Dawn up the Blorenge


The sun rises.

I've been spending some of my time on the weekends up the Gwent Uplands lately with my drone.  One of my favourite spots is the Blorenge and particularly the area that overlooks Abergavenny. The views are absolutely stunning and are especially memorable at sunrise.

On a good clear morning the golden dawn light is amazing. I love the "golden hour" time of day for photography and the wildlife. In recent times the Blorenge gets very busy during the day and I like the mountain to myself without very many people about. It also means the wildlife tend to be more active early in the morning.

I get up early, actually, its stupid o'clock really early when I get up,  to catch the sunrise in May. The alarm clock was set to 3.45 am and I some how managed to crawl our of bed, get dressed and stumble out of the house with my camera kit. Then I had to travel in the car to Blaenavon in order to get into position with my drone for 4.45 am. Dawn was due at 5 am.

I parked the car in the Foxhunters carpark and jogged down the path to the Blorenge summit. I passed a pair of walkers with their dogs, said a quick hello and continued on.

The air was very fresh and I was glad  I was wearing my fleece. I carried on passed the trig point. I have taken photographs from this location before. My destination was the top of the escarpment that overlooks the Skirrid and the Sugarloaf.

Arriving a little out of breath I was soon setting up my drone for 4.45 am. The eastern horizon had turned a fabulous orange and there was just a thin layer of hazy cloud cover.

The Punch Bowl

Initially I put the drone up towards the south eastern side of the mountain so I could get a view of the Punchbowl using a wide angle composite photograph.

Some parts of the Abergavenny valley below had a thin layer of the dragons breath running along it from Crickhowell and Gilwern.

I was using the DJI 2 S drone and I am able to take incredibly wide angle panoramic pictures. The perspective they capture are amazing. If you do view my pictures please take a look at them in full screen on tablet, laptop or monitor to due them justice. In my experience panos just don't look good when viewed on a small mobile screen.

Super wide pano just as the sun starts to rise.

As the sun began to rise I was joined by the pair of dog walkers who were just able to make it in time for the main event.

I took a few pictures of them as they made their way along down the path to get a better view.

Sunrise up the Blorenge

Getting a good view was not a problem for me. I had the best vantage point on the mountain - up there in the air using the drone.

For me this was probably one of the best sunrises I have seen so far this year.

The journey back

The trig point

By the time the sun had reached its zenith point in the sky I really needed the warmth of the sun to deice myself as I was frozen. My tummy was starting to rumble and tell me it needed a nice latte coffee and back on sandwich from a Greggs somewhere soon.

I headed back along the path looking forward to a bit to eat at the end of it all.

Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were shooting up from the moorland and singing their little hearts out.

One Skylark perched up on some Heather was was too lazy to take flight and sing and just serenaded me form its perch.



As I progressed along the winding path more birds scattered on my approach. I spotted some lovely coloured Linnets and on several occasions hidden in the heather I could hear the burbling of Red Grouse.

Eventually I made it back to the car and headed off for a well deserved Greggs - well when it opened , its was still only 6am!


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