Winchester Cathedral photography

Earlier this week I enjoyed an impromptu afternoon in Winchester. The sun was shining so I called a friend for lunch (well, a salad and a drink from trusty M&S) and we sat and soaked up the spring sunshine in the Cathedral grounds.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral in the spring sunshine

Winchester Cathedral is one of the largest in the country and is steeped in history. I’m not about to launch into a historical review of the building, mainly because, I won’t lie, Cathedral history isn’t exactly my Mastermind subject of choice, and besides, the Cathedral’s own website has plenty of historical detail – and if that can’t help, then I stand no chance.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

I was there just because.

To enjoy the architecture, the quiet grandeur, the stillness, the celebration of all that is great about our country. Ok, so I know it’s a celebration of all that is great about God, but for me it’s more than that (sorry God).

Winchester Cathedral hymns

Winchester Cathedral hymns

It’s about the men who built the Cathedral, who painted the stained glass windows, William Walker the diver who saved the building from collapse from flooding, the lives of the people buried there, the lives of the men who fought in battle and are remembered there, and the lives of the people we love and light candles for.

We remember

We remember

We Remember

Remembrance memorial, Winchester Cathedral

I lit candles for family and friends and asked whoever, or whatever is out there to look after them. I hope someone was listening.

Remembrance Candles

Remembrance candles. I hope someone or something was listening.

And then I enjoyed the Antony Gormley Sound II sculpture.

Antony Gormley Sound II

Antony Gormley Sound II, water and reflections

Go during wet months whilst the Crypt is flooded for a special view of the lonely sculpture standing amongst the reflections of the arches.

Perfect for an afternoon of wandering and wondering with your camera in tow.

Hillier Gardens 50/50 Photo and Paint Exhibition

If you live anywhere near Romsey in Hampshire and love photography, art or nature (or a combination of all three), get yourself down to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens for the 50/50 Photo and Paint exhibition.

It’s totally free and is packed full of beautiful prints from local artists and photographers, including Anne Ruffell (I especially like her striking monochrome architecture images), Roy Brophy and Paul Sansome, who, it has to be said, is a bit of a landscape photography genius. I was mesmerised by his images of the Tuscan Hills in the dawn mist.

Go now, whilst the leaves are turning colour to enjoy the stunning gardens.

I say they’re stunning – I didn’t actually have time to venture into the gardens, but if the trees in the car park are anything to go by, you’re in for a treat.

Autumn at Hilliers

Autumn at Hillier Gardens

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

Hamble

If boats and coastal scenes are your thing, the famous and historical Hamble marina near Southampton in Hampshire is a great place to head with the camera.  Someone once said that the area is like the M25 of the sailing world, and they’re not wrong.  As the home of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the UK governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing, and the setting of the 1980’s BBC television show, Howard’s Way, it goes without saying that Hamble is a good place to start for all things nautical.

Sun reflecting off boat railings and rigging

Sunshine on Steel – Sun reflecting off boat railings and rigging at Hamble

When the sun’s out, it glistens on the rows of yachts, rigging and water. There’s always plenty of activity in the marina, boatyard and at the various sailing clubs – and there’s a plethora of pubs, cafes and restaurants for keeping you fed and watered.

Whilst there are hundreds, if not thousands of boats moored in and around Hamble,  you may not get to see much adrenaline-filled, spray-forming action, as the boats pootle, rather than race in and out of marina. For that you’ll need to head further round the coast, or, better still, try and get on a boat to get really up-close and personal.

Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble

Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble

There are various parking spots offering easy walks to different photo opportunities.

Hamble Point Marina give you boats, a wide stretch of water, views out to Fawley and Calshot in one direction and Warsash in the other. As you head into Hamble, take Copse Lane on your right and follow it round into School Lane. Parking just outside the marina is free – although expect it to get busy during high season.

Hamble Point Marina

Hamble Point Marina

Go when the tide is out to be able to walk down onto the rocks and pebble shoreline. I was able to walk out quite a distance, although I did have to keep moving to stop my feet sinking! Make sure to take wellies or old shoes – the ground is muddy and it goes without saying to keep an eye on the environment and how far out is safe.

Fawley from Hamble

Fawley from Hamble

With a view of Fawley Refinery (Exon Mobil are based here and it’s arguably one of the most industrial areas on the Hampshire coast), it’s perhaps not the most idyllic horizon by day. However, wait until sundown for some stunning sunset images with a bit of a difference. The silhouettes are fantastic and with the smoke and the reflections I think it takes some beating.

Sundown at Fawley - from Hamble

Sundown at Fawley – from Hamble

For yet more yachts, river trips and the Hamble – Warsash water taxi, drive further round into Hamble itself and park in The Square car park (there’s free parking for 30 minutes), or continue down into the Foreshore car park.

River Trips from Hamble

River Trips from Hamble

Hamble Warsash Ferry

Hamble Warsash Ferry

The bright pink Hamble – Warsash ferry takes walk-on passengers the short journey across the harbour – good for photos, a bit of fun and means you get to see the coastline from a different angle.  Costs as at 12 May 2012 were £1.50 (adult) / £1.00 (child).

The history books tell us that ferry services have operated across this stretch of water since the time of King Henry VII, though I’m guessing the pink paint is a more recent feature!

Related articles

About the River Hamble

Hamble – Warsah Ferry