On Sunday I had a wedding consultation in Nottinghamshire with Amber and Simon whose wedding I'll be shooting later this year. As usual, I bundled all the family into the car to take with me, and after the meet we had a drive over to the Peak District.
We first stopped off at Chatsworth House and had a walk round the park area. We walked around the park because £75 for a family ticket to see the house and gardens is absolutely ridiculous. The place is pretty nice, but on a busy day - the car park and pathways are completely pedestrian unfriendly. Not to mention when you're struggling with a pushchair.
After a little walk round, Freddie collecting 300 stones, searching for a few geocaches, a picnic on the grass and some ice cream, we jumped back in the car and had a lazy Sunday-Drive round. We drove through a place called Windmill which didn't actually have any windmills, much to my disappointment.
We looped round and over the hills and watched some paragliders over Winnats Pass before heading up past Ladybower to finish before heading home.
Here are a few snaps.
On Friday I took my little lad for a quick overnight camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales. We set up camp at a little site near Richmond - just between the villages of Muker and Thwaite in Swaledale.
After pitching up and a quick cuppa we went on a little explore. We nipped down to the local river and did a little riverwalk. We spotted birds, stepped over riverstones, climbed hills, looked for rabbits and dodged lots (I mean LOTS) of sheep poo!
After a couple of hours the sun started dropping so we went back to camp and knocked up some hotdogs for dinner. Alfie helped prepare everything and watched the stove like a little miniature version of a quiet Gordon Ramsey. He swears less too.
The sun soon went down, so we wrapped up and sat under our tarp and read and talked and drank tea by the light of our lanterns until midnight. I may have had a little tipple of whiskey too.
I woke just after 4 and stood outside the tent with a cuppa and listened to the dawn chorus. It was completely silent apart from the birds, without another soul in sight (with the exceptions of a few other campers nipping out of their tents for a quick trip to the toilets).
The morning was too misty for any sunrise shots, so when the local church bells rung five, it was back to the tent for a bit more kip.
We woke a few hours later and had a mug of hot chocolate to warm us through, followed by some Spam sarnies. We kitted up and had a little walk across to the village of Thwaite and visited a few little waterfalls on the way. We dodged a thousand cyclists on the roads, walked a few paths and then headed back to take down our camp.
It was awesome.
The site where we stayed was the Usha Gap Campsite. It's a working farm with a few fields used for camping and is perfect for families. Really quiet and peaceful and also has the most clean facilities I've ever seen on a campsite! Phone signal is rubbish though - I didn't get a signal until I was a few miles from the village. There is a payphone in Thwaite if you need to make a call, but it is card only and doesn't accept coins. So - if you want to get unplugged from the world for a few days, this place is perfect.
For more info on the Usha Gap Campsite, click on the link - Usha Gap Website.
Here are a few snaps from our trip.
It was Friday afternoon and the weather was a bit rubbish, so I had the genius idea to spend a night in the woods. I packed up my rucksack with a tarp and a bivvy bag and jumped on my mountain bike for a little microadventure.
Then it went wrong.
A couple of miles down the road I had a bit of a bike malfunction. This is what happens when you leave your bike stood for a while and don't get it serviced!
Once dropped off, I said my goodbyes once again and wandered into the deep, dark woods. They're not that deep and dark to be honest, but for the sake of a bit of adventure, we'll just pretend a little!
After a bit of a walk I found the perfect spot and sat down and had a cuppa and enjoyed the silence and solitude. I've usually got three kids making a racket, so it made a refreshing change!
The weather had turned even duller, with a few spots of rain coming down so I threw up my tarp to keep my kit dry. Photo opportunities were a bit limited due to the rain and pretty soon it was full on dark.
After taking a few long exposures of the woods, I cooked up some dinner and hit the sack - hoping for a nice clear day and a decent sunrise in the morning.
I didn't get one.
The rain was relentless through the night and into the morning, so I packed up my gear, removed all traces of where I'd stayed and headed back through the woods to take a few more snaps before a nice leisurely 8 mile walk home.
I wished I'd had the bike!
Here are a few snaps.
Disclaimer: Wild camping is mostly illegal in England as the majority of land is privately owned and permission must be granted by the landowner. However, I believe this to be almost impossible in most instances. I love the outdoors, and always treat it with respect. I collected all my rubbish and removed all traces of where I had stayed. Like the age old quote says - take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.
Took my littlest monster for a walk yesterday to our local woods. It was just the two of us - a little daddy and boy time. His little legs managed to complete a full two mile loop all by himself - although we did stop a zillion times! We threw stones and twigs, scooped leaves into the air, blew dandelion clocks and picked lots of flowers. I say pick - he pretty much pulled them into a million pieces! By the time we'd finished, he looked like a little mucky snot monster with leaves for hair and fingernails from a Saw movie!
He loved every second of it.
And so did I!
Here are a few snaps from our little walk.
On Sunday we popped over to Stockport for a wedding consultation with the lovely Victoria and Garry, whose wedding I'll be shooting in a few weeks. Whilst we were out and about, and the sun was shining, we thought a little stretch of the legs was in order! On our way home we detoured down to the Peak District to have a little walk round Ladybower.
My middle boy was all adventure-time happy, my eldest was just his usual stroppy-teen self and my littlest monkey was a complete snot-drenched mucky monster by the time we'd finished. I think he also manged to single-handedly throw a metric ton of stones into the reservoir.
We walked on logs, jumped through the trees, skimmed some stones, tried to pet the sheep, found a geocache, had a little picnic and a few flasks of tea and enjoyed some glorious British sunshine.
Here are a few snaps. Including a rare one of me taken by Mrs T.
It was the boss' birthday weekend, so we gallivanted up to Helensburgh, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in Scotland. We explored mountains and lochs and rivers and forests, and a couple of waterfalls for good measure. We did a spot of geocaching and even visited an old SAS hero too! We drove lots, walked lots, ate lots and drank lots. (That last part may have been more me than anyone else...)
It was ace. Get yourself up there for some fresh mountain air. Be careful though - you may end up quitting your day job and looking for a cabin in the woods to live in!
Here are a few snaps.
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.