On the banks of the River Wharfe in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales stand the ruins of Bolton Abbey. Owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire the estate itself has 30,000 acres of beautiful countryside and is our backdrop for this tour.
Following an initial briefing of the day over tea and coffee, our tour begins at the abbey itself, making the most of the morning light (weather permitting). This is a good opportunity to find strong compositions, using the surrounding landscapes to frame the ruins. The building itself was a priory founded in the early 12th century and took a number of years to complete.
We continue up into Strid Wood against the flow of the River Wharfe and find ourselves in among fresh spring foliage (with the chance of bluebells in April and carpets of wild garlic flowers in May) or spectacular autumn colours. There is so much to observe here as a photographer with no shortage of interesting subjects and by using certain exposure techniques you can create works that are quite abstract.
Where the broad river narrows we have the famous Strid, so named because it is said to be a stride wide (although we don’t recommend you testing this). It was formed by the circular motion of smaller rocks, eroding away at the softer surrounding rock creating hollows which eventually became a series of larger potholes that eventually joined together forming a deep chasm.
All along the river we are rewarded with some great shapes created by the ancient woodland and the movement of the water. This is a site of special scientific interest, as one of the largest areas of acidic oak woodland in the Yorkshire Dales and from the bridge we make our way back via the opposite side, to observe and shoot the Abbey as the sun sets, marking the end to a long and rewarding day.