UK photos
Please see my 'Contact' page re email address.

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If you are intersted in help with your photography, especially if you live in the West Kent, East Surrey, North Sussex, or South East London areas, I can thoroughly recommend a photography course run by Jon Cowdock. One of his photos can be viewed on my 'Mayor of Brighton' page. Jon's Sevices include: photographs available for sale; training and tuition, including 1:1 & group tuition [he is an experienced trainer and tutor]; and commercial work including product photography or photography for a business website. For more information, please see the following link to his websites: Jon Cowdock's World of Photography & John Cowdock's Portfolio.
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My photos in beautiful and historically interesting England


Wild Animals

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in March 2011

A Fallow Deer stag (Dama dama; family: Cervidae) in the Kent countryside

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in February 2012

Fallow Deer stag (Dama dama; family: Cervidae) silhouetted on a hill near Sevenoaks, Kent

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in March 2011

Fallow Deer stags (Dama dama; family: Cervidae) feeding near Sevenoaks, Kent

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in February 2012

Fallow Deer stag (Dama dama; family: Cervidae) and doe with their yearlings near Sevenoaks, Kent

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A young Fallow Deer stag (Dama dama; family: Cervidae) posing for some sliced carrot in woodland near Sevenoaks, Kent.
It was supposed to be part of our granddaughter's lunch not his!

                                                   Photo taken by Chris Drakes in February 2012

Fallow Deer (Dama dama; family: Cervidae); a young doe playing 'hide & seek' near Sevenoaks, Kent

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2011

A Grey Seal and her pup at Donna Nook Nature Reserve, north east Lincolnshire

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in July 2012

A juvenile common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) playing in our back garden, quite close to the house, and it has befriended our cats

He now has a pale-brown mate and they often spend the sunny days sleeping on a pile of woodchip at the bottom of our garden. In previous years, our back garden has looked a bit like a Walt Disney film, with an adult female fox showing off her new cub to our cats, who were standing around it in a circle closely watched by its mother. It reminded us of the 1950s film 'Bambi', when all the woodland creatures were admiring the new 'Prince'. We often see grey squirrels teasing sleeping foxes, only to run away if they get up.

                                                                                         Photo Chris Drakes March 2011

A hungry Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in spring pansies at St. James' Park, London


Horses & Horse-drawn Vehicles

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A beautiful working Heavy Horse at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A beautiful working Heavy Horse at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Little Bradley Dairy at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex. Little Bradley is a village in Suffolk

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

R. Hopton, Dairyman & Grazier, Sandpits Farm, Rayleigh, Essex, Pure Fresh Milk at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

J. Edwards & Sons., Purveyors of Quality Meat & Poultry, at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

T. Cribb & Sons Funeral Directors 112 Rathbone St., London E16 020 7476 1855 (Established 1881) at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Nice neat transport for a professional gentleman at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                             Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Very smart and neat little rig for a ladies' day out at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Stagecoach with obligatory Dalmatian dog alongside at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Reminiscent of stagecoach days at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

An unhitched stagecoach after a long day at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex


A private Landau with a pair of black horses in 1914, shortly before WWI


The same private Landau with a pair of black horses, driving in Broadwater Forest in 1914, shortly before WWI


Swans

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in June 2012

Swan and signet at Whisby Country Park, near Lincoln, Lincolnshire

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in June 2012

This signet was being 'dive-bombed' by a seagull, so it climbed onto its parent's back (on right) and hid under its wings, and you wouldn't mess with its Mum & Dad if you were a seagull!

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A pair of handsome juvenile swans at Beckenham, Kent

                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in July 2012

A graceful Swan at sunset at Forton Lake, Gosport - part of Portsmouth Harbour, Hants

                                                                                 Photo taken by Chris Drakes in September 2012

A beautiful male white Swan taking off from the river Thames at Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey
                                                                                 Photo taken by Chris Drakes in September 2012

A male white Swan posturing for a female, surrounded by multiple reflections of the sun at Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes June 2005

A Black Swan at Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

A Swan battling icey winds at Mudeford Quay, Dorset



Other birds

                                                                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

A little Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes; family: Troglodytidae) collecting moss for its nest at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

If you need help identifying a bird, please see: RSPB bird identifier

                                                                                    Photo taken by Kathy Drakes in February 2012

Tree Creaper on a broad-leaf tree in woodland near Sevenoaks, Kent

                                                                                                       Photo taken by Chris Drakes in July 2012

Part of a flock of over seventeen local green Parakeets in our back garden. They are now considered to be 'native British birds', and have been recorded as living wild since 1855, having originally came from the foothills of the Himalayas. There are so many living wild in the UK that there is current consideration about culling them; please see: Ring-necked Parakeets (Rose-necked - Psittacula krameri). The photos are not as clear as I'd like, but it is difficult to get very close to them, as they fly away if you go out into the garden.

