Milecastle Microadventure (No.18)

Milecastle 37 on Hadrian’s Wall is perched high on the Win Sill a rocky outcrop facing the north forming a natural barrier the Roman engineers utilised in the construction of the wall. Those expecting Game of Thrones levels of engineering would probably be disappointed at the way the wall now bless into the landscape, but I’ve always loved visiting this wild and remote part of England.

Ive camped in nearby mile castle 39 before but 37 is better positioned and still has the footing of the small rooms that would have sheltered the troops 1800 years ago. It’s in one of these that I pitch the tarp, my first wild camp since lockdown ended is welcome although the frustration of so many wasted months and postponed adventures frustrates.

I was treated to a lovely sunset in the west enjoying a hot mug of tea as the temperature plummeted with the loss of the suns warmth. Trending towards winter sleeping bag territory now I was glad I’d brought the extra warmth of my big down bag. Snuggled up against the cold I drifted off listening to the soft patter of the rain on my shelter, a sound I’ve strangely missed.


Packrafting in the Western Lakes

Although I’ve managed to get out quite a lot with my packraft this summer, I haven’t really been adhering to the main concept behind the boat. Focused on exploring the islands and hidden bays of the Lake District I’d yet to actually carry my boat anywhere, thus negating possibly its primary design feature – its lightweight and compact flexibility.

The lakes of the western Lake District radiate out like the spokes of some giant wheel with its hub centred somewhere around the craggy bulk of Great Gable. This arrangement suggested an easy way to link up Buttermere and Carrock Water with Ennerdale Water, the lakes providing smooth passage through the valleys which could   then be joined togeather with hikes over the passes between the mountains.

I covered the ground it two days, but the route would also work well over three at a more relaxing pace leaving time to swim and explore the various lakesides, especially in little visited and virtually traffic free Ennerdale. Starting points are possible from the southern tip of both Ennerdale and Carrock Water, plus from Buttermere itself.


The Camp beside Currock Water

I started on Carrock Water which was close to mirror still as I paddled across its surface, the vast bulk of Grasmoor, its slopes dark purple with late summer heather reflected clearly in its surface. Although I’m still new to packfrafting I’ve already learned to enjoy these calm conditions when they present themselves, when the boat appears to skim over the surface, gliding silently through the still water.

My target for the evening was the short spur of Low Ling Crag, which juts out like a miniature peninsula from the western side of the lake offering a little level campsite surrounded on three sides by water. The location is spectacular with great views up and down the lake, Fleetwith Pike dominating the valley head in one direction, Grasmoor looming large in the other. I pitched facing the latter, and following a short and very cold swim enjoyed the changing colours cast by the setting sun on its slopes.

With morning I broke down the raft for the hike over to Ennerdale. My Alpaka Caribou weighs little more than 2kg and packs into a roll about the same size as a winter sleeping bag making it easy to fit in a medium sized rucksack along with lightweight camping and hiking kit. My paddle is lightweight plastic and carbon fibre and splits into three making it easy to strap onto the side of a rucksack. I was really pleased with how little everything weighed, important if considering a long hike or steep climb. The only item which did not pack down well was my buoyancy aid which by their nature need to be pretty bulky.


With everything packed I hiked up past the beautiful hidden waterfall of Scale Force and into wild Mosedale which feels much more remote than most of the Lakes, following a faint path winding through the boggy, tussocky grass. The path, which is probably a boggy mess in winter, continues to climb up to Whiteoak Moss and Floutern Tarn before dropping down to meet Ennerdale Water after about 7km of hiking.

I found a small beach by the lake and inflated the raft, two kayakers passed by heading up the lake down which a strong wind was now blowing. Battling against this it was a slow but beautiful paddle up the valley, I followed the northern bank past Bowness Knott with the wind wafting the smell of the pine trees across the water as the sunlight sparkled off the waves whipped up by the wind.

From the water I spotted plenty of camping spots hidden in the trees, perfect stops if you felt like taking your time over the trip. A couple had tents in situ, kayaks drawn up on the beach below their owners obviously enjoying a lazy day in the hot sun. The lack or roads and cars makes Ennerdale a quiet valley, putting off those unwilling to be separated far from there vehicles, and I caught glimpses of relatively few hikers making their way through the trees as they headed up the valley.

