John Scott Photography: Blog http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) John Scott Photography mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) Sun, 06 Nov 2016 20:22:00 GMT Sun, 06 Nov 2016 20:22:00 GMT Falls of Falloch http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/falls-of-falloch Falls of FallochFalls of FallochCrianlarich, Scotland, UK - October 20, 2015: The Falls of Falloch which are situated on the river Falloch three miles from the village of Crianlarich in the north part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

I was first introduced to the Falls of Falloch when I saw a photograph posted on Facebook by photographer Ross Gilmore. To date, I have now visited the falls twice, my first visit was in July and my second was in October. The falls were more spectacular in July which is not surprising, after all, we all know how wet the west of Scotland can be in during the summer months.


Falls of FallochFalls of FallochCrianlarich, Scotland, UK - October 20, 2015: The Falls of Falloch which are situated on the river Falloch three miles from the village of Crianlarich in the north part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The Falls of Falloch are Situated in the north part of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and are just over three miles from the village of Crianlarich on the A82. The falls are 30 feet high and are part of the River Falloch which passes through Glen Falloch before entering Loch Lomond at Ardlui.


My first visit in July was not planned as such, we had planned to travel up to Loch Lomond for the day and decided to continue up the A82 which is the sort of thing that always makes days out more interesting. The falls are sign posted and after turning off the main road it is only a very short distance to the car park. The car park is a decent size and I have always been able to get a parking space, if you are unlucky and all the spaces have been taken I would wait in your car, most people only stop here for a quick look and a photograph.


My second visit in October was planned as a stopping point on my way up to Fort William, it gives you the chance to stretch your legs on what is a long journey. I had also packed more gear for this trip so I was able to use some neutral density filters to get a slow shutter speed for that silky look to the water.
From the car park it is only a short walk up to the main area to view the falls, there are also benches at this point so if your not in to much of a hurry you can have a seat and enjoy the beauty of nature in a peaceful glen.


Falls of FallochFalls of FallochCrianlarich, Scotland, UK - July 21, 2015: The Falls of Falloch which are situated on the river Falloch three miles from the village of Crianlarich in the north part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. If you continue on the path past this viewing point you will come to another much higher viewing point in the form of a steel cage in the trees. This steel viewing point was designed by John Kennedy and is called Woven Sound. A diary entry from Dorothy Wordsworth recalling the numerous Romantic writers and painters who visited the Falls in the early 19th century is etched into a steel plate at the end of Woven Sound.

The Falls of Falloch are also known as Rob Roy’s bathtub and is a popular spot for a bit of wild swimming and diving, I would imagine the temperature of the water would prevent most people from staying in to long.


If you happen to be travelling along the A82 the Falls of Falloch are a well worthwhile stopping off point.

A gallery of the Falls of Falloch can be viewed by clicking on this link.

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) falls of falloch loch lomond nature scenic scotland trossachs waterfall http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/falls-of-falloch Sun, 06 Nov 2016 19:57:35 GMT
Lowran Burn http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/lowran-burn

If you drive along the western edge of Loch Ken between Mossdale and New Galloway you will have the chance to visit the falls on Lowran Burn. The falls are not as spectacular as Aira Force and I suppose are not really falls in the true sense of the word where you have a cascade of water fallen from height but if you enjoy photography and want a subject to try out your skills with a neutral density filter this is ideal.

 

This is an easy access location with space for parking a small number of cars just a few yards further up the road after the bridge on the right hand side but as Loch Ken is a popular spot for fishing you may find the parking is full. Other parking is available before and after this spot but this would then involve a slightly further walk.

 

As I said, the falls are not large but at the right time of year after a heavy rain fall there can be a large volume of water flowing down the burn and on into Loch Ken which does make it a worthwhile sight with the minimum of effort required if you intend to do any photography or video work.

 

During the summer months when the surrounding trees are thick with leaves there is not a lot of light on the burn and it is very easy to miss the falls but when autumn comes along and the trees lose their foliage the burn takes on a whole new look with light now able to pass between the branches of the many surrounding trees. The autumn leaves on the ground add a nice warm look while the clumps of bracken and bright green moss add to the overall look of the scene especially if you are lucky enough to visit on bright sunlight day with a bit of blue sky showing through the trees.

