Friday, 21 December 2012

New images of Oxford

We visited friends in Gloucester at the end of November and nipped across to Oxford for a few hours.

It was a good day for photos, although parts of Oxford were flooded after recent heavy rain. Nice skies.

I took 9 rolls of Ilford FP4+ 120, my first shots of Oxford. I have lots of photos of Cambridge as that's where I did my PhD and needed some of Oxford for a bit of balance in my new book, City Light, due out early March. Don't want to be accused of favouritism!

Here are a few examples, more on the web site Recent Gallery or follow the Oxford permanent links:

All Souls College and Radcliffe Camera
from St Mary's Church Tower

Christ Church College Puddle Reflections

Bridge of Sighs and Hertford College

Flooded Christ Church Meadow and Trees

Radcliffe Camera from St Mary's Church Tower

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Frozen Peak District, No Snow

We are back from our recent photo travels to Oxford and Rome; home late afternoon yesterday.

Today I walked across the hills for a day in the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. It was a very heavy frost last night and temperature still below zero. Lots of ice everywhere but no snow, could see across to Kinderscout, highest land in Derbyshire, and couldn't even see any there.

Really nice day today. I should be out taking photographs!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Rome Photo Trip Day 3

Today was the best weather-wise on our photo trip to Rome; clear blue sky and no clouds all day. Cold breeze kept it cool too. I probably took some better shots yesterday when the clouds were good but at least I knew I could shoot all day today.

We revisited some previous locations as well as new ones like the Pantheon.

Used drugs and heated back support to ease my bad back. Also had a break for a lie down before dusk/night session; that helped lots.

Sorry no images on mobile today so nothing to add to text.

Home tomorrow; early flight and even earlier taxi. Not looking forward to that bit!

I took 31 rolls of Ilford FP4 120 over 2 full days plus the evening we arrived. That makes 40 rolls in total with the 9 that I took in Oxford on Thursday before we came to Rome.

That's a few too many for me to easily process as it would take me about 8 hours to work through them. I will send them to Ilford Lab Direct, at the Ilford factory in Cheshire, who use the same chemistry as me (Ilfotec DDX/DD) and a gentle dip and dunk processing machine, so no roller damage - ever! They also look after me very well with excellent fast service every time.

Looking forward to seeing the negs and doing the contract prints so that I can see exactly what I took. With the daytime shots I pretty much know what I have but the nightime ones are less certain as the exposure is guessed (my Sekonic spot meters don't measure anything longer than 15 seconds at f5.6).

I will try and add some to my website before Christmas but it could be the New Year before I get to it. Can't leave much later than that as I need shots from both Rome and Oxford for my new City Light book, published March 2013.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Rome Photo Trip Day 2

We were busy today, walked miles, as the weather was good from mid-morning until the evening.

We started in the Popolo area with some fountains before moving on to the Umberto bridge; one of the best viewpoints for the Vatican St Peters. Great clouds here made for some good shots.

Next came the Castel Sant Angelo beside the next bridge along the river. From here we headed south to the busy Piazza Navona and impressive fountains. Then on to the Isolo Tiberan island, surrounded by some pretty wild water as the river was in full spate.

The Circo Massimo was next then the busy Colosseum as the sky clouded over.

My back was painful so we returned to the hotel to rest it for an hour or so before heading back to the Umberto Bridge for some dusk shots of the Vatican.

We followed the river, adding a few shots along the way until we reached the Vatican. Lots of building work going on here so not as good as I'd hoped for. Surprised to find a fun fair in St Peters Square.

From here it was back to Popolo and on to the Spanish Steps. These were overrun with people so no chance of taking the shots I wanted so we went for a meal instead.

By the time we came out heavy rain had cleared the streets and we returned for the Steps shot.

Last stop of the day was the Trevi Fountain. I managed a few shots then the heavens opened with heavy rain. I waited several minutes hoping it would clear but just got heavier. We called it a day!

Tomorrow the forecast is for good weather all day. Fingers crossed that's right!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Rome Photo Trip Day 1

We arrived in Rome today 2 hours late because of fog at Heathrow. This meant it was too late for any daytime shots; it was getting dark as we reached our hotel in the old town.