Reaching the upper end of Ennerdale Water I explored the River Liza where it enters the lake, the water was shallow and crystal clear but progression upstream was impossible due to many small rapids. Landing, and before packing up the boat again, I swam (much warmer here) and ate lunch whilst drying myself in the warm sun.


Looking down Ennerdale Water from the mouth of the River Liza

My route back to Buttermere headed  up the valley following the river before turning north and climbing over the Scarth Gap Pass. For most of the way the route is easy following the access track which leads to the YHA’s Black Sail Hut which is located at the head of the valley (another possible overnight option). Rather than hike to the hut and take the bridleway to the pass I left the track a couple of km short and followed a footpath diagonally up the hillside, the going was rocky and steep but the views back down the valley were spectacular.

At the pass I join the bridleway climbing up from Black Sail and was suddenly surrounded by crowds exploring the fells above Buttermere. I’ve seen the Scarth Gap Pass described as a mountain biking link between the two valleys, and had thought of the route as a bike / packfraft combo. The contours covered by the bridleway put me off and I’m glad they did, the decent to Buttermere was technical to unridable and would have been a complete nightmare with heavy kit.


Reaching the lake I re-inflated the raft and pushed off from the busy shore for the final (almost) section of paddling to complete the circle. Buttermere is linked to Currock Water by a small river about 1km long called the Buttermere Dubs, this offers a potentially  easy link between the two lakes without having to break down the boat.

Although the river looked to have no real technical difficulties in terms of white water it was overhung by a lot of trees which dropped right down to water level forming a series of strainers, especially close to the bridge half way down. These would require some precise control of a raft to avoid and as there was a reasonable flow when I inspected  the run and as I’m still learning the capabilities of both the raft any my ability to control it I decided to portage.

Both Buttermere and Currock Water were thronged with people enjoying the Bank Holiday sun, but as if by magic all I had to do was paddle a few 100m  out from the shores to drift back to a more tranquil setting, the hubbub on the back drifting into the background and only intruding on the periphery of senses. Not feeling under any time pressure, I slowly paddled back towards the car thinking about where my boat could take me next.

Cycling in Otago – The Central Rail Trail

Having just booked another trip to New Zealand its about time I wrote a bit more about my visit in January 2018. Apologies for the photos in this one, there was no way I was lugging my SLR about in that heat!


The day had started with one objective in mind, I was going to bag my first Southern Hemisphere ton, and no 35 degree heat and searing headwind was going to stop me; even if, the end of the day drifted a bit too close to Type 2 fun. The ton, or 100km is a big bike ride, a solid effort, the distance which, I think turns you from punter into a proper cyclist.

An overriding thought as I drove round the South Island was that so much on New Zealand looked great to explore by bike, smooth ribbons of tarmac winding through stunning landscapes inviting the skinny tires of a road bike, or backcountry trails ripe for mountain bikes.

With only a couple of weeks in the country, and a to-do list as long as my arm I had very limited time to get out on two wheels. I whittled down all the potential adventures to one, a section of the Otago Central Rail Trail which follows the course of an old railway line for 152Km between Clyde and Middlemarch in the County of Otago on New Zealand’s South Island. Ideally it would have been nice to ride the whole trail over 2-3 days, but my return flight made the logistical juggling impractical so I decided to head out from Clyde and ride as far as I could before the threat of an imminently closing bike shop made turning round essential.


The bridge over Poolburn Gorge

It was blisteringly hot, I’d arrived off the plane in shorts ten days previously and had been happily tanning my legs ever since. New Zealand was in the middle of a heat wave, it had been warm in the mountains around Wanaka, and Queenstown but now traveling west into the plains of Otago the sun was like a blowtorch searing the landscape, desiccating the grass’ which lined the trail to a burnt yellow brown.

I had picked up my bike in a friendly shop in Clyde, fortunately they had 29er’s in stock which I hoped would make short work of the distance. The trail its surface covered in gravel ran arrow straight for the first few miles out of town passing small farms and vineyards as it headed towards the larger town of Alexandra where it swung north east and began to contour above the Manuherikia River. Barren hills, craggy and dry stretched up to my right, there lower slopes dotted with corse vegetation.


The trail is well surfaced, mountain or gravel bikes are ideal

After about 20 km the rail crossed the river and shortly after arrived at Chatto Creek where I stopped for lunch and litres of liquid refreshment at the Tavern which sits right by the railway. This was a good call as the next section of the trail lead gently but relentlessly uphill to the village of Omakau (40km) before levelling off towards the tiny hamlet of Lauder (45km, Cafe!). The farms beside this section of the trail were much bigger with huge irrigation gantries dominating the fields.


