Our next stop on our Tour of The Dales exploring locations along the Tour de France stage through the Yorkshire Dales is at Gunnerside. Heading back down Swaledale from Muker towards Reeth the riders on Le Tour will have a brief glimpse of the fabulous meadows along the banks of the Swale as they climb up out of the village. The meadows are criss-crossed with dry stone walls and dotted with field barns and make a great subject at any time of year.
In late spring and early summer the meadows are filled with bright yellow buttercups. Getting in a bit closer with a slightly longer lens is a great way to pick out the shapes and patterns made by the dry stone walls and the green and yellow meadows provide a great colour contrast. Similarly later in the summer, when the lighter shades of freshly cut hay meadows contrast with the fresh greens of the uncut fields.
The best views of the meadows are from the roadside just above the village, looking down into the valley bottom, making this an easy location to photograph. However, it’s still worth taking the walk through the meadows from the village and back along the side of the river, especially when the buttercups are in full bloom. The riverbank is also filled with wild flowers in late spring.
Back up at the top, there’s a different composition to be had in every direction, and backlighting gives a real glow to the meadows in the day, changing to dramatic sidelighting in the evening as the sun moves round and drops lower in the sky.