We did some night shots around the Colosseum though, in between rain showers. I ran off 3 rolls of Ilford FP4 120 film. Had the full moon in some of them as the clouds thinned.

I did take some on my mobile phone but even turning up the ISO to maximum didn't give me a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blurring of the image. You will have to wait until tomorrow to see the sort of shots I'm taking with my Mamiya 7 cameras and Gitzo tripod! All the ones I will be posting during the trip will be mobile versions of my film shots.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Oxford Photo Trip

We visited good friends Carol and Al in Gloucester for a couple of days. That's a bit over an hour west of Oxford. We decided to combine the visit with a photo trip to Oxford. That was yesterday, Thursday, and what a spectacular day it was! Sunshine and high wispy clouds.

It will take a while for me to process the 9 rolls of Ilford FP4 120 film. I now have shots of the Oxford skyline from South Park, the Bridge of Sighs, Bodleian Library, Ratcliffe Camera, Christ Church college, Merton College, Brasenose College, and more including the flooded meadows near Merton. Sorry I forgot to take any images on my mobile phone to illustrate this post.

I have had lots of requests for prints of Oxford over the years. If any of the locations listed interest you let me know and I will sort them sooner rather than later.

We were well looked after in Gloucester but left this morning to stay close to Heathrow tonight as we are now en route to Rome for another photo trip. I will be taking some of the last shots that I need for my new book, City Light. Keeping fingers crossed for good weather but quite a bit of rain is forecast.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Craft in Focus Christmas Contemporary Craft Fair at RHS Wisley

We (well Jan is, I'm at home with my feet up - only joking!) are doing our last show of 2012 at RHS Wisley with Craft in Focus. These are always well run and the marquees this year are the best ever with solid  walls (no flapping leaky canvas!), as well as the usual solid floors and heating. Luxury!

Jan is doing it on her own and sent me some pictures taken on her Blackberry, here is one of our stand. You can see one of the new London panoramics, of Tower Bridge, the Shard, Butlers Wharf and the Thames (taken from Wapping), is on show in a tasteful narrow black frame.

The show is on until Sunday late afternoon. It has been busy so far, Jan has already sold one of the other London panoramics, fortunately she has a spare and a frame so managed to replace it. Lots more though. Free entry to RHS members.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Dave Butcher Newsletter November 2012

We have one more event in November over this coming weekend, the last Christmas show:

Christmas Contemporary Craft Fair, Stand 51, Craft in Focus at RHS Wisley near Guildford, Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th November; £7 entry, RHS members free. Jan runs our stand single-handed for this to give my bad back a break as it's a long show; 5 show days plus a set-up day. Hopefully you will keep her busy!

We have lots of framed and unframed photographs, posters, books and more. There are 2 new 1 metre panoramas of London. Also some sample prints at reduced prices. Many of the posters have sold out but we have a new Chicago Riverside in Snow poster as well as some New York ones. There are a few waterfall posters, a couple of Lone Tree posters and some tree or waterfall triptychs too. They make inexpensive Christmas presents! In total maybe about 400 individual prints, not counting spares. If you are visiting the show it may be best to allow yourself a few extra minutes to browse everything.

No more shows after this until Focus on Imaging at the NEC from 3rd March 2013.

Next year we have also booked shows at Hatfield House (May), Glasgow (May), Stonor Park (August) and Birmingham NEC (March and November) as well as the usual local shows in Buxton. Maybe one or two more still to book. Not so many as this year which was too manic at times!

New Book - City Light

I'm busy scanning negatives for my next book which comes out in early March. Ilford Photo/Harman Technology have kindly agreed to have Jan and I on their stand (C2) at the Focus on Imaging show at the Birmingham NEC starting Sunday 3rd March 2013. This is a great place for book launches and City Light will be available there at a special price (we'll have all the course dates and info by then too). We will also have as many framed hand prints of the city photos from the book as we can fit in. I'm sure Ilford Lab Direct will also want to do one or two large prints from the book too; maybe 1 metre or larger panoramas. So lots to see.

