Last Week’s Shoot – Skipton Woods

Last autumn I did a shoot of a number of Yorkshire woodlands for the Woodland Trust. In most cases I had visited the woods previously, but I’d not been to Skipton Woods before and it proved to be such a delight that I decided to make a return visit this year…

Skipton Woods in Autumn
Skipton Castle Woods in Autumn

The woods are very handy for the centre of Skipton, being situated just behind the castle, and the walk up from the main Sawmill Entrance (follow the path along the Springs Branch of the canal behind the castle) is probably the most attractive section with still water next to the path providing reflections and floating leaves along the way.

Skipton Woods in Autumn
Footbridge at Sougha Gill in Skipton Castle Woods

At the bottom of Sougha Gill a path leads off up the bank to the left. I stayed on the main path, intending to return down the bank later, but the image above is included here as it turns out to have image reference MS50000 so that seemed worthy of some note!

Skipton Woods in Autumn
Long Dam in Skipton Castle Woods

Above the weir in Eller Back, Long Dam provides more opportunities for photographing autumn reflections.  At the top of the main path there’s a climb up to the right which leads back to the Bailey Entrance near the castle, which I explored briefly, but returned to the main path and over the footbridge heading up to the top of the bank on the other side of the valley where the trees are more interesting.

Skipton Woods in Autumn
Abstract Autumn Trees in Skipton Castle Woods

Along the top path I found a few areas of nice parallel trunks that made a good subject for intentional camera movement which provided a nice break from the tripod for a few moments!

Skipton Woods in Autumn
Steps down the Bank at Sougha Gill

Eventually I reached the top of Sougha Gill and descended the steps down the bank to rejoin the main path.

Skipton Woods in Autumn
Floating Fallen Leaves in Skipton Castle Woods

The walk back along the path to the Sawmill Entrance inevitably included a few more stops along the way as the light had changed quite a bit since earlier in the morning – it had been overcast and still pretty much the whole time (great for autumn foliage) but the thickness of the cloud had changed and the light seemed a little warmer on the return, wrapping up the shoot nicely.

If you’d like to visit the woods there are some details on the Woodland Trust website.  I’m planning another visit in May for the amazing crop of wild garlic flowers!

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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