Author Archives: Dave Butcher

About Dave Butcher

Darkroom Dave is my alter-ego. I’m really the photographer and Ilford Master Darkroom Printer Dave Butcher. Since 1988 I have lived in the Derbyshire Peak District village of Tunstead Milton, near Whaley Bridge. background I trained and worked as a chemist, with a PhD from the University of Cambridge. I had been selling my hand-printed photographs at a low level since the mid-1980's but in 2004 I decided to turn my love of black and white photography into a full-time career. Working for Ilford Photo for 21 years, including running the photographic printing department for many years, helped this quite a bit. I still keep close ties with them after they made me one of only six Ilford Master Darkroom Printers in the country. In fact all the materials used in our courses and workshops are from them. A lot of my work has been used on their packaging and marketing material. my business I develop and print my own work using Ilford Multigrade fibre based papers, sell framed and unframed prints from Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton's Pavilion Gardens and from my studio in the UK’s Peak District. I also run darkroom printing workshops and landscape photography courses. I have published 6 books. All of these are available through my website In addition, I have a busy schedule of lectures up and down the country. books Most of my work comes from my many trips around the world and throughout the UK. I have published six books, 5 on landscapes and one of cities. teaching I run landscape photography courses for small groups of up to 3 people and darkroom workshops for 1 or 2 clients. I also run darkroom workshops for both students and staff of universities and colleges. This can include CPD workshops for lecturers and technicians. All courses and workshops are private courses on dates to suit you and with flexibility to rearrange at short notice. I give lectures to clubs in the UK and at events like PhotoLive in London, all illustrated with my hand-printed black and white darkroom prints.

Glasgow to Cape Wrath Trek

I have pulled together a new gallery web page for the trek I did from Glasgow to Cape Wrath over 3 Summers 2003-2005 with friends. Lots of black and white photos and maps of the route.

Here’s the link:

New Web Pages for Ski Mountaineering Trips to Alps

I have replaced the old web pages for the ski mountaineering trips that I did in the 1990’s. The structure is different, including new gallery layouts with proper captions for each picture. There are also quite a few new black and white photos.

I also carried a small 35mm compact film camera for all but the first 2 trips so I have lots of colour slides for most of the trips and I have scanned a selection of these for each trip to show the people and add a bit of scale to the landscapes. Lots of these I hadn’t even looked at since the time of the trips and they put some of the black and white photos into the context of the trip.

They are all on the About Me page of my website. Here are the individual links:

Bernese Oberland Ski Mountaineering Trip New Web Page

I have replaced the old web page for the 6 day Bernese Oberland ski mountaineering trip that I completed in 1995. We had bad weather for several days but overall it was a good trip for photography.

I changed the layout and added lots of new photos, both black and white and colour. The colour images are from scans of the slides that I took at the time and are being shown here for the first time ever. I scanned them with an Epson Perfection V800 flatbed scanner which can do 12 slides at a time.

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Trek

I’ve added a new web page covering the 2 occasions that I’ve walked Wainwright’s Coast to Coast trek from St Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay. The first crossing took over 24 years to complete, the second was completed in 3 trips in just over 2 years.

The notes are illustrated my black and white photographs, as well as with colour photos which are a mix of colour slides that I recently scanned for the first time and mobile phone photos from the later trips.

Robin Hoods Bay Reflections; 254406

Alpine Pass Route Trek Webpage

The Swiss Alpine Pass Route runs for 200 miles  between Sargans and Montreux over 18 mountain passes.

My wife Jan and I walked it with 3 friends in two 8 day sections, the first from Grindelwald to Montreux in 2006 and the second in 2013 from Sargans to Grindelwald. Both trips were in Late August/early September.

I wrote daily blog posts at the time and have combined these, illustrated with mobile phone pictures as well as the black and white photographs that I took on my Mamiya film cameras. There’s lots of other information there as well.

Here’s the link to the webpage:

3 Peaks Dales Way Trek

I’ve created a web page from the log and photos that I took on a trek that I did with good friend Al from Gloucester in 2019. 

The trek was based on the Dales Way but between Kettlewell and Dent I diverted us over Pen y Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. 