At the moment it looks like there will be 4 sections of photos: UK, Europe, USA and Far East. There will also be a short feature on City Photography, including night photography. So far my list runs to 37 cities; too many for 80 pages/90 images. I think I have some editing of the list to do before I scan very much more!

Landscape Photography Courses
We have started thinking about next years courses. Still just the one in the Peak District. We are waiting on the dates for next years shows in Buxton before setting too many more. Should be out soon.

Peak District Photo course at Bole Hill and Padley Gorge, Saturday 6th April 2013, £150 per place.

This offers a full day of practical photography, no classroom sessions, just 5 people with 2 tutors (Dave and Jan Butcher) in an enjoyable atmosphere. We cover both black and white and colour between the pair of us so all needs should be met. They are suitable for complete beginners to advanced photographers as well as for both digital and film cameras. Overall, we help you to be more creative with your photographs, producing images with more impact. Book through

Private courses: All courses can be run as private courses. Prices for all locations are shown on the web site. If you can't make the dates in our programme or would like more attention than is possible in a group, or you have your own group then talk to us about what we can do for you.

Darkroom Printing Courses

The darkroom printing courses are £160 per place and include all paper and chemicals. Ilford subsidise the cost of the paper and chemicals used on the courses for which there is no extra charge. There are 2 places on each course so you are assured of lots of attention during the day. No previous experience needed but you will get more out of the course if you have a few of your own negatives.

Next available darkroom printing course: Sunday 7th April.

Private darkroom courses also available on dates to suit you, more details on the web site.

New Photographs
Still adding city images to my web site with my new book in mind. Here are a few more from Manchester and Glasgow. Last major trip for the book is to Rome in less than 2 weeks time. There are more new ones on the web with more being added each week.

I have quite a big back-log of landscapes to do once the city ones for the book are finished. Please be patient if you are waiting to see some of these from trips that I've mentioned this year.

Glasgow Royal Exchange Square and Christmas Lights

Glasgow University from Kelvingrove Park

Salford Quays Lowry Bridge

Salford Quays Victoria Building and Mariners Canal

Manchester Castlefield, Canal and Railway Bridges

Photo Tips

The changing leaves of autumn seemed to pass really quickly this year; early frosts caused the trees to shed their leaves quickly. I hope you managed to get out and take the turning leaves before they dropped. We are back to unsettled weather again, wet one day, sun and showers the next. It's been a bit chilly too. All good conditions for landscapes. The views when the rain stops are great, no heat haze, and nice light through the day with the sun low in the sky. This time 2 years ago we had heavy snow (hoping it keeps off for another week ot two as we finish shows and trips!) so you should be getting ready for cold crisp snowy days when they come. Don't forget to over-ride the camera meter system for the extra light reflected off the snow. This is usually about 2 stops if the sun is out. Hope that helps.

There's quite a bit of extra technical stuff on the web site if you want some more tips.

Next Newsletter

My newsletters appear every month or so at the moment.
If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter then please pass it on using the button below and they can also subscribe by signing up through my web site.

Previous newsletters are archived on my web site as pdf files.
You are receiving this as a customer, newsletter subscriber or someone who has given email details at a show or other event.

Dave Butcher  19-November-2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012

ICHF Crafts for Christmas at Birmingham NEC

We are at the Birmingham NEC for day 1 of the ICHF Crafts for Christmas show. Stand E6 in Hall 19.

Open 9.30am to 5.30pm until Sunday night.

We have several hundred photos on the stand. Show offers too!

It's actually 3 shows in one. On the same entrance ticket you can also get into Hobbycraft and Cake World. If that isn't enough to tempt you I don't know what is!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Lake Light Exhibition at the Woolpack Ending Soon!

My Lake Light exhibition at the Woolpack Inn in Eskdale is ending in a few days time, on 31st October.

Here are a few photos that I took on Jan's Nikon D90 digital camera when we stayed at the Woolpack to run a course in early October.

There were 23 photos to start with, a few less now with sales.

