Last night we decided to have a wander round Frickley Park as it's another one of those places-on-your-doorstep that we'd never been to.
When I was a nipper I used to play on the old colliery site here all the time. We'd play near the old pit pump ponds at the bottom and walk through the woods at the back, looking for conkers and riding motorbikes on (what I called) 'the quarry' part at the back of the old folks bungalows on the Westfield Lane side - although these have all gone too. I also used to cut across from the Frickley FC side (who remembers the 'you'll never walk alone' painting on the wall?) as a short cut when walking from my grandad's on Pine Street to my auntie's house down on Elmsdale Close. I used to love it here - the wide open spaces made me feel like a proper explorer. I grew up next to Kirkby pit too and always enjoyed exploring there - although I was scared of 'the tunnel' and always managed to go home filthy!
Anyway, we had a little walk round. We started by exploring a little field of sunflowers before heading onto the old lines and following them back down to join the path into the park. The park is lovely. The developers have done an awesome job. There's over 7 miles of foot and cycle paths criss-crossing through it. There's also a few little nods to the site's mining history dotted about. A nice touch.
We didn't get time to walk round everywhere as the sun was dropping quick, but we'll deffo be back for more. It's a proper little den of tranquility. We need more regeneration of our little mining villages.
For more info on the park click HERE.
Here are a few snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro1, 35mm 1.4
We've not taken the kids anywhere for a while, due to illnesses and other pesky things, so on Monday we jumped in the Adventure Mobile™ and headed over to the coast.
We spent the day between Flamborough Head, North Landing and Thornwick Bay.
It was a ridiculously foggy day - at some points on the way there, visibility was about 20 feet in front of the car! We made it in one piece though, and proceeded to spend the day the way we always do at the seaside - walking on the beach, throwing stones in the sea, eating too much food and moaning about car park prices. Well, that last bit might have been just me...
The fog did roll out at one point towards the end of the day and we got a good 20 minutes of blue skies before it came rolling back in again. Along with the start of the rain!
I also never knew there was a Castle at Flamborough. I must have driven past it a hundred times. It is a pretty small stack of stones in a field though - with no signs or info to show for it. Regardless, I went with all intentions of taking a few snaps - only to find it covered in scaffolding.
Anyway, we had a top day out and, as usual, I took far too many photos.
Here's the snaps.
Gear used - Fujifilm X70
After a nice, relaxing Christmas, we headed up to Scotland to spend the New Year.
We'd booked an awesome converted barn 30 miles south west of Dumfries on the coastline near Gatehouse of Fleet.
It was a bit cold for our usual walks, not to mention that a few of us were struggling with the usual winter lurgy, so we pretty much just chilled out with a few little explores in the car. A lovely hidden gem was an old abandoned Kirk pretty much at the bottom of our driveway. We visited this a few times while we were there. I spent an hour on New Year's Eve freezing to death shooting some star photos in the graveyard.
We visited Castles and Cairns. Had a few little walks along beaches in tiny bays and stood on the beach watching the sunset. Went and had a nosey at the awesome Coo Palace - a Palatial Dairy Farm that is currently being refurbished into holiday apartments. Me and my little ginger had fun exploring a shipwreck on the coastline near Kirkcudbright. We visited Dundrennan Abbey - the place where Mary Queen of Scots spent her last night in Scotland. Like most of the other tourist spots though - it was closed, so we had to settle for views through the gateway. We visited the lovely little Kirk at Kirkandrews and a few other local spots.
We ate too much, drank too much, and pretty much saw in the New Year as chilled out as can be.
Happy New Year folks. Here are a few snaps from our trip.
Gear used. Fujifilm X70, Fujifilm Xpro2, Fuji 35mm, Fuji 50-230mm, Samyang 12mm
With the weather turning for the worse, we jumped up at the first sign of a non-rainy day, threw our big coats on and jumped in the car to have a little trip to look at the local Wentworth follies. I talked about the follies on THIS blog post a while back, but hadn't really had a chance to check them out until now.
I love autumn. The colours, the leaves - everything is a photographer's dream.
The first stop was Hoober Stand.
Hoober Stand is a pyramidal tower that stands just shy of a hundred feet on a little hill at roughly 157 metres above sea level. Construction was completed in 1748 and was to commemorate the quashing of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.
And it looks awesome.
I love pyramids and angled buildings. Shooting this from the side reminds me of one of my favourite buildings in New York - the Flatiron Building. The setting where it sits is also quite nice. My kids love the woods and there was a nice little bit of woodland here for them to go crazy in.
