Gordale Scar

I lived on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales for nearly twenty years. Despite this, I’d never taken any photographs of Gordale Scar, one of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s pre-eminent tourist attractions and natural wonders. A tremendous cleft in the limestone edge, with a river pouring through it and a rock climber’s playground to either side. I thought it was time I got some shots, so here there are.

You can fairly easily do a through-route right up through the gorge. In the pictures, you can see a bulbous piece of rock with a large hole in it, between the two arms of the falls. This is the way up and proves to be much easier than it looks. The hazard is getting wet, especially when trying to cross the outflow just in front of it. Most exciting is to do it in reverse, down-climbing, on a winter’s day when the falls are in full spate.

The single close-up shot is actually of a much smaller feature a few hundred metres away, a beautiful little waterfall called Janet’s Foss.

All shots taken with the Olympus OMD-EM10

Avoiding the crowds at The Strid

Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales is a very popular visitor spot. On bank holiday mondays it’s absolutely heaving. It’s also a fantastic location for autumn colour. I should have realised that the combination of school half-term and a Halloween themed trail would mean crowds. It was tricky trying to get shots without people in, especially as current fashions in ladies outdoor wear favour shocking pink fleeces. Continue reading

Summer’s a bummer for landscape shooters

In response to the Daily Post’s photo challenge on the subject of Dinnertime

This shot was taken at about 8pm – dinner time – in the week after the clocks went forward. I’d had to wait for three hours for this light to happen. It’s much easier in winter because the sun sets earlier and then you can get home for your dinner and some telly before bed. Now that night time is coming later and later my photography habits are getting more and more inconvenient and I don’t get fed until bed-time.

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Winter also has the advantage of so much colour on the hills and the bonus of snow. In summer everything’s green.

As the days and nights get warmer I’m hoping to compensate by doing some wild camping and being there for both the sunset and sunrise but I don’t know what I’m going to do for dinner…

The picture was taken from near the town of Ingleton and looking roughly west. I had been out taking shots for one of my allocated grid points in the Yorkshire Grid Project, which I’ll publish later.

The Valley of Desolation

There’s a little-known valley near Bolton Abbey called the Valley of Desolation, named after the damage caused by a storm in 1826. It’s close to one of the most popular visitor sites in the Yorkshire Dales but you’ll find relatively few people there. When the trees get their autumn colour it becomes a spectacular sight of oak, birch, rowan, bracken and brambles. In summer the dominant colour is green. It’s a good spot for an overcast day.

Pentax K20D
Valley of Desolation
Pentax K20D
Valley of Desolation
Pentax K20D
Valley of Desolation
Pentax K20D
Valley of Desolation
Pentax K20D
Valley of Desolation
Pentax K20D
Valley of Desolation

Gargrave to Malham 11th April 2015

A shock to the system as winter returned after a week of summer. Gale force winds and low temperature found me under-dressed and cold and didn’t encourage the taking of photos. This was a circular walk following the pennine way from Gargrave to Malham and a return on different paths. We thought we’d walked every path in the dales but most of this was new ground which was a really nice surprise.

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River Aire a few miles into the walk, not far from Airton.

It’s pretty easy going with little up and down, roughly following the line of the river Aire both there and back. Lots of birds around today – avocets, curlews, wagtails, wrens, herons, a buzzard, Joy took more notice of them than I did. She tells me we didn’t see any swallows, she’s keeping an eye out for the first of the year.

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Nearer to Malham.
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Gordale Scar in the distance, centre of picture.

We saw hardly anyone until we got to Malham, which was crowded at the end of a bank holiday week, but we left it straight away and left the people behind again.

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Looking back to Kirkby Malham

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There was a strange occurrence later on near Airton. Sheep always run away from you when you enter a field but in this small paddock all of the sheep and lambs ran up to us and surrounded us. As we walked on they followed very closely with the lambs jumping up on us. I’ve never seen that before and I’ve got no explanation for it.

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Very oddly-behaving sheep – normally they keep well away.