One of the Tunnels

I made it as far as the Poolburn Gorge, here the railway leaps back over the river before following it up trough the cliffs of the gorge helped by a couple of short tunnels. It’s the most spectacular section of the trail but unfortunately my Garmin had just hit 55km, and  if I was going to make it back to the bike shop before closing now was the time to turn round.

I was racing the clock all the way back to Clyde, for the fist walk of the return the kilometres flew by as I had the advantage of approximately 300m of hight to loose. Then about 10km short of Alexandra I ran into a block headwind that was like cycling into a hairdryer. With almost 90km in the legs it was a battle to fight into the wind and I motivated myself with the thought of a huge tub of ice-cream at the finish. I made it back to the hire shop with ten minutes to spare, I think they were slightly surprised when they saw the distance on the bike computer!


Microadventure 17: Wildcamp off Wildcat Island


Is there anything nicer than an early morning swim in a warm still lake? The surface of Coniston Water is a mirror reflecting the surrounding hills as I swim out from the small beach above which I pitched for the night. The water is lovely, warmed by the sun over the past few weeks its at that lovely sweet spot of being warm enough to be pleasant but cool enough to be refreshing.

Peel Island is famously the inspiration behind Wildcat Island, a place of adventure and exploration in Swallows and Amazons. I had paddled over in my packfraft the day before with the intention of camping overnight on the island, however having explored the nearby shore I found a lovely spot hidden amongst oak trees above a tiny gravel beach.

I was using my Alpaka Caribou cargo fly for the first time and must admit to being slightly nervous. This is a rather neat storage solution where you keep all your camping kit inside the inflatable section of the raft itself. This obviously means access is required so Alpaka installed a half meter long air tight zip in boat. Whilst to me this seams rather worrying I have to admit its working fine so far, and certainly leaves the cockpit area much less cluttered than otherwise.


Yes That’s a zip in the raft!

My campsite is lovely but within 10m of where I have pitched I find evidence of 4 fires, this appears to be becoming more and more of an issue as wild camping becomes more popular, and I’m not sure of an easy way to educate people against it.  With the shelter up, I  wade out into the lake for a swim out to Wildcat Island for an explore.

The lake is busy with swimmers, paddlers, and the odd boat making their way here and there. The island is a focal point for stopping for a bite to eat, but although it’s small I find a corner to a relax in the sun before swimming back to my campsite.


In it Goes!

The following morning I’m up at six hoping for some nice sunrise photos; it’s perfectly  still giving lovely reflections in the surface of the lake but unfortunately also overcast. I play around with my camera for a bit then because its super early on a Sunday strip off for a skinny dip.  

It’s lovely swimming out from the beach into the undisturbed water, the visibility looks great and I make a note to invest in a snorkel so I can see whats going on below the surface. Ten minutes into my swim and it starts to rain causing the surface of the lake to jump wildly around me, a delightful experience.

I’m becoming completely sold by camping via packfraft, I can’t wait to take it to Scotland and explore the lochs.



Peel “Wildcat” Island

Derwent Boating Microadventure

The setting sun cast a brilliant golden light across the trees, radiating warmth and gentle glowing colours. I was sitting on a small gravel beach on St Herberts Island watching the sun set behind Cat Bells across the open expanse of Derwent Water. My shelter was pitched on a small patch of ground just above the beach, home for the night, perched in the middle of one of Englands largest lakes.

I had been planning this camp for a while, the islands are obvious from the shore and easy to get to, making them an inviting target.  I had visited with my kayak before, noting a couple of nice pitches to hide away on, the idea of wild camping on an island somehow added an extra bit of wild feeling to the adventure.

Leaving the car in the Kettlewell park, I inflated my packraft, threw my rucksack into the bow, and pushed off over the still surface of the lake. It was late afternoon and the wind was virtually still, just a few shallow waves disturbing the surface of the lake.


Skiddaw Over Derwent Water

It was just over 2km of paddling out to island, the lake was busy with other craft, canoes, SUP, and small sail boats all enjoying the warm afternoon sun. As I approached the St Herberts it was obvious I would not have the place to myself, a couple of tents were visible amongst the trees near my preferred camping spot, but after a bit of an explore I was able to find a secluded little patch of the island to land on.

