Please Note: Due to a planned power cut the Castle will be closed all day on Tuesday 5th March. We apologise for any inconvenience but we are unable to operate without electricity and the power cut is to enable Northern Power Grid to carry out essential maintenance to avoid any unplanned power cuts in future.

We will reopen as normal at 10am on Wednesday 6th March.

Wild Dales Photography

Tel:01969 623981

What do you get on your course?

This is a three day course with an additional introductory session to prepare you for the first day’s activities.

Simon Phillpotts is a professional nature photographer who lives in Wensleydale and knows its photographic potential intimately. The focus will be on wildlife photography and course members will also have time to photograph the Castle and its surroundings: for example local villages and the ruined buildings of the once thriving lead-mining industry.

Mornings will generally be spent in the field with Simon. Activities will include a visit to Simon’s private Red Squirrel woodland, a photographic session with the Castle birds of prey, exploring the estates’ wildlife including its upland moorland (transport provided). Towards the end of the day there will be a plenary session, with an opportunity to compare notes with other course members. Evenings are free: the Castle will be open until dark if required, and is spectacularly floodlit at dusk, affording wonderful photographic opportunities.

Photographic tuition and advice will be provided including:

  • Equipment choice including best use of lenses and accessories;
  • Choice of aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings;
  • Equipment support and techniques to obtain the sharpest possible images;
  • Composition of images and creative use of available light;
  • Understanding animal behaviour and anticipation of shots.

If there are any particular areas of photography you would like assistance with then advice can be provided both before and during the photography sessions.

What to bring

Warm indoor clothing for the Castle, wet weather clothing for walking, also waterproof walking boots or good strong waterproof walking shoes. There is no mobile phone signal inside the Castle.


A Digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses.  At least one lens of at least 200 – 300mm in focal length, a wider angle lens, a tripod.  Spare batteries and memory cards.  Other items you may wish to bring include a waterproof camera/lens cover, landscape filters (not essential), remote shutter release.

Accommodation & food

All lunches are provided by the Castle cafe and are included in the course fee. There are several good pubs for evening meals within 5-10 minutes drive with good (even excellent!) food.

There are holiday let cottages in Castle Bolton (the Castle village), Preston-under-Scar, Redmire, Carperby and other nearby villages: the Bolton Arms in Redmire has rooms, as do hotels/pubs in Leyburn and other nearby villages (Askrigg, Bainbridge, Aysgarth), and we can suggest other B&B options. No accommodation is possible in the Castle.

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