Bolton Abbey (or now more commonly known as Bolton Priory) is a ruined 12th century Augustinian Monastery situated on the banks of the beautiful river Wharfe, 20 minutes drive from my house.
It is a ‘tourist hotspot’ – and naturally so, with a few quaint shops, and long stretches of the river where picnickers congregate and children play. There are some nice riverside walks through old oak woods and the whole grounds are well maintained by the owners, the Duke of Devonshire and the Cavendish Estate. There is a large car park, but it is closed at 5am. Despite it’s obvious charms, I rarely go there. I prefer places where there are no crowds.
But we have birds in our bedroom chimney who make a racket as soon as it gets light, so at 5am I was wide awake. I do love that time of day, the light can be perfect for photographers and looking out the window at the clear bright morning I knew I couldn’t go back to bed.
For several days previously I had a Nikon body in bits in a bag (I had stripped it down and had cleaned it – Nikon don’t recommend that you do this). Anyway, newly reassambled I wanted to test it out – I also brought another body along ‘just in case’ – and 3 or 4 lenses in a bag and set off. I usually travel light with just one body and 2 lenses, but for some reason I packed the full kit, along with a tripod and some filters…
I know a ‘secret car park’ about a mile from the Priory and at that time I didn’t think anyone would be in it – but I noticed another car in a bay when I parked.
Anyway, I walked through the grounds and along the river for a mile or so – it was nice to have the place to myself. I was enjoying myself – and took lots of photographs, it is really peaceful – and turning a corner I saw a man fly fishing.
I watched him for awhile, he seemed completely oblivious to me. He was obviously totally engrossed in what he was doing and I admired the way he cast his line, then reeled it in and cast again. It must be an art form and he was very deft at it.
I just thought what a lovely thing to do early on a beautiful Spring morning – it must be so relaxing. If (or when) I get too old or tired to walk the moors, I think I would take up fly fishing. It seems so relaxing.
I watched him for about 20 minutes then headed home to a nice breakfast.
Oh, and the Nikon worked perfectly!