You may have seen some of them on my blog posts at the time but I’ve added some new ones too. Here’s the link:

Ingleborough from Chapel-le-Dale

New Peak District Images on

I have been catching up with scanning my negatives and have added several new Peak District images to my

Included this time are Buxton, Hartington, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Tideswell, Mam Tor, Robin Hoods Stride and the Roaches.

Buxton Grin Low Trees in Winter, near Solomon’s Temple, Peak District; 565807
Buxton Solomon’s Temple and Runner in snow
Hartington village in the Peak District in Winter; 566010
View from the Old Mermaid Inn near Leek across to Hen Cloud, the Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks; 565901
Mam Tor from Rushup Edge in the Summer between Edale and Castleton in the Peak District
Chapel-En-Le-Frith Church Brow, Derbyshire Peak District
Chapel-En-Le-Frith Terrace Road, Derbyshire Peak District
Tideswell Church, Cathedral of the Peak, from the church yard, Peak District; 555008
Robin Hoods Stride between Youlgreave and Elton in the Peak District; 555002

Exhibition in Buxton Pump Room Until Friday 3rd January 2020

I have an exhibition in the Buxton Pump Room until Friday 3rd January 2020. Free Entry. It’s where the Buxton Tourist Information Centre is situated so just follow the signs to that or the Crescent (it’s opposite the Crescent which is currently a large building site!). The space is courtesy of the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust. It’s a mix of large framed hand-printed darkroom photographs and small mounted prints, as well as my current 3 books at the reduced price of £10 each. It’s 11 years since I last exhibited in the Pump Room, setting up brought back a few memories! I was in there with High Peak Artists with whom I have exhibited since early 2005. I currently have a permanent display with them in the Buxton Pavilion Gardens, it’s called Gallery in the Gardens.
Dave Butcher exhibition in Buxton Pump Room

Dave Butcher exhibition in Buxton Pump Room December 2019

Dales Way Day 1 Ilkley to Burnsall

I’m walking a variation of the Dales Way with good friend Al from Gloucester. It’s about 80 miles and we’re taking 7 days. To add a bit of extra interest we’re diverting over the 3 Peaks between Kettlewell and Dent.

My wife Jan drove us up to the start in Ilkley and stayed the night at the Cow and Calf Inn. She will return for the last night in Bowness before whisking us back to Derbyshire. During the trek our bags are being moved between accommodation each day by Brigantes.

Today we walked 14 miles along Wharfedale from Ilkley to the Red Lion in Burnsall. Quite a pleasant walk but busy in places. It was a nice day and lots of families were making the most of it.

We diverted to the Craven Arms in Appletreewick for a break and a pint of Night Jar Dark Ale.

Then it was on to our lodgings for the night in the Red Lion in Burnsall and Timothy Taylor Boltmaker.

Here are a few phone photos.

Cow and Calf Inn Ilkley

Cow and Calf Inn Ilkley

Cow and Calf Rocks Ilkley

Dales Way Start

Dales Way Start

Addingham church

Quakers Meeting House built in 1689


Bolton Abbey

Freddie Truman England cricketer grave at Bolton Abbey

The Strid near Bolton Abbey

Aqueduct over Wharfedale

Barden Bridge

Craven Arms in Appletreewick

Stocks outside Craven Arms pub.

Red Lion Burnsall from bridge

Red Lion Burnsall


Top to Bottom Trek (T2B)

I have walked a lot of long distance routes over the years, both in the UK and abroad. Some are official trails and others I just pull the maps out and link together paths and tracks.
While reviewing some of my previous treks I realised that I had completed quite a lot of treks running north-south.

I walked from Glasgow (Milngavie) to Cape Wrath, including climbing 26 mountains, in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
I backpacked the Pennine Way in 1974 and walked from Ashbourne to Edale in 2017.
When you add up the mileages that’s roughly half the distance from Cape Wrath to Lands End. So, I’ve decided to fill in the gaps, in fact we will finish in Sennen Cove, a couple of miles beyond Lands End as it’s a pretty village.

