There's a lot of places in England I haven't had the chance to explore. One evening my close friend invited me over to Oxford to explore the English wilderness. The Sri Lankan Bear Grylls within me couldn't resist so I rushed over to trainline.com and scavenged for the cheapest tickets.
I dress myself in camo to blend in with nature and grab my superdry jacket to keep me somewhat dry in the unforgiving British summer rain. As usual, I pack my camera bag with everything and anything I may need.
In 50 minutes I escaped the realms of the M25 and was in Oxford to be picked up by my friend in a black Benz. We head over straight to the nearest village to have the best sausage roll and hot chocolate, so I've been told.
After a short 10 minute drive with loud rap music, revving engines and tire smoke we arrived in Woodstock. We grab a seat in a cosy cafe surrounded by the frail and wise, my camo not blending in well with the locals sense of fashion. The hot chocolate and sausage roll definitely worth the money, unmatched and authentic.
Another short drive later with the usual bells and whistles we arrive at the house which over looks the spectacular view of Oxford. I grab my bag and before I head in I'm greeted by Montgomery otherwise known as Monty, the great Dane. We reluctantly greet each other and head in. I explore the expanse around me through all the windows and gear up to explore.
We step out the front door and head out into the forest with the cameras and Monty leading the way. I climb over the fence and I'm in. I pause to take in the surrounding tall, skinny trees towering above, blanket of thick green moss wrapping the damp logs, the unusual quietness with a touch of tweeting birds and the gentle trickle of a river in the distance.
We slowly walk forward, making sure not to slip in the patches of mud, snapping frames here and there of the woodland around us. We chat about the different experience of the country compared to the usual photo journeys in London. Eventually we reach the small river and follow it's path but expectedly it started to rain. We decided to power forward making sure to keep the cameras safe in our bag. Somehow managing to squeeze two cameras and six lenses into an already full bag, wrapped the jacket around the bag to keep it super dry! As a fan of the rain I was enjoying it thoroughly, edging forward, appreciating the distant hills with a grey backdrop. After almost getting lost, on a private field, we make it back to the house, making sure the camera gear is dry. We take a short break and review the images.
A few hours pass. We come to find out about a Roman ruin a few minutes from the house. Bag repacked, muddy boots and super wet jacket back on. We roll out in a Range Rover, the proper country way. A few minutes later we arrive at the entrance to the ruins and begin our trek down. Couple of strides in we were greeted by the pleasant neighs of a few horses in the distance on the neighboring fields. Failing to attract them any closer we get back on track to the ruins.
After having passed a few obstacles along the way mostly involving muddy puddles, we reach the site of the partly unearthed ruins. It's amazing to think that small area of land was occupied by a huge mansion teaming with life thousands of years ago. I continue to explore attempting to imagine the whole scale of the building. But slowly the rain becomes unbearable so we decide to make a quick retreat back to the range rover. On this occasion the rain ruined our little trip! We head back home to dry ourselves and camera gear of.
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Some of my exciting photography journeys!