A walk around Preston

It wasn’t what you would call a great day for photography, grey and overcast in the main but I fancied a walk with the camera.

Preston has a lot happening right now in terms of development and it’s always nice to capture these types of changes for posterity.  The brutalist architectural gem that is Preston Bus Station is 50 years old and it is nearing the end of a refurbishment – always good for pics. Then there is the old market hall and car park which is being knocked down to make way for a new cinema and leisure complex. It looks like a bomb site at the moment but it lends itself to black and white shots.

Here are a few photos from a quick wander through the park and into the city with a camera I don’t use much these days (Fuji X-T1) and a 23mm lens.

Preston City Centre-1659Preston City Centre-1670Preston City Centre-1676Preston City Centre-1681Preston City Centre-1682Preston City Centre-1694

 

In Pictures: Churchill’s birthplace and a tourist hotspot

It is a World Heritage site after all so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. The number of foreign visitors is staggering, they arrive by the coach load and yet I’m guessing that many people from the UK have never visited. Anyway the thing is Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is a tourist hotspot. 

Blenheim is famous, among other things, for being the birthplace of Winston Churchill and there is an excellent permanent display at the house telling the story of his life.  In the gift shop too, you can buy all sorts of Churchill souvenirs, including a book about the great man by one Boris Johnson!  No doubt we will continue to hear more Churchill influenced rhetoric from its deluded author. 

Churchill is buried a short walk away in the village of Bladon. We were stopping just around the corner from here at the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s Bladon Chains site.  

One benefit of staying on the Club site is the thirty percent discount on admission charges to Blenheim. Once you have purchased your admission ticket you can then upgrade it to an annual pass at no extra charge. That makes a return visit even more attractive.

A downside of its popularity is the painfully slow pace during the route through the house.  We didn’t bother with the iPhone-type audio guides, which may well be an interesting addition to the tour experience, but they did result in hundreds of people stood blocking the route like some sort of half human creatures, staring and tapping while gazing at the rooms and walls. 

Anyway, armed with our annual pass, we will return but probably at a quieter time of year when the visitor numbers have dropped off a bit.

Here are a few photos from our recent visit: 

Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5785Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5787Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5797Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5811Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5851Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5864Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5873Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5890Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5899-PanoOxford, Blenheim Palace-5915-2Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5923Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5943Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5969Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5973Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5981Oxford, Blenheim Palace-6025Oxford, Blenheim Palace-6047Oxford, Blenheim Palace-5979

In Pictures: One of the grandest colleges anywhere

The University of Oxford is steeped in history. One of its most famous colleges is Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin), it was founded in 1458 and was designed to be one of the grandest in Oxford. Some famous alumni include Cardinal Wolsey of Henry VIII fame, Oscar Wilde and CS Lewis.

As you walk along the paths, go under the archways and enter the buildings, it’s easy to imagine you have stepped back in time or onto a film set. The worn stone steps could probably tell a story or two and there’s a certain romance about a visit here. The College is open to the public but there is an admission charge. This charge does includes an informative colour leaflet/guide book.

If you are visiting Oxford it is well worth spending a bit of time looking around this historic college. I hope these few pictures give you an idea of what you can expect to see.

Remembrance

The Cloisters

Steps with character

The Founder’s Tower

Around the Cloisters

Steps to The Hall

Roses in Summer

The Water Walks

CS Lewis 

Roof detail

Stunning Sepia toned stained glass Chapel windows 

Inside the Chapel with reredos screen at the far end

Chapel interior

Founder’s Tower

Inside the Dining Hall

Gates from the Water Walks

The New Building and Lawns

Summer flowers

David Wynne’s Statue

The President’s Lodgings

Waves on the Lake, surely not…

When you visit the Lake District in February, you expect some photographic challenges.  

On the day we arrived the sky looked typically brooding and the sun was doing its best to break through. Just the sort of day you want for landscape photography, especially as the rain was just about holding off. 

I wanted to get a photo of the Millennium Stone on the shore of Derwentwater with water around it,  as last time I visited it was high and dry.  No danger of that this time after the recent rain and snow. The real challenge in getting the picture on this visit was going to be the wind.  

The wind was absolutely battering the shore of the lake, but seemingly just in this particular cove! The normally calm lake was being whipped up into a frenzy and waves were crashing over the stone. Long exposure shots were near enough impossible to keep sharp as the tripod was also being battered.  It was also bitterly cold but I did manage to get a few shots, not the greatest pictures but I’ve included a few here anyway.

My next post will feature some pictures from a circuit of the lake two days later, when the weather was, if anything too good. 

DSCF8968DSCF8979DSCF9208-2Edited in Photoshop-1330

An icy and foggy Brockholes – in pictures

According to the weather forecast it was going to be a sunny but cold day.What they forgot to mention was that you wouldn’t be able to see the sun for the freezing fog! 

There was however, something hauntingly beautiful about wondering around Brockholes nature reserve in the icy-cold conditions. The photo below were all taken within the space of about two hours. Some come from the walks around the reserve, others show the visitor centre itself.

Here are the pictures…

York in January

While it may not be the warmest month, there is never really a bad time to visit York.  One of the advantages of visiting in winter is that you don’t get swamped by the crowds and endless tour groups that you get in high season.

York has so much to offer, stunning buildings, great shopping, cosy pubs and scenic walks along the fortified city walls or alongside the River Ouse. Our stay was just three days but I did manage a few photos…

A January visit to the Fylde coast

It’s not far to the beach at St Annes from Preston and at anytime of year it’s good to experience the wide-open spaces that the coast provides.  Over recent years there has been a good deal of conservation work taking place to try and protect the sand dunes here from erosion. One of the measures involves planting out old Christmas trees along the front edge of the Dunes. 

A popular and well photographed view is of the old wooden pier on the beach. I’d hoped to get a stunning sunset but whilst that didn’t happen, I’m still happy with how the photo turned out in the end. See this pic and a few more from my visit to Lytham St Annes below…