                                                                                  Photo taken by Chris Drakes in November 2011

A male Mandarin Duck at Kelsey Park, Beckenham, Kent

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A pair of herons feeding their young chicks on the island at Kelsey Park, Beckenham, Kent

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A Little Egret hopping across a muddy channel left by the outgoing tide at Blakeney, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A Little Egret landing safely on the other side of a muddy channel left by the outgoing tide at Blakeney, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A very noisy little Redshank (Tringa totanus, family: Scolopacidae) on the mudbanks at Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A Curlew (Numenius arquata, family: Scolopacidae) on the mudbanks at Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula; family: Charadriidae) on the mudbanks at Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

Photos taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Owls at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex (captive)

                              Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Beautiful Barn Owl at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex (captive)

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Owl at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex (captive)

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

Snowy Owl at The Heavy Horse Show, Orsett, Essex

                                                                                     Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2016

A Snowy Owl (captive)

                                                                                     Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2016

A Great Gey Owl (captive)

                                                                                     Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2016

A Phantom Gyr Saker Falcon (captive)

                                                                                 Photo taken by Chris Drakes in September 2012

A Cormorant flying fast along The River Thames at Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

A young gull watching the river Thames near Westminster Bridge, London

                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes November 2012

A white Goose at Winkworth Arboretum, a National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

A Great Tit at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

A Moorhen at Studlands Wetland Nature Reserve, near Poole Harbour, Dorset - a National Trust site

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

A Coot at Studlands Wetland Nature Reserve, near Poole Harbour, Dorset - a National Trust site

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes May 2013

A Pelican at Bird Island, St. James' Park, London.

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes May 2013

An adult Egyptian Goose near Bird Island, St. James' Park, London.

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes May 2013

An unusual Duck near Bird Island, St. James' Park, London.


Butterflies

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2008

A Peacock (Inachis io) butterfly on a thisle flower in The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

If you need help to identify a British Butterfly, please see Steven Cheshire's very helpful website: British Butterflys

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2011

A Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) butterfly at Barrow Haven, Barrow upon Humber, Lincolnshire

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) butterfly in a hedgerow near Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in June 2009

One of over twenty Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies that descended on a shrub in front garden

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A beautiful Comma (Polygonia c-album) butterfly in a hedgerow near Blakeney, Norfolk

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in June 2012

Male Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) butterfly at Whisby Country Park, near Lincoln, Lincolnshire

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in January 2011

An amazing Achilles Morpho (Morpho achilles) butterfly at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

A stunning Emerald Swallowtail (Papilio palinarus) butterfly at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

An enormous Owl (Caligo memnon) butterfly at Wisley Gardens, Surrey; in flight, it is almost the size of a Sparrow

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

A lovely Blue Morpho (Morpho Peleides) butterfly with closed wings at Wisley Gardens, Surrey


Other insects

                                                                                                            photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Someone's come for lunch at a picnic table in Tattershall Country Park, Lincolnshire!

Mark G. Telfer very kindly helped me to identify this insect as a shieldbug, rather than a beetle. It is a 5th (final) instar nymph Birch Shieldbug (Elasmostethus interstinctus, of the family: Acanthosomatidae). If you want to identify a UK bug, please see : britishbugs.org.uk. For help with identifying UK beetles, please see Mark Telfer's interesting website: Beetles, birds, general natural history.

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2011

A small Solitary Bee on wild flowers near the Humber Bridge, Lincolnshire.

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A small bee feeding on a beautiful blue Chicory flower (Cichorium intybus) at the edge of a cornfield near Weybourne, Norfolk.

                                                        photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A spider is often much more beautiful when viewed close up, and it has more hair than I have!
This one is a 'Cross Spider' or 'Diadem Spider' (Araneus diadematus) and is common in UK gardens.
Whilst it looks big in this photo, it is only the size of my thumbnail, including its legs.


