England in September, Germany in October

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by sly, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    We are planning our fall trip. We will be in England for September. Norfolk and Devon/Somerset are places we will be in for sure. Otherwise we will wander with our preference being to stay off the M roads as much as possible and away from the big cities.
    We will take the ferry across to The Netherlands and drive into Germany. Destination Luneburg, south of Hamburg. We won't be travelling around Germany alot, the focus will be new grandchild. Local expeditions will be made - can't hang over the cot saying kotchy-coo ALL the time.

    We hope to buy an older, small 2-person camper, and live out of it for 2 months and then sell it at the end of our trip. My spouse is a mechanic and skilled at keeping a vehicle in good running order. This worked for us 3 years ago. We got less than we paid for it, but it worked out much cheaper than renting for 2 months.

    I'd like to bring the Crown Graphic (my favorite camera) with me, but I don't have a changing tent, so don't know how I'd keep the film holders loaded. I've tried loading in my changing bag and just ended up with fogged film with lots of dust on it. Going through customs and security with 4x5 film is a daunting idea too. Medium format seems more sensible.

    So.... advice, warnings, invitations to camp in the yard for a night or 2 welcomed. (We don't smoke or stay up late, and are generally pretty boring except for my obsession with photography, and his obsession with cars.)

    Anybody have a camper they've been thinking of flogging? (or maybe renting, if it is less than the commercial outfits.)

    I hope I'll be able to meet some of the APUGers whose names I've become familiar with on the site.
     
  2. Mike Richards

    Mike Richards Member

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    From your German location, there are many historical World War II sites, including Holocaust memorials and concentration camps. I recommend you get a copy of Marc Terrance's Concentrtion Camp Guide for explicit directions to sites in your area. There are many locations with potential iconic images that I have long thought would be excellent for MF or LF photography. I've always used 35mm when I visited, but hope to find an opportunity to bring my tripod and Hassy sometime. Since you are in a camper, MF or LF bulk and weight should be no problem. (you can check out some of my work by clicking on the link in my signature line)
     
  3. GJA

    GJA Member

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    Check out the classifieds. There is a nice changing tent that might give you a lot more room and is described as light tight.

    For me, i wouldn't make compromises when it comes to photography so i would be dragging the LF gear! How are you getting over there?
     
  4. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Given your destination of taking the ferry to The Netherlands, it would make sense to do an arc starting in London where I assume you will arrive, along the south coast into the West Country and then up through Wales before a short diversion on the M6 in to Cumbria (the Lake District). Then turn right for the Yorkshire Dales and then down and across through Yorkshire to Norfolk before taking the ferry. It has to be said that there is little of geographic interest in the middle of England so a spin around the edge and into Wales before cutting across via Yorkshire makes sense. Spend a few days reaching the West from London and stay there a week. A week working your way through Wales from south to north and then stay a week in the Lakes. That gives you a few days in the Dales and a few more in Norfolk before taking the ferry. If you had another week or so to spare, I'd suggest going north at least as far as the Border country and preferably in to Scotland as far as Glasgow/Loch Lomond and across to Edinburgh.

    School holidays end in the first few days in September so you should miss the worst of the tourist season, 'tho colleges and universities restart a week or two later. All these area are popular and have a multitude of sites with electrical hook-up for a camper.

    Be aware than many small back roads are exactly that - very narrow, originally intended for horse drawn carts and although fully paved and drained, no one ever felt the need to widen them (and in the case of N. Wales and the Lake District, you have the popular option of a sheer drop on one side and a stone wall or cliff face on the other). This being the case, a smaller rather than larger camper van might be the best choice...
     
  5. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Mike, thanks for the suggestion. There's a holocaust survivor in the family, making those sites much more than tourist destinations.

    GJA - the only tent I see in the classifieds weighs 13 lbs. Too heavy for travelling with. While we will spend much of our trip in a camper, we have to travel to England, and to where ever we will pick up the camper by car, plane, train, bus, feet....... I've been on the lookout for a changing tent for awhile, but the lighter ones disappear from the classifieds quickly.

