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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!

Inside the serpent: Alnwick Gardens

This is one of the water sculptures at the wonderful Alnwick Garden in Northumbria. I always enjoy capturing circular spaces in 360° shots, seeing elements distorted out of all recognition, so this item caught my eye…

The Alnwick Garden is a new addition to Alnwick… you can read more about it on their website… and is an ambitious and quite wonderful modern garden. I got there on one of the last days of the season, when the sun was low in a pastel sky, and the leaves were turning every shade of autumn.

The Serpent Garden was designed by Peter Wirtz, with a series of water features/scupltures by William Pye. When we visited it was mobbed by children, mostly attired in all-in-one outfits… obviously the parents had been here before and came prepared. This particular sculpture, with its curtains of cascading water, was situated a little away from the main attraction, and stood quietly surrounded by hedges, catching the light in its liquid sheets.

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.