Hurry if you want to see it before it comes down!
All at reduced prices too.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

ICHF Crafts for Christmas at Glasgow SECC

We are at the ICHF Crafts for Christmas show at the Glasgow SECC. It's open Thursday to Sunday 9.30am to 5pm. Our stand number is D12.

I've included a picture of the stand to help you recognise when you've found us!

We brought lots of prints, well over 300 in fact, as well as books. Lots of new images.

Hope to see you here!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Woolpack Landscape Photography Course

Jan and I are in the Lake District running another landscape Photography course. We are based at the Woolpack Inn in Boot in Eskdale.
Yesterday we were in Eskdale and at Devoke Water. The waterfalls were spectacular. Not too much rain and mostly short showers when it did rain.
Today was our coastal day between Ravenglass and St Bees Head. The only rain was while we were in the Ratty Arms in Ravenglass having lunch. Lots of sunshine and fluffy white clouds.
Tomorrow we spend the day in Wasdale.
We are spending the evenings at the Woolpack Inn where we are staying. The course has been redubbed the Woolpack Photo Course, some similarities with Clachaig Photo Course that we ran last week!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Clachaig Photo Course

Here are some photos from our recent landscape photography course based in the Glencoe area.

Everyone took some spectacular shots at the 15 of so locations. Weather could have been better but it was good enough for atmospheric black and white shots.

All taken on my mobile phone.

We seemed to spend a few lunch times and evenings at the Clachaig Inn so the course was rechristened as the Clachaig Photo Course!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Waterfall Day

Last day for checking out the state of locations that we wanted to use for our Glencoe photo course that starts Tuesday 25th.

Lots of waterfalls in Glen Etive. Shots from Lochan Urr where I took one of my best reflection photos ever a few years ago. Had to clear a path through rhodedendron bushes to reach waters edge.

Photos here from mobile and edited on phone. Proper film versions in a few weeks!

All 3 clients arrived this afternoon. Good evening in local pub getting to know one another. First day of course tomorrow taking waterfalls as forecast not brilliant for big views.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

More New Photos of the Glencoe Area

I ran off another 7 rolls of Ilford FP4 120 film today, 11 in total for this trip. Lots of boats and coastal/sea loch shots to start with around Glencoe and Loch Leven. Later on we returned to the Glencoe Lochans for reflections of the mountains. Then it was up Glen Coe for more mountain shots, including the 3 Sisters and the Buachaille.

The light was rapidly going so we finished early by checking out the Kingshouse Hotel. Jolly interesting as we arrived, there were 4 Red Deer eating carrots and other vegetables outside the front door! See mobile photo.

They had 3 cask ales on, all from the Cairngorm Brewery. I preferred the Stag Bitter best. I also tried Autumn Nuts, a red ale but it was too hoppy for me.

The weather is due to take a dive tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed we're far enough north to avoid the worst of it.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

New Photos of Glencoe, Aonach Eagach ridge, Ben Nevis and Loch Leven

It was a fantastic day in Glen Coe today. Chilly but lots of blue sky with white fluffy clouds all day until 5pm.

We started by climbing the Pap of Glencoe from the Long Leven side; the steepest side but no track.

Good views from the top along the lake and across to the Mamores mountains were spectacular. Ben Nevis was in cloud though but better was to come.

From here we went down to the pass and then it was a long uphill haul to Sgorr nam Fionnaidh (967m), the Munro at the end of the Aonach Eagach ridge.

This gave us the first view of the Aonach Eagach ridge. It was after 2pm and the light and sky were great. I used an orange filter with Ilford FP4 roll film in my Mamiya 7 camera.

I thought there were better views further along the ridge so down I went to it.

The shots of the ridge were great as well as views to Ben Nevis, highest peak in Britain at 1344m.

We ended the day by checking out the waterfalls on the uphill side of the Clachaig Inn, near the A82. The falls were well lit at 5pm but the hills behind could have have been brighter.

