Yorkshire Photo Walks
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5 Undiscovered Photography Locations in West Yorkshire Are you like me in feeling a brainwashed by all of the reproduced photographs of the same Yorkshire locations? (I think I might scream if I see another moody shot of Gibson Mill at Hardcastle Crags!) If you would like to discover beautiful, untouched gems that are crying out for you and your camera, read on. Yorkshire is the largest county in the country and boasts, not just one but two National Parks, three if we can steal the northern Peak District from Derbyshire. Therefore there are new discoveries to be made around each and every corner. If you type in 'Yorkshire' into Google Images, the majority of shots will be of the well known, well trodden places. Taking photographs of them is all well and good but I am a great believer that photography equals discovery. I just get board with seeing the same places over and over again. Anyway, before this develops from an observation into a full on rant, lets begin. In this article I have tried my best to whittle down a list of Yorkshire locations at which, I hardly ever bump into another person, never mind a fellow snapper. I am calling it my so called 'top five,' although I could probably write an article about my top 100 if we both had the patience and time to get through it. I suppose I have chosen the following places because they are so diverse. You could spend at least a day at each and not get board. What's more, they are all free to access, which for a Yorkshireman like me is always and added bonus!
I only discovered Hirst Wood, in between Saltaire and Bingley, myself last summer. I deviated from the tow path along the Leeds/Liverpool canal and found myself in another world. Large deciduous trees tower above you with little ground foliage, proving perfect for wide woodland vista shots. It really is a location for all seasons, with autumn being the most spectacular. I am yet to visit when there is a thick covering of snow but will be there like a shot when the next opportunity arises. With easy access, this is a woodland location not to be missed. 1. HIRST WOOD
2. HEWENDEN VIADUCT Hewenden Viaduct is situated just outside the village of Cullingworth. The railway line that once ran over it has long gone, leaving a spectacular bridal path with stunning views. On one side you look over the Aire Valley, on the other the expanse of Hewenden Water Reservoir meets the eye. The great thing about the viaduct is you can get up close and personal with it. With paths going over, under and around, you are certainly not short of angles. Next time you are passing, why not stop off and see for yourself?
When you think of Yorkshire Waterfalls you probably think of the Dales with it's wealth of fosses and forces. However West Yorkshire has its fair share too. One of the most interesting of which is Lumb Hole Waterfall. In a remote valley just up the road from Hebden Bridge on Hebden Beck, Lumb Hole boasts two falls plunging into the same pool. Beyond the main fall there is a old stone footbridge, perfect for framing your shot. It can be a bit challenging to get to as the banks are rather steep and slippery, however if you make the effort, you will be sure to reap the rewards. 3. LUMB HOLE WATERFALL
4. SANDAL CASTLE Sandal Castle is well known amongst local residents, however, not many people travel to it from further afield. This is a shame because, as unglamorous as 'Wakefield' may sound, it is actually a very picturesque place if you take the time to explore it. The Castle stands proud over the town and, although it run, provides a grand vantage point. Facing West it is a stunning place to capture a sunset if you are lucky enough to see one. Silhouetted against a moody, colourful sky, Sandal Castle is a jewel in the West Yorkshire crown.
Set behind a meander in the River Aire, North West of Leeds Rodley Nature Reserve is a safe haven for wildlife. With regular visits from kingfishers, red kites, water rail and other intriguing creatures, it is a wonderful place to set up your camera and capture some wild action. With ample parking, a cafe on site and well positioned hides, you are sure to get some great results if you go prepared. The reserve is only open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays but, if you are into your wildlife photography, look no further. 5. RODLEY NATURE RESERVE
I hope this has inspired you to diversify your subject and get off the beaten track next time you are out and about with your camera. If you would like to find out more about these locations here are a few useful links to point you in the right direction. If all else fails drop me an email and I will guide you the best I can. > https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/?woodId=23575&woodName=hirst-wood > http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/bridges/gallery/hewenden.html > http://yorkshirewaterfalls.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/68-lumb-falls.html > http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/residents/events-and-culture/castles/sandal-castle > http://www.rodleynaturereserve.org
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