Exploring the Cotswolds in a day, or two.

Last weekend we took Friday off and drove to The Cotswolds for a quick mini holiday.

I think we’ve all been cooped up for too long and a trip away somewhere different was really needed. We came back Saturday evening and had all day to relax on Sunday so it really was just a night away but still lovely.

My main excitement was the thoughts of all the pretty houses and scenery of the Cotswolds, but also camping in a really interesting campsite I found online, The Wildings. There didn’t seem to be many places that weren’t booked up or that we could stay for just one night, luckily this gorgeous site was available at short notice, and had enough mod cons to not feel like it was hard work!

The Wildings is a small & friendly, family run campsite that is nestled in the wildflowers and trees of their farm and it is the perfect escape for those who want to unwind and explore a pretty bit of Cotswolds countryside.

Our bed for the night was Meadowsweet, a spacious pod, fully insulated with lighting and power to recharge the batteries (my own and the camera!) It was much bigger than expected and was on its own little patch in the wildflowers away from everyone elses pods. We had also booked a firepit to cook over, you can’t go camping without the campfire!!

The minute I walked onto the site I felt relaxed, I can only recommend you visit for yourself.

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.

Eeyore

Before we checked in, our first stop in the Cotswolds was the small medieval town of Burford, we wandered around for an hour before deciding we were hungry and then it was off to Bibury. Lunch in the Swan Hotel was very welcome after a long drive so we sat in the sunshine and had a lovely meal sat outside in the sunny courtyard. It’s easy to see why William Morris called Bibury ‘The most beautiful village in England’ with it’s famously picturesque cottages of Arlington Row, built in 1380 and owned by the National Trust. It was such a sunny day, we spent a couple of hours walking around the village, had some much needed icecream and wandered up Awkward Hill.

Pretty cottages at Arlington Row, Bibury

Bourton on the Water was next, a mile from the campsite and often referred to as the Venice of the Cotswolds. This pretty village is situated on the river Windrush, with tiny bridges arching over the river it’s the perfect place to sit and cool off under the trees while people watching. We had a look around the model village before checking in to The Wildings to set up our beds. To finish off our day we drove to the Slaughters, the lower and upper villages are just pure prettiness! I loved the cottage gardens in full bloom and being near the river, the old water mill looked interesting but was unfortunately closed as it was getting quite late. I took loads of photos!

The next day we managed to fit in a bit more exploring. Breakfast in Bourton watching the world go by followed by escaping the Dragonfly Maze, definitely worth checking out if you can (it has a fun twist.) There is a bird park in the village too which we didn’t visit but apparantly a long time ago when my dad moved overseas they took in his African Grey parrot Phillip.

We survived the maze and headed to Winchcomb for lunch and a walk around the grounds of Sudeley Castle, taking in the pretty surroundings and taking more photos. In Stow on the Wold we had cake and coffees in Lucys Tea Room, which was a bit of a shambles due to the social distancing rules, the town had some interesting shops and we visited the famous doors of St Edwards Church which have been said to have inspired Tolkein in the lord of the Rings.

Trying to fit loads of things in we decided to find the Cotswolds lavender fields in Snowshill, it looked really busy because it was such a lovely day so we just parked up away from the tourists and enjoyed the view of pretty purple fields before a long drive home.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the pretty places, there’s so much to see and do. It was a lovely mini weekend away with loads of walking and sunshine and I can’t wait to go back!

{All photos taken with my 24-70 lens. }

Gretton Charity Sportive 2018

Gretton’s first ever cycling sportive for all the family was on 9th June 2018.
115 cyclists chose a 30 or 64 mile route around the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside before returning to Gretton for a well needed Barbecue and entertainment from the fabulous Top Banana Band. It was a great day out for all the family whilst also raising funds for The Travers Foundation to continue their great work.

I was on hand to take some cycling photos for the organisers, click on the image below to take you to the gallery! The file numbers go up in order of time taken from my position at Deenethorpe, ~10 miles in and then at the finish line. High resolution digital copies of the photos are available to buy for £6 each or 2 for £10. 50% of all the photo sales will go to The Travers Foundation.

Gretton Charity Sportive

See below for ordering information.

Ordering is easy, fill in the contact form below with the file number you require and I will be in touch. 

The Rutland CiCLE Tour- Rutland Sportive ’18

rutland sportive '18

As you probably know, I’m not a pro sports photographer, that’s fine; it’s not my ‘thing’ but it’s something that interests me when I see some of the amazing sports photography out there, a friend of mine James Mitchell does really great triathlon photography, you can scroll through Instagram and see some lovely travel and outdoor work but I do not have the correct equipment or the time & dedication that some photographers might have for their speciality. But I love photography and will try anything! 

Saying that, a couple of weekends ago I had the chance to go out into the beautiful Rutland countryside on another hot day and take some cycling photos at one of my favourite spots, the Harringworth Viaduct.

The Rutland CiCLE Tour by ITP Events had three routes, 62miles, 78 & 105! Ouch! Based from The Giant store at Rutland Water, the routes are carefully planned to take in many of the picturesque hills and little villages in the area. The first person over the finish line on the short route did it in 3hrs 42mins, sore bums all round!

Rutland CiCLE Tour short route, 2018.

I was tracking the short route because my partner was cycling with his friend, they are in training for the Prudential RideLondon 100 which is happening on the 29th July, and also raising funds for The MS Society (get in touch if you’d like to donate and I will send on the JustGiving page). 

It was so relaxing to drive around the pretty villages in the sunshine and see where I ended up. I got a bit sunburnt looking for the perfect photo spot so next time (and there will be more cycling photo opportunities soon)  I will definitely be more careful!! I really enjoyed the challenge, I admire the hard work the cyclists put in and learnt a few camera/sunshine/speed/composition lessons along the way!!

I’m quite happy with the photos I took, I got a few smiles from the cyclists and it was definitely a learning curve! Have a look and let me know what you think!

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RutlandLTP-9 RutlandLTP-8

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RutlandLTP1 Over the finish line!

Cambridgeshire Garden Wedding

Here’s a little preview from a really fab family wedding in my hometown of Cambridge, a rainy day that turned into sunshine that turned into a garden party into the wee hours. The registry office was lovely, and the garden was set up for a proper party, photobooth, cosy corner, toasted marshmallows on the bonfire, games for the kids.. I had to leave before the Hog Roast was ready but it smelt amazing!!

I was able to catch up with some old friends and it was really lovely to be in England this time!

Congratulations to the happy couple!

c&S

The Soft Tone Needles

By the Lake..

A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable..William Wordsworth. 

I met Jo after taking some photos of  the wedding band she sings in The Moog69’s, ( they are brilliant check them out!) she came to me looking for new photos for her website and solo church side of things, so we had a chat over a coffee, clicked straight away and started planning. She was very open to ideas and naturally goes with a bit of a rock chick vibe, I like to try to push things a little out of the ordinary but still stay in that comfort zone so it’s not forced and unnatural, so after talking to Jo I knew Jill would be brilliant at bringing all of our ideas together, more coffee… loads of ideas.. we always tend to go waaaaay beyond the brief, get super excited then nail it down to something not too scary! So off we went to Glendalough one morning, it was an awesome day outside in the cold, wandering around the beautiful lake and playing in the trees, it was really fun! and this is what happened…….

 I did share a few photos before but I love them so much I had to show you some more, It would be the perfect romantic spot for an engagement shoot or even a family portrait session with the kids splashing by the water.

Thanks to Jill for her styling on the day and to Jo for being so good at standing in cold water!!

behind the scenes/outtakes

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I made some pretty sheet music…

Check out her new look website here