Orchids

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Orchids at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

One of the many attractive Orchids at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                                   Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

A beautiful pink orchid at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                                   Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

A beautiful amber orchid at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                                   Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

A beautiful yellow orchid at Wisley Gardens, Surrey


Water Lilies

                                                                                                                    Photo by Chris Drakes June 2009

A perfect white water lily at Petworth Park, Sussex, a National Trust property open to the public.

                                                                                                             Photo by Chris Drakes October 2010

A beautiful purple and yellow water lily at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey

                                                                                                             Photo by Chris Drakes October 2010

A pretty lilac and yellow water lily at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey

                                                                                     Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A stunning lilac and yellow water lily with variegated leaves at Wisley Gardens, Surrey.

                                                                                                             Photo by Chris Drakes October 2010

Giant water lily leaves at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey

                                                                                                             Photo by Chris Drakes October 2010

A pretty pink water lily at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey

                                                                                                             Photo by Chris Drakes October 2010

A beautiful pink and yellow water lily at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey

                                                                                                             Photo by Chris Drakes October 2010

A stunning lilac water lily with variegated leaves at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey


Other flowers

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

A beautiful wild red poppy spotted in a southern field.

If you want to identify a wild flower that you have seen, please see; The Botanical Society of the British Isles

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A stunning wild Poppy on a grass bank near Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk.

                                                                                                                    Photo by Chris Drakes June 2009

Wild Foxgloves at Petworth Park, Sussex, a National Trust property open to the public.

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A stunning blue Chicory flower (Cichorium intybus) growing wild at the edge of a cornfield near Weybourne, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Rose hips in a hedgerow near Weybourne, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A pretty wild Geranium on a grass bank near Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk.

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

An unusual giant dry flower head on a grass bank near Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk.

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Strange wild flowers on a grass bank near Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk.

                                                                                      Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A beautiful catus flower at Wisley Gardens, Surrey.

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes June 2005

A beautiful old English rose at Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent.

                                                                         Photo Chris Drakes March 2011

Contrasting spring flowers in St. James' Park, London

                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A pretty lilac Petunia at Hunstanton, Norfolk

                                                                                                            photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A pretty yellow Petunia at Hunstanton, Norfolk

                                                                                                            photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

The evening breeze blowing grasses on the foreshore at Hunstanton, Norfolk.

                                                                                                            photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

The last of our garden's summer tub flowers is still looking beautiful despite all the rain.

                                                                                                           Photo by Chris Drakes November 2012

The last woodland Rhododendron flowers of the season at Winkworth Arboretum, a National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey.


Water

                                                                                        Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

A whirlpool water-feature at Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Multiple water fountains on the stepped water feature at Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Multiple water fountains on the stepped water feature at Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Multiple water fountains on the stepped water feature at Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland

                                                                photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

The Mill Race at Caley Mill, Norfolk Lavender, Hunstanton, Norfolk

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

A view over the river Coquet at Rothbury, Northumberland

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in June 2009

The river Welland at Stamford, Lincolnshire

                                                                                        Photo taken by Kathy Drakes in April 2004

A woodland stream near Lynton, Devon

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Sibling friendship on the causeway to Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Northumberland

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A beautiful stream on the salt marshes at Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A giant 2-metre 'shell-shaped' indentation accidentally created by the outgoing tide in the estuary sediment alongside Blakeney Quay, Norfolk

                                                                                                          photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

An evening on the beach at Hunstanton, Norfolk

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

The evening sun on a pond at Wisley Gardens, Surrey, causing a 'globe' reflection on the camera lens

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

Studlands Beach, near Poole Harbour, Dorset, looking west
The National Trust - Preserving British Heritage!

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

Studlands Beach, near Poole Harbour, Dorset, looking east
The National Trust - Preserving British Dignity!


Ships, Boats & Wrecks

                                        Photo taken by Kathy Drakes in January 2012

Boats on the river Medway at Lower Halstow, near Sittingbourne, Kent

                                                                                                                 Photo by Chris Drakes August 2001

The wreck of an old timber Minesweeper in Portsmouth Harbour

                                                                                                                 Photo by Chris Drakes August 2011

An old wrecked boat slowly decaying on the foreshore at Forton Lake, Portsmouth Harbour

                                                                                                                Photo by Chris Drakes August 2011

The wreck of the Portsmouth to Gosport Steam Ferry 'Vadne' at Forton Lake, Portsmouth Harbour

                                                                                                                Photo by Chris Drakes August 2011

Boats moored at Forton Lake, Portsmouth Harbour, left stranded high and dry by the outgoing tide

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

HMS Warrior (1860) next to the Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth Harbour, Hants.