 

A gallery of Lowran Burn can be viewed by clicking this link.

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) burn dumfries and galloway galloway location loch ken lowran nature outdoor photography scenics scotland stream waterfall http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/lowran-burn Fri, 28 Oct 2016 18:21:43 GMT
Auld Hat - New Heids at The Fullarton http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/auld-hat---new-heids-at-the-fullarton Auld Hat - New HeidsAuld Hat - New HeidsCastle Douglas, Scotland, UK - October 21, 2016: Scottish folk band, Auld Hat - New Heids, performing at The Fullarton, Castle Douglas.

Over the years I have seen and heard a lot of folk musicians and bands, French, English, Irish and of course Scottish. Some have left me looking at my watch wondering how much longer they can drag out their show while others have left me spell bound with a brilliant blend of musicianship and stage presence. 

Ian BruceIan BruceCastle Douglas, Scotland, UK - October 21, 2016: Singer and guitarist, Ian Bruce of Scottish folk band, Auld Hat - New Heids, performing at The Fullarton, Castle Douglas. When I saw Auld Hat - New Heids were due to play at The Fullarton I contacted Ian Bruce to seek permission to photograph the band. I first met Ian several years ago when he was recording Robert Shields’s first album at his studio just outside Castle Douglas, later on that year I also had the opportunity to photograph Ian during a solo performance at The Lochside Theatre, the venue has since been renamed The Fullarton.

Auld Hat - New Heids consists of four experienced Scottish folk musicians, brothers, Fraser and Ian Bruce, fiddle player, Pete Clark and accordionist Gregor Lowery. The show is billed as four musicians who have teamed up to present Scottish songs seldom now heard, but once the basis of the folk revival in the 1960’s and 70’s. The performers also hope to create a feel good factor and audience participation.

The lights dimmed in the auditorium and the performers made their way onto the stage and after a quick introduction of the members of the band in was time to get on with the first song, Doon in the Wee Room (Underneath the Stair).  The band were hoping for a feel good factor and audience participation this was immediately achieved with the audience happily singing along in the chorus.

The evening was not just about singing Scottish folk songs it was about memories of folk clubs in the 60s and 70s with each song being introduced by Fraser who used a slideshow with photographs as he talked about the composers and performers he knew who had made each of the songs famous. 

The evening was entertaining and informative and although some die hard folk experts may have already known all of the facts being delivered during the song introductions I am sure many including myself left The Fullarton with a bit more knowledge about the origins of some of the best known and loved Scottish folk songs.

The success of any live concert will always be judged by the audience and on this occasion it was obvious the high standard of musicianship displayed by these experienced musicians and the fabulous harmony work was appreciated by all those present. It’s always good to see performers interact with an audience who then become an important part of this successful show. I spoke to several members of the audience later on that evening, all of them had thoroughly enjoyed their night out at The Fullarton in the company of Fraser, Ian, Pete and Gregor.

This was an entertaining, humorous and informative evening in the company of Auld Hats - New Heids, a show you should try and see.

 Click on this link for a gallery of Auld Hats - New Heids

Fraser Bruce and Ian BruceFraser Bruce and Ian BruceCastle Douglas, Scotland, UK - October 21, 2016: Vocalist, Fraser Bruce and guitarist Ian Bruce of Scottish folk band, Auld Hat - New Heids, performing at The Fullarton, Castle Douglas.

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) . auld hat new heid castle douglas concert folk music fraser bruce gregor lowery ian bruce musician pete clark review scotland scottish the fullarton http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/auld-hat---new-heids-at-the-fullarton Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:32:58 GMT
Largs and Millport http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/largs-and-millport

Sometimes you set off with a plan to visit one place and you end up with an added bonus and find somewhere new, this is what happened when we went for a drive to Largs. I know my days out are not on par with some great explorer who heads into some uncharted region of the Amazon rain forest but at least we can normally get there and back in a day.

Before our visit, which was in  August 2011 what did I know about Largs.

Well I knew it was a seaside resort on the coast of the Clyde and is popular with day trippers and was a destination during the height of the popular Doon the Watter trips. I remember as a young boy in the early 1960s going on trip on the Queen Mary 2 but I think we only went as far as Rothsey. I also knew it was home to Scottish actress Daniela Nardini and of course the famous art deco Nardini’s cafe, restaurant and ice cream parlour. It was during the year of our visit Largs also became famous as the home town of Euromilions winners Colin and Christine Weir.

