Welsh Wanderings - Jay Birmingham

Welsh Wanderings

A recent weekend brought a long-overdue trip to North Wales. My wife and I met at University there, and my Grandma lives on Anglesey so we have many fond memories from this area, and we make more each time we visit.

As we are deep into winter, we can set the alarm for 6am and leisurely travel to our sunrise locations – in the summer, we sometimes have to get up at 3.30am! We tried a few new locations on this trip, and started with sunrise at Llyn Nantlle Uchaf. This was the third place we tried as it was incredibly windy! The lake has good views of the Nantlle Ridge, and we would like to return in the summer months for another look at it.

We then scouted a location on the River Machno. The light wasn’t quite right, and the wind was too strong, but it’s always good to find new photo spots.

After a quick coffee at Bewys-y-Coed, it was time to go to our sunset location, which was an hour away. I’ve written lots about Newborough beach, but I don’t think I will ever stop visiting. Each time I’m there it looks different, and we usually meet other photographers to chat to – this time we bumped into Peter Verity, who is a photographer on the island, and coincidentally is from Tamworth – the town I live in. On this occasion, I was taking compositions of rocks in the sea. As it goes dark at about 4, that was the photography done for the day, so we had lots of time to catch up with my Grandma, and plan for the next day.

After much discussion we went for sunrise at Dinorwic Quarry. Last time we went there, it was in torrential rain, so it was pleasing to see some colour in the sky, and barely any rain! I was looking to pick out one of the buildings on the hill, and the scene looked quite moody with the mountains looming behind.


As the sun was attempting to shine, we went back to the River Machno. I waited for about 2 hours until the light looked in the right place on the old bridge, and started snapping. The green rocks looked lovely, but the sun only hit them for seconds. I climbed down into the gorge after that and waded through the river looking for shots, but the light didn’t last, so we found a pub with a log fire to thaw out next to!

Finally, we thought we would go to the beach for sunset. We’d been to Dinas Dinlle once before, but had only walked on one end of the beach. This time we went to the side with the mountains of Snowdonia behind. This beach has a lovely shimmer as the tide slowly creeps out (although the tripod sinks a little in the sand as this happens!). It was a lovely way to end the weekend, and there were lots of people walking on this beach and enjoying the last light of the day.

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