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[Me]

Touring Britain bit by bit with a pair of boots, a few bicycles, a lot of trains and a bag of lenses. I take pictures and then I write about them.

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Sat, 7 Sep 2013

Autumn at Stourhead

Stourhead

I'm not sure why it has taken so long to do a post for Stourhead, the impressive landscape gardens at the source of the River Stour in south west Wiltshire.

Stourhead

Stourhead

I guess I was taken there so many times as a child that I've managed to avoid going back too many times since to take pictures.

Stourhead

But with autumn fast approaching, when the arboretum of international specimens will be looking its best...

Stourhead

bluebells

...and the classical follies reflected in the lake will be framed in reds and golds...

Stourhead

...I thought it might be time for it to feature on the blog.

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Bristol Cross

Stourhead


[Tag] Tags: gardens, lakes, national trust, rural, stourhead, uk, westcountry, wiltshire


Sun, 6 Jan 2013

Edge of the Vale

Melcombe

In the summer I spent a few evenings and early mornings shooting the hills surrounding the valley of the River Stour the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset and South Somerset.

Blackmore Vale

Melbury Abbas

For much of the year, the clay and low limestone ridges of Thomas Hardy's vale of little dairies provide little to keep a landscape photographer occupied for long.

from Okeford Hill

But in the golden hour light, the steep scarp slopes of the chalk downs to the south and east can. The Dorset Downs in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and Cranborne Chase in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB all part of the extensive chalk formation that forms much of the upland and sea cliffs of southern England provide promontories, like Bulbarrow and Fontmell, and islands in the vale, like Hambledon and Duncliffe.

on Bulbarrow

Park Walk

And the more gently rising limestone that divides the Stour flowing south east to the English Channel from the Yeo, flowing north west to the Bristol Channel, dropping in its own scarp into the Somerset Levels, with its own peninsulas and islands at Corton Beacon and Cadbury Castle.

On Corton Hill

Sunrise at Corton Beacon

Melbury Hill

Train at Buckhorn Weston

Sydling Valley

Blackmore Vale

on Bulbarrow

Dorset Downs

bales

Dorset Downs

Cucklington

Fontmell Down

Blackmore Vale

These photos all taken in August and September 2012, but more can be found in the Dorset gallery.


[Tag] Tags: blackmore vale, dorset, downland, rural, somerset, uk, westcountry


Sun, 7 Oct 2012

Hill climb

Weardale

Newlands

Lane to Bellingham

on Bulbarrow

bicyclist

Calbuco

Above Settle

Casablanca

bicyclist

above Weymouth

Leaving Rannoch Moor


[Tag] Tags: chile, cycling, downland, moors, mountains, patagonia, roads, rural, scotland, the north, uk, westcountry


Sun, 26 Aug 2012

The dismal town of Yeovil

Glovers Walk

It's difficult to find a nice thing to say about Yeovil, the nearest proper town to where I grew up.

Precinct

Yeovil

But I could go on at length about the awfulness of it. The miserable generic shopping precincts with a skin of decaying and derelict buildings...

tractor

...trapped inside a fortress of traffic crashing through the town centre...

Yeovil

flowers

Yeovil

...on dual carriageways with municipal flower arrangements draped over central reservation guardrails.

Yeovil

I don't think I've ever found anything there with any great character, any beauty, any real kind of life, only boxes speeding through from roundabout to roundabout, cutting the town into perfectly isolated chunks of bland housing and bland light industry, no interest or activity amongst it.

Yeovil

Underpass

Sorting Office

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil Cattle Market

I was given some driving lessons there once and, though I quickly stopped them, I think they left me permanently with a Pavlovian response to getting in a car: there is always a fear that I will end up in Yeovil.

Yeovil Livestock Market

I know, it's just a dismal small town, they're not uncommon. But the west country is fortunate to mostly escape them, and there are none so dismal as Yeovil in this part of Britain.

chair

Yeovil Hospital

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

cattle market

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeovil

Yeo

Greyhound


[Tag] Tags: crap towns, flowers on dual carriageways, somerset, uk, urban decay, urban, westcountry, yeovil


Sun, 10 Jun 2012

Purdown Transmitter

transmitter

Another one of those shots that I've taken again and again and again, capturing it in all seasons, lights and conditions, in this case because it was on my commute for several years.

Pur Down

Pur Down

The BT tower on Pur Down, in the north of Bristol, a thin and increasingly isolated sliver of green space, once farmland, consumed and constricted and now cut off from the surrounding country by the growing city: one of those locations where you can pretend that the city isn't there if you get the camera angle and conditions right.

Pur Down, Bristol

When I returned that way a few weeks ago for the first time in five years, the microwave transmitters which were the original point of the tower had gone, like those on the BT Tower in London.

Pur Down, Bristol

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

Pur Down

View Larger Map


[Tag] Tags: bristol, structures, time series, uk, urban, westcountry


Fri, 1 Jun 2012

Kilve and Lilstock Beach

Kilve beach

Where the Quantock Hills AONB meets the Bristol Channel on the West Somerset coast.

Kilve

Kilve

And the waves from the Atlantic wash away the silt of the river estuaries and undercut the shale cliffs.

Lilstock Beach

Leaving great intertidal platforms, sections through the Lilstock Formation of Jurassic and Triassic rocks, and revealing the fossils of ammonites and dinosaurs.

Kilve Church

engine house?

While ships pass up the channel to Bristol and South Wales, guided by the landmark church tower.

Kilve Church

Pictures from April 2008. More in the Somerset gallery.

View Larger MapOrdnance Survey Map


[Tag] Tags: bristol channel, churches, coastal, kilve, rural, somerset, uk, west somerset, westcountry


Mon, 5 Mar 2012

Brunel Locks

There are some places I keep taking pictures of again and again, building up a time series through the changing of seasons and urban renewal. Not necessarily deliberately, but just because I happen to pass that way regularly.

Spring 2004

Spring 2004

One of the earliest of those time series was at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, looking south at the Brunel Locks.

Winter 2004

Winter 2004

Brunel Locks is where Bristol's Floating Harbour flows out into the tidal River Avon. Bridged by the ridiculous 1960s flyovers of the Brunel Way junction, and with the wonderful backdrop of Ashton Vale's three landmark tobacco bonds.

Winter 2006

Winter 2006

It must be time I went back for the 2012 view.

Spring 2007

Spring 2007

More pictures in the Floating Harbour gallery.


View Larger Map

[Tag] Tags: bristol, floating harbour, river avon, time series, uk, urban, westcountry


Sat, 17 Dec 2011

Winter fogs past

Heron Tower

I love those freezing winter nights, when everything condenses into one big fog.

Brixton Westminster Bridge

And the light blurs...

Ritzy
Cumberland Basin Stalbridge Church

And the shapes merge...

London Eye
Sign Swirling fog

[Tag] Tags: bristol, brixton, dorset, floating harbour, fog, london, night, uk, urban, weather, westcountry, winter


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