Myself, Alex and fellow nutters Gee and Andy from TwoTravlrs headed up to the Lake District for the Lakeland Festival of Light and the Arc’teryx Big Mountain Weekend.

Actually, that was more of just an excuse to get up there. It was a bank holiday, and despite the drawbacks that comes with the ‘city massif’ rocking up on a bank holiday, we hit the M6…

Walna Scar Car Park

Six hours later, we arrived at Walna Scar carpark. I’d never been here before but I’d heard of it and, as advertised, it was fantastic. On a hilltop, surrounded by fields and (incredibly) steep roads, the car park was scattered with converted Transporters, Defenders with rooftop tents and Clio’s with tiny tents next to them. As we arrived, one of the best cloud inversions was taking place.

Following this epic view, we begin our walk up to the Old Man. It’s about two hours up at a fairly sedate pace and incline. The path is really clear and easy (it’s the tourist route up).

Abandoned Slate Quarry


We’d decided to wild camp, but Andy and Gee were going to bivvy. In just a few minutes, we’d arrived at the abandoned slate quarry  and it was a truly spectacular sight – the mines were still accessible, the steel cables still hung over the gulleys and some of the carts still existed.


A post shared by Ben Freke (@ben_freke) on May 11, 2018 at 12:24am PDT

I’d recently bought a new dew heater for my camera so I could do a overnight timelapse. It worked excellently, and the timelapse turned out really well. The settings were: 18mm, f/3.5, 3200ISO and 30 second exposure. I ran the 406 photos through Lightroom to bring out the stars and the Milky Way.


Misty Mountains

We woke up to a lot of mist. The clouds had come over in the early hours of the morning, and we could barely see a thing. We explored some more caves, and then decided to stroll up to Low Water, a tarn just a few hundred meters from our camping spot. As we arrived, the clouds started to break and roll over the tarn and up the side of the mountains. I was absolutely chuffed to bits with the footage I’d captured of clouds so far this trip.

We came back down and headed to Langdale. We wanted a nice, easy climb so chose one of the routes on the ridge North of Stickle Tarn. After a sweltering two hour walk to the start, we struggled through the damp rock as we climbed. Andy led the climb, and I caught this awesome video of him going up.


A post shared by Ben Freke (@ben_freke) on May 8, 2018 at 12:15pm PDT

Lakeland Festival of Light

After a beautiful walk down via Loft Crag, we headed straight for Keswick to witness the amazing Lakeland Festival of Light. Gee and Andy were planning on taking part, but opted to come with Me and Alex to photograph it. The festival is aimed at raising money for a number of causes, and this particlar event was to raise money for Phase Worldwide, an organisation dedicated to improving the health, education and wellbeing of the Nepalese.

Basically, hundreds of people line Catbells in the evening and place translucent plastic in front of the lights. This creates a line of different coloured lights shining off the mountain and shimmering in the water below.


A post shared by Ben Freke (@ben_freke) on May 9, 2018 at 2:37pm PDT

This photo was taken with a f/6.3, 800 ISO and a 30 Second Exposure.

Heading back to Walna Scar for another camp was exhausting. I was incredibly tired driving back, but somehow managed to set my camera up for another timelapse. Fighting through that exhaustion to get that shot set up was one of the best decisions and reminded me of the need to work hard to get what you’ve always wanted, even if it’s not expected.

A Nice Surprise

I’d trained the camera above my car and Andy’s Van, because when else are you going to get a timelapse of the Milky Way passing over your vehicle?! Well, it wasn’t the Milky Way that stole the show… It was the Northern Lights.


A post shared by Ben Freke (@ben_freke) on May 9, 2018 at 11:16pm PDT

This photograph was taken with a 30 Second exposure, f/3.5, 18mm and 3200ISO. This is also several photographs stacked together, to fully bring out the aurora.

When I looked through my camera in the morning and saw the photos from that night, I was insanely excited. We headed to the beach, on the East side of Coniston Water. There, we relaxed and had a lovely BBQ, and resented having to head home that Sunday.