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10 Photographic Locations In The Lake District - John Gravett lists some of his favourite locations to photograph in the Lake District.
Words and images by John Gravett of Lakeland Photographic Holidays.
Almost an impossible task – as my favourite locations vary from year to year – and repeat visits only seem to fuel my enjoyment of these and other locations, as the more times you visit a location, the more you see beyond the "obvious" photos. As well as the enjoyment you get from seeing all these locations in different lighting and seasons.
Blea Tarn(Between Great and Little Langdale valleys) Surely the Blea Tarn that everyone knows from countless photographs, but there are three other Blea Tarns in the Lake District. It's always magnificent when the water's calm and the Langdales are reflected in its surface, but even on a foggy day, it can display an ethereal beauty.
Watendlath TarnDown the main road from Keswick to Borrowdale, there's a turning off to Ashness Bridge – surely the most over-photographed bridge in the country – despite it's idyllic setting and the view of Derwentwater and Skiddaw behind. Continue up this single track road for a further 2 miles to find a National Trust Car Park at the little hamlet of Watendlath. Within a very compact area you'll find a tarn (small lake), a truly lovely – and different – pack-horse bridge, waterfalls, stunning dry-stone walls and with a short walk, a spectacular view into the Borrowdale valley.
DerwentwaterOften referred to as the queen of the lakes, it offers many excellent locations, like Friars' crag and the view east into Strandshag bay, especially good early morning in spring and autumn, where mist often hangs across the lakes surface. The south end of the lake has a large wetland area, which offers golden grasses for much of the year. Accessed by raised walkways.
ButtermereButtermere Always popular with photographers, especially the Buttermere pines towards the south of the lake, but the view down the lake from the north end with the peaks of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks dominating the background is imposing; The waterfall of sour milk gill at the north-west corner can be impressive as it flows over the red sandstones of red pike, and other secluded trees set around the lake form interesting foreground elements to support the views of the lake beyond.
Hodge CloseAbout 3 miles north of Coniston village is a once-disused slate quarry called Hodge Close – an almost lunar-like landscape of slate chippings with silver birch trees growing out of the slate. Over the past two years, the quarry has become very active again, so great care must be taken in personal safety.
Rydal WaterOne of my favourite wet-weather locations, I love the delicate quality and atmospheric recession that (light) rain adds to this lake. Small enough to walk round even with full camera kit, either end can offer shorter meanders with a plethora of available subjects. The nearby Dora's field offers hosts of golden daffodils and plenty of bluebells on an accessible slope during April and May.
Loughrigg TarnA hidden gem round the back of Grasmere and Rydal – even in the height of summer, when Ambleside and Grasmere are teeming with tourists, Loughrigg Tarn remains pleasantly secluded, it – like Blea Tarn – offers magnificent views of the Langdale pikes and works particularly well on a still day, when reflections in the tarn are magnificent.
RannerdaleSituated halfway along the east shore of Crummock water, Rannerdale is one of the few locations to offer bluebells growing not in woodland, but out in the open, legend has it that the bluebells grew from the spilt blood on a Saxon battlefield. Add to the swathes of blue a rushing stream, waterfalls and views of Crummock water in the background and you have a perfect location for photography.
MartindaleMartindale Take the dead-end road past Pooley bridge at the north end of the lake and down the east shore to Howtown, climb up Hallin Fell and enjoy the wonderful views of Martindale and Ullswater – a great spot for panoramas.
Silver CragParking at Patterdale, near the South end of Ullswater, walking round the south end of Ullswater, the path takes a gentle incline to the top of Silver Crag with views both ways along Ullswater – on the walk expect backlit reeds, lake views, juniper trees, in the winter views over the snow-covered fells around Brotherswater to the south, and wonderful autumn tones on the trees in the autumn.
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