Alastair's Tour of Britain: Yorkshire
On a wild, wet and windy day in the North York Moors I had a lesson in how to enjoy myself in unpromising circumstances.
For the third leg of my UK tour for Guardian Travel they dug out an indomitable guide for me, Joe Cornish, the renowned landscape photographer. Joe, who has photographed for the National Trust for over 20 years, lives on the north west edge of the Moors. For him, bad weather is just another part of his animated love affair with the county.
We began at the edge of the Hole of Horcum, upstream from Levisham, one of the most photographed locations in the National Park. The natural amphitheatre is a quarter of a mile wide, a mile long and 600 feet deep. It's a giant scoop out of the moor. Joe waxed eloquent about the landscape, shapes, the composition. I was cold, and rained dripped off my nose, but I was hooked and began to see things through his eyes.
Then we went to Staithes, a village that sits huddled at the mouth of a river that flows into a grey and unbiddable sea. Once a fishing village it is now full of artists and others, but fishing survives – and Joe loves the place. I could see why. The shapes and colours took on different forms while we were there, and there was something 'brave' about the village.
Finally we slipped and slid along grassy river banks heading for the huge Thomason Foss Waterfall in the middle of the moors, but it we were too unsteady on our feet for safety. Joe's equipment couldn't possibly be risked, so we headed instead to a viaduct nearby; the bridge gave shelter while Joe shot the torrent below it. It was still a risk, for Joe's equipment is uninsurable and a slip would have meant great loss. Alex, the cameraman, energetically scampered all over the place to catch the madness of it and the results are just lovely. We left exhilarated.
Photos courtesy of Joe Cornish & Alex Healey