    Bob - we will probaly fly in and out of Manchester - usually slightly cheaper than London. If not Manchester then Norwich.
    Wales is certainly high on the list of places we want to get to. There is never enough time to get to all the worthwhile, interesting spots. There are old friends to see in Devon/Somerset - so count on a week in that area, and Norfolk is good for a week at least - family member living there turns 99 this year. The warning about the roads is appreciated. We got into trouble on a really narrow, steep, and muddy one in Yorkshire last time. The A roads are usually our first choice. Small is a must for the camper - a camperized van is the idea, not a big Winnebago.
     
  6. paul_c5x4

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    If you haven't been there yet, go to the stone circle at Avebury. Skip the Lakes, it will be crawling with tourists, instead, do the Forest of Dean & the Malverns.

    Well... Manchester would put you on the doorstep of Yorkshire and the Peak District. If you decide to fly into NWI, drop me a note and I'll take you up our local mountains.
     
  7. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Have been to Avebury - awesome. Would love to get back on a day that didn't have a milky sky. So many of my photos from England have blank white skies.

    Will definately look into the Forest of Dean and the Malverns, thanks.

    Looking forward to your East Anglian mountains - do I need crampons?
     
  8. Windscale

    Windscale Member

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    You can find some motorhomes for sale at this website:

    http://www.c4caravans.com/motorhomes-forsale.php

    You must also sort out your motor insurance properly. You may require different and additional terms for taking a vehicle to Europe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2009
  9. MkII

    MkII Member

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    You'll be onto a winner with the Norfolk Alps, rivalled only by the fenland Shippea Hill.

    What are you looking to photograph?
     
  10. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Light, shadow, texture, lines, curves......
    I'm an opportunist. There's always SOMETHING worth taking a photo of.
     
  11. MkII

    MkII Member

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    You can get all those things in Sheffield if you're passing - fading industrial heritage, Peak District rocks and more. Come and say hallo if you do.
     
  12. RedTownCats

    RedTownCats Member

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    Some links to try:


    Many English Heritage sites are in various stages of ruin so you should double check what you are going to see. Having said that, sites are often photogenic.

    The National Trust has many great houses and gardens though they do not allow photography indoors. If you stick to the larger houses there should be plenty to see and do.

    Both Chatsworth and Castle Howard currently allow (35mm) photography inside.

    For obvious reasons there are restrictions on anything other than small bags in historic houses.
     
  13. rst

    rst Member

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    Lillian,

    if it by accident happens that you end up a bit more in the south of Germany (I live near Heidelberg) then I can offer my little darkroom as a changing tent. And it would anyway be nice to meet you - with or without changing films :wink:

    Cheers
    Rüdiger
     
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  15. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Rudiger - Thanks for the offer, but I doubt we'll get very far south. If you are heading north at all, you'll have to let me know.

    We seem to be changing our plans around. It is hundreds of dollars cheaper to fly to Germany than England, and getting a camper will be cheaper too, so it looks like we will be beginning and ending our trip in Germany rather than England. Plans still in flux, but getting closer to being pinned down.

    RTC - Thanks for the suggestions. I've not had time to browse all the websites, but now that plans are firming up, I'll take a better look. We've been to Chatsworth (awesome - hope to get back there, my favorite was their farmstore - wonderful local produce and products) but not Castle Howard. Is it in Yorkshire? We're not planning on travelling thataway this time. Wales is high on our list this time. Neither of us been there before. Norfolk and the West Country are also part of our trip.
     
  16. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Went through (or around maybe) Sheffield last time. I remember interesting graffitti, and somewhat neglected buildings. Don't know yet if we will be in that area as we crisscross the country, but will be in touch as our plans firm up.
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would recommend visiting rst near Heidelberg - I was there last week (!), and that area is beautiful. I also drove across Lüneburger Heide, and I much prefer Baden.

    Also Deidesheim in Rheinhessen was quite stunning...
     
