From this, to this, #darkroom

Back in early summer my new office and darkroom looked like this, full of junk.

Well, I’m happy to say, an hour a day later, the office and darkrooms are now empty of junk.

The builder is coming the first week of October, in 4 weeks time, to give me a new floor, seal the walls and make light tight, ready for me to move analog darkroom and office in after services are installed.

Happy Times 🙂

Become an #Exmoor Patron!

Exmoor4all are looking for “Exmoor Patrons” who can help them keep Exmoor4all going and provide them with the opportunity to develop their platform even further.

For a monthly contribution, from as little as around 80p, you will receive rewards, from DJ Miles Tea & Coffee to special access to information and even a personalised 5* trip to Exmoor. And you will play a significant part in developing Exmoor4all and events like the Exmoor Food Fest.

Here is their story:

Exmoor4all started in 2012 on Facebook and Twitter as a community platform for locals and visitors and everyone else in between and beyond who love Exmoor, the small National Park straddling Somerset and Devon in England’s South West.

Over the past five years, Exmoor4all has grown to a website, an online shop, community events and, of course, other social media platforms. It is taking a lot of time and love and dedication to build up the community (Exmoor4all reaches regularly up to 150,000 people per week, and 75,000 people engage with us on Facebook alone) and this is why they are on Patreon:

The Background Story:

Exmoor4all is run by Elke Winzer. Elke is a single mum with two staaaaarving teenage boys and four dogs and moved to Exmoor from Germany over 15 years ago, but fell in love with the area a very long time before then, with a background in Public and Cultural Relations. A publisher of three books in a previous life in Germany (under the author name Elke Koessling), and have worked as a promoter for musicals, organised concerts, and explored the world as a travel journalist amongst many more things.

Starting Exmoor4all in 2012 as an online community which connects people from all over the world in their love for beautiful Exmoor. Helping local businesses promote their products, publish information about events, and, increasingly so, provide a calming refuge from a scary world out there.

Five years down the track they know that people love what they do. Constant engagement, production of outstanding posts and products, and the provision of assistance (when dogs get lost or owners of cows have to be found) take a lot of time. It is easily a full-time job which so far has been subsidised by taking on “normal” jobs. It would be great if – with your help – Exmoor4all could run full time and provide even more ‘customer service’ than before.

You can become an Exmoor Patron for as little as 80p per month (Patreon operates in US$, but of course your subscription is in GBP if you live in the UK) – and any contribution is not only much appreciated, but also comes with rewards to patrons.

To find out more, please pop over to the Exmoor4all Patreon site and have a look at all the tiers and rewards available:


Exmoor (Green landscape) © Leanna Coles

Wildlife at Stonehenge

Local wildlife eyeing up a home at Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, where archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.

© Mark Stothard. Buy this image.


My Artistic view of Muchelney Abbey @visitsomerset #muchelneyabbey #somerset

Pictured Church of St Peter and St Paul, Muchelney neighboring Muchelney Abbey, which lies two miles south of Langport, was once a landmark in the Somerset Levels and still has much to offer its visitors and history lovers, in particular, will enjoy this fascinating site but there is also plenty for families to do.

It was once a wealthy Benedictine house and the second oldest religious foundation in Somerset, but as part of the dissolution, the abbey’s principal buildings were demolished by Henry VIII in 1538.

Visitors can still see the clearly laid out foundations of the abbey, parts of the richly decorated cloister walk and thatched monks’ lavatory- the only one of its kind in Britain. The 16th-century abbots’ house remains intact with its magnificent rooms, and site finds are on display illustrating monastic life.

With plenty of rooms to explore, this is an ideal day out whatever the weather and on sunny days, children have plenty of room to play in the grounds.

© Mark Stothard. Buy this image. Text Source English Hertiage


Arundel Castle

International jousting at Arundel Castle Sussex. Arundel Castle is a restored and remodeled medieval castle in Arundel, West Sussex, England. It was established by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1068.

© Mark Stothard. Buy this image.


Arundel Castle Gateway and Moat

Curtain walls surround the enclosed northern gardens of Arundel Castle. The gated entrance in front of the tower seen nearest the viewer is guarded by a lion and a unicorn.

© Mark Stothard. Buy this image.


#Bayeux Commonwealth War Graves @BayeuxMuseum ‏

I was honoured, proud and privileged back in 2013 while in France, in having the time to visit the Bayeux War Cemetery.

Spending several hours with my children, reading together the names of the soldiers from all over the world and explaining to Kyla (10), Duncan (9) and Fenton (7) that these soldiers paid their ultimate price by sacrificing their lives so we could live the way we do today.

I was amazed to say that the place was so clean, with over 3800 graves of fallen soldiers from all over the world in immaculate condition.

This emotional moving place is so worth a visit, just a little over 30 minutes drive from the port of Ouistreham which is currently operated by Brittany Ferries.

Then across the road from the cemetery, with a large car park and picnic area, is the Museum of the Battle of Normandy, housing several tanks, jeeps, they will, of course, tell you their story and, of course, the Bayeux Tapestry, so you could make a day of it. Their twitter account is @BayeuxMuseum.

Ever visited Bayeux? Please do leave your experience of your visit or perhaps of my image in the comments below.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s Score for visitor experience Bayeux : 8 out 10.