To make it more interesting I will be using as many official trails as possible, rather than the shortest route. Jan will be walking with me for all of the treks and I’m hoping to finish in the next 3 years or so.

We’ve already started by walking 4 day walks from Ashbourne to Weston near Crewe, mostly along the Staffordshire Way and South Cheshire Way. Two more days walking and we reach Whitchurch along the South Cheshire Way. From Whitchurch the Shropshire Way takes us south to link with Offa’s Dyke Path to Chepstow in South Wales and so on.

There’s a bit of a gap to the north too between Milngavie and the end of the Pennine Way (Kirk Yetholm). We are planning to do this in June and September this year, by which time we should have reached Whitchurch as our southerly point.

It’s been quite interesting seeing areas we either haven’t visited before or it has been a while since our last visit. We are also finding new pubs and real ales to visit at the end of each day.

It’s a good time of year for the birdlife too. So far, aprt from the usual suspects, we’ve seen 3 Goosanders between Alton and Leek. Heard the first Chiffchaffs this year on 22nd March. Seen lots of Lapwings, a Cormorant, a flock of around 20 Curlews and much more.

Here are a few phone photos.

Ashbourne to Alton

Bridge near Alton

near Ashbourne



Alton to Leek

Black Lion Consall

Black Lion Consall. Had a very nice stout called Black Hole from the brewery at Alton

Near Leek

Near Leek

Near Leek

Leek to Scholar Green

Mow Cop

Mow Cop

Mow Cop

Mow Cop

Scholar Green canal

Scholar Green canal

Scholar Green Rising Sun. Relaxed at the end of the day with a pint of Hobgoblin.

Scholar Green to Weston near Crewe

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Canal lock near Crewe

Weston White Lion Hotel. An old pub which had Titanic Plum Porter on hand pump. A good way to finish the day.

New Print Lecture Snow Light is Finished and Available for Booking

At last, I finished printing my new Snow Light lecture on Tuesday. 82 darkroom prints on ILFORD Photo Multigrade FB 20×16 inch paper, many thanks once again to Ilford for donating all the paper and chemicals to me. A few of the prints are on 24 x 20 inch Multigrade FB paper, also kindly provided free of charge by Ilford. Now I just have to work out the order of the prints and the words ready for the world premiere on 16th October in Nottingham! I actually made over 90 prints but trimmed them down to a more reasonable number to fit the usual 90 minute lecture time slot.

The lecture is now available for bookings after October 2018 and contains images from my 3 current books, Snow Light, Land Light and City Light plus more recent shots. It’s a sort of travelogue with photographic hints and tips all the way through illustrated by the prints. All images were taken on either Mamiya 6 or Mamiya 7 medium format cameras using either Ilford FP4 or Ilford 400 Delta film. The first half contains 28 prints of snowy landscapes and 13 prints of coastal landscapes. The second half contains 13 landscapes without snow and 28 prints of cities around the world.

Confirmed lecture dates so far:
Tuesday 16th October 7.30pm, Nottingham and Notts Photo Soc
Sunday 28th October 10am, Lancashire Monochrome Group, Leyland
Thursday 8th November, Lytham St Annes Photo Soc
Tuesday 19th March 2019, Chester Photo Soc
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, Warrington Photo Soc
Wednesday 3rd April 2019, Market Deeping Photo Soc

To give an idea of the work involved, 60 of the prints were made on 28 printing days spread over 4 months from mid-March to mid-July 2018. About 10 of the prints I already had from printing orders and exhibitions. The others were made last year. A printing day for me is usually no more than 4 hours, a limit imposed by my bad back. The process for every print was Ilford Multigrade Developer 1+4 for 5 minutes, Ilford Ilfostop Stop Bath 1+19 for 1 minute, Ilford Hypam Fixer 1+4 for 5 minutes, washing in a Nova Archival Wash Tank for at least 1 hour, drying in a Maco Ecomat 24 x 20 inch flatbed dryer at 50ºC for 1 hour, mounted onto Slater-Harrison Colourmount Conservation Quality mountboard with HotPress Double-Sided Pressure Sensitive Adhesive through a HotPress Mounting Press (mangle!) then spotted with a fine paint brush and black dye to remove small dust and other specks before finally being trimmed flush all round.