HMS Warrior was the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warship in the Royal Navy, and was the largest, fastest, most heavily armed and armoured warship in the world. It was equipped for propulsion by both steam and sail. She is now a Museum Ship, and is now open to the public, next to the entrance to the Royal Navy Dockyard, near Portsmouth Railway Station and the Portsmouth to Gosport Ferry.

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes April 2012

HMS Illustrious Aircraft Carrier in Portsmouth Harbour, Hants.

HMS Illustrious is an Invincible-class light aircraft carrier built about 1980 for the Royal Navy. She is the oldest ship in the active fleet and now operates as a Royal Navy helicopter carrier, pending her eventual decommissioning in the near future.

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes April 2012

HMS Illustrious is an Invincible-class light aircraft carrier at Portsmouth Harbour. Built about 1980 for the Royal Navy, she is the oldest ship in the active fleet and now operates as a Royal Navy helicopter carrier, she was decommissioned on 28th August 2014.

                                                           Photo by Chris Drakes April 2012

The 'Alice', a Thames Sailing Barge, moored at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Harbour, Hants.

The Thames Sailing Barge 'Alice' was originally built as a lighter at Wivenhoe. She originally worked the river Lea down to the Pool of London, and would have been rowed or towed. She was converted to a Thames Sailing Barge in 1998, by the addition of a mast and sails, and is a beautiful reminder of Britain's by-gone days of sail. You can even hire her for an event (see link above).

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

An old boat abandoned in marshland at Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Boats in the estuary, the village and the old windmill at Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Small boats beached in the estuary at Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

A beached boat at Blakeney, Norfolk


Steam Trains

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

The GWR 5600 Class 0-6-2T steam engine (no. 5619) leaving Weybourne Station on the North Norfolk Railway at Weybourne, Norfolk

                                                                                                                     photo by Chris Drakes July 2005

'The City of Truro No. 3440' (4-4-0) at Sheringham, Norfolk on 1st July 2005, on short-term loan to The North Norfolk Railway. It was brought in by road, and you can see the front of the trailer has been lowered to ground level, awaiting its removal with the tractor unit.

                                                                                                                     photo by Chris Drakes July 2005

'The City of Truro No. 3440' 4-4-0 at Sheringham, Norfolk. You can see the front of the trailer has been removed with the tractor unit, making the way clear to link the rails on the track to those on the trailer, after which it was winched slowly onto the North Norfolk Railway track.

                                                                                                                     photo by Chris Drakes July 2005

Slowly winching 'The City of Truro No. 3440' 4-4-0 onto the North Norfolk Railway track. In this photo you can see the rails and wooden blocks used to link the track to the rails on the lorry.

                                                                                                                     photo by Chris Drakes July 2005

The tender for 'The City of Truro No. 3440' 4-4-0 at Sheringham, Norfolk on 1st July 2005; it had been brought in by road on a second lorry

The North Norfolk Railway has since been re-connected to the National Rail line at Sheringham; the tracks now cross Station Road again after many years of 'disconnection'. This will enable trains to be brought in by rail if considered easier. However, as this linking-section of line between the national and private lines is seldom in use, the traffic still runs freely across it with no 'level crossing' signs; so, the road would have to be manually closed for the rare occasion of a train crossing the road.


Sky, Clouds & Sunsets



                                                                                         Photos taken by Chris Drakes in June 2011

The wind playing with the early summer clouds at Gosport, Hants.

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

Low cloud moving west over the hills from Swanage towards Studlands Beach, near Poole Harbour, Dorset


                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

The evening sun on the beach at Hunstanton, Norfolk

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

A sunset at Banburgh Castle, Northumberland looking towards Lindisfarne (Holy Island)

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

A sunset at Banburgh Castle, Northumberland looking towards Lindisfarne (Holy Island)

                                                                                                                 Photo by Chris Drakes August 2011

Sunset at low tide looking across Forton Lake, Portsmouth Harbour

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in July 2012

The sky 'on fire' - sunset at Forton Lake, Gosport - part of Portsmouth Harbour, Hants.