When driving anywhere for a day out, parking is one of the main priorities, on this occasion we were lucky enough to get parked without any problem in the main car park which overlooked the Firth of Clyde.

From the car park I spotted two ferries working their way back and forward across the Clyde from Largs, curiosity got the better of me and it was off to the CalMac ticket office to investigate. Clutching my ticket in my hand it’s off to wait for the next ferry and our bonus destination of the day, a trip across the Clyde to the Isle of Cumbrae, also known as Great Cumbrae. Doing something different is what days out are all about and it’s not everyday I travel by ferry, easily pleased there was an additional break from normality when we had to get a bus for the short journey into Millport.

The island is small, only four miles long and two miles wide and I could imagine this would be an ideal destination for an outdoor holiday if you enjoy walking or cycling, there's also a golf course if that's your sport. Millport itself offered all of the amenities you would expect from a small town. The island also hosts a country and western festival.

If I was to visit again I would take the car over with me just to give me a bit more freedom to explore the rest of the island.

Back on the mainland we finished off our day trip to Largs with of course, an ice cream from Nardini’s.

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) cumbrae largs millport http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/largs-and-millport Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:45:01 GMT
Seahouses http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/seahouses

There is no getting away from the fact that the internet is a great resource and source of information, pre Google if you wanted to learn about something you had to be taught by someone with the knowledge or research the information yourself which would normally mean a trip to the library. I found pod casts by Creative Cow a great place to learn about video editing software and it was while watching one of these I first learned about Seahouses and decided that it would be a nice place to visit, it only took me about two years to get round to this trip and this is what I found.

Seahouses is a small fishing village on the north Northumberland coast and is a popular holiday resort with one of it’s main attractions being the wide selection of boat trips to the Farne Islands which has become one of Europe's most important bird sanctuaries being home to more than 20 different species including Puffins and terns, it is also home to massive seal colonies. 

For more information about these trips check out the links below:

http://farneislandstours.co.uk/
 
http://www.farne-islands.com/

From Castle Douglas there’s no direct route as such so it’s a 150 miles journey and although the roads are good it was still going to be a three hour journey. Although I don’t mind driving the distance was a good excuse to have a night away. A Sunday night in a Premier Inn tends to be reasonable and we decided to stay at the one at Cramlington which was only seven miles from Whitley Bay and an ideal starting point for our journey up the east coast the following morning. There was plenty of free parking at the hotel which had a Beefeater restaurant attached to it, there was also a McDondalds and a 24 hour Esso petrol station with a shop which was an ideal place to buy sandwiches for the following day.

Seahouses is easy to access by car and has several large car parks with the best car park right on the sea front just off the main road, as you can imagine this is the most popular car park, Seahouses was not our first stop on our journey and this car park was full when we arrived so we used the car park behind the public toilets and Tourist Information Centre instead which were also very busy, there is also additional parking on the harbour wall itself, which did not seem as busy on the day we visited.

As you would expect from a town that has to accommodate a large number of visitors there is a good selection of places to eat which includes, cafes, pub grub, Indian, a pizzeria, Chinese and of course at least two fish and chip shops, as usual we went for a chippy. There is also a selection of shops selling the usual items you would expect to find at  a holiday resort. 

Seahouses and the surrounding area is well worth a visit but being the only driver I would not like to make the return journey in one day, if you can, have a night away which will give you even more time to explore and enjoy yourself.

 

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) england fishing holiday northumbria seahouses village http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/seahouses Tue, 18 Oct 2016 19:14:02 GMT
Kirkconnell Linn http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/kirkconnell-linn Kirkconnell LinnKirkconnell Linn

It was John Kearney who first suggested that a visit to Kirkconnell Linn saying it would provide me with a good opportunity for photographs and video, John spent his childhood in the village of Ringford and he told me this was one of the places he would visit on a regular basis. This Kirkconnell should not be confused with the one in Dumfriesshire close to Sanquhar.
 

Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity of visiting what sounded like a good location it was out with my OS map and off I went in search of Kirkconnell Linn.

Kirkconnell LinnKirkconnell Linn In Ringford you take the A762, locally known as the Laurieston Road, during the summer I was in Northumbira and on several occasions drove on B class roads which were like motorways compared to some of the A roads in rural Galloway.