Next stop - Needle's Eye.
The Needle is just down the road from Hoober. A quick 150 yard walk up the footpath from the roadside brings you right to it. It looks pretty bizarre, a sandstone pyramid just sitting at the top of a little rise on it's own.
I do love a pyramid though!
The story behind this one is a little vague. It was apparently built in the mid-18th Century for the Marquis of Rockingham to win a bet that he could drive a horse and carriage through the eye of a needle. Measurements confirm that it would have been possible - so that brings a little bit of merit to the story. Rich folk have far too much time and money on their hands if you ask me!
There's also a little part that made my missus get a good case of the goosebumps - along one side of the pyramid are a grouping of musketball holes at head and torso height, suggesting that this may once have been a site of an execution by firing squad.
Next stop - Keppel's Column.
On the way we happened across a field of Highland cows, so obviously had to stop for a few snaps. A snorting big shaggy cow is a pretty awesome sight when it's a foot away from you. I'm glad there was a gate in the way!
The Column is a 115 foot tower built to commemorate the the acquittal of the court-martialled Admiral Augustus Keppel after the Battle of Ushant.
The tower sits on another hill, not quite as high as Hoober, but still a pretty good viewpoint.
The tower is in a bit of a sorry state. Not open to the public anymore, but it still stands tall and impressive on the rise.
This one is basically 'park at the side and take a photo'. The kids didn't even get out of the car.
And that's the follies! Here are a couple of snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X70 with the WCLX70 fitted.
Went out to the Rockley Engine House and Furnace for a bit of fresh air (and for Alfie to wear his new classic army pouches!)
I like Rockley. There's not much there, but the woods have cool trees, there's mega vines everywhere, there's a little stream, it's always quiet and the ruins are cool.
The furnace is from 1700 and the engine house is dated 1813, but reported to be older. The engine house once housed a pumping engine that kept the local Iron mines dry.
And it looks a bit like a castle with the castellated top - so kids love it!
Freddie's favourite part of the day was 'trampoline log bouncing'. And yep - he fell off. Laughing.
Here's some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Samyang 12mm, Fuji 35mm 1.4,
Some snaps from a little walk around the wharf area as the sun went down.
Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Samyang 12mm, Fuji 35mm 1.4, Fuji 56mm 1.2
Everyone has been stuck in the house for a few weeks - with non-stop runny noses, sniffles and all the other little general things that go round and round making everyone feel rubbish. So the other morning, while mummy was seriously under the weather, we tucked her back into bed and went for a little walk in the local woods - to get some fresh air back into the lungs.
The boys wanted to take their toy guns to run around with - but as you can see, Alfie went full on Assault Team Ginger...
Sometimes that bit of fresh air is all it needs to perk you back up. And it's always beautiful in the woods this time of year.
Last week we had a few days away having a bit of a road trip round the Scottish border areas.
We stayed in Lower Burnmouth and had a little adventure round the area, calling into the little seaside ports and villages, and also popping back down into England to drive over the causeway onto Holy Island off the Northumberland coast.
Luckily, our little Freddie Bear wasn't in a sling this time, so he enjoyed climbing the rocks and throwing stones with his big bros!
We visited Castles, Priories, Beaches, Parks, Ports and Marinas. We ate Ice Cream, Pizzas, Teas and Cakes. We watched Seals, Gulls and lots of other wildlife.
We also did our usual favourite thing - we walked our local beach every evening until the sun went down before heading back to our house to warm back up by the fire.
A lovely bit of family time.
Here's a few (too many) snaps.
As usual, we booked our holiday house through Airbnb. If you've not used it before, click HERE.
What better way to celebrate Yorkshire Day than takin some snaps of God's Own Country?!
Went up Earl Crag for a walk and took some snaps of the Salt and Pepper Pots - Lund's Tower and Wainman's Pinnacle. Climbed the 39 steps to the top of the tower and stood in what felt like gale force winds trying to take a photo (and not fall back down the hole).
I must admit though - I felt a bit Game-of-Thronesy going up the 130 year old stone spiral staircase!
After that, a quick walk across the top of the Crag to Wainman's Pinnacle at the other end before coming back across again.
I may have taken some dodgy selfies too...
Happy Yorkshire Day folks.
I've not thrown up a blog post for a while, so here's a little something from the other day.
We took advantage of the bit of sunshine and went down to feed the ducks.
We got ambushed!
Here's some 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.