New pavilion at Herne Hill Velodrome

New pavilion at Herne Hill Velodrome

I'm lucky enough to live a short bike ride from Herne Hill Velodrome, which has been home to track cycling in south-east London for over 125 years. After falling into disrepair, an effort led by local riders through the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust secured the funding to repair the track and then to rebuild the pavilion, providing facilities for events, changing rooms, and seating for spectators.

Hopkins Architects - who designed the London Olympic velodrome - have created a beautiful curved timber building that reincorporates the Victorian columns from the original pavilion. The Trust crowd-funded a whopping £89,000 to complete the internal fit out. I took a set of photos for the Trust to document this fit-out and the pavilion and track in use on a sun-drenched Track League evening. Good work everyone...

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Wahaca Brighton restaurant photography for Softroom

It was great to shoot another Wahaca restaurant, this time in Brighton. It's a fantastic space with distinct zones marked out by the structure and the interior design, and stunning murals by Mexican street artist Mazatl. There's a private dining area screened from the street by a multi-coloured chain-link Virgin Mary. The architect/interior designer is Softroom with lighting design by Kate and Sam

Wahaca have been certified carbon neutral and given a top rating for sustainability - it's great to know that both the food and the restaurant design have minimised their impact on the planet, even while they have maximum effect on your tastebuds and retinas...

Red-roofed extension shot for Forrester Architects

A few weeks ago I shot this really interesting residential extension and refurbishment in North London for Forrester Architects. The asymmetrical timber roof is painted with a special Swedish preservative paint that gives a stunning and unusual matt red finish.

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UCL by Ian Ritchie Architects

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour is a research centre of University College London. It is housed in a new building designed by Ian Ritchie Architects and engineered by Arup, with a wavy translucent glass facade running along Howland Street (and some great public-facing displays on neuroscience under the portico). I was in the area at dusk last night, and enjoyed watching it reflect the colours of the busy streets and darkening sky.


The best view in Britain?

At Easter 2013, we climbed a mountain in Scotland that is reputed to have one of the best views in Britain. Although, most of the UK was covered in cloud that weekend, up in the far northwest of Scotland we had truly amazing weather. The view was indeed mind-boggling, taking in the Torridon Hills to the south, foreground lochs, the sea out to the west, and the islands of Raasay, Skye and Lewis. There were a lot of heather fires burning in this area at the time, and you can see one on the right of the picture.

We've just had the photo printed big for the living room wall, so I thought I'd write a bit about how we got there, just in case you fancy having a go yourself. Just be warned that it rains over 200 days a year here!

The view south from A'Mhaighdean. Canon 5D III, 17-40mm, handheld, 8 images stitched in Autopano Pro

Click here for a really big, zoomable version of this photo at Gigapan

The mountain in question is A'Mhaighdean. It's the 187th tallest mountain in Scotland, and from the east a very easy climb, but it's one of the hardest places in Britain to get to, as it is further from a public road than any other of the Munros. It's deep in the Fisherfield Forest, which despite it's name has very few trees, but is a remote and very amazing corner of the country.

We got to the summit of A'Mhaighdean over 2 days, coming in from the north with a night at Shenavall Bothy. We briefly considered doing the whole 'Fisherfield Six' - a ring of six mountains, five of which are Munros. But given the snow and ice we thought we'd take it more easy and cut out 4 of them: thankfully we weren't trying to tick Munros off a list.

The map below shows our route - from the road at Dundonnell House it took about 2.5 hours to walk to the bothy, laden with carrier bags of food and a 5 litre bag of red wine. The next day, we set off from the bothy about 7am, and were on the summit of A'Mhaighdean about midday. The view was so gob-smacking that even midday sun couldn't hurt it too much.

The walk back to the bothy (which isn't on the map), took in Ruadh Stac Mor with more epic views. The next day we climbed Beinn Dearg Mor - a beautiful mountain but just too small to be a Munro - and after refuelling ourselves in civilsation we climbed An Teallach a couple of days later. Some say An Teallach is the most beautiful mountain in Britain, and again, I whole-heartedly agreed. I might get around to a blog about that one too, eventually...

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Shenavall Bothy. Facilities: roof, fireplace, spade, nearby stream. Location: priceless.

We bagsied a private room at the bothy. Overnight temperature was about 3°C

Setting off for A'Mhaighdean, crossing the river just south of the bothy. We were heading up the valley on the right.

Heading south up the valley, that's Beinn Tarsuinn in the distance, and A'Mhaigdean is behind the right-hand lump. For observant spatial-reasoning ninjas, yes I actually took this photo in the afternoon on the way home.

Looking east from the flanks of A'Mhaighdean, so I think this is (l to r) Sgurr Ban, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair and Beinn Tarsuinn, 3 of the Fisherfield 6.

On the summit of A'Mhaighdean

The view west from Ruadh Stac Mor, which we took in on the way back to the bothy.