Snow Light lecture prints part 1

Snow Light lecture prints part 2

Snow Light lecture prints part 3

Snow Light lecture prints part 4

Ilford Photo Technical Information

Ilford Photo recently replaced their website and I found it difficult to find product technical information recently. This may be a short term issue until they reload everything onto the new site but just in case I have added all of the pdf files of their technical information, leaflets and brochures that I have onto this website on the Kit page, under the relevant product.

There are about 45 files in total. I hope they are of use.

They include most of the films, papers, processing chemicals, safelights as well as the user manuals for the 1250 Dryer and the MG500 enlarger system. There is also the current 2018 product brochure and the Ilford History brochure which covers everything from the company formation in 1879 up to 2004.

The black and white part of the company was restructured in February 2005 after a management buyout, trading under the Harman Technology name. That’s the current situation with Peter Elton as the Managing Director.

Ilford Photo, Kentmere Photo and Harman Photo are all brands of Harman Technology Ltd.

Ilford Harman logo

Dryer for Fibre Based Papers – 2018 Update

I have been using my Maco Ecomat TP5060 for drying fibre based darkroom prints since buying it new from Nova Darkroom in 2002. It is the Rolls Royce of dryers for drying Ilford FB papers flat and takes up to 24 x 20 inch (61 x 51cm) sheets.

Ilford FB papers are notoriously difficult to dry flat and the FB Classic papers that Ilford introduced in 2014 are no better at this! That’s my only complaint about their fine papers.

The dryer has variable heat and I dry my prints against the drying cloth on the cover. The dryer gives a dull gloss similar to what would be obtained from air drying glossy FB paper.

The dryer is still available by special order, but only in this one size, direct from the German manufacturer Hans O. Mahn and Co for €1095 (February 2018), it is currently called ‘MACO ecomat dry press 51x65cm’. Here’s a link:

Maco Ecomat FB paper dryer

It weighs about 15kg and needs a space a bit bigger than the paper that it dries, around 80 x 70 cm should do. It’s about 16cm high when closed.

Maco Ecpmat FB Dryer closed

Replacement drying cloths are still available for €149 (February 2018) and in regular use should last over 10 years, judging by my experience. Here’s a link:

maco Ecomat FB Dryer with latch open

If you’re looking for a dryer for FB papers I suggest you take a close look at the Maco Ecomat dryer.

Maco Ecomat FB print dryer heat control and power switch

P.S. If the links above change over time I suggest you go to the main website and search from there:

Craft in Focus Christmas Contemporary Craft and Design Fair at RHS Wisley

We are exhibiting at the Craft in Focus Christmas Contemporary Craft and Design Fair at RHS Wisley until Sunday 26th November 2017. This is always an extremely high quality event with lots of designer makers from across the country. This year there are around 200 exhibitors, our stand is near the coffee shop!

Jan is doing it on her own because my bad back isn’t good enough to do a 5 day show at the moment (it started on Wednesday). Jan went down on Monday ready to set up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday.

Here are some stand photos. You may be able to see that we have switched back to my original hand prints, with quite a few new ones on display. We are just selling off the last few 100 x 50cm prints then they will be special order only, we won’t hold them in stock.

There are lots of my black and white pictures and quite a few of Jan’s colour prints, including some big ones. My books are available for a special price if you buy all 3.

RHS members can visit the show for free. The show opens at 9am and closes at 5pm Friday/Saturday and 4.30pm Sunday. Hope Jan sees you there!


Craft in Focus Wellington College Craft and Design Fair 2017

We are exhibiting at the Craft in Focus Craft and Design Fair at Wellington College, Crowthorne, near Bracknell (Wellington College, Duke’s Ride, RG45 6DY). Open Friday 12pm to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm. We are stand 75. There’s lots to see with about 100 exhibitors, all top quality and a huge range of items available.

We have a few 1m prints at much reduced prices. We won’t hold any stocks of these once current prints are gone, they will be special order only. It does include some crackers though! St Paul’s from Millennium Bridge at night, Aspen Shadows, Utah Ski Tracks, the Gherkin, there’s also one copy of Leadenhall Market and another of Berlin.

