Symonds Yat Rock

Wye Valley Coppet Hill Symonds Yat

After the epic walk along the Malvern Hills I was told another fantastic area to visit was the Wye valley in Herefordshire, places like Symonds Yat and Coppet Hill both with great views for miles around.

I was using Beside the river Wye and around Coppet Hill from the AA’s 50 walks in Herefordshire as my guide.   This does not include Symonds Yat Rock but is very nearby.  So after Coppet Hill and given time I would extend the trip to Symonds Yat and hopefully catch a sunset.

Red Sky in the Morning

It was a beautiful morning on the drive from Pershore to Goodrich in Herefordshire where my photo walk would start.  There was a red sky over Bredon hill in Worcestershire, so much so had to stop my car and take a photo.

These moments are fleeting and not have long was going to require a tripod, went to the back of my car and I had forgotten my tripod.  Took some handheld shots and then made a return home.  Lucky for that red sky else would have been hand holding all day.

malverns moon
moon over the Malverns 1/125 sec, f/5.0, ISO 250, 70mm

Started the journey again to Herefordshire, this time with my tripod.  Another fantastic morning scene of the moon above the Malvern Hills.  Again had to stop and take a photo.  But this was in the middle of the road, so no time to do a proper setup.  This cold January morning and visibility was excellent, a good day for photography and walking maybe,

Hadholding settings

When I am handholding taking photos in situations like this my standard setup is Aperture priority mode.  Image stabilisation and auto ISO. Outside I always keep white balance on daylight sunny as I shoot in RAW its easy to make any adjustments to white balance post processing, evaluation mode is usually matrix.

Found the Goodrich castle carpark and started the walk not far from the river Wye and heading towards Coppet hill.  A few shots of Goodrich castle and Kerne bridge over the river Wye below.

goodrich castle
Goodrich castle 1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 100 200mm
herne bridge river wye
herne bridge over river wye 0.5 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 35mm

It was a beautiful morning lots of sunshine, reaching Welsh Bicknor and the Courtfield estate presented some fine countryside photos.

Courtfield Welsh Bicknor
Courtfield Welsh Bicknor 1/4 sec, f/11,ISO 100, 24mm

Beside the River Wye, the water was quite fast moving, its been a long time since I had been beside a major river, decided to use a polariser and get some motion blur on the water.

river wye welsh biknor
river wye welsh biknor 3.2 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 18mm

The polariser reduces light by two stops and cuts down reflected light off the water.  Also used a smaller aperture to increase exposure time considering it was a very bright morning along the river wye.

Coppet Hill Views

Was a long walk beside the river wye passing through some fields with cows with their calfs which I do not like.  Also had a typical farmer Giles yelling at me across the river to get off the bank.  By the time I made it to where you break from beside the river wye opposite Symonds Yat rock to ascend Coppet Hill the weather was changing for the worst.

Coppet Hill
Coppet Hill 1/5 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 35mm

Quite a tough slog up Coppet Hill to the summit mostly through quite dense woodland, but once you make it onto Coppet Hill common the views west are breath taking including Wales and the black mountains.  I was getting a few specks of rain on my lens now but mission completed.  I would now have time to check out the more tourist centric Symonds Yat Rock.

Symonds Yat Rock Cliche

I drove round to Symonds Yat rock and made it in time to setup and watch the sunset lighting up Coppet hill opposite with an orange crest.

symonds yat sunset
symonds yat sunset 0.8 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 32mm

This view of the river wye below and coppet hill opposite taken from the top of Symonds Yat Rock is what is called a cliche photo.  So many people have taken it.  Views from the top of Coppet Hill are not so common.  Even on a cold January evening Symonds Yat Rock had a lot of visitors which makes it more difficult to setup a tripod.

Still on a cold January day with mostly excellent visibility and in an area of outstanding natural beauty like the Wye valley and Coppet Hill its not difficult to come home with some great photos.

Wye Valley Herefordshire