Being a keen landscape photographer, the various photography books, magazines and social media platforms I follow bombard me with impressive pictures of faraway locations. From mountainous regions, tropical beaches, vast hilly landscapes and endless forests, this beautiful planet of ours has some amazing places and in every corner of the globe there is certain to be a talented photographer snapping away.
Even here in England we are spoilt for choice in terms of locations to take scenic shots, the Lake District, Peak District, Jurassic Coast and Dartmoor National Park to name a few. With all of these beautiful locations, my home county of Northamptonshire often gets over looked as a place to capture great photographs. However, since my journey into the world of landscape photography began in 2008, I have spent endless hours exploring this little gem in the heart of our green and pleasant land.
Famous for its shoe-making and leather industry, Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the East Midlands. With its central location and the M1 motorway running through the county, getting to Northamptonshire is relatively straight forward wherever you are travelling from.
Despite the swelling towns dotted around the county, much of Northamptonshire remains very rural. Our technology-led hectic lives seem an age away when roaming Shoe town's rolling countryside full of quaint villages, lush fields, hill top woods, brooks and streams. The never ending collection of footpaths and bridleways allows you to explore every nook and cranny of this fabulous landscape. Here is my guide to capturing the best of the Northamptonshire countryside.
You can find a number of parks just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. The tree lined paths of Abington Park are a great place to capture autumnal shots.
Northamptonshire's woodlands are great places to explore. With its tree top walk, Salcey Forest is very popular although my favourite woodland is the quieter Harlestone Firs, a great place to visit after snowfall.
You'll find lots of bodies of water in Northamptonshire, many of which are open to the public. Ravensthorpe Reservoir (probably my favourite place in the county) is a beautiful spot for a walk. Head down there at dawn in spring or autumn and you'll have a good chance of capturing some beautiful misty sunrise shots.
One of the county's highest points, Honey Hill (702ft) is well worth a visit for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The lonely tree on the west side of the hill makes for a beautiful photograph.
Much of the Northamptonshire landscape consists of gentle rolling hills which can look spectacular on a misty morning.
Head to Coton Manor in the spring and walk through their stunning bluebell wood.
Agriculture is a big part of the Northamptonshire way of life. In late summer, the harvest scenes make lovely rural photographs.
The county's well maintained canal networks make for pleasurable walks and you really feel like you have been transported back to a simpler time as the canal boats lazily pass you by.
Northamptonshire is still referred to as the county of "spires and squires" because of the number of stately homes and ancient churches. My favourite country house is Castle Ashby House, the mile-long driveway is a very impressive sight and while the house itself isn't open to the public, the gardens are lovely to walk around and look stunning throughout the year.
A hidden gem; located near to the church at Great Brington is a lovely tree-lined avenue leading down to Althorp estate. This is a fantastic spot that will produce a great photograph whatever the season.
So, when planning your next photography adventure, why not consider Northamptonshire? If you're looking to visit somewhere that highlights best the simplistic charm of rural England without the influx of tourist activity, it's the perfect choice. Despite the many hours I've spent driving around photographing the county's countryside, I've barely scratched the surface and I am looking forward to what else I'll discover when exploring this beautiful part of the world.
Thanks for reading :)
Northamptonshire based nature photographer