Category Archives: England

The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters, a series of chalky bluffs along the Sussex coast, is known as one of the best seaside strolls in England. Just about a 90-minute train ride from London’s Victoria station, it’s also among the most popular. Plenty of company from fellow walkers, but worth it for the big expanse of sky, ocean, breeze and downs. In the middle of the walk, a World War II-era Spitfire performed aerobatics over the sea with paragliders cruising the sky just off the cliffs. Part of the South Downs Way. Just don’t go too near the edge. Click here for a short gallery. Click here for information on the walk.

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London: Look Both ways

You have to look both ways in London for two reasons: One, if you don’t look left and right when you cross a street, you are liable to be flattened by the inexorable hurtling bulk of a big red double-decker bus, a cab, a cruising motorscooter or even a bicyclist, all coming from exactly the direction you do not expect them to. And, two, you have to look both ways because around you you can see not just the imposing history of centuries-old England: the architectural and historical record, the royal hoopla, but 21st-century London, a thriving, incredibly diverse city full of people from the far reaches of the former empire. I visited back in November (thanks Hannah, Ben, Dirk, Steve). Fuji X100F, almost pocket-sized. Click here for a gallery.

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Keeping It Clean at the Imperial War Museum

Even, or perhaps especially,  the Imperial War Museum in London has to deal with dust and smudges. Below, a group of middle school students deal with a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain in World War II, with a Nazi V-1 (or is it a V-2) rocket to the right. And below that the funeral ad.


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Ask Us About Our …

Something about the photo or the approach to this subject doesn’t seem quite right. Is it the smiles? Or does the fact that they are blissfully piloting a scooter in London traffic suggest impending doom? Maybe you have to be British to get it. Brixton, London, UK.

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Pheasant Shoot

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to photograph a pheasant shoot in the countryside about an hour west of London. Pheasant shooting in England is both sport and social activity. The pheasants, a species introduced to England long ago, are bred, raised and released in the millions annually and then nurtured with feed and forage. Expenses are shared among a group of hunters. This was a driven shoot—the birds are flushed toward the hunters by “beaters” walking the woods and fields—and shot in flight. The hunters use shotguns; dogs fetch the downed birds. I photographed this using a small Fuji x100F mirrorless camera with a fixed medium wide angle lens (35 mm equivalent; no zoom; no telephoto), which was a challenge. Click here for a gallery.

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Green Man Walking

Here’s to spring: about time!


Also posted in Coast to Coast, green, Spring, walking

British Signs

D7K_2289copyWSHIs it just me, or is there something funny about British signs?



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Also posted in Coast to Coast, signs

The Most Depressing Landscape in Europe? (C2C #2)


More from England’s Coast to Coast path.

And two other things:

• One of the most common questions we got was: Why did you come all the way over here to hike if you have the Appalachian Trail at your doorstep? We tried to explain about the Green Tunnel effect of hiking in the eastern US compared to the long views of the Lake District, which is virtually treeless in the mountains: the trees have long since been cut down and along miles and miles of stone walls sheep have been grazing to the summits for centuries, keeping regrowth in check. It turns out that those long views can be controversial. George Monbiot, an advocate of “rewilding,” calls the Lake District “one of the most depressing landscapes in Europe.” He suggests prohibiting sheep grazing on at least part of it and allowing and fostering regeneration of trees and other native plants. His view — The Lake District is a wildlife desert. Blame Wordsworth. — is here.  Some of the opposition is here.

• More pictures below. And there’s a gallery here.


Fell runner, mountain runner; Angle Tarn near Patterdale, Cumbria, England

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Also posted in Coast to Coast, hiking, Lake District

C2C #1

d7k_2186copyWEngland’s Coast to Coast path stretches from St. Bees on the Irish Sea in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea in North Yorkshire, a distance of about 190 miles. Conceived and first walked by Alfred Wainwright in the 1970s, it has become one of the most popular walking routes in a nation of walkers, despite the fact that it is not designated as an official national path. It crosses the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks and miles of public rights of way over private land on its way from sea to sea.  Last week the western portion — over the beautiful, rocky, sheep-infested, almost treeless and boggy mountains of the Lake District —was full of hikers from Britain and around the world, traipsing between hotels, b and b’s and youth hostels. Heading east, you eventually emerge into rolling farmland and moors, also full of sheep and a few cows and horses, also incredibly boggy in places. Purple heather and thorny yellow gorse were in bloom and the weather was excellent (for England in September). It only poured for parts of two days in a week. More photos and some logistics to come. More info about the route is here, and here.



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(Map from Contours Walking Tours, UK)


Also posted in hiking, walking