The Linn is not signposted in any way but is relatively easy to find. After the turn off for Barstobrick look out for a large lay by on the left hand side of the road, this is where you will park. After parking your car continue to walk along the main road until you come to a farm road on the left at Beoch Bridge, this is the road you will now walk on for part of your journey to the linn. Remember the country code when you are out and about, you are walking on working farm land so be aware there may be livestock in the fields so leave all gates as you find them. As you walk up this farm road you will be able to hear the water flowing in the burn and on your left see the trees that line it’s edge. If you use the road for most of your journey you will find it much easier. When you come to a couple of bends in the road start to make your way across the field towards the trees, the choice of footwear is important for this trek as the ground you will have to cross can be wet especially after a lot of rain which is when you would want to pay a visit to the linn.
 

The water that comes down the burn has came from Loch Mannoch and will eventually become the Water of Tarff. It goes without saying to take care when out on this type of walk, there are a lot of steep bankings and the ground is rough in places. If you decide to go on your own make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you expect to be back, remember you will not always have a phone signal. I would allow a couple of hours if you intend to take photographs.

John was correct, Kirkconnell Linn is well worth a visit.

Click on this link for a gallery of Kirkconell Linn

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) dumfries and Galloway galloway kirkconnell kirkcubrightshire linn ringford scotland waterfall http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/kirkconnell-linn Mon, 10 Oct 2016 21:04:09 GMT
Aira Force http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/aira-force

If you are visiting Aira Force from the north as we were, there are two easy ways to get there if you have driven down the M6 as far as the junction 40 the Penrith turn off. After turning off the M6 onto the A66 at Penrith and heading west you can take a drive along the A592 which gives good views of Ullswater and a nice place to stop if you have brought a packed lunch or you can continue along the A66 before taking the A5091 which gives a scenic route through Troutbeck and Dockray. Anyone who has visited and driven in the Lake District will tell you that some of the roads do not make for easy driving with the sometimes very narrow roads continually twisting and bending to accommodate the ever changing landscape. At the height of the holiday season this can be made even worse when the number of visitors to the region explodes, this increased volume of traffic can change your journey time dramatically as you become stuck behind a campervan or even worse a group of amateur cyclist who between them are wearing enough lycra to cover the millennium dome and no matter how slowly they are cycling decide to remain three or four abreast so it's always worthwhile allowing a bit of extra time.

Aira Force, as the banner above shows is a waterfall. I always have difficulty in saying Aira Force without getting an image of Harrison Ford dangling out of the back of the presidential jet after he has spoiled a kidnap attempt by Gary Oldman. There are actually a series of waterfalls with the main fall dropping 65 feet after the stream has passed under a small stone footbridge. During the late 18th century the area around the falls were landscaped by the local land owner and it was used as a pleasure garden. As part of it’s development species of conifers from all over the world were planted which gives a great variety to the surrounding woodland you walk through. Aira Force and the surrounding land came up for sale in the early 1900s and the newly formed National Trust purchased the area to prevent housing development.

The National Trust have provided three car parks for visitors at different locations although I only found two of them and I would recommend the main car park which has it’s entrance on the A592 mainly because it’s larger, has toilets, a tea room and a visitor information centre. The car park is not free and there are machines where pay and display tickets can be purchased. The cost of parking ranges from £5 for 2 hours to £9 for the whole day but is free for National Trust members and this free parking is also available for National Trust Scotland members which is a welcome benefit but remember to get a member of staff at the information centre to scan your membership card.

The walk itself is circular and not to strenuous even although you do climb to a good height along well maintained paths which are very narrow in places so care is needed when passing walkers you will meet who are walking in the opposite direction to you. The shortest walk should only take about an hour to complete and will allow you to visit the main fall which is what we did on our first visit during April, this is the most popular part of the walk and can be busy with other people enjoying a day out. If the paths are a bit to busy for your liking you can take a bit of time out by relaxing on one of the many strategically placed benches and just enjoy watching the world go by until you are ready to move on. If time permits and you feel a bit more energetic it’s worth continuing past Aira Force and heading on up stream towards another fall called High Force, this path is not as busy and although the fall is not as spectacular it’s still worth a visit.
If you are lucky enough to live within reasonable travelling distance it’s always worthwhile trying to make a visit at different times of the year this way you can see and enjoy how much the surroundings change with the seasons. It goes without saying a visit after prolonged heavy rain will show of the full power of nature as the volume of water crashing down the fall increases dramatically. I haven’t experienced this personally but have seen some video footage of the falls in full flow and it does look spectacular if not a bit wet from the spray.