With the packraft out the water I quickly set up camp, then to work up an appetite I waded out into the lake for a swim. The water was gloriously warm yet also cooling and refreshing; I got carried away and ended up swimming right round the island which felt like almost a km.


My Alpaka Caribu


Golden Hour Light on the Camp

It was a wonderful feeling that evening after the sun fell behind the hills, tucked up in my sleeping bag enjoying a can of beer whilst listening to the sounds of the lake as twilight faded no night.

Morning dawned cool but with the sun the temperature quickly began to rise. The lake was virtually mirror still, with my packraft appearing to glide across a smooth clear blue sky. A very special adventure.


A Mirror Still Lake the Following Morning



A blast from 2014…

There is no such thing as a free lunch so the saying goes; well that’s not quite true, I can normally induce people to feed me by looking wistfully at kitchen cupboards, but generally you don’t get something for nothing. It’s equally true that any alpine trip especially one to Chamonix (a traditional base for British alpinists) is alway hobbled by the exorbitant cost of the bins up the mountains; a trip up the Midi normally knocks a considerable dent in the finances of any would be alpinist.

True you could do it the old fashioned way and WALK into the climbs but really the reason Cham is so popular is that is has such a brilliant lift network, the thought of having to slog 1500m up to the start of the real climbing is enough to bring many of us out in cold sweat “You want me to climb Ben Nevis to get to the start of the route?!”

So when a rumour that the the Swiss of all people; famous for living in one of the most expensive countries on earth were giving away free lift passes in Saas Valley summers alpine destination was pretty much nailed on.

For every night you stay in the Saas Valley you get a Burgerpass which gives you free use of all the lifts and buses but sadly not any free burgers. For the aspiring alpinist the Sass is also surrounded by fourteen 4000m peaks may at the easy end of the difficulty scale and with uplift to 3000m or higher; decision made were going somewhere new.

My the Swiss are efficient!

In preparation for going high later in the week James, Andy, and I decided to get a big rock route done on one of the lower peaks. The route we had selected was Alpendurst on the Jägihorn which is fourteen pitches and approximately 350m long topping out at about 3200m. More importantly it’s graded about F4 and really well bolted with traditional Swiss efficiency giving the route a really nice non threatening feel and removing the possibility of us sandbagging ourselves at the start of the trip.

Catching the first bin up out of Sass Grund leaves a shortish if steep walk in to the base of the crag which launches upward in a mass of golden yellow brown slabs. Once on the route the climbing is never hard but the moves are really enjoyable and the line appears to flow naturally between the bolts which are easy to follow.

Looking down the route from about pitch 9.

The climbing is mostly slabby but there is some chimney work and a bit of monkeying around with flakes. In order to minimise the amount of faff climbing as a three we block lead four pitch sections of the route giving each a good section of the climb to get our teeth in to. 

The rock feels really compact and solid and radiate a lovely warmth in the sun; were soon flying up the route enjoying every pitch and the ever increasing exposure. Lunch is taken about pitch 9 on a huge belay ledge with fantastic views out over the white dome of the Weissmies which looks amazing and the Lagginhorn which looks like a tottering pile of choss! A this point Sundays objective pretty much selects itself.


The last few pitches run through slightly steeper territory and leads to a rather stressful switch of leads on a painfully small belay for three; the climb also become a bit of an exercise in suffering as we have all brought excessively tight climbing (and now very smelly) shoes for the grade and look enviously on a a German pair who move past us in their stealth rubber trainers, the way forward on this kind of jaunt. 

A hugh pile of choss aka the Lagginhorn

The summit of the Jägihorn is a terrific viewpoint especially across to the high peaks of the Michabel chain on the far side of the valley including tomorrows target the Allinhorn, but conscious of a rocky decent and the looming cut off time of the last bin back to the valley the summit moment is a little rushed.

The decent is very much a scramble down steep bouldery terrain and worth the weight of bringing a pair of trainers on the climb for. We get in about 45 min before the last car departs from the valley before inflicting eau du climber on two unfortunate tourists who must have regretted jumping into the same car as us!

The Michabel chain taken from Hohass rather than the Jägihorn. 

Cycling in the Pyrenees

An earlier draft of this blog was published on my old site on 21st September 2014.

