On 21st May I took our Camper van down to Corfe Castle for an overnight stay hoping for a really nice sunrise. I stayed at the Camping and Carvanning club site near Corfe, it is just right for getting to where I want to be early in the morning on foot. A bit bigger campsite that we usually go to but it is handy and I was tucked away with only a cheeky Robin as a visitor.

Camper van on site
Camper van on site

Late afternoon I took a walk down to Corfe Castle and decided to climb up East Hill. I’d been to Corfe plenty of times but never scaled this hill, it was very steep with steps cut into the side for the first part. I’d like to say it was worth it, which it was for the view but that evening there was a haze over the castle and the valley with a very bland sky so it wasn’t good conditions for photography. I decided to take a couple of images, a view of the village and of course the castle and see if I could make them look anything in Lightroom/Photoshop when I got home.

What I ended up doing was convert to monochrome and used a little dehaze in the processing as they just didn’t come out well in colour. Not the best of images but at least I got something. I was considering staying there for the sunset but decided against it as the atmosphere didn’t improve.

Corfe Castle from East Hill
Corfe Castle from East Hill
Corfe village from East Hill
Corfe village from East Hill

I ended up back in the village and went for a drink and snack in the pub before making my way back to the campsite about a mile out of the village on the west side.

Bankes arms pub Corfe
Bankes arms pub Corfe

I set the alarm for around 4 o’clock which gave me enough time to get onto West Hill and set up well before sunrise. I was awake before the alarm but had a good night’s sleep. I tried to be as quiet as I could as I left the campsite and climbed up on the back of West Hill from the campsite. It was a pleasant morning and not to cold or windy, hopefully I would be lucky. There was heavy cloud and it was quite grey so I was hoping it would change as the sun rose and it did, slowly the sun coloured the cloud before sunrise until the sun came through the clouds to give a lovely sunrise.

Just before sunrise Corfe Castle
Just before sunrise Corfe Castle
Sunrise Corfe Castle
Sunrise Corfe Castle

As the sun came up the cloud colour intensified it was lovely and I was the only one there, I just took time to stand there and enjoy the view.

I used some graduated filters for the sky to balance out the light as the sun came up.

Sunrise Corfe Castle
Sunrise Corfe Castle

After the sunrise I made my way down the hill and the colour in the sky remained as I walked back up the footpath to the campsite, it was lovely, I was very lucky as it could have been so much different. I know many people have taken the castle but it was my experience and I enjoyed it.

Down the hill
Down the hill
View back as I climbed the hill to the campsite
View back as I climbed the hill to the campsite

I was back to the van around 6am ready for a cup of tea and breakfast and I was on my way home soon after. Hopefully I shall do this again I really enjoyed myself.

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