Is it worth a visit? I would say yes and I will go back again.

Click on this link for the gallery of Aira Force

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) Aira Force England Lake District, Cumbria, Water countryside fall" scenics http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/aira-force Sat, 08 Oct 2016 12:49:57 GMT
Crichope Linn http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/crichope-linn  

Often someone I know will come up to me and say “I’ll tell you where you want to go to take photos” and a couple of years ago it was suggested that I take a trip to Crichope Linn. As usual I didn’t have the time or the weather until last August to pay a visit so one Saturday we set off in search of this must see place.

We headed up the A76 from Dumfries towards Thornhill and turned right onto a minor road just before The Trigony Hotel, after crossing a railway line we turned left at a T junction and then turned left again at The Auld Smiddy. Although the roads are narrow there is an area you can park just after the signpost into the walk. You could easily miss this sign so keep an eye for it.

When we visited, the walk was overgrown with ferns and the path was muddy, so a good pair of boots and waterproof leggings would help to keep you dry and make it a more pleasant experience. The walk itself is not to distant and not strenuous so leaving yourself an hour for the round trip would give you plenty of time to take in the magic of this place without trying to rush along the narrow path.

Walking along the path to the linn you are following in the footsteps of some famous Scots including Thomas Carlyle, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Scott increased the popularity of the gorge by using it as a location for Balfour of Burley's lair in his novel “Old Mortality. There are also references to the gorge being a meeting place for covenanters during the 17th century.

The gorge itself is supposed be 30 metres deep and has been created by the action of the water flowing along Crichope Burn which over the years has worn away the soft sandstone.

To get a good view of the gorge you have pass through a natural arch that has been cut out of the rock. There are a lot of names and inscription carved in the rock and even one supposedly from Robert Burns himself, so vandalism is not a new thing.

My first impression of seeing the gorge was of a location that would not have looked out of place in Jurassic Park and it's easy to see why it was thought of a place for supernatural beings. Although there had been a lot of rain there was not a lot of water cascading down the waterfall but this did not take away any of the natural beauty of this place.

This is not somewhere that I would venture to on my own. I could imagine you could loose your footing easily with the amount of dead leaves and moss on the rocks and if you fell damage would be done.

Is it worth a visit and for me a return visit, the answer to both of these would have to be yes. As I said, we visited Crichope during August, I'm sure it would be an interesting place to visit during the winter and spring when there would be different levels of vegetation.

 

 

 

 

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) and crichope linn',thornhill. dumfries galloway" gorge moss sandstone scotland sir walter scott thomas carlyle http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/crichope-linn Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:23:56 GMT
The Three Bridges http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/the-three-bridges Photo curtesy of Janice Scott

The Forth Road Bridge was opened on 4 September 1964, which helps me to date my last visit to South Queensferry because somewhere in the house there is a photograph of me sitting on the railings at the car park and in the background is an incomplete Forth Road Bridge. Only the middle section was missing so it was near completion and I am assuming the photograph was taken just a few weeks before the bridge was opened. For a seven year old it was a day out and it’s only now when you look back you realise how lucky you were to have gone on these trips and to have a dad with a camera who was keeping a record of these days out. My father enjoyed photography and I often wonder what he would have made of the equipment I am lucky to have.

Sometimes it’s nice just to jump in the car and arrive somewhere simply because that’s where the road took you but on this occasion it was a planned trip, so with the destination details entered into Tom Tom we set off. Having looked at various websites and OS maps I knew I was hoping to park in the car park next to Hawes Pier on Newhalls Road but as we made our way down the B924, Hawes Brae, which was nose to tail with parked cars it was obvious this was going to be a busy place. Undeterred by the sight of these parked cars we continued down to the car park only to have a quick look before heading back out the town to join the parked cars on the roadside telling yourself it was a nice day and walking is good for you.

