Northumberland

Written by Haydn Williams

We spent a few days in Northumberland last week, checking out the beaches and moorland. It’s frequently mentioned as being a rather nice part of the UK, and I now know why.

We arrived on Thursday night, and early on Friday I drove to Lindisfarne, the island just off the coast which is famous for being pillaged by vikings. There’s a causeway that goes to the island, but it’s only open at certain times because it floods at high-tide. I arrived at 06:50, in time for sunrise. The plan to photograph a lighthouse went titsup when I realised I was using a 1:50,000 OS map and it was actually twice as far to walk from the car as I thought. That left me with little choice but to head to the harbour at Holy Island (the village on Lindisfarne), and shoot in the direction of sunrise.

Sunrise over the Farne Isles and Bamburgh Castle (Copyright Haydn Williams 2008)
Sunrise over the Farne Isles and Bamburgh Castle

For the rest of the day, we wanderered along the beaches near Bamburgh, where we were staying. The castle’s pretty impressive (but was closed when we were there), and certainly dominates the local landscape. The beaches are incredible, and while out near Dunstanburgh we found an old WWII pill-box. We spotted another, ruined one, on the drive back to Bamburgh, so I went back later that night to try and get some moon-lit shots of it. It’s location in the middle of some steep sand dunes wasn’t too conducive to getting the right shot, but I quite like the result.

Moonlit pill-box (Copyright Haydn Williams 2008)
Moonlit pill box

The concrete and grass were ‘painted’ using a small headtorch, leaving the sea and sky to expose normally.

Having seen more photos of Bamburgh castle than I care to remember in brochures, photography society competitions, magazines and books, I had been desperately trying to avoid shooting cliched shots of the castle across the bay, and I think I succeeded. On the last day, there was glorious sunshine, so we took the dog for a wander on the beach before breakfast. The image below is the closest I got to shooting the castle, but hopefully it’s a little different to the standard shot.

Bamburgh beach sunrise (Copyright Haydn Williams 2008)
Bamburgh beach sunrise

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