Stunning Reflected Autumn Colour Sunset at Guisecliff

Stunning Reflected Autumn Colour Sunset at Guisecliff

Guisecliff Tarn

Rare, and beautiful example of a woodland tarn, is an exceptional and magnificent location for any photographer. I was fortunate to have lived nearby for three years, and would visit, immersing myself in nature and escaping from the cacophony of sounds accosting me daily.  


Interesting and relatively hard to find, it is one of those hidden gems, sitting above the small village of Glasshouses, Nidderdale, which many unacquainted walkers have hiked past on the lower footpath.

Hidden by trees and a jumble of gritstone rocks, together with an impressive gritstone arch rising from the hollow floor of the wood, this a beautiful setting bringing with it atmospheric lighting, producing different results with its seasonal colour changes.

To reach Guisecliff Tarn is a short, uphill ascent (224m) and not one for the fainthearted as it can be quite slippy and boggy at times. There are twists and turns, exposed moss-covered tree roots, protruding from the hollow ground, born out of hundreds of tangled neighbouring trees with their shallow, twisting, crooked branches.

Prickly holly trees are scattered about, bearing their shiny, spiny, dark evergreen leaves. Thin, towering, white trunks and wispy branches of Silver Birch trees surround the wood along with gnarled, sturdy trunked, ancient Oak trees. 


What a reward awaited me at the tarn, that day, after a storm, on 31 October. Autumnal colours at this magical tarn took my breath away, along with the thick, damp, dark green moss thriving in the deeply grooved tree bark and crevices of the huge gritstone rock formations. As I walked, I could hear the echo of the hollow ground underfoot and the crack of tree branches still breaking and snapping off the trees. 

The fall splendour had brought with it striking leaves of golden yellow, orange and russet, swaying, dancing gently, in the breeze as they took the last steps of their lives before falling from their makers, into the tarn, and onto the floor of the wood below. 

Fallen oak and silver birch leaves formed a huge, warm, blanket around the tarn of amber, auburn, and golds, providing nature with her winter habitat.

Glowing, the tarn basked in the low winter sun. When the wind finally subsided, there was a unique stillness about the place, and the shadows of the leaves, branches, rocks, and clouds formed over the surface of the water. 

Calmness came, momentarily, prior to sunset at 16:05, which lasted only long enough for me to capture the reflections in the water. 

This is a 2 image Panorama Stitch using Aperture Priority Mode, 15 mm, f/11, ISO 100, 0.4 secs.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lovely capture of warm reflection set next to the rock outcrop. Autumn is my favourite period.

  2. I love this one too – great composition

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