It’s not until you walk under the rail bridge you actually realise the size of this feat of engineering that was completed in 1890 and understand why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will also see a small road heading out of the town and we found a limited number of rough parking spaces along here, so it might be worth checking this out if you are looking for a parking place closer to the bridge.

It was a reasonably short walk along Newhalls Road, onto Farquhar Terrace, under the Forth Road Bridge before ending up on Shore Road and Port Edgar Marina where you could get a good view of the new crossing which was after all one of the reasons for our visit.

A day out is not complete unless you have something to eat and in my opinion there is nothing better than a chippie. There were several places to choose from including the newly opened Harry Ramsden's at The 3 Bridges but on this occasion we went to Maurizio’s on Farquhar Terrace, the staff were very friendly and made you feel welcome which always makes a big difference, I remember one day Janice and I were in a chip shop in Keswick, the Old Keswickian, when I ordered the food I could hear a lad working in the back shop area say "I don't like the Scottish" unfortunately I had already paid for the food. Food in hand, Janice and I walked back to where we had earlier seen a set of steps which leads down to the shore and gave a good view of the rail bridge. Eating a sausage supper outside without being attacked by seagulls, what more could you ask for, perhaps not everyones idea of the high life but for me it's ideal. The food was great but perhaps the next time I’ll ask for some sauce in the corner and not all over. Visitors to Edinburgh chippies will know all about salt and sauce tradition.

We were very lucky with the weather and although we only saw what I suppose is the tourist part of Queensferry we found it to be an interesting place and we’ll worth a visit and I would certainly make the trip again. Next time I would definitely take one of the boat trips out to Inchcolm Island and perhaps get a train at Dalmeny station and cross the Firth of Forth by the rail bridge.

Click on this link for the gallery of the three bridges

 

 

 

 

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) 2016 bridge forth lothian queensferry road scotland south summer http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/the-three-bridges Sat, 24 Sep 2016 17:24:14 GMT
Tour of Britain 2016 http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/tour-of-britain-2016

It was estimated that The Tour of Britain would roll into Castle Douglas around 1530 on Sunday 4 September for a final sprint finish up King Street, the town’s main shopping street.

Today was the opening stage of a week long cycling event and the only one in Scotland which had started with The Grand Depart, with riders leaving Glasgow's George Square before doing a circuit of the city and heading south through various towns and villages.

The Tour of Britain has became a major event attracting big names and this year there are eight medalist from the Rio Olympics including, Mark Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Elia Viviani, Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Tom Dumoulin. Other big names in the sport were due to take part including the former world hour record holder Rohan Dennis and German sprinter Andre Greipel, nicknamed The Gorilla,

It was predicted that ten thousand people would descend on Castle Douglas which only has a population of just over four thousand so it could be a bit crowded. With the tour having such a high media interest this was going to have a large impact for a lot of residents with parking restrictions being enforced. This is not an event that is just thought up overnight and there is bound to have have been forward planning and yet Dumfries and Galloway council only informed residents about these parking restrictions just over a week before they were due to be put in place. When asked why there had to be parking restrictions on streets that were not even part of the route a spokesman for D&G council replied, "The restriction was requested by Police Scotland to ease congestion and to accommodate the diverted traffic." It was also amusing to see so many council workers out weeding pavements and sweeping the streets which would suggest the town only deserves this type of treatment on special occasions.

As a build up to the arrival of the tour cyclists arriving in the town various children’s races were held along King Street.

I had a high viewpoint thanks to Eric at Monty's so at least I had an unrestricted view which would have been difficult with no press pass and the number of spectators lining the street. A report in the media had predicted that the group would arrive in a tight bunch and they were correct. Unfortunately I was not able to see the crash that involved Mark Cavendish as the cyclists took the turn onto King Street, it must be disappointing to cycle just over a hundred miles and crash within sight of the finish line. The stage was won by Germany’s Andre Greipel.

As you would expect, there was a great deal of interest in Sir Bradley Wiggins with a large crowd gathering outside his motorhome in the chance they would get to see this top cyclist at close hand and perhaps even an autograph or if you are really lucky a selfie.

The presentation for the winner of the stage was still taking place when the support vehicles started to move out of Castle Douglas heading south to Carlisle where the whole thing starts again tomorrow with a 117 mile cycle from Carlisle to Kendal through the beautiful but hilly Lake District.