Somehow we then found ourselves at the Clachaig Inn. They had a new dark ale just on from the An Teallach brewery called Hector. I tried it several times to check it was jolly nice and not just a fluke with the first pint, you can't be too careful these days! Oh, and the food was jolly good too.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Glencoe Photo Trip

Jan is driving us north for 6 hours to Glen Coe. We're about halfway, a bit south of Glasgow.

Warm and sunny here unlike Derbyshire which was cold and wet.

We have some time to ourselves until Monday afternoon when we collect 2 clients from Fort William station. We are running a landscape photography course Tuesday to Thursday from our base at Fern Villa in Ballachulish village. Looking forward to seeing Andrew from Nottingham again, one of our regular clients arriving Monday night.

Forecast is good for tomorrow and Sunday. Planning to walk up to Pap of Glencoe and along to the famous Aonach Eagach ridge. Fingers crossed for good light on the ridge or it may be difficult to take in black and white. I took some shots of it about 15 years ago when we first traversed the narrow ridge during our munroing days and the light was flat. Some snow on it would be even better!

Looking forward to checking out the many waterfalls in Glen Coe as well as one of my favourite locations down Glen Etive.

Bring it on!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lake Light Exhibition at the Woolpack Inn, Boot in Eskdale, until 31st October

Here are some pictures of my Lake Light exhibition at the Woolpack Inn in Boot in Eskdale (taken by Emma Aylett of Travelling Curators who organised and hung the exhibition as part of the Lives in the Landscape exhibitions in Eskdale and Ravenglass). It is on display until the 31st October 2012.

There are 23 traditional hand-printed archival framed black and white photographs in total, so lots to see. We will be there from the 2nd to the 5th October (running a photo course based at the Woolpack but taking in Eskdale, Wasdale and Ravenglass) if you want a chat in the evenings. I will take my own shots then, maybe some wider views too if I can get in before the bar opens to the public!

Most of the photographs are taken from my 3rd book, Lake Light, available through my web site, booksellers (quote ISBN 978-0-9555627-1-6) or Amazon UK.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

ICHF Kent Craft Show at Penshurst Place Final Day Sunday 9th September

Just 1 day to go at the ICHF craft Show at Penshurst Place. It ends 5pm tomorrow.

Lots to see with 10 marquees and more. We still have lots of pictures, we brought about 500 down with us to make sure we didn't run out!

Good forecast too, hotter than today at 26°C.

We're stand F17.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

ICHF Penshurst Place Kent Craft Fair Friday to Sunday

Jan drove us down to Penshurst Place in Kent near Tonbridge. We are here for the ICHF art and craft show. We set up our stand, F17, and are ready for the show to start.

Opening times are 9.30am to 5pm Friday 7th, 9.30am to 5.30pm Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September.

Lots more new photos, mostly at the lower prices. I used to make prints of every image to scan to get it on my website (now I scan the negative so avoiding this step). These were on resin coated paper rather than the archival fibre based paper I use for hand prints now (still good for several decades though!). It's these prints that I have mounted and are now available in limited numbers of mostly just 1 or sometimes 2 prints, mostly at £20 each.

Books at the £5 this weekend; still making storage space for next book, City Light, coming in March 2013.

Posters are selling out fast; 3 no longer available - all keenly priced.

Hope you can come and see us over the weekend - good weather forecast for the whole weekend too. Looks like summer has finally arrived!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

New photos of Manchester.

After several false starts over this wet summer Jan and I finally had a good day for taking photos there on Sunday. It was cloudy and damp in the morning but a sunny afternoon and evening was forecast. 

We started at Salford Quays as the clouds cleared. Good shots of the modern bridges and buildings, including around the Lowry building and BBC media centre. 

Castlefield was next and the old bridges and the new Beetham Tower.

Then it was on to the Central Library. This is an impressive building but not at the moment - it's being renovated. The entire building was shrouded in plastic, so no pictures are possible here until 2013. Shame, I had it pencilled in for an image in my new City Light book (pub. March 2013). 

We stopped at Wetherspoons for refreshment and an excellent Hazelnut and Coffee Porter from the Saltaire brewery. 

