In pictures: Photos show 'silent drama' of winter walks

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionCumbrae, Bute and Arran from near Largs, Ayrshire. "Approaching Glasgow along the Ayrshire coast, I felt a quickening of the pulse to see the peaks of Arran rise in the distance as soon I'd be entering the Highlands," said Mr Lake

Photographer Quintin Lake is well on the way to completing the impressive feat of walking around the British coastline.

Over the past five years the Cheltenham-based adventurer has been hiking the route in sections, and is due to finish next summer.

On the way he takes pictures and sells the prints to help fund the self-supported project.

He said winter was "the most beautiful time of the year".

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionBarmouth Bridge at dusk, Mawddach Estuary, Gwynedd. "I was about to walk across the bridge (which carries only trains and pedestrians), but just before it got dark, I rushed to a spit of land opposite to photograph the bridge with the Cambrian Mountains rising beyond. This is one of my favourite images of the whole journey."

Mr Lake said at this time of year his daily walking routine meant he began before dawn and ended after dusk, so he got to see "the sun rise and set followed by the moon rise and the stars emerge".

"The silent drama of these happenings is accentuated when reflected in the sea and I often see and feel the visceral effect of the moon on the tide," he said.

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionLeacraithnaich bothy I, Ardtornish. "Leacraithnaich bothy has a dramatic location overlooking a loch but the windows are so small that on the gloomy winter's day I slept there I needed a torch to get about inside even in daytime."

Mr Lake began his mammoth 11,000 km (7,000 mile) trek in April 2015 in London and has been hoping to finish in June 2020.

He said the aim of the project was artistic".

"I want to get a better understanding of the mystery and beauty of the British landscape and convey that through photography."

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionGourock Outdoor Pool, Inverclyde. "Gourock lido is still without water at this time of year, but its freshly painted blue looks liquid at first glance until you notice the floats resting on the base of the pool."

When he is not walking he returns to his home in Cheltenham, where he works as an architectural photographer.

He walks 15-25 miles (25-40 km) each day, and takes photographs for about three hours.

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionFoghorn with Rum, Ardnamurchan Point Lighthouse, Highland. "I'd spent New Year's Eve alone in a vicious storm at Scotland's westernmost point, to open the tent on New Year's Day to find it still and sunny. What struck me most about the foghorn at Ardnamurchan Point is how its solidity and colour contrasts with the undulating peaks of the island of Rum behind."

"As I don't have a support team and much of the coast, especially in Scotland, is far from roads and facilities, I mostly wild camp," he said.

"Along with a tent I carry food, fuel and batteries so I can be self-sufficient for five days at a time which equates to around 20kg on my back."

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionEskdale, Cumbria. Mr Lake set off from the sea at Ravenglass in order to reach the summit of Scafell Pike, passing Eskdale on the way
image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionDumbarton Castle. Kelburn, Inverclyde. "Near Port Glasgow, the timber ponds along the Clyde are as beautiful as any land art and make for a thrilling photographic subject in the cream still and reflective water."

"I don't take ferries but instead cross at the first bridge across rivers and estuaries," he said.

"So in England and Wales, this is mostly on marked trails but in Scotland (which is approximately half the length) it's an entirely different proposition, as much of the walking is off-trail and often in very rough and remote mountainous terrain in the North West."

He tries to stay "as close to the coast while staying safe".

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionRobin Rigg Wind Farm and the Cumbrian fells from Balcary Point, Dumfries and Galloway. "I'm equally interested in the landscape of contemporary infrastructure as with beauty of nature. Here the wind farm frames the Cumbrian fells behind, a contrast which I hadn't seen before."

He walks in sections of up to six weeks at a time before returning home for a month or two.

Since he began his walk he has sustained two injuries - a split tendon in his foot and a stress injury in his shin - both which required a couple of months rest to recover.

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionHailbow over Loch Nevis and Knoydart. "The first glimpse of Knoydart is framed by an operatic performance of hailbows revealed and then hidden by the passing hail flurries."

Mr Lake said he "enjoys the focus of mind" when long-distance walking in winter.

"As there are so few hours of daylight, one has to be moving from dawn to dusk to be able to cover the distance.

"The low sun angle of winter light and the resulting high tonal range create unique photographic challenges and opportunities."

image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionGreylag geese with Garbh Bheinn, Loch Sunart. "I'd often go days at a time without seeing a person in the highlands in winter so encounters with birds and animals took on a special meaning."
image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionLoch Hourn from Knoydart. "The uninhabited peninsula of Knoydart was the most visceral section of the journey as most days were spent in gale force winds in the heart on winter with very steep ground and no footpaths."
image copyrightQuintin Lake
image captionDawlish breakwater, Devon. "Seeing trains passing close to the sea next to the red cliffs is so beguiling and iconically British that I stop for a while with a stupid grin watching the spectacle on the footbridge like a dyed-in-the-wool train spotter."

All photographs by Quintin Lake.

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