Michael Cartwright Photography

Yorkshire Dales Workshop - March 2024

Posted on 7th March, 2024

Capturing the Yorkshire Dales

As February turned to March I was excited to be hosting six photographers on a tour of the Yorkshire Dales, a place that never fails to inspire with its picturesque landscapes and timeless charm. We set out to explore and capture this stunning region over two days in Swaledale and Wensleydale. 

Our base for the trip was the wonderful Black Bull Hotel in Reeth, a quaint village nestled in the heart of Swaledale, where we were treated to hearty food, a comfortable bed and a friendly atmosphere throughout our stay. A powercut on Saturday evening only added to the experience as we enjoyed candle lit pints of ale by a roaring fire after a long day of shooting landscapes. This is a proper pub and is right up my street! I loved staying here as did the rest of our group. It is unpretentious and has a rustic charm that fits this area perfectly. 

After dropping overnight bags in Reeth we headed to nearby Muker and Gunnerside, where we were greeted with far reaching vistas over the misty meadows in the valley below. The plan was to head high towards Langthwaite and Keld but the bad weather had meant that those high roads had been closed. You are never too far away from a beautiful place in the Yorkshire Dales and we took the short drive to Scar House Falls near the village of Thwaite as an alternative. Adaptability is key when shooting landscape images and you must rely on local knowledge and your experience to make the most out of your time. 

We enjoyed a delicious meal of sausage and mash at the Kings Head pub in Gunnerside, a perfect way to refuel before heading back outside. Up on the higher ground at Buttertubs Pass, the landscape was transformed into a winter wonderland, blanketed in snow and ice. Despite the chilly weather, the beauty of the surroundings was rather awe-inspiring if difficult to photograph with snow pummelling your lens! We battled against the elements attempting to capture these dramatic conditions before calling it a day. 

Day two began with an early morning sunrise session looking back towards a misty Reeth. We did get a brief break in the cloud and managed to shoot some nice patches of morning light before a decent cooked breakfast back at the Black Bull. 

Heading into Wensleydale via the aptly named High Lane, we stopped by Birkend Farmhouse for views back into Swaledale from this high vantage point. It's a wild and remote part of the Dales that is stunningly beautiful. 

We spent the remainder of our time photographing the cascading waterfalls that are dotted throughout the Yorkshire Dales. From the powerful Hardraw Force to the tranquil West Burton and the impressive Cotter Force, each waterfall offered its own unique challenges and provided us with endless opportunities to create images. The sun even made an appearance in the early evening sky as we made our way back to Swaldale. A great way to finish our photography session. 

Throughout the two days it was great to be accompanied by a wonderful group of fellow photographers, big thanks to Alex, Margaret, Cliff, Ken, David and Rob for your excellent company. Thanks also to Scott, and Joe for joining us on day 2. Together, we shared our passion for photography and explored some well known locations and hidden gems of the Yorkshire Dales, with plenty of laughs along the way.

The Dales truly are a photographer's paradise, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to explore it with such an inspiring and friendly group of individuals.

This was one of my favourite workshops to date and I can't wait to return later this year! I'll be heading back to the Dales in October 2024, if you would like to join me please CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

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