Lots of prints, including some new images. All 3 books too.

Our next, and last, show of 2017 is at RHS Wisley, again with Craft in Focus.

Wellington College Crowthorne 2017

Wellington College Crowthorne 2017


Buxton Great Peak District Fair

We are exhibiting at the Great Peak District Fair in Buxton Pavilion Gardens this weekend, 14th to 15th October 2017, 10am to 5pm. Lots to see, lots of show offers and a good range of original prints too.

The Buxton Beer Festival and a food and drink fair is also on at the same time, same place.

Here are some photos of our stand. It was setup day so there was no power in the marquee to brighten up the stand but we are at one end just inside the door so lots of daylight.






Alternative Limestone Way, Edale to Tunstead Milton

After four dry days, especially yesterday’s cracking day, we woke to heavy rain. It didn’t look promising and we couldn’t check the forecast as there was no phone signal and no WiFi. There wasn’t much point anyway, we just needed to get going and walk home as this was the fifth and final day of our trek.

The first section was across fields at the foot of Kinderscout and along the valley track from Upper Booth to the bridge at the foot of Jacobs Ladder. This is now the official route for the Pennine Way but when I did it in 1974 it went straight across the Kinderscout plateau to the Downfall.

Jacobs Ladder Bridge

Jacobs Ladder Bridge

Swine Back and Kinderscout from top of Jacobs Ladder

Swine Back and Kinderscout from top of Jacobs Ladder

From the top of Jacobs Ladder there was a motorway path of stone slabs across what used to be a wide path across deep bog. We headed for South Head. The rain had stopped after about 90 minutes but there was a chilly wind so we had to stop and find our hats and gloves.

The last section was still trackless bog…. the slabbed path had run out. From here it was a short climb to the top of South Head, the final hill of our route.

Kinderscout from South Head, dull lighting

Kinderscout from South Head, dull lighting

Kinderscout from South Head, sunny

Kinderscout from South Head, sunny, a few minutes after the shot above

View North from South Head

View from South Head, Mount Famine on the left

I walk South Head several times a year, it’s one of my favourite Peak District views. From South Head we headed down to Chinley and then the Old Hall Inn in neighbouring Whitehough. After a final pint we skirted around the side of Eccles Pike, across some fields and down the path to arrive home in Tunstead Milton, 5 hours or so after leaving Edale 10 miles away.

South Head and Kinderscout from Lydgate

South Head and Kinderscout from Lydgate

In summary, we walked for 5 days, 56 miles, 4 dry days including 1 sunny day, 90 minutes of rain, 35 images on Ilford 400 Delta using my Mamiya 7 camera with 65mm lens and mostly yellow filter but a few with an orange filter. All the photos on this blog were taken on mobile phones.

Oh, we also visited 13 hostelries along the way and I tried to keep to the government recommended 5 a day, I assume it refers to pints of real ale. That makes it about 18 mpg beer……..

Here’s a couple of shots taken by Jan on the 4th day, both near Peak Forest en-route to Castleton.

One man and his dog/cow

One man and his dog cow

Dave Butcher near Peak Forest

Dave Butcher and Sheep near Peak Forest

Alternative Limestone Way, Tideswell to Edale

After breakfast we went outside into the sunshine. Yes, at last we had a sunny day with the odd white fluffy cloud. There could be some proper photos today on my Mamiya 7!

I started with Tideswell church, commonly known as the Cathedral of the Peak. There was a very nice Silver Birch tree with leaves on the turn so I put the yellow filter on to brighten the yellowy leaves. Here’s the colour phone version.

Tideswell Church

Tideswell Church

Then it was up onto the moors above again. Lots of wide open spaces and big views, especially to Mam Tor and Kinderscout.

Mam Tor and Rushup Edge from near peak Forest

Mam Tor and Rushup Edge from near peak Forest

Rushup Edge

Rushup Edge and Kinderscout

Mam Tor and Tree

Mam Tor and Tree

Mam Tor

Mam Tor

Then it was time to go down into Castleton by the slopes next to the Castle. I also took a photo of Cave Dale from above with nice light and shadows.

