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Bamburgh Castle
Sunday, 24 May 2009 21:49

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Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is built on the Northumbrian coast atop a large basalt outcrop, and though seperated from the sea by a curtain of sand dunes, it dominates the landscape for miles around. The castle is one of the most impressive in northern England, and while in my opinion it lacks the atmosphere of the neighbouring Dunstanburgh Castle, it makes up for that in spades with it's sheer size and grandeur.

Bamburgh Castle is very much a counterpoint to it's nearby neighbour; where Dunstanburgh lies mostly in spectacular ruin, Bamburgh is very much intact. The castle has been extensively restored over the years, first by Lord Crew in the 1750's and more recently by the the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong at the end of the 19th century. Indeed, the castle still serves as home to the Armstrong family, along with a number of other residents who rent out luxury apartments here - reputedly at great cost!

 
Dunstanburgh Castle
Friday, 15 May 2009 19:05

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Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle may well be a "very reuynus howsse and of smalle strength" but those ruins are quite spectacularly situated on a rocky Northumbrian headland, jutting out no small distance into the North Sea. As such, you can be virtually guaranteed some wonderful seascapes, with the reliably wild North Sea crashing against a rocky shore both to the north and south of the ruins. The most striking feature when approaching from the south is the remarkable twin-towered gatehouse, which rises to heights easily visible from some distance away. Equally, the north aspect displays a long enceinte wall punctuated by the tall Lillburn, Constable and Egyncleugh towers. Dunstanburgh Castle is indeed as one 1550 source put it, in a state of "wonderfull great decaye."

 
Blea Tarn, Cumbria
Sunday, 05 April 2009 19:43

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Blea Tarn, Cumbria

Blea Tarn is one of the most accessible Lakeland tarns, with access from a reasonably well kept road mere metres away, and a pay and display car park metres from that. Surrounded as it is by fells and forest, it still seems to retain an air of the remote however, and signs of roads and houses are largely hidden from view. For these reasons and more, Blea Tarn has become a popular site for photographers, and if you don't get up early you'll likely not be the only photographer there.

An early start on a still day will not only spare you the possibility of a crowd, but will also reward you with mirror-like reflections from the waters of the tarn. The nearby fells will be reflected well in the still waters, and the stoney shore will provide you with foreground interest for more interesting compositions. Blea Tarn is a location that shows a very different side in different seasons and conditions, so don't just assume that the summer months are the best time to visit.

 
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