A Deadly Place To Walk

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I hope you all had a great weekend. Welcome back to another week of my desktop wallpaper choices. As promised, I’m picking some more of my photos from last summer’s holiday in North Wales, and this week there isn’t really any other theme to connect them.

Mrs H still hasn’t stopped telling me off for taking this photo; that’s how dangerous it is to put yourself in the path of slate. As you can see in this shot, the slate comes right down to the edge of the road, and had it slipped whilst I was crouching there to take this shot, I’d have been cut to ribbons. According to Google, the last major landslide along this pass was in November 2000, and there’s no mention of the slate itself having moved as part of that landslide, so I reckon I was pretty safe.

For the MAMILs amongst you (that’s Middle-Aged Men In Lycra; cyclists!), the Horseshoe Pass used to feature in the Tour of Britain cycle race.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Criccieth Castle

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To bring this week’s theme of castle shots from last summer’s North Wales holiday to a close, here’s a shot of the magnificent Criccieth Castle dominating the coastline. Isn’t that just the perfect place to plonk down a castle to dominate the bay?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s castle theme, and I hope the photos have been a little different to what you might have expected too. Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday with a week of somewhat more varied shots from last summer’s holiday.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Whatever You Do, Don't Blink

A litte bit of fun with statues and depth of field inspired by the new Doctor Who (which is filmed out of South Wales) and writer Stephen Moffatt’s best creation, the angel statues from the Hugo Award-winning episode ‘Blink‘.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Earlier in 2010, I decided to spend a Sunday exploring the railway stations of the Coryton Line. This is the surviving section of the Bute’s Cardiff Railway, the last of the great railways built to bring coal down to the Cardiff docks. I’m sure I read somewhere that the Bute’s original intention was to run this railway along the route of the Glamorganshire Canal (which the Marquis had earlier bought), but that ultimately he wasn’t allowed to close the canal, and so had to come up with an alternative route for his railway.

Today, the Coryton Line is a single-track commuter run that swings east to west across the north of Cardiff. There are no services on a Sunday, making it the perfect day to explore these stations.

The Photos

Heath Low Level Railway Station

Taken from the platform, looking north towards where the Coryton Line starts to make its turn west to Ty Glas Railway Station and beyond.

Heath Low Level Railway Station

Looking south along Heath Low Level Railway Station’s platform. The station is approached through a little alleyway between houses, and is the only one of the Coryton Line stations that does not have the familiar red-and-white railway station sign outside it.

Heath Low Level Railway Station

At its southern end, the railway quickly disappears beneath this road bridge before joining the main Cardiff to Caerphilly line.

Heath Low Level Railway Station

The single best view of Heath Low Level station is from the road bridge. From here, you can clearly see the housing that backs onto the station.

Public Telephone At Heath Low Level Station

For me, Heath Low Level wasn’t just the last of the stations I explored along the Coryton Line, it also contained by far the single most interesting photo to take. This public telephone can be found in the brick shelter at the station. I didn’t check to see if it worked, though.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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The Three Bridges To Conwy Castle

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Continuing this week’s theme of castle shots from our holiday in North Wales last summer, my choice of desktop wallpaper today is this shot of the unusual bridges at the front of Conwy Castle.

It’s such an obvious shot that I was expecting to find plenty of examples of this via Google when creating this write-up … but if a search on Google is anything to go by, everyone actually prefers to take a shot down on the footbridge instead.

Sadly we never made it down there ourselves; this has gone onto the list of places I’ll be heading back to for a whole day at some point soon.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Setting Off On An Adventure

Whilst out looking for a suitable photo for Guardian Cardiff’s July photography challenge, I spotted these three folks hauling their luggage along the road (presumably heading to Cardiff Railway Station).

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Inside The Tower At Conwy Castle

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Today, my choice of wallpaper has gone from the Welsh castle that’s too shy to be easily spotted to one of the great English castles that’s too proud and mighty to be easily captured by the camera.

One of the few pieces of photography advice that has stuck in my head over the years goes something like this: you can’t photograph the mountain whilst you’re standing on it. And the same surely goes for castles … you can’t photograph a castle’s tower whilst you’re standing inside it. Except … sometimes, just sometimes, these centuries-old ruins can offer up exactly the right spot to stand in to appreciate just how awesome they were in their day.

Now, I’m sure that this tower in Conwy Castle would have looked very different back in the day; there would have been one or two floors above this point, with a connecting spiral stairwell perhaps allowing staff and the garrison to travel up and down to see off the pesky Welsh natives. But just imagine being one of those Welsh natives, cast into a deep dark dungeon, with little hope of survival or of seeing the outside world ever again.

How are you going to spend the day looking at this photo? Thinking of the English, and the lost splendour of the castle? Or thinking of the Welsh, gazing up at the sky and a world that they’d never see thanks to the invaders?

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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