Countryside & Garden

                                                                                 Photo taken by Chris Drakes in September 2005

A wooded valley in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire

                                                                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2008

An unusual 'late winter'-'early spring' view of the old oak tree in our back garden

                                                                                                                    Photo by Chris Drakes July 2004

The woods at Sherringham Park, north Norfolk

                                                                                                                   Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

The Sun through catkins on a hazel tree at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Remains of a petrified forest at Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

                                                                                                           photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

Remains of a petrified forest at Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

                                                                                                                   Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

A little bit of artwork on the base of a cut tree trunk at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

 
                                                                                                                                        Photos by Chris Drakes November 2012

The beautiful autumn colours at Winkworth Arboretum, a National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey

                                                                                                                                        Photos by Chris Drakes November 2012

The beautiful autumn colours at Winkworth Arboretum, a National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey

                                                                                                          Photo by Chris Drakes November 2012

A stuuning autumnal Japanese Maple at Winkworth Arboretum, a National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey


People

                                            Photo taken by Chris Drakes in June 2012

Dame Kelly Holmes at the opening of the 5Km Cancer Research Run For Life at Battersea Park, London on 13.6.2012.

                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in August 2012

A lucky fluke photo-shot with Peter Wilson, Britain's Gold Medalist, taken during the London 2012 Olympic Double Trap (skeet-shooting) at Woolwich, London on 2.8.2012.

     
Photos taken by Chris Drakes in May 2013

Two very smart 1st Battalion Welsh Guards outside Clarence House, The Mall, London, the London home of HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

These are not 'toy soldiers' but members of our Armed Forces who serve the interests of the UK at home and on active service abroad. The 'leeks' on their collars and shoulders represent the National Emblem of Wales. Their buttons are grouped in 'fives' showing that they are the Fifth Regiment of Foot Guards the the Regular Infantry in the Household Division. In May 2013, they were providing the guard for Her Majesty the Queen at her royal residences.


Buildings & Structures

                                                        Photo by Chris Drakes March 2011

The Emirates Spinnaker Tower with its public viewing gallery on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, Hants.

                                                                                                                Photo by Chris Drakes August 2001

Mum and Kathy at Scotney Castle in Kent was built in 1378; it is open to the public as a National Trust property

                                                                          Photo by Chris Drakes May 2000

Ightham Mote at Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks, Kent is open to the public as a National Trust property; it is nearly 700 years old and was once owned by medieval knights and courtiers to Henry VIII.

                                                                                                                    Photo by Chris Drakes May 2000

Old Soar Manor, Plaxtol, Borough Green, Kent. This simple, yet beautiful, structure was built in 1290 as part of a 13th century knight's dwelling. It is a National Trust property and is open to the public (free, though donations are always welcome).

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes June 2005

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent, was originally built in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoeur as a Norman stronghold. In 1278, it was owned by King Edward I and was one of his favourite residence, but most of what is seen today actually dates from the 19th century. It is open to the public and regularly holds various interesting events such as jousting and firework displays on specific dates during the year.

                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Drakes June 2005

An interior courtyard at Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent, which was a favourite of King Edward I in the late 13th century. In 1974, Lady Baillie bequeathed the castle and grounds to the Leeds Castle Foundation, a private charitable trust

                                                                                                                  Photo by Chris Drakes March 2013

The evening sun on the main house at Wisley Gardens, Surrey

                                                        Photo by Chris Drakes March 2012

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

                                                                                                                 Photo by Chris Drakes March 2012

The Millenium Bridge over the river Thames near St. Paul's Cathedral, London

                                                                                        Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Alnwick Castle (pronounced 'Annick'), Northumberland, where some scenes were shot for the Harry Potter films

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2011

Alnwick Castle (pronounced 'Annick'), Northumberland, where some scenes were shot for the Harry Potter films

                                                                                                                   Photo by Chris Drakes April 2011

Dusk at Bamburgh Castle on the east coast of England, near Lindsifarne (Holy Island), Northumberland

There is a brilliant series of historical fiction by Bernard Cornwell based on the life of a Saxon boy, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, who nobly born at Banburgh Castle, captured by Danes, fought as a Viking, then fought for King Alfred against the Danes. It is called 'The Last Kingdom Series' (formerly 'The Warrior Chronicles'). The books in the series are: The Last Kingdon, The Pale Horseman, The Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, The Empty Throne, Warriors of the Storm; & Warriors of the Storm. There is also a brilliant TV Series, available on DVD, based on these books; it is called The Last Kingdom. Bernard Cornwell's ancestors came from here.

