Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024

On the Regent’s Canal, sitting outside having lunch at the Ragged museum and life is good.  The sun is shining and sitting back watching people rowing on the Regent’s canal.  This spot in Stepney is a favourite place of mine for photographs.  On the bridge with its spikey railings, one has a wonderful view of Canary Wharf.  The juxtaposition of old versus new is quite dramatic.  Before sitting down for lunch with Peter who was accompanying me on this recent photographic walk, I took a picture down towards Canary Wharf and posted it on BBC Weather watchers.  The picture was featured on the lunchtime news and by then I knew then it was going to be a good day.

Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
On BBC London Lunchtime News
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Under the bridge
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Boats alongside the canal
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Over and under the bridge

Limehouse Basin is always active and with the DLR trains passing overhead and the buses and traffic nearby. the place is buzzing.  We walked around the basin taking pictures of the sights. At one point as Peter was talking, I managed to get his attention and we looked down towards the lock gates.  There was a heron patiently waiting for their catch of the day.  The spot has water rushing in from the basin and this was the place to fish.  Herons are beautiful creatures but lethal predators and several fish were caught whilst we were watching the bird.  The Limehouse basin has everything you wish for in photography. There are reflections, symmetry and colours around the canal basin and we lingered in the area for a time.

Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Boats and trains in Limehouse Basin
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Reflections
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
… and more selections
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
A heron just waiting for the moment.

The basin links with the Thames and the path through the town houses leads to the Canary Wharf estate.  The tide was out and the river bank was accessible so  I went down to the water’s edge and then looked back.  There was a great view of the tall skyscrapers reaching for the sky overlooking the Thames. These high rise buildings reminded me of New Age sentinels that are keeping watch on everyone.  

Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
The skyscrapers of Canary Wharf
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
People living amongst the giants.
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Canary Wharf station
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Red in-between the carriages.

The private owners of Canary Wharf have put much effort in promoting artwork around the site. This is much better than having to look upwards as there is an awful lot of skyscrapers. Whilst some of the architecture did look interesting, there is an overwhelming feeling that the steel and glass is very repetitious.  One of the high points was the “captivated by colour” tunnel designed by Camille Walala which proved to be a great place to take pictures of people.  I stood centrally and lifted by camera up to get some good views of the tunnel. A group of lads came through and had a great time acting up for the camera.

Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Colourful circles
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Time waits for no-one
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
A story in the tunnel

Walking through the estate there were several reflections of the buildings in the water that provided good pictures. I did look up at the occasional skyscraper did catch my attention as seen by my pictures.  Our final destination was a favourite pub of mine, the Gun.  The pub is on the banks of the Thames overlooking the O2 arena.  There is a lot of history attached to this Grade II building not least that Horatio Nelson secretly met his lover Lady Emma Hamilton when he was in London.  We sat down in the outside Gin area and compared notes on our pictures. The view over the O2 arena has changed since I last visited with ugly blocks of flats suddenly appearing and obscuring the view.   A long day walking and taking photographs and yet another chapter to my London Times. Finally a picture of Alfie and Bill who were sitting next to us and asked us for a picture of the two of them. Whilst I had a train to catch, Peter stayed on for the golden hour which is always good with the light catching the glass and water.

Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Motorbiking
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Water and skyscraper reflections
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
The oppressive nature of all the building taking place in Canary Wharf.
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Legs and reflections
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
The Gun
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Alfie and Bill taken at the Gun.
Regents_Canal_Canary_Wharf, May, 2024
Under the flight path

Hope you enjoyed this blog and there are more “London Times” Blog entries and you can start with the one below.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023

Our holiday base was at Lowfield House in Little Langdale. Arguably, this spot is the heart of the Lake District and is the starting point for several walks. Slater’s bridge and Cathedral Cave are both accessible in a short 45 minute walk from Lowfield House. Setting off from the house we walked past the Three Shires Pub, down a country lane and then over the fields. We quickly reached Slater’s bridge which crosses over the river Brathay. Here the river is more peaceful than Colwith Force further downstream. This bridge is made entirely of slate and dates back to the 17th Century. With the back drop of the valley and the fells on either side, this packhorse bridge was built by miners to transport materials from the nearby mines. Several pictures were taken around the bridge before we headed off to the mines.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Slater’s bridge showing the walker’s path up to Little Langdale.
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Another view of this wonderful packhorse bridge.
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
A picture apportunity on the bridge.

