Posts Tagged ‘Highclere Castle’


Highclere Castle Battle Proms is an event that definitely shouldn’t be missed! Unless perhaps it’s raining, which luckily it wasn’t yesterday evening! Enjoying live music, live air displays and fireworks with over 9,000 other people is quite something else!


1Highclere Castle is known more famously as Downton Abbey as this was where the series was mostly filmed. It’s a beautiful setting, and one that’s very hard to get close to these days given the increased popularity.


13I’ve been lucky enough to have the site on my door step, give or take twenty minutes! And therefore can recall lots of trips when I was younger, to the Battle Proms or to the various castle exhibitions that were being held there. But I’ve never had the photography interest before, coupled with a gorgeous sunset and night time lighting!

18 23 4It was well worth the ticket cost, to be able to sit in the sunshine and enjoy music and good company (we didn’t take wine glasses like the image above though!) and just in general relax after a tough week at work!

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“There are no mistakes. Only new paths to explore.”
― Gregory David Roberts ―

Todays blog is VERY image heavy. I went on a photography spree late this afternoon with my Mother. First we visited Essebourne Manor Hotel which is a beautiful hotel set in the middle of the North Wessex Downs and close to the Bourne Valley. The rooms are absolutely gorgeous. I’ve had the benefit of seeing inside each one! Through my job of course…! Each room has a theme which very much sticks to the vintage and traditional look. However today I was just snapping the interior lounge and exterior building for some Wedding invites for a Bride and Groom I am shooting in May. With the camera. Who also happen to be my Uncle and Aunt to be! The hotel setting is perfect for Photography and I’m looking forward to shooting a Wedding there for the first time. Usually I Photograph Weddings in the traditional Church setting so it will be a nice challenge to find some great backdrops and angles in the hotel. After I had taken a few random shots there we headed down the road and into the hills…which are absolutely breathtaking.

We headed up via a rather twisty lane with the most amazing hedges ever! They were like giants steps and each hedge was immaculately carved and cut to look very linear and straight. In the middle of nowhere too!

And then! Then! Out of nowhere, practically, came three dogs! I took pictures of all of them but the tiny black bundle of fluff got distracted by a smell in the road and veered off left to have a look. But before he/she did that they were pelting down the empty road towards us, like wild beasts running to attack! It was most frightening! Until they came closer and we saw that really they were the happiest dogs in the world…

Look at those happy dog faces! In the end they ran around the car a few times, sniffed it adequately and then disappeared into a farmhouse that we hadn’t noticed before. Fancy that! Dogs that can walk themselves!

As we drove higher and looked back on the amazing view, I spyed Highclere Castle in the distance. I’ve always loved shooting photos of the Castle but have never actually gone up close to the building and taken a picture. The Castle is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and is also Downtown Abbey which is an incredibly successful drama series in the UK that is spreading worldwide now. The only other picture I have was taken from Beacon Hill, a massive hill that overlooks the Castle. Lord Carnarvon (5th Earl) is buried there and he is often attributed as being the lead on the search for Tutankhamun’s tomb however he really was ‘only’ the financial backer! This shot below is one of my older ones – and no the bird isn’t shopped in – it was fluke! That’s a Buzzard.

Highclere Castle taken in 2009

As the sun dropped behind the hills we drove higher still and caught a brilliant blue sky. Right up on the ridge we spotted two Red Kites climbing on the wind and I had to stop to try and grab a couple of shots. It was incredibly windy, very very cold and I only had a 300mm telephoto lens on me with a distinct lack of tripod. So forgive the poor quality of the shot but sometimes I think it’s better to share a poor image than worry about quality!

Then we stumbled upon a Wind Turbine – and out of all the places we stopped to take photos this was the least windiest! Baffling really! I never realised how noisy those things are, and have a bit more sympathy for why the locals in Spain were so annoyed at millions of them sprouting up in the hills!

Finally, despite promising my Father we’d only be gone a few minutes – which soon turned into hours – we made our way back down into the valley and the eight miles it took to get back to central Andover. By then the Sun was disappearing big time and as we descended I caught a few more dusky sunset shots…

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