                                    photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

The Tower Windmill (1816), Burnham Overy Stathe, Norfolk; this is a holiday-let owned by The National Trust

                                                                       photo by Chris Drakes September 2012

'Brancaster Box no. 530', an old 1950s AA Member's Box in a layby at the western end of Brancaster, Norfolk, from the days when the Automobile Association mechanics rode motorcycles with sidecars and saluted passing cars that displayed an 'AA' membership badge.

                                                                                     Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

'The Houses of Parliament' or 'The Palace of Westminster', London, with the 'Clock Tower' on the right, which was re-named 'Queen Elizabeth II Tower' in 2012 in recognition of her 60th year of reign as our Queen. This tower is popularly, and incorrectly, known throughout the world as 'Big Ben', which is actually the name of the giant bell inside that strikes the hour. Westminster Abbey, where the monarchs of Britain have been crowned since 1066 and where many are buried, is immediately behind the clock tower. Westminster Bridge and the river Thames can be seen in the foreground. The following is a very interesting brief history of the area of London surrounding Parliament Square: The hidden history of Westminster.

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

The stone lion at County Hall next to Westminster Bridge and the river Thames, London

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

The London Eye across the river Thames between Westminster & Waterloo Bridges, London

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

The RAF Memorial against a backdrop of the London Eye by the river Thames, Westminster, London

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

The astonishing bronze memorial by the river Thames, Westminster, London, which is commemorating the 1940 Battle of Britain

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

Queen Mary's Steps, Whitehall Palace, Westminster, London was built in 1691 by Sir Christopher Wren for Queen Mary II

These steps were once alongside the river Thames; they are now about 100 yards from the river due to the river bank erosion and the re-depositing of silt over the centuries between the reign of William & Mary and the construction of the 19th century Victoria and Albert Embankments.

                                                                                    Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

The aging on-site plaque detailing the origin and later discovery Queen Mary's Steps, Westminster, London

Queen Mary's Steps, Whitehall Palace, Westminster, London. In 1691, Sir Christopher Wren designed for Queen Mary II a terrace overlooking the Thames in front of the old river wall of Whitehall Palace built by Henry VIIII. This terrace projecting about 70 feet into the bed of the river was about 280 feet long. As it involved the destruction of an earlier private landing stage a curving flight of steps was made at each end to give access from the Royal Apartments to the State Barge. In 1939 excavations for the new Government Building revealed the river wall of the Tudor Palace, the later terrace wall and the Northern flight of steps. The upper portion of the steps has been repaired and can be seen. A reconstructed length of the terrace can be seen immediately to the left of the steps and a rebuilt section of the river wall behind and above the terrace.

                                                                                     Photo taken by Chris Drakes in October 2012

The Shard is next to London Bridge Station, Southwark, London SE. It was completed in 2012 and, at 1,016 feet, was then the tallest completed building in Europe. The viewing area is now open for public visits, though not cheap, it is a realistic price for such a brilliant view.

                                          Photo taken by Chris Drakes in May 2013

The tower of Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral, Victoria, London
(The above link gives you access to a very interesting 'virtual tour' of the Cathedral)

                                                                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in May 2013

Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

                             Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2014

Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

                                                                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2014

Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

                                                                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2014

Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

                                                                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2014

Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

                                                                                           Photo taken by Chris Drakes in April 2014

Norman arch doorway of Portchester Church within the wall at Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Portchester is a medieval castle situated alongside a village of that name. It was probably built in the late 11th century within the boundaries of an old Roman fort. The castle is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public throughout the year. The Norman church of St. Mary's was built in the 1130s for an Augustinian priory; it is in the south-east corner of the grounds and is in the Anglican Diocese of Portsmouth.

                                                                                         Photo taken by Chris Drakes in March 2014

The Waggon & Horses at Beckhampton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1QJ. This very quaint & beautiful old English thatched pub dates from 1669. It is famous as the inspiration for a scene in Charles Dickens' book, The Pickwick Papers. It is very close to Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, which can be seen in the right hand edge of this photo and would be great for lunch or an evening meal when visiting Avebury & Stonehenge. All three ancient Neolithic & Bronze Age sites can be managed by car in one day, with Avebury and Silbury Hill being very close to each other. I would suggest Stonehenge in the morning & Avebury and Silbury Hill in the afternoon.