We approached the slate queries where Cathedral Cave is located and missed the accessible entrance. Instead we moved up to the higher ground finding the entrance to the top gallery that looks down on the large chamber. My daughters were not impressed with my photographer’s instinct to get the best view possible. I was not allowed near the edge which was a sheer drop down into the cave. However, I still managed some good pictures of the cave from the rock gallery.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Entering into the upper part of the cave.
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Jim shines a light in the top gallery with the larger cave behind.
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Rob and Natasha with the beautiful view behind them.

We explored outside looking for the entrance to the chamber. There appeared to be a precarious entrance along the rim of the quarry but after watching some walkers finding the descent difficult in the damp conditions we decided not to follow. I was a little despondent as I would have loved to have found the cave. As Sian and I walked back in front of the others, we found the entrance to the Cave. I should correct myself and say that Sian found the entrance. The group was excited as we entered into the chamber.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
People passing through the cave provide an estimation of scale.
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
The central cylinder of slate with other rock deposits reflected in the water within the cave.

I was so pleased to visit the Cathedral Cave. The impressive chamber is very atmospheric with the open window in the wall allowing light into the cave. There is a large slate cylinder that appears to be supporting the ceiling. The pool of water to the back of the cave provides many reflections allowing one to appreciate the grand space of the cavern. Needless to say, I, like many photographers who visit this place, just wanted to take lots of pictures. I hope you enjoy the journey through the series of photographs that I have taken.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Jim stands at the entrance to the cave.

On the way back we passed by a ford which would be fun to drive through if you had the right type of vehicle. We followed the path home but took a quick stop at the Three Shires Inn where I enjoyed a pint of my favourite beer named after the Old Man of Coniston. The pub is not of the same character as the Sun in Coniston and the only saving feature is the beer.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
The deep ford over the river Blathey

Postscript – We enjoyed the walk so much that we took the grandchildren along the same path. They so enjoyed the bridge and the visit to the cave. They will remember this visit for a long time in the future.

Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Walking towards Slater’s Bridge
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Group photograph on the bridge.
Slater's bridge and Cathedral Cave, Little Langdale, the Lake District, August 2023
Performing in Cathedral Cave.

__________

Links to the complete series of my blogs around our visit to Little Langdale in the Lake District in August 2023.

Latest products

Brighton Beach fun

Brighton Beach fun

I was fortunate to visit Brighton as part of a conference. My hotel was on the seafront and in between…

Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023

We always plan for countryside walks or mountain climbs for our family holidays. Whilst in Scotland, we climbed Ben Lomond and when in Hereford we travelled to the Welsh border to climb the Cats Back. In the Lakes there are many fells to choose. Initially we thought of Scarfell Pike, but then chose the Old Man of Coniston due to its close proximity to our holiday home (Lowfield House, Little Langdale). This lakeland fell is an old favourite of mine and there are well marked climbing paths to the top. I have done the easier route twice that passes by Goat’s water. We decided to take the direct route that leaves Walna Scar car park taking walkers through Coppermines valley and past Low Water to the north of the mountain.

Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
The early stages of the climb with Natasha and Rob. Lake Coniston is in the background.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
The weather was poor at the start but the sun is breaking through.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Dramatic views start to appear as you ascend the mountain.

We set off in driving rain and were getting seriously wet when luckily the weather broke as we reached the Copper Mines. The industrial remnants of the slate quarries and copper mines are now a conversation area. The place is fascinating and lends itself to several photographic opportunities. There are large copper cables to climb over or duck under. The slate miners must have been very hardy workers. I found an article on what life must have been like living and working around Coniston. Whilst on a good day the views are impressive, I would not want to be here during inclement weather. The mines provided a great backdrop for photographs with the mountains in the background.

Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Tram tracks at the mine provide leading lines to the view.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Remains of old industrial equipment.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
More industrial remnants.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Pulleys used to put the trams
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
A welcome rest for Jim, Sian and Rob.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Slates with a view

Our next stop was the picturesque tarn of Low Water where we saw the cloud line that we would be entering as we continued the climb. The final push to the top was gruelling with the rocks wet and slippery. The path became indistinct in places.

Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Jim poses at Low water tarn.

Despite the misty conditions, we reached the top and had a selfie picture by the slate tarn. I brought all my big camera equipment except for the remote release button. The wind was strong and kept knocking the camera and travel tripod over. Luckily a fellow walker was at hand to steady the camera and push the button. Visibility was poor and we decided the best course of action was to go down the way we came up. We quickly came out of the cloud and the views over Lake Coniston appeared before us.

Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
We reached the summit. Congratulations.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Return to the mines on the way down.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
One of the climbers we met on the route down.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
Mines and slates.

We did the Old Man in 3 hours 15 minutes which we considered a good time for our climb. We drove down into Coniston. The place to rest and catch up with food and drink is the well known Sun pub. The Sun “above” Coniston, as it is also known, is both warm and welcoming with excellent food and beer. The inside bar area has lots of character including a fireplace were we were able to dry out in front of the fire. Then we settled down to talk about the climb, look at the pictures and enjoy a hearty meal. A visit to the Lakes is not complete without climbing one of the fells and reminiscing on your adventures in the pub.

Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
The Sun above Coniston.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
The cosy interior of the Sun.
Climbing the Old Man of Coniston, Lake District, August 2023
A ploughman’s lunch washed down with the local beer.

Many thanks for the company of my fellow family climbers Natasha, Sian, Rob and Jim.

________

Links to the complete series of my blogs around our visit to Little Langdale in the Lake District in August 2023.

Latest products

Brighton Beach fun

Brighton Beach fun

I was fortunate to visit Brighton as part of a conference. My hotel was on the seafront and in between…

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023

A new Lavender field to visit.  Warwickshire Lavender Fields is behind Coventry airport nestled in the beautiful countryside that remains between Coventry and Leamington Spa.  The fields are relatively young and started out in 2016.  Several photographic friends has told me about the fields and having done the Cotswolds Lavender fields, the family thought a fields closer to home would be worth a visit.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
A low down view of the lavender fields
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Striking a pose in the colour purple.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Running through the lavender.

The day we chose was one of sunshine and showers.  The showers when they arrived were wet and windy.  This did not stop us having great fun at the fields. I understand that before we got there my oldest daughter had excelled at falling down a hole much to the amusement of the grandchildren.  When we arrived the heavens opened, and we got soaked.  However the rain did clear the fields, and everyone made for shelter. Although my camera was under threat from the rain, there were some wonderful photographic opportunities as people were crowded into the tents.  Even Lily came along to pose in front of the tents.  The children had such fun even though they got very wet.  The café served great coffee and lovely cakes and the shop offered a range of lavender products including bunches of lavender flowers.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Then the rain came.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Luckily everyone could get into the tent to escape the rain.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Lily posing in front of everyone sheltering from the rain.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Chloe with her lavender flowers.

Whilst a bit of sunshine would have made the visit, we still enjoyed ourselves.  We set off home for a change of clothes and to share photographs of the day.  Well worth a visit and a very photogenic site for all photographers out there.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Lavender plants to take how with you.

If you want to know more about Warwickshire Lavender fields then please follow the link.

Latest products

Brighton Beach fun

Brighton Beach fun

I was fortunate to visit Brighton as part of a conference. My hotel was on the seafront and in between…

I think that Lavender has more of a purple colour with a touch of blue. Certainly the fields at Cotwolds Lavender were in full bloom. The day was overcast and there was a strong wind blowing. This being June the day was warm but there was a definite chill around. The farm had instigated social distancing so the shop was closed but the Lavender fields were open. We had a lovely time entering into the channels between the flowers to take in the smells and the intense purple colours. It was not that many people and there were plenty of opportunities to take pictures. One I was particularly pleased with was where I lay down in-between the lavender and used my Canon 70 to 200mm telephoto lens to catch the flowers. Noah my grandson had a lovely time running up and down the rows of lavender.

Cotswolds Lavender
Noah in the Lavender
Noah and Natasha
Beautiful Country side
Look closely and you can see the bees.

After the farm we then went onto the Broadway Tower. The air was clear and it was possible to see the Malvern hills and further afield. The shop next to the tower was good to visit and the social distancing that was in place ensured that we were were able to move around safely. Again it was not too busy and probably the wind swept day kept a few people away plus the fact that all the pubs were open as well for the first time since lockdown. An enjoyable day out and definitely a place to visit again.

Broadway Tower
Viewing the Folly
Hi there
Beautiful views
Something a bit different to end the day

I like this assignment that I was given by a 52 weeks of photography group that I am a member of on Flickr. This was to tty out a new way of exploring a landscape. The idea is to create a composite of multiple pictures of a landscape that you’ve taken during a short walk through it. It was a simple job of taking many shots of the Watergate Bay beach landscape. I found lots of views that caught my eye. It was also great fun assembling this selection of pictures.