Wintry museums day in London

Before the madness of Christmas week properly kicked off, we took time to spend a festive day together in London. We wanted to try a new skating venue, having been to Somerset House and the Tower of London in previous years, so decided to try the Natural History Museum‘s rink.

NHM ice rink by day

Before that, though, we went inside and checked out the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which is always wonderful, whether you’re into photography or not! [It’s an incredible collection.]

Natural History Museum

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Trip oop North

My sister and I aim to go on a walking holiday every year. As we had (ashamedly) not spent as much time in the Yorkshire Dales as we should have, having grown up so nearby, we decided to head to Swaledale this year.

On the first day we headed to Aysgarth Falls, along the River Swale (the falls themselves are behind me in this picture!)

Aysgarth Falls

Our cottage in Reeth had a lovely garden looking down into the valley. 

View from cottage in Reeth

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A rainy City walk

As you may have spotted on our Twitter, we decided to venture on a rainy walk around the City, taking in some lesser-known historical bits and bobs and ending up back at the Tower, before the poppies exhibition that we’ve blogged about before is finally taken down. This time, we aimed to see them from an angle we’d not previously spotted – around the ‘front’ of the Tower, nearest the river. Here, there was another ‘wave’:

Wave of poppies at the Tower of London

It was fascinating to see the poppies up close, via the means of some rather heavy camera zoom:

Rain on the poppies at the Tower of London

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Cambridge at night

By the time we reached Cambridge itself, had done some wandering and had a pleasant late lunch at Harriet’s (great food, less great service) [they have a pianist though!], it was starting to get dark. An excellent opportunity to practise some night photography techniques, including some long-exposure shots of the Cam – punts included…

View from Magdalen Bridge at night

He even managed to capture some beautifully soft light quality (I think, anyway!) in this shot, taken of Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College.

Mathematicians Bridge at night

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American War Cemetery, Cambridge

So we decided another trip to Cambridge was in order, to give us a bit more time to explore. First on our list, and a rather sombre start to the day, was the American War Cemetery. Commemorating a large number of Americans killed in the Second World War alone [almost 4,000 people are buried here, and many more whose bodies were never found are memorialised on the Great Wall], it was exceptionally peaceful, beautiful and immaculately-kept – a fitting tribute to the surprisingly (for me, at least) huge sacrifice that country made.

Leaves amongst crosses at American War Cemetery

It was also a wonderful time of year to visit, with the brightly-coloured autumn leaves adorning the gravestones. Inside the Chapel, there was a concept map of the various air and naval attacks the Allies undertook. Although interesting in content, it was the execution and craftsmanship of this enormous map that really stood out.

Air Operations model in American War Cemetery chapel

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November at the Imperial War Museum

On Remembrance Sunday we thought it was an appropriate time to go and visit the Imperial War Museum, now back open after a while undergoing renovation. Especially poignant given the day, it was a fascinating trip and well worth a visit, especially to the moving [and pretty devastating] Holocaust exhibition on the top two floors. Cameras weren’t allowed inside the exhibitions, but Lambeth North tube was looking rather industrial and photogenic [usually I don’t edit my photos except for a bit of cropping, but this one uses an effect built into the camera that I was playing with as we were walking]:

Lambeth North tube

The light-filled central hall, going up through the centre, features transport and weapons from battle scenes throughout the modern age.

V2 bomb at Imperial War Museum

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A wander around London Bridge

With my other half away this weekend, you’re stuck with just me this week, as I took a brief stroll around London Bridge during a glorious Saturday afternoon, and decided to have a bit of a play with shooting in black and white. This is on the Jubilee line as I was warming up:

Tube carriage

For those who haven’t been there, London Bridge has seen a lot of regeneration in recent years (most noticeably with the building of the fairly epic Shard skyscraper as part of the London Bridge station redevelopment), with a strong focus on glass architecture, particularly in places such as More London Riverside. As I walked from the station to the riverside, I spotted a nice image of the old warehouses reflected in one of the new glass facades:

Terrace reflection

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