The Town Hall had good light for photos as the sky was clearing well now. I was engrossed taking shots with my trusty Mamiya 7 when someone spotted the camera and asked me several questions to help them decide whether to buy one. I have been using Mamiya 7's and 6's for almost 20 years so I like to think I'm a pretty good judge of their use for black and white. 

From here it was on to the Urbis and the Cathedral. Then the very shapely Trinity Bridge and back to Salford Quays for a few end of day shots. 

70 shots in total, may be a few weeks before I add them to the web or print any. A couple of phone photos are included here to give an idea of the locations. Sorry they're in colour! 

Decided against staying on for night shots as my bad back was aching and I had 2 days of private courses coming up Monday and Tuesday. Maybe later in the year.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Lake Light Exhibition at the Woolpack Inn, Eskdale

A new exhibition of a selection of my Lake District photographs has just opened at the Woolpack Inn in the village of Boot in Eskdale. It runs from 1st September to 31st October 2012 and can be viewed during normal pub opening hours.

There are 23 framed photographs from 40 x 30cm to 70 x 70cm with prices from £95 to £200. Every photograph was hand printed by me using traditional darkroom techniques on Ilford Multigrade FB fine art photographic paper.

The selection is based upon my Lake Light book but there are quite a few new images included.

Jan delivered the pictures on Wednesday and the exhibition was hung in our absence so no pictures of it yet!

It is part of the Lives in the Landscape exhibitions that are running in the Eskdale valley and Ravenglass, so there's lots to see.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Chilterns Craft Show at Stonor Park

We are halfway through the ICHF Chilterns Craft Show at Stonor Park. 2 days gone, 2 to go. The show is just 5 miles from Henley upon Thames, 9.30am to 5.30pm. About 200 exhibitors, so lots to see.

Apart from a couple of hours at the end of today it has been dry and firm underfoot. Forecast is good for tomorrow too. Good weather for a craft fair held under canvas!

We have lots of new photos and some show offers. Our stand number is C19.

The photo shows a small part of the show ground situated in very picturesque countryside.

For a bit of light relief we met up with our good friends Andy and Val. Had a very nice meal and catch up at the Golden Ball pub near Henley.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk Richmond to Danby Wiske

Today was the last day walking this years section of Wainwright's Coast to Coast trail with Al (@apistake)

Richmond to Danby Wiske; a bit over 15 miles the way we went. See photo of Richmond Castle and River Swale from the start.
Another 8.40am start, another dry warm day. We planned to stop at the pub at Catterick Bridge but thought 10.50am was a bit early for a beer. We carried on to the Farmers Arms at Scorton.
Unfortunately, we were too fast and arrived at 11.45am; maybe that was the Olympic influence! The pub opened at 12am. We sat in the sunshine until opening time. Both of us had Copper Dragon Golden Pippin.

Next stop was the churchyard at Burton on Swale to see the monument to Henry Jenkins who lived to be 169 years old in the 1500's and 1600's. That's a long time! See photo.

From there it was farmland, cows and crops to Danby. The only muddy section on the whole day being the last mile to Danby.
We finished at 3.15pm at the White Swan. First off was a Northallerton Dark Ale, a bit sweet for me but the Yorkshire Dicky Edge was a good pint.

So, just a short day to end a great trip. The waterproofs were only used for 10 minutes in 5 days and the walking was good.
Thanks to Al for his company and keeping me entertained, even when he didn't realise it!

I have some new landscape, waterfall and other photos. It may take me a while to get to them though as my new book, City Light, will have to take precedence.

We managed a creditable 17 mpg (beer!) over the 73 miles that we walked in 5 days.

So that's 10 days down. Next year we return to Danby Wiske to walk the 4 or 5 days to Robin Hood's Bay to finish the walk.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk Reeth to Richmond

It was the easiest day of our trip today, as judged by the time we reached the pub in Richmond.

We left Reeth at 8.30 am after a very hearty breakfast at Cambridge House b&b. A friendly place on the north side of Reeth.

The route went through lots of fields of sheep, cows and a few walkers. Our route took us south of Marrick village then north and by the time we had rejoined the main route we had no-one on the route ahead.

