Manchester power

A walk around Sale Water Park in south Manchester can be a riverside stroll and even offers a spot of birdwatching.

But this was a quest to get close to a series of electricity pylons and a substation in the area. Many will say these features blight the countryside, but there is something strangely alluring about this imposing, dystopian architecture.

They’re pretty hot to photograph too…

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Handsome Halifax

This is another trip across the Pennines from Manchester, to the West Yorkshire town of Halifax.

The main attraction was The Piece Hall, a grand cloth trading building recently restored as a place to shop and pass the time. 

It’s a magnificent piece of architecture, now with a modern piazza at its heart. My rain-speckled visit also took in the beautiful cathedral – and even a wonderful town centre Art Deco elephant. Handsome place, well worth seeing.

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Long dark nights

When the winter days and nights are dark, it’s natural to seek sources of light.

At my workplace in Salford’s MediaCityUK, very early starts are full of coloured light which shimmer on damp winter days. It’s more muted in my neighbourhood of Castlefield where the brickwork is older.

And indoors, it’s hard to beat the comforting glow from a cluster of candles. At least the nights have started to shorten now…

All photographs taken with my smaller, portable Fuji X100T.

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Winter wonderland

Much of the UK has had its first taste of winter. Here in central Manchester, the show of snow was disappointing.

But in the lower reaches of the Pennines on the edge of Greater Manchester, we found a wintry wonderland. The hills near Marple were transformed to create a very memorable walk.

Snow can be a serious challenge to photograph – time to furiously adjust the white balance and find what colour you can. Worth the freezing fingertips…

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A poet’s sanctuary

A spa break in south Wales all about relaxation and good food was rounded off with a homeward stopover at the little town of Laugharne in Carmarthenshire.

It was where Welsh writer Dylan Thomas lived at the end of his life. With beautiful views across the River Taf estuary and a commanding castle, you can see it was an inspirational spot – even on a fleeting visit.

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