Dunstanburgh Castle on the Northumberland Coast

NORTHUMBERLAND & NEWCASTLE WORKSHOP Friday 27th – Sunday 30th September 2019

My Northumberland workshop is slightly different to most others as it offers the opportunity of 2,3 and 4 day options. This is because the locations are quite far apart, have a mix of coastal, rual and urban settings and i’m not constrained by accommodation as clients book their own. This idea seems to work pretty well!

This is my account of my September workshop; it’s structured so that the first two days are largely on the coast, Day 3 is at Newcastle and the final day at Hadrains Wall (Newcastle is on the Sunday as it’s much quieter then). I went up on the Thursday for an early start on the Friday where i met with the group.  As with last year I camped and left the choice of accommodation to my my clients.

So with thanks to Jeff, Jon, Stephen, Fiona, Chris and John for your company and for your images, here’s my blog of the weekend.


Before I met with the group, I visited a couple of places on the Friday before. I went to both Portland bill and Kimmeridge Bay. The best outcome was a great colourful sunset at Kimmeridge bay. it also allowed me to check out a couple of decent spots to take the group.

Dawn at Lindisfarne / Holy Island

You have to time Holy Island right due to high tides over the causeway. So you either have to be on the island before the tide rises or wait until it’s dropped sufficiently. We arrived at around 6am and were able to cross in time for dawn. It didn’t look too promised but we actually ended up with a great sunrise behind the castle.

The camera for sunrise set up at Lindisfarne

Jon’s dawn shot over Lindisfarne Castle


The harbour and abbey are also really interesting and there’s enough there for a whole morning’s photography.

Northumberland Photography workshop

The upturned boats are always an interresting photography subject

We then spent an hour or so looking for interesting compositions in the boats. Jeff produced this of the upturned boats in monochrome

Duddo Stones

After a coffee break at a cafe in Lindisfarne, we drove inland to Duddo Stones which is an interesting landmark about 10 miles inland from Holy Island

Chris setting up a long exposure shot at Duddo Stones


Jeff produced a nice long exposure shot with the wind in the right direction.

Our intention was then to return to Lindisfarne for the afternoon. We has a bit of a wait though as the tide had come in!

It wasn’t long before this ice cream van was half immersed in water! But as the tide came out, the rain came in & pretty much washed out the rest of the day so we went to cafe and did some processing and I did a presentation on other aspects of photography

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28th – further down the coast from Bamburgh to Dunstanburgh castle
Bamburgh Castle

Day 2 started with dawn at Bamburgh Castle. The dawn promised a lot but the clouds quickly rolled in.

The group waiting for the light at Bamburgh beach


The most interesting shot was a sunrise over the Farne Islands.


The lights were still on at the castle at dawn


A rather wet end to the dawn session at Bamburgh

Dunstanburgh Castle

We then moved on to Dunstanburgh castle a few miles south.

Stephen seeting up the camera at Dunstanburgh


Jeff produced a nice shot at Dunstanburgh

Jeff at Dunstanburgh Castle

The Coastline south From Craster

We stopped at craster for lunch and then drove south to the area around Cullernose Point.

The coast at Cullernose included an area with some really interesting rock formations

Return to Bamburgh

Finally we went back to Bamburgh and were rewarded with some nice evening light before ending the day with a review session at a pub in Bamburgh


Day 3 was spent in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, about 30 miles south. Four of the group continued to days 3 and 4.

The Sage at Gateshead

Given the weather forecast of persistent rain until mid-morning, we decided that a dawn start wouldn’t be worthwhile. Therefore we agreed to meet up at the portland Bill cafe at 10am. We psent a few hours there until lunchtime as the skies cleared and there was some nice cloud to work with.

Fiona and Steve at The Sage

Jeff’s shot at the Sage

And a really creative one of the Sage from Jon

Newcastle River Front and the cathedral

We spent the rest of the day exploring the city

The cathedral

Northumberland Photography workshop

It’s often a good idea to look for abstract reflections


Once again the rain came in during the afternoon!


The final day was spent at Hadrians Wall about 30 miles to the west of Newcastle. The light was promising…….

Northumberland Photography workshop

John capturing the sunrise at Hadrians Wall


Jeff’s shot at Hadrians wall

The famous tree at Sycamore Gap


Two of the group overlooking Crag Lough at Hadrians wall

We spent the rest of the morning exploring viewpoints aliong the wall.

The workshop finshed with lunch and a review session at The Sill Visitor centre before heading home.

……..and finally………………………


Thanks to Stephen, Fiona, Jon, Chris, John and Jeff for booking onto the workshop – it was great to have your company and it was great to see some great images.

If you’d like to book on the Autumn 2020 Northumberland and Newcastle workshop it’s going to be from Thursday 26th – Sunday 29th September 2020.. Please see Booking Details Here

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