Next stop was the 800 year old church in the small village of Marske. I ran off a few photos from the graveyard.
The final section to Richmond was just under a cliff edge with good views to the valley below. Hazy now so no photos.
We were in Richmond by 1.15pm (11 miles) and headed for Wetherspoons. Just the 10 real ales on but we limited ourselves to one; lots of pubs here.

Next was the Golden Lion, a Marston's pub so I was hoping for Snecklifter. None available but there was Hobgoblin so I had one of these, and another to check the first was no fluke!
Al (@apistake) asked the well endowed barmaid for a Real Handful; I'm surprised he didn't get a slap instead of a pint!
Al has dragged me back here this evening, am forcing down another Hobgoblin.

Tomorrow we finish this years trek in Danby Wiske, 15 miles from Richmond. Another good forecast, probably no rain in 5 days.
Jan meets us at the end to take Al back to his car in Shap and us back to Derbyshire.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk Keld to Reeth

We had a good day today on day 3 of our trip. Sunshine all day and easy walking. More importantly after yesterday, no bog!

Had breakfast at 7.30 am despite having trouble dragging Al out of the bar last night. No change there then! The breakfasts at Keld Lodge were excellent and set us up for the day.

We were off by 8.20am and by 8.30 I was taking photos. Keld is waterfall country. Kisdon Force was the first fall and is in several sections. All of them make good photos with the top one being the highest.

Lots of big views as we walked along. The next photo stop was a ruined mine building next to a couple of pretty waterfalls. See mobile phone pic below.

The country after this was quite scarred by mining. Ruined buildings, lime kilns and hillsides with no vegetation because of the methods used in lead mining. Lots of ruined buildings at the Old Gang Smelting Mill. Then it was a few miles through typical dales scenery to Reeth. Quite beautiful today.

We stopped at the first pub, as you would expect, the Buck Hotel. Jolly nice Copper Dragon Bitter, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Black Sheep Bitter, plus 2 that aren't my favourites.

3 pubs within 50 yards, 2 Theakstons and 1 freehouse. Trying the Old Peculiar at the Black Bull at the moment.

About 42 miles in 3 days so far. Pretty easy walking except 9 Standards Rigg peat bog yesterday.

Fleshpots of Richmond tomorrow (the one in North Yorkshire!).

Once again no phone signal so relying on wifi in pub.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk Kirkby Stephen to Keld

After a very nice breakfast at Castle View in Kirkby Stephen we started day 2. Overall this was day 7 of our version of Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk as we started last year.

It was an easy walk out of the village, with a stop for photos of Wild Boar Fell. Then 2 hours later we were on 9 Standards Rigg. I forgot to take a photo on my mobile so Al sent me one of his (the one with a line of big cairns).

The 9 Standards Rigg are a set of large cairn-like structures. I now have a set of photos of them.

The way down to Whitsundale was literally a quagmire of peat bog. I hate peat bogs and avoid them in the Peak District except when dry or frozen so this was a bit of a trial.

Al offered to to treat me to a hot chocolate at Ravenseat Farm. He had seen it on the Yorkshire Dales tv programme (the farm not the hot chocolate!).

Unfortunately, he only had £20 notes so asked me to pay. I'm still trying to work out how me paying for my drink as well as Al's drink and scone constitutes a treat!

Al did his good deed for the day by freeing a young lamb from the fence. It was trapped by it's horns.

We came down to the road and went back to Wain Wath falls. See photo. These are very photogenic falls and I ran off a few rolls. The lower falls were best.

I had to wait to take photos of the upper falls because 2 women kept swimming across my picture under the falls. How thoughtless!

Staying at Keld Lodge tonight. Black Sheep Ale is very good. The Black Sheep Blonde was good when we arrived.

Tomorrow we walk to Reeth.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk Shap to Kirkby Stephen

Today Al and I resumed the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk. We left the Greyhound Hotel in Shap a bit after 8.30am in sunshine.

With my bad back I had planned a route that was several miles shorter than the Wainwright route. It also had the advantage of a pub roughly halfway!

