Every year we head down to the Lake District for a family get together. It’s a great location for my brother-in-law to meet us as he lives further south in England and we’re up here in Aberdeenshire. We usually stay near Greystoke, between Keswick and Penrith and it’s a truly stunning place to visit.

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This was our sons first holiday so we didn’t have any particularly tricky or strenuous walks planned. Instead we chose some light strolls in locations such as Rydal Water and Derwentwater. As well as an industrious treecreeper, there was a host of wildfowl bunched into the patches of unfrozen water on the lakes.

At one point, there were two swans feeding on the far side of Rydal Water, too far for me to get a meaningful image of them. I decided to work on the side we were on, framing the hills in my lens to focus on the snow covered fells and the rocks sticking out of the waters edge. Then something spooked the swans and they took flight, honking their way round the lake towards my spot and then landing right in front of my camera!

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Sometimes, you really do just get lucky.

On the other side, there were some reed beds that I tried to frame against the hills but the strong sun limited the angles that would work. Thankfully a submerged branch gave some additional foreground interest and helped to balance this image.

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We had a fine meal on Saturday night to celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday, and take our minds off the rugby, but we missed a spectacular sunset. My father-in-law and I decided to scope out some sites on Sunday in case we were lucky enough to get a repeat showing. It looked promising as the sun began to set, so we trained our cameras towards Blencathra and watched the clouds glow yellow and orange as the golden hour took hold. It was bitterly cold though and we’d setup pretty early. We decided to retreat to the warmth for 30 minutes and come back out just in time to catch a spectacular sunset. The perfect plan.

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Once we’d warmed up, we stepped back outside to discover a flat, grey sky over our spot and a mountain shrouded in low cloud. Our plan had been well and truly scuppered. Thankfully we noticed that there was some colour in the clouds opposite the pub we’d sought shelter in. There was also a small fishing lake surrounded by snow, perfect for reflecting the orange glow and providing an anchor for the the image.

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It was a short trip, but it cemented the Lake District as one of my favourite spots in the UK for photography and relaxing weekends with family. It helps that once again we were incredibly lucky with the weather!