 

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) , "Dumfries and Galloway", "Owain Doull", "Sir Bradley Wiggins", "Tom Dumoulin", "Tour of Britain" Alex Edmondson Castle Douglas Elia Viviani Jack Bobridge Mark Cavendish Michael Hepburn Stage One http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/tour-of-britain-2016 Sun, 04 Sep 2016 16:00:41 GMT
Electric Fields 26th-27th August 2016 http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/electric-fields-26th-27th-august-2016

This was the third year of the Electric Fields festival which is held in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle just north of Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland but it was this first year the festival became a two day event and it was also the the first year I attended. I would like to share my experience of this unique gathering of musicians, entertainers and people from a broad spectrum.
I could drive to the festival site in just under an hour so I quickly ditched the idea of camping and opted to commute each day, okay this means I could not sample any of the real ales on offer but I was there as a working photographer and preferred to have a clear head when coping with the different lighting conditions I was certain to face.

A one way system had been introduced into and out of the festival parking which worked great and allowed for an easy arrival and a speedy exit. The first Public Service BroadcastingPublic Service BroadcastingPublic Service Broadcasting thing that I did notice was how relaxed and friendly the whole atmosphere around the festival was this included the festival staff, security and those attending as ticket holders. Our host in the press tent was Jenn who worked very long hours and did a great job. Although the festival was small with a capacity of 5000 it felt busy but was never tight for space, unless you were right at the front of the main stage during the later acts each night. There was the usual selection of food available that you would expect to see at this type of event and I always try to support the vendors even if you sometimes feel as if you are paying through the nose for a burger. On this occasion I didn't feel I as being ripped off, in fact I was very surprised to only pay £1 for a can of coke. As I said earlier, due to driving I never checked out the bars but they certainly looked as if they were geared up to deal with the demand and always seemed busy.


During the two days I managed to sample just under thirty acts working between the main stage and the Stewart Cruickshank Stage, renamed as a tribute to the late BBC Radio Scotland legend. I had seen a lot of the acts before but it’s always good to see something new. One act that caught my attention was London based band Eliza and the Bear, I don’t know what is was, it may have been the energetic movement on the small stage or just the summer feel to their blend of indie rock but they are certainly a band to look out for. New band Onr. fronted by Robert Shields played a very tight set on what was only their fourth gig. As headline acts The Charlatans (Friday) and Primal Scream (Saturday) will always have the crowd on their side but there were two other bands who also captivated the audience at the the main stage. I was speaking to a friend, Scott Woods, who was filming with Mallard Productions at this years Belladrum, he was telling me how impressed he was with the set performed by Public Service Broadcasting at the Tartan Heart festival, his enthusiasm for the band was certainly shared by the large crowd who stood and watched a fantastic set with the crowd warming even more towards the band when Wrigglesworth played Flower of Scotland on what I think was a flugelhorn, as you would expect from a mainly Scottish crowd they were more than happy to sing along.
David Blair getting the crowd safely across the roadDavid Blair getting the crowd safely across the road If Public Service Broadcasting captivated the audience Colonel Mustard & The Djion 5 captured them, locked them up and threw away the key. It was obvious from the number of Colonel Mustard T-Shirts on display there was a large following there and those who were first timers were quickly converted and participating by driving their car and crossing the road, assisted by the energetic David Blair.

Of course small independent festivals like these would not exist without organisers and I take my hat off to brothers Alex and Nick Roberts for doing such a fine job and I wish them continued success in the future.
The bottom line is, would I recommend this festival to anyone? Without a doubt the answer is yes.
Would I go again? If I get the chance again try and stop me. 

 

Links to collection of shots for each of the bands covered will be available here so please check back to see what is new.

Everything Everything

Public Service Broadcasting

Steve Mason

Be Charlotte

The Twilight Sad

Model Aeroplanes
 

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mail@johnfscott.co.uk (John Scott Photography) Alex Roberts Be Charlotte Colonel Mustard & The Djion Five Dumfries and Galloway Electric Fields Festival Everything Everything Model Aeroplanes Nick Roberts Public Service Broadcasting Scotland Steve Mason The Twilight Sad festival john scott photography music http://johnscott.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/electric-fields-26th-27th-august-2016 Fri, 02 Sep 2016 17:11:43 GMT