Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Along the towpath to the Five Rise.

I'd had an early morning doctor's appointment and, rather than just go home, I opted for a short walk along the Leeds-Liverpool canal from Dowley Gap to Five Rise Locks and then back. It was a very still and misty morning when I parked up but the forecast had said it was going to clear up and lo and behold they were right for a change!

By the time I had reached Bingley the clouds had broken, giving some super reflections and in no time at all I was at the foot of the Five Rise Locks. Plus, as luck would have it, a couple of barges were being lowered through them.

In effect, the five-rise consists of five locks connected together without intermediate "ponds": the lower gate of each chamber forms the upper gate of the chamber below. There are therefore five chambers, and six gates. As the Leeds Liverpool canal is a wide canal, the chambers are slightly more than 14 feet wide, and each gate consists of two half-gates, "hinged" from opposite sides of the canal. Each half gate is slightly more than 7 feet wide, so that the two halves close in a "V" shape (pointing "upstream"). Water pressure on the uphill side of the gate keeps it tightly closed until the water levels on either side are equal, when the gate can be opened and the boat moved to the next chamber.
The five-rise is the steepest flight of locks in the UK, with a gradient of about 1:5 (a rise of 59 ft 2 in  over a distance of 320 ft ). The intermediate and bottom gates are the tallest in the country. Because of the complications of working a staircase lock, and because so many boaters (both first-time hirers and new owners) are inexperienced, a full-time lock keeper is employed, and the locks are padlocked out of hours. Barry Whitelock, the lock keeper, after twenty years based here is now almost synonymous with the flight. Barry was awarded an MBE in the 2006 New Year Honours List for "Services to Inland Waterways in the North". The Locks also have an overflow waterfall at the side, which water runs down when the lock is not open. When descending boat enters each lock chamber, the water level rises slightly and the excess overflows via a channel at the side of each lock which runs into the main overflow. - Wikipedia


No visit to the locks is ever complete with out a visit to the cafe which is always a hive of activity. If you serve good tea or coffee, offer quality cakes and snacks then people will flock to places like this. I sat outside with my coffee for about half an hour, just watching the world go by and then I set off back down. By this time the light at the far end of the canal was better so I got some nice shots of the wooded sections. On the down side though, there were no sightings of either Kingfishers or Herons, maybe the canal was just a bit too busy for them at that time of day. Oh well, maybe next time...

Canal Reflections

Canal Reflections

Canal Reflections

Canal Reflections

Canal Reflections

Canal Reflections

Canal Reflections

Early morning walkers

Five Rise Locks

Five Rise Locks

Five Rise Locks

Canal Towpath

Canal Towpath

Three Rise Locks.

Canal Towpath

Canal Towpath

Canal Towpath

Canal Towpath

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Clumber Park

One of out favourite and much loved haunts. Even on a Saturday afternoon, you can usually find a bit of peace and quiet if you know where to go. Unfortunately this Saturday they were having a firework display in the evening which was being accompanied  by a pop concert and they were testing out the sound system for most of the time we were there. To say it was loud was an understatement.

We just had a short walk though the woods and alongside the Lake, taking photos as we went on our way and then retreated to the cafe for a cappuccino and sandwich each which we ate in one of the gardens. Despite the noise we both enjoyed our afternoon out and managed to get a nice bit of sunshine whilst shooting the Lime Tree avenue which was planted about 165 years ago it is almost 2 miles long and consists of 1,296 common limes planted in a double row on each side of the drive. It is the longest of its kind in Europe.

Despite the noise the afternoon was still very enjoyable.

Autumn colours, Clumber Park

Clumber Park

Clumber Park

Clumber Park

Sal with camera

Sal with camera

Autumn colours, Clumber Park

Autumn colours, Clumber Park

Old tree, Clumber Park

Autumn colours, Clumber Park

Clumber Park lake

Clumber Park lake

Wet weather approaching

Clumber Church

Two cignets in the lake.

Lime tree avenue

Lime tree avenue

Clumber Park

Clumber Park lake

Monday, 10 October 2016

Thirlmere, Ullswater and Windermere


These are just some photos I took in the Lakes over the weekend 7th-10th October. I had intended to do a bit more at Thirlmere but a lot of the footpaths were closed due to the havoc Storm Desmond caused and they are now starting to get overgrown, so much so I fear that they may never be re-opened. It will be sad if they are because Thirlmere is one of the few Lakes where you can find a bit of peace and quiet on a busy summer's day.


The photos I took of Ullswater were ones I came across purely by chance. I had set off to come home in clear blue skies and noticed in the distance that there was cloud down over the Lake. By the time I had reached the shores, most of the cloud had started to disperse, giving one those magical mornings which, due to my inability to get out of bed, I usually seem to miss.


A change of plan made it I didn't have to rush back home so I lengthened my day by driving to the bottom end of Windermere to visit Fell Foot and then the Lakeside steam railway. A long drive but totally enjoyable. The photos are in three sections -
  • Beautiful blue skies at Thirlmere, 
  • mist rising over Ullswater and 
  • a bright and breezy afternoon at Fell Foot and Lakeside on Windermere.
Enjoy..


Thitlmere Dam

Commemorative Stone, Thirlmere

Autumn colours, Thirlmere

Naddle Valley from Thirlmere road.

Thirlmere

Thirlmere and Helvellyn Lower Man

Thirlmere

Duke of Portland Boathouse, Ullswater

Duke of Portland Boathouse, Ullswater

Mist Glearing, Ullswater

Gowbarrow Bay, Ullswater

Dead Tree, Fell Foot

Dead Tree, Fell Foot

Lakeside, Windermere

Close up at the RHS garden in Harrogate.

A series of shots I took at Harlow Carr RHS garden just outside of Harrogate. They were mostly taken with the Nikon 60mm f2.8 Micro lens. I...