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Golden sands at Bamburgh, Northumberland

Bamburgh was the seat of the Kings of Northumbria, and the present castle still exudes a solemn solidity and majesty as it sits overlooking the coastline.

We arrived at Bamburgh beach just as the sun was dropping over the horizon, lighting up the Farne Islands and the huge sandstone flank of the castle. It was a perfect scene: magic light, golden sands and feathery clouds on a pastel sky. I’d never have guessed it could be so still on the last day of October.

Click below for a full screen 360° view of the scene with Flash, to read more on Wikipedia, to see the location in Google Earth, or to view an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch compatible version.

Inside the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle is an archetypal mediaeval castle dominating a headland near the picturesque village of Craster in Northumberland. Much of the castle lies in ruins, derelict and neglected since its decline in the fifteenth century. It’s a pleasant walk along the coast for a couple of miles, although there’s not too much to see or do once you get there, as the castle is quite ruined. I’m sure kids would love to clamber all over the place, re-enacting battles and epic tales of derring-do, while adults enjoy the view and a cooling ice cream.

Incidentally if you do go, be sure to stop for a mouth-wateringly good Craster kipper butty in the car park… local smoked herring served in a bap. A perfect foil to the force of the elements rolling off the sea…

As it was a really overcast day the light was flat with little contrast, so I shot this as a 9 bracket HDR to pull out the best of the detail and dynamic range (like the grass though the windows and the stairwell in shadow). I tried to keep the colours as natural as possible… the damp greens contrasting with the warmer sandstone tones. I’m a sucker for the way sandstone weathers so beautifully, even when it’s been protected from the full force of the elements from the North Sea.

HTML5 version

Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth or read more about it in Wikipedia. Happy viewing!

Budai Vár (Budapest Castle)

Click below for a full screen 360° view of the scene with Flash, to read more on Wikipedia, or see the location in Google Earth.

Click below for a full screen 360° view of the scene with Flash, to read more on Wikipedia, or see the location in Google Earth.

Halászbástya (Fisherman’s Bastion), Budapest

The walls of this terrace, which commands a spectacular view over the Danube towards Pest, frame the eastern edge of Castle Hill in Buda. Nearby sits Matthias’ Church (Mátyás-templom), with its distinctively patterned roof tiles. Unfortunately it’s closed for extensive restorations at present.

I first visited in 1990, and haven’t been back since 1993. A lot has changed in Budapest since: however the bastion walls still look as new and perfect as they did first time: incongruously bright like wedding cake icing. The panorama over the city has as much impact as it did when I first saw it, but the advent of new technology means I can take it away with me rather than leave it fade in my mind’s eye.

Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest

Click below for a full screen 360° view of the scene with Flash, to read more on Wikipedia, or see the location in Google Earth.

Click below for a full screen 360° view of the scene with Flash, to read more on Wikipedia, or see the location in Google Earth.

Castle Hill, above Huddersfield

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Great view over Huddersfield from Castle Hill in the early evening light. The folly is Victoria Tower (more commonly known as Jubilee Tower).

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth and Wikipedia.