I arrived at Two Bridges and found myself driving up the B3212 realizing I didn’t actually know where Wistman’s wood was.
I stopped for directions and was told that the car park was opposite the Two Bridges hotel.
By 4.00pm I had arrived.
I figured I had 4hrs of daylight left to get there and back which seemed perfectly doable.
Apparently Wistman’s wood was 1.5 miles up the track off the carpark.
I grabbed my camera and tripod and set off. It was actually foggy and drizzling, which I thought was great, because i knew it would give my images atmosphere. Passing walkers complained about the lousy May weather, and I smiled. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was that they hadn’t got the weather they were hoping for
I wanted gloom and fog. I was about to take my best dark and gothic images to date.
The road gave way to a track and then the track split into two. The minor track headed off down the hill towards the stream, the large track continued over the moors. I took the major of the two paths. Turns out that I took the wrong one.
The fog got thicker and the path faded. The stones gave way to grass and then the grass track became more and more faint.
Eventually I realized I wasn’t even sure if I was on any sort of path anymore.
I wandered through the fog, soaking up the atmosphere. I was in my own personal heaven.
Luckily, being vaguely sensible I had programmed the GPS coordinates into my phone.
My fear at this point wasn’t getting lost, it was that the fog would lift and deprive me of my photo opportunity.
Looking at Google maps I realized that I was heading away from the woods, not towards them, so I course corrected.
Wandering onward a black shadow loomed out of the mist. For a moment I wondered whether i had found the illusive wistman’s wood,
but no. As I moved closer to the shape it slowly solidified into a rocky outcrop.
After another course correction, and another false alarm I began to see what might be trees in front of me.
slowly I began to make out skeletal fingers protruding from the mist.
The outline of the ghostly wood slowly materialized in front of me. I experienced what only can be described as pure joy.
In a few more moments I had crossed the boundary and was scrambling down moss covered boulders into the deathly calm of the wood.
The oak tress were gnarled and twisted. Their branches completely covered with moss.
I clambered and slid down the boulder strewn slope completely overwhelmed at what I saw.
I was expecting to be disappointed, but instead I was thrilled. All those enchanted forests I’d read about as a kid? well I was in one. I was in Mirkwood, I was in Fangorn. Talk about a dream come true
I did start taking photos but I wasn’t really taking my time to get perfect composition.
I was so worried the fog was going to lift I wanted to record this moment before it was lost.
However I needn’t have worried. I knocked the first shoot on the head at 7 pm and headed back to the campervan.
I returned again at 7am the next morning and to my joy the fog was still there.
This time I adopted a leisurely pace. I savored the atmosphere. I slowly searched out the the optimum compositions to do this wondrous place justice.
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