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This morning I rose at 5:45 and having a quick drink of orange juice I packed my camera – a couple of lenses, tripod and left the house quietly. Last night the weatherman said it would be a good day and I hoped for a nice sunrise from Almscliffe Crag.

Almscliffe Crag in daylight

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Almscliffe Crag is a rock tor – it can be seen for miles around and our ancestors saw it as an “omphalos”, or navel centre of the universe. There are some very strange carvings on the rocks including the ‘Wart Well’ which is bowl-shaped and is supposed to be a cure for (you guessed it) warts.

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There is a lot of folklore associated with the place and as it is reasonably close to Rombalds moor and the stone circles and burial mounds which abound there, naturally there would be a few legends – including the one about giant Rombald dropping the stone when he fought with his wife. It was also supposed to have been the site of a Druidical Altar.

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I wanted to try to capture the ‘Spirit’ of the place – going there when it is full of climbers and hikers you just don’t get to feel the animism of the rocks. There is definitely a feeling here when you are all alone – it is almost like the stones are trying to tell you something… or maybe I didn’t get enough sleep!

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Walking up the path to the rocks I felt a bit apprehensive – they are a bit creepy and silent, but I tiptoed on past some sleeping cows (so as not to wake them). I wandered round the rocks for a bit – climbing onto their shoulders in the dark and set up my tripod and camera. It was too dark to get any decent shots of the rocks but I pointed the Nikon towards where the sun would rise and waited.

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I wasn’t disappointed – the birds started their chorus and soon the sky started to get light – and before long a beautiful red sun rose and painted the sky a gorgeous pink.

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Then I packed up and was home for 8 am – to a nice breakfast and cup of tea!

It is a fantastic feeling being alone very early in the morning. Your senses are heightened and you can feel your surroundings – on a good day the mist and dew is still on the ground and you can hear the birds. Wonderful! It is highly recommended…

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