Bolton Abbey & Strid Wood

On the banks of the River Wharfe in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales stand the ruins of Bolton Abbey. Owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire the estate itself has 30,000 acres of beautiful countryside and is our backdrop for this tour.

Following an initial briefing of the day over tea and coffee, our tour begins at the abbey itself, making the most of the morning light (weather permitting). This is a good opportunity to find strong compositions, using the surrounding landscapes to frame the ruins. The building itself was a priory founded in the early 12th century and took a number of years to complete.

We continue up into Strid Wood against the flow of the River Wharfe and find ourselves in among fresh spring foliage (with the chance of bluebells in April and carpets of wild garlic flowers in May) or spectacular autumn colours. There is so much to observe here as a photographer with no shortage of interesting subjects and by using certain exposure techniques you can create works that are quite abstract.

Where the broad river narrows we have the famous Strid, so named because it is said to be a stride wide (although we don’t recommend you testing this). It was formed by the circular motion of smaller rocks, eroding away at the softer surrounding rock creating hollows which eventually became a series of larger potholes that eventually joined together forming a deep chasm.

All along the river we are rewarded with some great shapes created by the ancient woodland and the movement of the water. This is a site of special scientific interest, as one of the largest areas of acidic oak woodland in the Yorkshire Dales and from the bridge we make our way back via the opposite side, to observe and shoot the Abbey as the sun sets, marking the end to a long and rewarding day.

Approximate walking time – 2.5 hours
Difficulty - Easy

Please be aware that in places around the waterfalls it can be very slippery when wet.

  • camera_altClick to read about the Post Processing session
    For a photographer, typically only around 20 per cent of your time is spent taking the actual pictures and the rest is devoted to post processing at a computer screen. It is a vastly important part of great photography and knowing a few tricks can transform your well-composed and exposed images into visually stunning works of fine art. As a supplement to your day’s workshop, we welcome you to join us the following day for an afternoon discussion and presentation of how to boost your images using Lightroom and Photoshop. The session is held in the centre of Harrogate and we invite you to bring along your favourite images from the workshop for helpful feedback by Sam and Mark. There is a small additional charge of £35 for this session.

    We don’t have the facilities to make prints at the post-processing session, but we do offer a supplementary print service, so if you have a particular favourite image taken on the workshop day we can supply an unmounted A3 print on 100% cotton fine art paper. The print is supplied along with a CD containing the processed Photoshop file and a print-ready JPEG file of your image. The print service costs £35 including UK delivery and full details are supplied during the post-processing session.

    There is also the opportunity to upload your images to a dedicated group on the image-sharing site Flickr, which is only accessible to workshop participants. This will enable you to continue discussing your work with us and your fellow students, so even after the workshop is over, there is continued support to help develop your photography further.
2020 Workshop Dates

Workshop Only
£120 per person

Workshop and Processing
£155 per person

Maximum - 6 persons

Please note that the post-processing session is held the day after the workshop in Harrogate.

You can book online by using the buttons via PayPal, or please tel: 01423 550138 or 07767 628764

Sat 24th April 2021

Bolton Abbey

Processing Sun 25th April


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Sat 15th May 2021

Bolton Abbey

Processing Sun 16th May


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Sat 6th Nov 2021

Bolton Abbey

Processing Sun 7th Nov


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