WalkingUK Instagram Takeover
Hello all. The first day of the take over with @walkinguk.
I’m a Berkshire based creative designer, outdoors leader and photographer. For the past 10 years I’ve been working with DofE and Scouts as a leader, teaching and taking groups out on expeditions across the UK.
One of my favourite countries in the UK is Wales and last year I spent a lot of time in the Brecon Beacons with fellow photographers Grant Hyatt, Jim Cossey and Gareth Danks and we spent a great deal of time wild camping and improving our astro photography skills and just enjoying the social side of hiking and photography.
One of my favourite regions in Wales has to be Snowdonia. Of course! Wales as a whole is pretty epic but Snowdonia is where I climbed my first mountain and first wild camp, so it has always been a special area for me to remember.
What I love most about North Wales in particularly is the slate quarries and the many hidden areas about the area.
This being the biggest and most epic of them all, Dinorwic quarry which sits above Llanberis. The place is huge, and I’ve visited numerous times but still only scratching the surface of this giant quarry.
There are plenty of quarries and spots about North Wales and the easy stand out quarry is Dinorwic, just due to its vast scale you can’t really get bored in here.
It’s an odd place though and many of the best photos for here are when its miserable. In the several visits here, the best photos that have come out of the visits have been when it’s raining.
Looking over Dolbadarn Castle in Llanberis, as you can see from the band of rain blowing through it was incredibly wet!
Away from Wales, home is not far from London, I spend a lot of time for work commuting in and out of the big city. It’s not mountain but it’s always interesting walking about and seeing how fast life goes by but the mountains are where it’s best.
A regular area I visit is the Chilterns which sits right on my doorstep and this is where I do a lot of my walking and cycling. It’s a fantastic area full of wildlife and some great views. One of the highest points and more popular spots, Ivinghoe Beacon which stands out in the Ashridge valleys is great all year round. I often visit here during the Winter months when it’s foggy. The hill is high enough that you sit above the fog, although not a cloud inversion it’s the next nearest thing to one.
I’m always drawn back to the mountains, there is something so exhilarating about being in the mountains. For me personally it’s a great break from work where I am often sat on a computer all day.
I find a weekend away in the mountains is all I need and come back Monday morning all refreshed, although I get major Monday blues and typically already planning my next trip.
One of my favourite times to camp and hike is Winter. It may be tougher and harder to get about but it’s a lot quieter and you often have the areas just to yourself.
This was two weeks ago below Pen y Fan at Llyn Cwm Llwch, probably the last of Winter and snow we may see for 2019. A huge shame but the 24 hours playing in the snow was great fun and something I highly recommend for others to try.
This past year it’s been difficult weather-wise, the usual guys I go camping and hiking with continue to remind me that I appear to be cursed and we will typically always see rain or have poor weather at some point if I am joining them.
It never puts us off however. Below the summit of Cadair Idris sits Llyn Cau and as we climbed up here, we were blown over several times in 100kph winds. It was very silly of us, but the climb up was good none the less. Whether we walked away with any photos or not, the opportunity to be out and enjoying the outdoors is always rewarding.
You can’t be put off by the poor weather. Despite all the sunshine and hot weather last Summer, when the rain finally came it was a huge relief for many.
One area I’d been longing to visit was the Waterfall country in the Brecon Beacons and during Summer it was very dry, and the waterfalls were mere trickles.
My argument with my ‘curse’ is that I just stay out no matter the weather and this was in the pouring rain. Unfortunately, this trip was very expensive trip and I broke my camera filters when I managed to drop them in the river and nearly broke my camera due to the rain.
Anyone else had this moment before? It’s horrible and makes you feel sick.
I’ll end the takeover on a high! It’s not all rain with me, I do get sunshine despite what others might say. I hope you’ve enjoyed my photography.
Although Snowdonia will also be my favourite region in Wales, the Brecon Beacons in particularly the Carmarthen Fans has become one of my new favourite destinations to visit. Picws Du and Llyn y Fan Fach as seen here last Summer just shows how epic the region is. This was one of the highlights of 2018’s camps.