To Edinburgh on the Northern Belle

The Northern Belle is one of the Orient Express portfolio of trains that runs in the UK. It aims to take the traveller back to a time when rail travel was for the experience, not just to get from A to B. Passengers experience first class service in Pullman coaches and is a rare experience.

My Dad is Chief Exec of Dove House Hospice in Hull, and when they chartered the Northern Belle to Edinburgh as a charity fundraiser, it was an opportunity for us both to experience something we’re not likely to experience again, and an excuse to take the cameras and go on a shoot in a truly beautiful city.

The first goal was to capture the train arriving at Hull Station, but I hadn’t really thought the shot out and the images weren’t that impressive.

Northern Belle Orient Express
The Northern Belle pulls into Hull Station

In hindsight, I would have had more carriages trailing off into the background. But that’s hinsight for you.

After stepping onto the train I was gobsmacked by the table in front of me. It was obvious this was going to be a different kind of train journey than I was used to. I decided to take some shots of the table setting and it gave me an opportunity to try out the Nikon 35mm F1.8 AF-S lens.

Place Setting
Place Setting
Cup Setting
the rest of the place setting

I have to admit, I was really impressed with it and I like the results.

Both of these shots have been given a high contrast and saturation in ViewNX 2.

Rule 20: Sometimes it’s best to put the camera away and enjoy the scenery.

Following rule 20, I sat and enjoyed the journey rather than trying to shoot out of the window. Following the East coast line we travelled past some fantastic coastline and then came rolling into Edinburgh. This was my first time in Edinburgh, but with only a few hours there was no waywe could see all we wanted to, so the first priority was the Castle.

The Castle is an interesting collection of buildings and angles at various heights and there are some breathtaking views from the top. I took quite a few, but only this one of the dog graveyard with the National Gallery of Scotland in the background made the cut.

dog cemetery Edinburgh Castle
The Dog Cemetery

The highlight of the Castle though was a memorial were photography is not allowed. If you get the chance, it’s worth a wander through it. A truly inspiring place to visit.

The only other phot I’m posting from the trip is the war memorial in Princes Street gardens. This is a quiet gem hidden in the gardens. It plays second fiddle to the Scott monument, which reminded me of thunderbird 3, and which everyone wanted to see. The war memorial was fantastic and a great way to finish the day in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh War Memorial
The War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens

I couldn’t help myself, and converted this to black and white. A bit too heavy on the curves, but I like it.

It was a long day, but well worth it, and certainly worth another visit.

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