A winter weekend in Nottingham

This weekend me, Chloe and my parents went to Nottingham for a bit of Christmas shopping, and to go have a look at the Winter Wonderland. We went and looked at it last year and it was pretty amazing. This year though it didn't seem quite as big and there wasn't quite as many attractions, it seemed like it was mostly just stalls?

Not that it wasn't good because it was, but there wasn't much in the way of decorations, last year there was singing snowmen and reindeers and a sleigh that you could sit in, this year we didn't see any of that?

On the Sunday the weather stayed nice so we had a day round Nottingham Castle. The castle itself has long since been demolished and even the mansion in it's place was a victim of arson, since restored, but you get the general idea of how it would have looked in it's time.

On top of the balcony of the Mansion which has been restored and is used as an Art Gallery and Museum you get some amazing views across Nottingham and if I knew more about the city I could probably tell you what half the buildings are you can see from there!

The gardens within what would have been the boundary walls and the moat are also home to Nottingham's war memorial and statue of Captain Albert Ball, a World War 1 fighter pilot who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. On the courtyard outside the gatehouse there's also a memorial to Robin Hood and the Merry Men!

Christmas in Birmingham

On a cold Tuesday night I took my camera and my 18-55mm lens and hit the streets to have a look and take some photos of the German Christmas market in Birmingham!

Unlike the Saturday previously it wasn't quite as busy which meant I could take my time setting up and composing a shot without worrying about being in the way. I opted to shoot most of my photos at 1/30 f3.5/f4.0 at ISO 1600 to make sure I got a good level of detail but also avoided blurring things too much.

If you've never been before, let me fill you in: the market stretches all the way down from the top of New Street, right down to Victoria Square, through Paradise Circus and down past Central Library stretching into Chamberlain Square. There's a good mixed selection of food and drink stalls, two licensed alcoholic drinks stalls, sweets and treats stalls and arts and crafts stalls as well as places with live entertainment and a Ferris wheel with ice skating rink right at the very end next to the Symphony Hall.

If you've never been before it's definitely worth checking out, just to take in the atmosphere if not for anything else. It's been running for over ten years now and I swear it gets bigger every year. It can get pretty busy on the weekends though so if you're not a fan of crowds best to plan around then!