Castleton Fields

Castleton Fields and Mam Tor

Cave Dale from Above

Cave Dale from Above

Then it was down to the Nag’s Head for lunch and a pint. From here we headed for Hollins Cross and down to the Nag’s Head in Edale. It was quite warm walking up to the pass but a bit of a breeze near the top helped.

Castleton and Hope Cement Works from Hollins Cross

Castleton and Hope Cement Works from Hollins Cross

Kinderscout and Edale from Hollins Cross

Kinderscout and Edale from Hollins Cross

After a pleasant pint of Nag’s 1577 we headed a few hundred yards down the road to our accommodation for the night, the Ramblers Inn.

What a great day of hill walking!

Unfortunately, there was no WiFi. Fibre broadband has just been installed in Edale and they haven’t got it working properly yet. Hence this post appearing after we finished!
Tomorrow, Friday 29th September 2017, we finish by walking from Edale to Chinley to Tunstead Milton.

Alternative Limestone Way, Youlgreave to Tideswell

It was a bit of a grey day but stayed dry all day, again. Breakfast was slow, but good, so we eventually left at 10am. We started by walking down to the river at the foot of Lathkill Dale.

Grey day in the Peak District

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The gorge is very steep sided here so on a dull day like today it was too dark for pictures. A few dog walkers were out but no-one else.

We climbed out of the dale and across a plateau area, down into another part of Lathkill Dale, up the other side and along under some large vertical limestone cliffs. From here it was just a short stretch to Monyash.

IMG_20170927_232106 IMG_20170927_232215

Bulls Head Monyash


As luck would have it the Bulls Head pub was open so we decided to have a break, it was 12.30pm.

From here we made our way to Flagg, then to the A6 at Taddington before dropping down to Millers Dale. As luck would have it the Anglers Rest was open, at 3.15pm, so we stopped for a break.



Millers Dale Autumn Colours


Anglers Rest Hikers Bar


Tideswell was just a couple of miles away from here, up a steep slope then across some fields and down into the village. The George Hotel was to be our hostelry for the night.


IMG_20170927_234041 IMG_20170927_234138

Our good friends Mick and Kay from Inverness were down touring around England and we arranged to meet up for the evening. It was a good night.

Tomorrow we walk to Edale.

Alternative Limestone Way, Brassington to Youlgreave

It was day 2 of our trek from Ashbourne to Tunstead Milton. Today we started in Brassington and walked to Youlgreave, same mileage as yesterday, 10.5 miles.

We were well looked after by Sarah at the Manor House Guest House, had a good breakfast, gave our case to the punctual luggage transfer man from Bakewell, then set off for Winster. Jolly nice day, bright spells and warmish. Good weather for walking!

So many quarries in this part of the Peaks. Lots of lorries to go with them too. Thankfully we were mostly off busy roads. Quite a few good views but between the quarries and power lines I didn’t see any shots worth taking on my Mamiya 7 camera.

A local just outside Brassington.


Our route took us down into Winster but the Bowling Green pub was closed on Tuesdays. We headed back up the hill where it was a relief to find the Miners Standard pub open. A jolly nice pint of Pedigree was my liquid lunch.

From here we headed towards Elton and on to Robin Hoods Stride Rocks. The grey sky was clearing so we waited a few minutes. I ran off a bit over 1 roll of Ilford 400 Delta before moving off.


From here it was on to Youlgreave. Our hostelry for the night, the Farmyard Inn, was closed when we arrived before 4pm, as was the Bulls Head, so we had a pint in the George Hotel.

Youlgreave view


Good food and a comfy room at the Farmyard Inn. What a relief after yesterday’s stutter.

Tomorrow we walk to Tideswell.

Alternative Limestone Way, Ashbourne to Brassington

Jan and I have done lots of treks around the world but just day walks on our doorstep in the Peak District. I did walk the Pennine Way in 1974 which starts in Edale 8 miles from where we live now but that’s the only exception. So we decided to change that by walking from Ashbourne to our home in Tunstead Milton.

