UK highlights

UK highlights

Happy New Year

Finally a new post

What a year it was. I can keep on making apologies, but the simple thing is photography comes before writing. And to sit down and start writing only happens when I have enough time to sit and relax. So…here I am writing from a small hamlet called Moras.

Situated in the Spanish dessert Sierra Nevada, not far away from the famous fort Bravo in the province of Almería, where many movies, mainly westerns, have been made. To name a few: The good, the bad and the ugly; Zorro; Game of Thrones, Exodus etc. The list is immense, you can see it here

While I am writing this I have not visited the place yet. Also I am here to rest and keep a little distance from photography. We have been traveling for over a year now and it has been very enervating. Quite an experience as well to notice you can almost get a burnout by continuous seeing or chasing beautiful things. From forests to coastlines, from small villages to metropoles, from country to country….It’s awesome, but also exhausting. Well…enough whining.

We choose for this kind of life and we still don’t want to trade it for anything else. For a lot of people it seems very romantic and the numerous glamorous lifestyle vids on YouTube like you to believe that. Well, they are only there for the clicks 😉 Real life with real people that don’t look like models doesn’t seem to attract that many people 🙂 Like any kind of lifestyle, it has its positive and negative sides.

Where did I leave you…Right, the UK.

Our trip through the several districts was fantastic. We love the UK. Last year was not a great year concerning the light I am looking for in my images, however we did a lot of scouting and hopefully when we will be back next time luck is on our side.
When I think back, this comes first to mind:
Friendly people, bad roads, gentlemen in traffic, roundabouts, fish & chips, small roads, hedgerows, hardly any parking spots, good coffee, narrow streets, great pubs, passing places, sun..sun in England?!, yes sun, steep roads, scones, holes in the road, good campsites, driving on the wrong side of the road.
You get the idea, it’s no fun driving in the UK and in a motorhome it can even be a nightmare.
Okay,….enough whining

Like I told you in my last post, we visited Devon and Wistman’s wood. We had plans visiting Cornwall as well, but since there was so much to see in Devon alone, we stayed there much longer than planned.

We only had six months to spend our time in the UK, so we had to move on. We visited Bibury in the Cotswold. A tiny lovely picturesque village, however flooded with Asians. It’s strange to see the signs both written in English and Chinese. We went there very early, just to be there before the crowd.


Also famous in the neighborhood is Stow-on-the-Wolds. Especially for St Edward’s Church and the door that some believe inspired J.R.R. Tolkien

We continued our journey to Wales. You immediately feel it’s totally different from England. Some locals even refer to Englishmen as being foreigners.
In the south of Engeland everybody speaks the kind of English we fully understand, but there are many parts where they speak in dialects which I can not understand at all. I once had to exchange our gas bottle and I thought, piece of cake, but I was literally flabbergasted when the guy in the shop started talking to me. It was in Manchester. Not even one word I could make out of it. So….. back to finger pointing and smiling again. But even that is nothing compared to the Welsh language. Where simple street names look like they jumbled all the letters. 
If you want a taste and a laugh, see this site with 20 tremendous Welsh place names that will crack you up Or 34 Welsh words and phrases that are just as good as popty ping

We visited several waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons. Also the place where we first got acquainted with the infamous midges. Midges are tiny, almost invisible mosquitos and they bite! It’s not that harmful, but it’s very annoying. In some places we saw millions of them. Fortunately there are ways of protecting you.

Fairy Falls

Sgwd-yr-Eira, the Snow Waterfall

Deer Party, Peak District

From Wales we traveled through Shropshire, Peak district, Lake District to the Yorkshire Dales. A fantastic landscape known for the many drystone walls and of course James Harriot.
After the Dissolution of the monasteries land passed into private hands and gradually farmhouses were constructed. It was at this time that many of the drystone walls were built followed by the Enclosure Acts of the 18th century which encouraged landowners to take over what had previously been common land.
Enclosure (sometimes inclosure) was the legal process in England of consolidating (enclosing) small landholdings into larger farms. Once enclosed, use of the land became restricted to the owner, and it ceased to be common land for communal use.


A Break after Lunch

Amazing Trees

The UK has lost most of its forests and big trees and only in the past decades the importance of these giants has been acknowledged. Fortunately we can still  find some interesting ones on the many estates, often in the hands of the National Trust who now takes care of the estates and accompanying land and thus the large old trees. By diving into this subject it seems England has lost its forest a long time ago, around 1000 BC. The misconception, ancient woods have been chopped down only much later on is a rather stubborn one, because of what is known as the “Sherwood Syndrome”
The idea that England 3,000 years ago was already as suburban as the outskirts of Basildon has not been absorbed into the popular consciousness. Nor will it ever be readily, for we suffer from what might be called Sherwood Syndrome: the need to believe that much of England — most of England — was both wild and wooded until modern history ‘began’ in 1066, or indeed stayed so until much later; and that these ancient forests were the repository of ‘a spirit of England’, the Green Man, that could be summoned at times when we needed to be reminded of our national identity; where Robin Hoods of all subsequent generations could escape, where the Druids gathered their mistletoe from the trees, where the oak that built our battleships came from.
Read full article about this subject 

Posing by a huge Red Cedar. Even the trunk in the back belongs to this same tree.

Another impressive cedar. This one can be found in the Aberglasney gardens

David & Goliath

Bark of a Spanish Chestnut

Next blog: Scotland


Galleries Lars van de Goor

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