. It is wonderful what you can do with a few elastic bands and a bin bag!

After dinner it was down to the business of sorting out the settings of the many makes and sizes of cameras, everything from DSLR’s with multiple lenses and filters to small compacts and bridge cameras. Including one owner with a brand new Canon DSLR, just out of its box, with the battery charged up two days before arriving for the course!

Most people were ready for my suggestion of changing their camera settings from taking the normal jpg format, to taking one RAW file and one JPG as well as changing the mode from Automatic to AV or similar settings.

I had suggested to the group that I would be available each morning over the three days for a drive down to Derwentwater to capture sunrise. I even got an overwhelming response and no less than 11 of the 16 photographers were very keen on the idea. We met in the hallway of Hassness House at 5am. Some had been up slightly earlier and managed to grab a quick cuppa before venturing out. The weather initially looked anything but inspiring however; we piled into three cars and set off for Derwentwater slightly later than I had hoped.

On our arrival at the lakeside, there were some wonderful, cloudy atmospherics playing over Skiddaw and Blencathra which made it all feel worthwhile. Then as the time came for the sun to break the horizon the upper part of the sky was slightly tinted with a pinkish hue. Nothing spectacular, but enough to warrant a few extra photographs.

I spent my time giving one-to-one instruction to everyone as they stretched out along the Western Shore of the lake. I find myself giving lots of practical information about image composition, the use of strong foreground items, plus shutter speeds, ISO settings, filters, etc. Then all too soon it was time to return to Hassness for a well deserved breakfast before setting off on our main walk for the day.

Our main walk for the first day was the ridge of High Stile. Our choice was to travel via Scale Force rather than cutting straight up to Bleaberry Tarn. This way we had some lovely views to photograph looking back along Buttermere as well as along the length of Crummock Water. We had a quick Elevenses break at Scale Force with people eating part of their packed lunch at the same time as taking photographs of the waterfall, the bridge and Scale Beck.

When we reached the summit of Red Pike there were several gasps of “WOW” at the view which greeted us. The weather had remained cloudy with patches of sunlight but visibility was 100% and we could see the Solway Firth with the Scottish Mountains behind. However, stretched out in front of us was the entire length of Crummock Water with Rannerdale Knotts and Whiteless Pike on the far bank reaching up to the sky. Before and during our lunch break on Red Pike many photographs were taken of the surrounding mountains and atmospheric drama which only the Lakes can supply.

After completing the walk up to High Stile Ridge and then on to High Crag, dropping down steeply to Scarth Gap Pass, enjoying many stops for photographs along the way. Unfortunately, our leader Alan placed his foot on a loose stone at the beginning of the descent to Scarth Gap Pass and injured his ankle. Whilst still able to walk with only a modicum of pain we exchanged places, me taking back marker and Alan taking the lead. Into the bargain the weather also changed and we were pelted with hailstones and rain for much of our descent down to Peggy’s Bridge and Buttermere. Tired and wet but still talking about the views and images which they had taken we slowly made our way back to the accommodation at Hassness House.

After dinner that evening although still feeling the effects of a long ridge walk we somehow found the energy to walk down to the water’s edge of Buttermere.  The sun was setting over a totally still and flat lake with not a ripple to break-up the mirror-like reflection of that day’s walk; High Stile Ridge.

The following morning we were up a little earlier and set off for another sunrise session at Derwentwater just below Brandlehow Park, setting off just before 5am with a much smaller group of only four! This time we were lucky enough to have some wonderful colour in the lower clouds around Skiddaw and Blencathra just before the sun broke the horizon.

For the tutorial session that day the group was split; half went for a short walk with the group leader in the morning and the other half were left to have instruction from me on processing both Jpeg and RAW images and discussing the differences between them. The group enjoyed the tutorial and found that by using RAW Files it was possible to do so much more and produce much better quality images when processing.

After dinner that evening we noticed that Buttermere once again had a mirror-like stillness over its surface and we ventured forth to the waters edge for further images of the setting sun.

The following morning we were off early once again to Derwentwater for our final sunrise. Numbers were back up and we had to take two cars across to Brandlehow Park. The weather was less than inspiring with lots of thick white cloud when we left Buttermere and it did not improve once we got into Borrowdale. However, we enthusiastically descended through the Park and on to the water’s edge. We were all pleasantly surprised to find the lake was almost as smooth as Buttermere had been the night before. Whilst there wasn’t much colour in the sky we were able to capture a few atmospheric images with good reflections of the surrounding mountains.

After breakfast it was decided that I would lead the members of the group that wanted to do another ridge walk. Whilst Alan, still feeling the effects of his fall would look after the members who wished to stay behind and take a stroll around Buttermere.

I took my part of the group over to Little Town in the Newlands Valley for a circular walk up to High Spy Cairn, with grand views over Derwent Water and Bassenthwait Lake as well as views of the eastern fells including Helvellyn. Visibility was good for most of the time although the light was rather flat it did allow us to capture a waterfall in the valley below Dale Head.

We arrived back to the cars in very good time. So with time in hand I took the group over to Watendlath, stopping for the classic Lakeland images of Ashness Bridge, Surprise View and Watendlath Bridge and Tarn. Stopping also at the local café for teas and coffees and to be entertained by the many Chaffinches which were feeding in the grounds.

Once back at Hassness, the members who had stayed with the group leader Alan, had been taking images of the local wildlife display in the grounds. They had been able to capture images of a red squirrel and several small birds plus a woodpecker. Very soon everyone wanted images and there were photographers in the garden, at the windows, hiding in the vegetation and any other vantage point which could be found!

The Hassness House hosts, Carole and Brian had previously moved the bird feeders along to the edge of the lounge and dining room so that the display could be enjoyed by the guests. It was very much a success with my group of photographers and for the next few hours all the conversation was about who had captured a close-up view of the woodpecker.

After dinner, we had our final briefing and some feedback from the group. All had enjoyed the trip and had found it beneficial to their photographic skills and knowledge. It was certainly a good time had by all, easy bite-sized chunks of learning with lots of laughter and enjoyment on the photographic walks. I have already had several Thank You messages sent to me and I thank each and everyone for your kind remarks.