Mountain High has a lot to answer for, a weighty coffee table tomb whoes smooth glossy pages are crammed with crisp pictures of endless switchbacks rising up a mountainside, pictures that put ideas in your head that are hard to shake. The book, which we had come to refer to as the bible had been a mainstay of our evening entertainment, camped in warm evening sunlight with a glass of red wine, as we read in sumptuous detail the history of these famous roads, glorying in the hard won challenges of today and dreaming of those kilometres to be won tomorrow.


Hidden away in its pages was Gavarine a stunning cirque of mountains and one of Frances finest national parks. From the town of Luz-Saint-Sauveur a beautiful road winds its way into the park and up to the Spanish border. At 30km and a whopping 1500m of climbing it would be the biggest test ever on my bike. 

Cirque du Gavarine (photo by Eusebius (Guillaume Piolle)


The big problem was in the way between our campsite and the start of the climb was the Col du Tormalet, and the thought of driving over arguably the most famous mountain pass in cycling bordered on the sacreligious. The downside of this though is that the Tormalet itself is 1200m high and 20km long and the thought of tagging this onto the start and then obviously the end of the day was a bit much!


Rather than follow Rule 5 and climb the Tourmalet twice we drove to La Mogine a small ski resort perched on a grassy alp about 4km short of the col on its eastern side. The resort is one of the myriad of less than picturesque examples that little the mountains here whose architecture can be described as somewhere between abysmal and appaling.

The Tour had been over only a few days before so the road was covered with graffiti encouraging the riders with messages of support ranging from inspiring to downright bizarre. This made the short hop to the summit and interesting one although quite how a line of giant sperm swimming their way up the tarmac to the summit was supposed to motivate the riders I’m not quite sure.

The decent of the top was fun, following a sinuous line of asphalt draped down the mountain, cars were overtaken, corners carved on the racing line with a flourish. Towards the bottom the road follows the young river which cascades down the slopes, and at the same time it straightens and widens into a long trail of brand new tarmac; here my speed must have hit an exhilarating if scary 80kph although I struggled to keep up with Josie who was flying.


The Gavavine climb was suitably epic, gentle for the first 10km or so as it follows a steep sided ravine. As you approach the Cirque the road steepens but does not really kick in till just after half way, when you leave Gavarine village and begin the climb to the border. Here you also leave the tourist hotspots behind and consequently the road surface deteriorates with cracks and loose gravel as it cuts its way upwards at between 8 and 9% for the next 12km or so. 

The effort is worth it the road runs out at a small car park as a track winds off to the border, the view is spectacular with peaks towering above and grate slabs or rock on show from a relatively recently retreated glacier. Not for the first time on this trip I regret the fact that road cycling and photography don’t really mix as I would love to have had my SLR with me. Then its time to enjoy the fruits of the climbing effort and turn to a decent which was gripping even if in places the road wasn’t!


Back in Luz-Saint-Sauveur and with 80 plus kilometres in the legs I will admit that despite its uber classic status I was not 100% thrilled at the thought of taking on the Tourmalet. From the west the climb stits at a gradient of practically 8% for its entire length so it was just a case of getting into a comfortable gear and plodding upwards at a good cadence. I had the added motivation that my garmin was close to dead as I was running Strava and I wanted to get to the top and claim the segment for posterity (unfortunately it died a few km short of the summit).


As the climb went on the weather deteriorated, mist and cloud enveloping the hills although fortunately the rain held off. I had spent the last hour and a half with my short sleeve jersey open, the effort of the climb keeping me toasty and thought I was prepared for the vicious temperature gradients cyclists can sometime experience going over a big hill. I was not… By now the summit was a dreary place, visibility was about 20m with a bitter wind cutting across the ridge. Despite quickly changing into long leggings, a winter smock and windproof I was soon shivering as a tried to hold my phone still long enough to take the obligatory summit photo. 

The decent may only have been 4km but was deeply deeply unpleasant; the cloud blocked out all visibility apart from a short stretch of slimy saturated tarmac and which ended in a steep grey void into nothingness at the edge of the road. As I crawled down road into the drizzle my body attempted to shiver itself off the bike as I tried to balance the risk of going too fast on the slippy surface with the desire to be in a warm car as soon as possible.

La Mongie did not appear until I was practically on top of it with some monstrosity of concrete looming out the mist. Just before the car the ride threw in one last curve ball with a flock of goats strewn across the road perfectly camoflaged in the mist, a mad end to an epic day.

