In 2015 I plan on making a great many trips to Roseberry Topping in Great Ayton. I may blog about each and every trip, if you don’t mind reading about the same thing over and over again, or I may just post images from each visit to my Flickr stream. I guess ultimately that will depend upon the quality of the light and, therefore the photographs after each visit. Yesterday though, Maundy Thursday 2015, the light wasn’t great when I arrived in Great Ayton. The sun was setting and typically enough the clouds were gathering, so I didn’t really expect any photo opportunities of note. And truth be told that was largely the case. I kept the camera well and truly in its bag as I took a stroll/hike around the the base of the topping as I tried to find the way to the shooting box halfway up the southern slope of Lady Roseberry.
I took the long route; parking in the National Trust car park and striking out with maybe an hour to go till sunset. Instead of taking a direct climb to the top I decided to explore the woods around the base. I bypassed the quickest route to the shooting box and ended up walking south through Newton Woods (without having a clue where I was going!). I encountered a skittish deer and not for the first time I wished I had a telephoto lens so I could have captured her beauty as she turned to watch me guardedly before disappearing into the foliage. I missed her when she was gone; those woods were a lonely old place. I decided to swing back and start the climb up the lower slopes. It was then I realised just how unfit I really am – weeks of inactivity and a day job which keeps me chained to my desk is not a great recipe for a steep climb. After pausing to catch my breath, the shooting box came into view in the shadow of Roseberry Topping herself. Bolstered by this I increased my pace.
There were few people around and the Shooting Box itself was deserted. The light was flat and dull if I am honest, but the cloud above the box formed natural streaks which I thought would add a little drama and interest to the image I had in mind. So here it is: The Shooting Box at Roseberry Topping.