  18. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    Hi Sly.

    Actually, contrary to popular belief, if you plan ahead and you're prepared to visit on a weekday, the National Trust willallow photography inside their properties, subject to you not using the output for commercial gain. It's worth specifically mentioning the desire to use a tripod as this often tends to be more of an issue than actually taking photos.

    I don't envy you a week in Norfolk as, despite living in north Essex and visiting Norfolk reasonably regularly, I've always struggled to find much that I would want to commit to film / pixels. Still, if its relatives, then the visit is a must.

    If you can get to Hunstanton, there's some interesting rocks and beach and it's not too far to a place called Holt near to which you'll find Blickling Hall which can be very attractive in the right light.

    If you're planning to be up the east coast and prefer main roads to the country lanes, you could have a look at the North Yorks moors between York and Middlesbrough. Don't go to Middlesbrough, though - not much at all to see there!

    Between Somerset / Avon and Norfolk, you could travel via the Cotswolds. In fact, Lacock Abbey is a National Trust place that appreciates photography more than most as it's the home of William Henry Fox-Talbot and is definitely worth the visit. Avebury and Stonehenge aren't too far from Lacock and ancient towns like St. Albans and Cambridge could be en-route if you want them to.

    My personal preference would always be The Peak District, The Lake District and Scottish Highlands - but that's because I'm a northener and I like mountains and rain.

    Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your stay on out little island. Regards, Paul.
     
  19. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Ole, it is the arrival of a grandchild in Luneburg that will be bringing me to and keeping me in the area of Luneburg. The city itself presents lots of opportunity for interesting architectural stuff. I'm sure I will be back in Germany to visit many times - my son is considering becoming a citizen. I can see doing more travelling/exploring on future trips.

    Paul - this will be my 4th visit to Norfolk, and I know my camera will be busy there. Maybe it's because I live in a place where a 100 year old building is rare. Everything is so different, I find lots to photograph no matter where I am in England. The layer cake cliffs at Hunstanton are beautiful and Holt is the home of my favorite second hand bookstore.
    I hadn't considered Lacock Abbey. That will be a definate must.
    If you like mountains and rain you should come visit here on Vancouver Island - say in November or December to make sure it's nice and soggy.
     
  20. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    Lots of photogenic places there. You won't have to travel far to get interesting architectural pictures. Landscape photography may be a bit challenging though.
    For this summer holidays I bought one from Calumet. It is perfect. Folded it is about 45x55x4 cm³ and weights only about 600g.

    Ulrich
     
  21. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    :confused: Nah! skip the lakes at the weekend. Just listen for the slamming of car boots and doors on Sunday afternoon and then head out in to the hills, they will be all yours!

    September is a great month to be in the U.K. unusually warm and nice light.

    Enjoy your stay

    Best

    Stoo
     
  22. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Sly,

    Just outside of Norfolk, the beach at Benacre in Suffolk is worth visiting, with plently of photographic opportunities.

    Tom.
     
  23. cmo

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  24. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    The North Yorkshire Dales are nice in Sept/Oct - http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/index.htm

    Not as busy as the Lakes but with endless photographic possibilities

    Swaledale is my favorite - from Reeth up to Keld

    Have fun

    Martin
     
  25. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Just passing through The Netherlands? What? And miss the opportunity to meet with a fellow Postcard Exchanger? :sad: :wink:
     
  26. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Actually I was just thinking of expanding this thread to include the Netherlands. We wouldn't have much time to spend there, but we should see something more of the country than you can see from the motorways - never the best of anywhere.
    We'll be entering and leaving by the Hook of Holland. If you're in the south, I amagine we will be passing close to you - love to meet a fellow APUGer.
    We have done this once before and and spent a couple of days in the Netherlands. On our way back in October we had to sleep in a truck stop because the campground we'd stayed in before was closed for the season. It was very noisy and bright at the truck stop - not a good place for shuteye. Any assistance to find a better spot in the off season would be great.