Neither of us had walked in the area we passed through, including the pretty villages of Crosby Ravensworth, Great Asby and Crosby Garret as well the town of Kirkby Stephen.

The countryside was typical dales scenery. Lots of dry stone walls and limestone scenery, including several areas of limestone pavement. Except for 5 minutes it was dry, and mostly sunny, all day. See photo.

Lunchtime was spent in the 3 Greyhounds in Great Asby. We tried the 2 beers on offer; Cumberland Corby Ale and Theakston Grouse Beater, both well kept and on good form. See photo.

This evening in Kirkby Stephen we started in the Bulls Head with Black Sheep Bitter but didn't fancy the Holt's bitter so moved across to the Kings Arms for Dent Aviator (not as good as last night in Shap) and Thwaites Wainwright route (not well kept).

Now we are off to the Jennings pub down the road to end the night.

Tomorrow we walk from Kirkby Stephen to Keld. Good forecast too.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Coast to Coast Preparation

Al (@apistake on Twitter) and I arrived at the Greyhound Hotel in Shap this afternoon ready to start our Coast to Coast walk tomorrow.
Just the 8 real ales on so we had our work cut out to try them all. Between the 2 of us we managed though.
Jolly nice Cumberland sausage for dinner. Best of the beers was Dent Aviator closely followed by Eden Best. 5 of the other 6 were good but Old Peculiar was past it's best. Good preparation for walking!
Tomorrow we resume our Coast to Coast walk, started in 2011, with 17 miles from Shap to Kirkby Stephen.

Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk Round 2

We have just had a very enjoyable weekend with lots of friends staying with us, walking the hills and visiting local hostelries. The only rain from Friday morning to Sunday night was while we were in the Quiet Woman in Earl Sterndale having a lunch break from the walking! It's not often the Peak District is one of the driest places in the country.

Today I travel up to Shap in Cumbria with good friend Al ready to resume our leisurely version of Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk which we started last year from St Bee's on the west coast. Tomorrow we start with a 17 mile walk from Shap to Kirkby Stephen and finish in Danby Wiske on Saturday afternoon, just under 70 miles in total in 5 days. Next year we hope to complete it and arrive in Robin Hood's Bay on the east coast.

Fingers crossed for dry weather!

I bought some new boots on Thursday, Meindl Dovre Extremes. They are similar to Meindl Lohtse boots but 3 inches higher around the leg. My Achilles tendon has been sore for quite a while now and having the top of my hiking boots hit the tendon as I walk doesn't help. So far I have walked about 25 miles in them without a problem. Hopefully that will help the tendon to recover while I continue to walk the hills and take photos.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

From White Peak Walk to Darkroom Course

Yesterday Jan and I walked from Elton near Wirksworth to Robin Hoods Stride, Lathkill Dale from Youlgreave to Middleton, Long Dale and Grattan Dale back to Elton. About 11 miles in total in 5 hours.

I didn't take the camera as my bad back needs looking after. Lots of photos that I would have taken if I had one though, so will go back another time for photos.

Grattan Dale was interesting. About a foot or so of water in the bottom of the dale as the trail follows the river. No trail in places made it interesting. Mostly dry and sunny, just a few spots of rain around lunch time.

Today I'm running a darkroom course for Warren from Hong Kong, his second course with me. Starting anytime now.

Tomorrow I walk to the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton for a day running the Gallery. Trying to improve fitness for walking from Shap to Danby Wiske along Wainwright Coast to Coast from Tuesday to Saturday next week with good friend Al from Gloucester.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Wet and Dry in the Peak District

Heavy showers in the Peak District. Also some good spells of sunshine.

Jan's sister Lynne and husband Peter were staying the weekend so went for walk to 3 Shire Heads. Much less water at the falls than 2 weeks ago.

Then on to Church Inn in Chelmorton. Tonight we walked over Eccles Pike to Old Hall Inn to meet Rob and Annie. Heavy rain on way as well as good rainbows.

Photo taken on Samsung Galaxy S2 mobile. Too colourful for my proper camera!