A day in the Lake District

September 26, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

In addition to my love of photography I am keen on fell walking. I have been looking for an opportunity to walk the Fairfield Horseshoe in the Lake District for quite some time. The last few times I have had a day available the weather has been poor. Last week I finally manged to find a day when the weather forecast was reasonable, and I could get across to Ambleside/Rydal for the walk.

This wasn't planned primarily as a photographic trip. however, I always carry a camera on these walks, and am on the lookout for images. When I  have set out to take one or more images to add to my portfolio I might spend hours waiting for the light to make an image I am happy with. I didn't have that luxury on this walk - with about 18km of walking and around 1250m of ascent planned during the day. However, the light was good during the day, with mixed cloud and sunshine and very clear air. Strong winds on the tops gave some problems, but nevertheless I obtained some images which, to me give a good impression of this classic lakeland round and an illustration of why the lakes are such a magnet for fell walkers.

The first photograph I have processed is a panoramic shot from near the top of Hart Crag:

Rydale from Hart CragFairfield Round from Hart CragFairfield Round from Hart Crag

This view shows the majority of the Fairfield Horseshoe walk, with Low Pike, High Pike, Dove Crag and Hart Crag to the left, and Great Rigg, Rydal Fell and Heron Pike to the Right. Fairfield itself is behind me on my right in this view. Windermere is clearly visible beyond the end of the valley.

There are good views across to the Hellvellyn fells from the top of Fairfied. however, the light wasn't good for making a photo when I was there, so the next image is taken from the slopes of great Rigg on the descent:

great rigg viewLakeland panoramaCentral lakeland panorama from Great Rigg

This is a stitched panorama from three photographs looking across the central lakeland fells. The light was crystal clear at the time, the fells were green from rain the day before, and the sky gave interest without cloud shadows dominating key parts of the view.

Finally, I walked down to Stone Arthur, to take in the classic view across Grasmere. This hill has a very low prominence, but was included on Wainwright's list of lakeland fells, I guess primarily because of this view:

Grasmere viewGrasmere ViewGrasmere view from Stone Arthur, Lake District

Most of my work tends to be focused in Yorkshire. However, I do enjoy working in other areas as well. The Lake District fells have a different feel to the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors - the landcapes are rougher, the mountains are higher, and the views will often encompass the various lakes as well as the mountains.

The fact that they are different dosen't make one better or worse than the other. The key for me is to enjoy visiting as many attractive landscapes as possible, and to keep on trying to capture them at their best with my camera.


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