I got the maps out and could see the Limestone Way went in roughly the right direction. That became the core of the walk for about 3 of the 5 days.

Our trip started by catching the bus to Buxton and then the bus to Ashbourne. This was a bit under 2 hours travel time. Then we will walk north for 5 days to get home. Our overnight stops are Ashbourne, Brassington, Youlgreave, Tideswell, Edale and home. A total of about 50 miles, so roughly 10 miles a day.

Looking out of the window of our room everything was wet, but it wasn’t raining at 7.30am. Unfortunately the forecast was for rain through the day. In the end the whole day was dry.


Today we started in Ashbourne having stayed at the George and Dragon Hotel. The food and beer was good as was the service.

After breakfast we left the hotel at the crack of 10am and headed north towards the Tissington Trail. We followed this for a few hundred metres, then turned onto our footpath to Thorpe village. From the approach to the village it looked like we were in limestone country with Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill as the backdrop. In fact we joined the Limestone Way just before Thorpe village. This long distance path goes from Rocester south of Ashbourne to Castleton.

First Limestone Way sign, Thorpe

IMG_20170925_230226 IMG_20170925_230314

A mix of fields and hillsides got us to Tissington and on to Parwich and as luck would have it the Sycamore Inn was open. It was 7 miles from Ashbourne so a good time for a break. Then it was just 3 more miles to Brassington. 

Thorpe Cloud

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TissingtonIMG_20170925_230610 IMG_20170925_230704 IMG_20170925_230732 IMG_20170925_230835


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We had booked in to the Miners Arms and waited outside for the 4.30pm check-in time agreed earlier (the pub was shut until the evening). Unfortunately no one turned up. Jan rang the landlord and he arranged for someone else to come to the pub and let us in, no explanation as to why he wasn’t here as agreed a few hours earlier. The room was up 2 flights of steep stairs and very old fashioned, soft mattress on the bed and the bathroom was down a flight of stairs and along the passage. Not exactly the ensuite Jan had booked! After a quick discussion we left.

Fortunately, our luggage had been delivered there.

Jan rang the only other accommodation listed in Brassington, the Manor House Guest House. They had a room and were just 200 metres down the road next to the other pub! We moved there. What a contrast. Nice welcome, excellent room.

Next door was the Olde Gate Inn. Very cosy local, excellent Pedigree beer, good food and a landlord that stopped for a conversation with his customers! Why don’t more people running pubs do that these days?

In the end we had a good evening but it was no thanks to the Miners Arms.

Tomorrow we walk to Youlgreave.

Buxton Craft and Jewellery Fair, 5th to 6th August 2017

We have a stand at the Craft and Jewellery Fair in Buxton Pavilion Gardens marquee, open Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017, 10am to 4.30pm. We have several hundred black and white darkroom photographs as well as quite a few of Jan’s colour prints. Lots of landscapes and city prints in various sizes, with prices from £5 to £140. 100 x 50cm prints are on sale to clear all of our stock, at £60 instead of £120, there are also 4 at £20, London Gherkin, London Leadenhall  Market, London Tower Bridge with River Thames and Berlin Reichstag and Bundestag. That’s a small price for such a big print!


RHS Chatsworth Flower Show First Day

We are exhibiting at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, stand 544, until Sunday 5pm, 11th June 2017.

This is a brand new show and since it’s just over a half hour from home we’re hoping it’s going to be a good one! Fantastic setting right in front of Chatsworth House. So far so good!

Our stand has lots of my big hand prints, which we seldom take to shows in Derbyshire. All the framed prints are hand prints too. Lots of small prints too. In all over 400 prints to look through. Of course we also have a selection of Jan’s colour photos too. Prints from £5 to £500. All 3 of my current books are here too for the special price of £20 instead of £45.

The first day was today. Unfortunately there’s no  3Mobile phone signal so I was unable to pick up or send any social media posts during the day. Hence the tardy posting for today.

There were lots of traffic problems and we spoke to many visitors who had been delayed by 2 or 3 hours. Ouch! That’s quite a delay. Sounds like things should be better for tomorrow but may be a good idea to leave early.

The show has sold out so if you don’t have a ticket already you won’t get in.

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