Last weekend, my good friend Janet and I got up nice and early (5am to be precise) and drove up to Bradgate Park which is near Rothley in Leicestershire. We arrived just before 7am and despite the fact that we couldn’t park in the car park as it was still locked up, we both knew that setting our alarms early had been the right decision.
There was hardly anyone around at that time, save for the dedicated early morning runners and the occasional cyclist, plus the obligatory photographer complete with 400mm lens and tripod under his arm. What made the journey and the bleary eyes worth while though was our first glimpse of the early morning mist that was hovering gently over the landscape.
We had gone in the hope of photographing the deer in a natural looking environment. Sure enough, Janet spotted a herd of fallow deer over to our right almost as soon as we entered the park. Further down the path she spotted a pair of red deer up on the side of the valley to our left, and then we saw another herd, this time grazing directly in front of the ruined house directly ahead of us (This is my header picture above).
We spent a most enjoyable 2 to 3 hours in the park photographing the deer and then walked up to the top of the hill to photograph the folly. Then, around 10am, the mist quickly disappeared and as the park began to fill with families and footballs and dogs and sticks, we made our way back to the car, content that we had seen the best of the day.
It wasn’t time to go home though. A small diversion to the cafe at Rothley Station on the Great Central Railway for an all day breakfast was just the ticket, and suitable reward for getting up so early on a bank holiday morning. We plan to go back to Bradgate Park later in the year, probably in the Autumn, and you can bet we will be setting our alarms for 5am once again.