The Haunted House

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Castleton, Peveril Castle and the Devils Arse

Today Me, Neil, and Neils Dad decided to go up to Castleton. We were really keen to go for a walk up Mam Tor after our abandoned attempt the other week. The weather report said we should be ok so we gave it ago. They picked me up at 8.30 and we headed off. When we got to Castleton the sun was shining, which was a good sign. We got ready and headed off to the start of the walk. We started near the ruins of Peveril Castle and started our gradual asent up the hill. The walk took us around the back of the castle. Toward the front there is a big hole in the side of the hill, and the locals refer to this as the Devils Arse. No seriously, it is called the Devils Arse :-)



The shot above and below was taken as we walked up the hill behind the castle. This was fairly early in the morning, around 10.30, and the sun came out from behind the clouds which gave us some really good light for the shots. I think they came out very well considering I am using a small Canon Compact Camera.



We must have spent about half an hour here taking pictures, all 3 of us were loaded up with high tech cameras. I had a Canon Powershot A95 with the wide angle lens extender, Neils Dad had a Canon EOD 300d digital SLR, and Neil had his brand spanking new Epson RD1 Digital Rangefinder which is a great little camera, very high quality yet very light. I felt quite inferior as I had the least professional camera. But from the shots I took, I don't think you need a very expensive camera to take half decent shots. Although Neil has an excuse for the fancy camera as he does professional stock photography :-)



I got the shot above of neil changing some settings on his camera. At the time he was also getting attacked by a bee who must have thought his orange fleece was a flower.



The start of the walk progressed quite slow as we was constantly stopping to take pictures when the sun came out. But thats ok, none of us were in any rush to go home, so we made it into a photo shoot aswell as a walk.



Throughout the day I took 156 photos, admitedly, there are a lot of pics that didn't come out too great, but thats the beauty of digital photography, you can take loads of pictures with different settings and delete the rubbish ones later. I think this really helps you learn how to take great photos as you have the instant feedback.



By 12 we were all starting to get a little peckish. Taking photos really takes it out of you. In reality I don't think we was even half way around the walk, but the next part of the walk was the hill Mam Tor itself. We really needed to have an energy refill before we attempted the hill.



The photo above is of Mam Tor from a distance. I don't think the photo really does the size of this hill justice. It is really high, and steep. Now im sure if anyone who has been to the lake district reads this, then they will be going, "pah, thats nothing compared to the hills we have." and they are probably right, but I am not that fit, so I thought this hill was challenging.



A large part of the assent of the hill was paved with steps, this helped quite a lot, but there were also parts which were rock, with lots of loose pieces of stone. The picture above was about half way up the hill when we decided to take a 5 minute break. I think we took about 6, 5 minute breaks :-)


Once you are at the top the hill, the view is awesome. I was determined to get a picture of the OS landmarker above. The reason being, Neil took a picture of this sometime ago for his stock library, and the picture ended up being on the front cover of Country Walking magazine. Cool eh? I think this was the first picture Neil sold when he started his stock photography business, so how good is that, getting a magazine front cover. Well anyway, now I have taken a similar picture, that makes me a master photographer. Lol, well maybe not, but the thought was nice.



Once we had reached the top of the hill, it was all down hill from that point taking us back into Castleton town. This was a great relief to our legs, as we was all feeling very tired at that point. Once we made it to the bottom of the hill we had a relatively flat walk back to the town. Neil was convinced this was about half a mile. But me and Neils Dad thought it was atleast a mile if not more. In the end, we was right, Neil had read the scale wrong on the map, oops :-)



When we was almost back in the town, we came accross this little barn. And I think it made a great photo, the sun came out at just the right point, and because it was late in the afternoon, we got some good shadows.

Once we was back in town, we got changed out of our walking gear, and went to a tearoom for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, as we really needed the carbs boost. I had a slice of jam and almond cake, and it was very nice.

As I am typing this I really do feel tired. After getting home I went to the shop to buy some beers as I feel I have earned them. I am currently tucking into a nice bottle of Marstons Owd Rodger strong country ale, which is about 7.6% alchohol, so no doubt I will be asleep in a few hours :-)

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