North Yorkshire Moors Bikepacking Microadventure

Rather late to the party I’ve joined the bikepacking revolution, and it really is a case of “what took you so long”. I do have an off road trailer for my bikes, but its bulky, does not get out much and certainly does not suit the term lightweight.

Spring is certainly in the air at the moment and with the clocks going forward a package dropped through the door containing lots of colourful bikepacking kit, perfect for escaping for a night out even when you need to be at work the following day. I didn’t need to go far to try it out, I’d had a location in mind for a while, close to the top of Sutton Bank where the North York Moors drop away giving stunning views out over North Yorkshire. It’s possibly my favourite view in England, looking down from the height of the moors over the much flatter terrain of the Vale of York.

For backpacking its perfect too as a bridleway runs right along the edge of the moors making it really easy to get to.


Packed and ready to ride

My Trailstar was the obvious choice shelter, light, stable and I hoped big enough to contain the bike as well. Optimistically I also packed my lightweight summer sleeping bag which turned out be be a mistake. Arriving at the viewpoint I tucked myself away in a small patch of trees hoping to gain a little shelter from a fresh wind and pitched up as the sun began to set.

Its a location I often visit for sunset as the cliffs and trees can be washed with a beautiful light from the sinking sun. Today was unfortunately not one of those days but it was till nice to be sitting watching the light fade with a warm cup of tea in hand.


The Finest View in England? (taken on an earlier visit)


The Trailstar easily has enough space to swallow my bike

Taking the front wheel off my bike meant in fitted easily inside the shelter whilst still leaving plenty of room to cook and sleep. The only slight drawback is the Trailstar requires a couple of walking poles which, although collapsable took a bit of thinking when packing.

Come morning everything disappeared back into the bike packing bags within 20 min and I was off back to my desk (via a shower obviously). There can’t be an easier way of having an adventure.



Anglesey Microadventure

After January’s micro adventure amounts the dunes of Northumberland I decided to do the same thing in February. There were a few costal locations I wanted to shoot and sleeping on the beach meant a nice lie in because in many cases you can roll out the shelter and pretty much be at your location.

I wanted to shoot the lighthouse Twr Mawr on Llanddwyn a tidal island at the south east corner on Anglesey. The island is a couple of km from the nearest road so I ticked myself away unobtrusively on the grassy dune just above the beach which is a beautiful long stretch of sand and drifted off.

Unlike my Northumberland camp the rain and wind both held off and it was a remarkably still night which was lucky as I discovered I had brought only 1/2 the pegs for my Trailstar.

The sunrise turned out to be a bit of a disappointment but a night under canvas is always memorable.


Landline Lighthouse and the Hills of the Lyn Peninsular


Northumberland Microadventure

This microadventure had been on my to do list for months and for various reasons had been repeatedly shelved; finally I managed to get myself organised and out the door just as gale force winds were forecast.

The idea was to combine two of my favourite things, beaches and castles. I’d wanted to go to sleep amongst the dunes of a sandy beach listening to the waves rushing over the sands watched over by an ancient fortress.

Costal Northumberland is perfect for this, beautiful long sandy beaches, dunes and castles perched above the sea. Two of these were on my list, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, the first a gaunt ruin the second virtually intact and still very much a home, if an expensive one.


In the end I chose Dunstanburgh as it felt slightly more remote and wild. A forecast for strong winds through the night drove me from the top of a dune to a hollow at its base where I pitched my Trailstar in the fortunately firm feeling sandy soil. Tucked up warm in my sleeping bag as the wind tugged at the tarp and rain lasted the fabric was a great feeling. I thought what it must have been like 800 years ago as you approached the castle, a bastion of safety in a cold wild landscape.

Waking on the beach made some morning photography really easy with bright clear skies greeting the sunrise, although a bank of cloud was fast approaching from the east. The wind was whipping up the sea into a series of rolling waves which passed under the castle to crash onto the beach. Despite all this kinetic energy my favourite image from the shoot was a long exposure smoothing out the sea but accentuating some movement in the clouds and the colours of the sunrise reflected off the retreating water of the waves falling onto the sand.

Later I went north to Bamburgh, cloud coated the sky and the wind picked up. I was initially sceptical about the conditions but notices the wind was picking up streamers of sand which then danced over the beach towards the castle. I was able to combine this fain leading line with a stronger feature of outcropping rock in an image I was really pleased with.