I wanted to try a new woodland for bluebell photography this year and, although I have walked through Hollybank Wood at Ripley (near Harrogate) before I’ve never photographed it, so I decided to combine this with a circular walk around Ripley taking in some other woodland too…
I set off from the village following Hollybank Lane down past Ripley Castle and into the woods where an excellent crop of bluebells was waiting.
This stretch is a well made path which is fenced on both sides which can make it tricky to get a good shot of the bluebells in places with foreground vegetation getting in the way – but it does have the advantage that the bluebells aren’t trampled by lots of photographers trying to get the best viewpoint!
At the edge of the wood where the path meets the road to Clint (where most visitors turn round and head back to Ripley for an ice-cream) I turned right, skirting the edge of Hollybank Wood with more great views of the bluebells before crossing the fields towards High Rails Farm. Here, I followed the path along the edge of more woodland around Ripley Park – there are bluebells in here too but there’s a high wall all the way along so there are no good viewpoints.
I reached the road at Scarah Mill and turned back toward Ripley before doubling back up the road towards Fountains Abbey and climbing Scarah Bank. This is quite a busy stretch of road – but it’s also part of the Nidderdale Way so there were plenty of other walkers around.
At the top of the bank I followed the Nidderdale Way into Barsneb Wood, crossing Cayton Beck and climbing up towards High Cayton. On this stretch of the path there was a fine crop of bluebells just on the edge of the woods, making the extended walk worthwhile, before turning south along the Nidderdale Way and back across the fields to Ripley.
There are more images from the shoot and of Ripley on the website.