Class 25, D7523 “John F Kennedy” on the @WSomRailway ‏

Back in 2007, I used to chase the visiting locomotives on the West Somerset Railway.

Class 25, D7523 “John F Kennedy” in the rain, pulling into Williton station on the West Somerset Railway, pulling GWR 5553, small prairie 2-6-2T.

D7523 was built by British Railways at Darlington in 1965.  It was at Toton TMD before moving around various London Midland Region sheds. I understand in 1974 it was renumbered 25173. 

This Diesel engine, I currently believe, as of 4th December, 2015 is on Epping Ongar Railway undergoing a full overhaul.

Ever visited West Somerset Railway? Please do leave your experience of the railway in the comments below.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s score for the West Somerset Railway : 7 out of 10.

Tarr Steps #exmoor @exmoornp

Tarr Steps is one of my favourite places of Exmoor National Park, every time I visited this valley the experience of new colours, sounds, smells and wildlife always took my breath away.

The Tarr Steps is a clapper bridge across the River Barle in the Exmoor National Park, Somerset, England. There are 17 spans across 50 meters (55 yards).

The top slabs weigh 1-2 tons and are about 39 inches (99 cm) above normal water level. The largest slab is over 8 feet (2.4 m) long and is about 5 feet (1.5 m) wide.

This is one of the best-known monuments on Exmoor. Its age is unknown, as several theories claim that Tarr Steps dates from the Bronze Age, but others date them from around 1400 AD.

Ever visited Tarr Steps? Please do leave your experience of Tarr Steps in the comments below.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s score for Tarr Steps : 7 out of 10.

© Mark Stothard

#Exmoor Thatched Cottage

Stunning Thatched Cottages on Exmoor in the summer sun. Buy this image.

Whilst on my regular walks on the Exmoor National Park with my camera, I came across these stunning thatched cottages and quaint tea rooms, which I believe are part of the Holnicote Estate.

With over 12,000 acres of land, including the 15th – century packhorse bridge, Allerford Forge, the seaside hamlet of Bossington and much more, well worth your visit.

Ever visited Holnicote Estate? Please do leave your comments of your experience and I would love your feedback on my image below.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Holnicote Estate : 7 out of 10.

iPhone Photography © Mark Stothard. Buy this image.


Exmoor 4 All

Teaser : Something old but now new #exhibition

Back in 2008, there was bad news for the population of Western Super Mare, with the fire of the Grand Pier.  I was privileged in being granted access after the fire.

I never did anything with the images, they have been sitting on my hard drives.

It’s now time, I feel to review the images and tell the story of the fire, perhaps with a local exhibition?

#Dunster Castle in the Autumn Sun

The medieval village of Dunster within the English county of Somerset, just within the boundary of the Exmoor National Park. Lying on the Bristol Channel coast just 2.5 miles from Minehead.

The stunning iron age hillforts testify to the occupation of the area for thousands of years. The village of Duster grew up around the castle which was built on the Torby the Norman warrior William I de Moyon, shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The Castle is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has been remodeled on several occasions by the Luttrell family who was lords of the manor from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Dunster village became a center for wool and cloth production and trade. There existed a harbour, known as Dunster Haven, at the mouth of the River Avill, yet today the coast having receded is now about 1/2 miles from the village.

Dunster has a range of heritage sites and cultural attractions which combine with the castle, scores of Exmoor craft shops and tea rooms, restaurants, makes the village a popular tourist destination with many visitors arriving on the West Somerset Heritage Railway.

Since 1976, the castle has been owned by the National Trust.

Ever visited Dunster or the Castle? Please do leave your comments below of your experience of Dunster and I would love your feedback on my image.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Dunster and the Castle : 7 out of 10.

© Mark Stothard

Exmoor 4 All

Longues Sur Mer Battery #france

If you don’t know already, I travel across Europe, with France being one of my favourite European countries, although lots more to explore in Italy and Germany.

While visiting the Normandy coastline, we visited the Longues-sur-Mer battery, a World War II artillery battery constructed by the Wehrmacht. It formed a part of Germany’s Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications.

The battery was completed by April 1944. Although constructed and manned initially by the Kriegsmarine, the battery was later transferred to the German army.

The site consisted of four 152 mm navy guns, each protected by a large concrete casemate, a command post, shelters for personnel and ammunition, and several defensive machine-gun emplacements.

It is said when the Americans landed that the guns were mainly unmanned, which still remain in place today, although some destroyed.

Have you ever visited Longues Sur Mer Battery? Please do leave your comments below of your experience of the battery and I would love your feedback on my image.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Longues Sur Mer Battery : 6 out of 10.

Sorry To See You Go !

As a tribute to the Land Rover Defender which cease production yesterday, here’s one I found in a drive on Exmoor National Park. 

I’m pleased to say that I was privileged to owner a Land Rover defender 90 Van some years ago, one of the best vehicles I ever owned.

Through the Trees #exmoor

Sometimes we can’t see the wood through the trees?

Here on Exmoor at Wimbleball Lake Country Park you can see the wood, trees, lake and have a fun time, whether it’s just a walk along the waterfront, paddle in a canoe, an adventure on their high wire or just a sit down for a cup of tea in their coffee shop, you will have an enjoyable time.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Dunster and the Castle : 7 out of 10