London and the U.K. From Above
Photographer Jason Hawkes has been making fascinating aerial images since 1991. With a gyro-stabilized camera, he takes photos directly from the open door of a helicopter. Hawkes has covered subjects around the world, but specializes in aerial shots of the United Kingdom. Once more, he's been kind enough to share some of his recent photos with us here.
St Michael's Mount, situated just off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall. See it mapped here. (© Jason Hawkes)
View of Tower Bridge and the River Thames at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
People relaxing on the beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset. (© Jason Hawkes) #
The Brecon Beacons mountain range in South Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Planes awaiting take off at Gatwick Airport Terminal at night. (© Jason Hawkes) #
The disused Cwm colliery in Beddau, Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #
The bright lights of the landmark skyscrapers in the City at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Paths through Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
View of pigs on a farm in Narborough, Norfolk. (© Jason Hawkes) #
An offshore wind farm standing in the North Sea off the coast of Kent. (© Jason Hawkes) #
An illuminated Emirates Stadium at night during a match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
The lifeboat shed in the coastal town of Tenby, Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Crowds of people at a summer event in Hyde Park, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline from Castle Rock, Edinburgh. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Crossrail tunnel construction site at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
China clay pits near Trethurgy, Cornwall. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Farmers working beneath wind turbines, Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #
The Scottish Parliament Building sits within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Low level aerial view of Nelsons Column, Trafalgar Square, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
People at the Duck and Waffle Restaurant at the top of the Heron Tower, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #
Thick sea fog hides the chalk headland at Beachy Head, East Sussex. (© Jason Hawkes) #
People at the top of The Shard at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes)
A Medieval fortress, a Home Counties idyll and a Cotswolds village: Britain's favourite picnic spots are revealed
It may have been battered by the worst of the Bank Holiday weather, but even in the wind and rain Bamburgh Castle still has a lot going for it, because today it was named Britain's best-loved picnic spot.
The Medieval fortress in Northumbria, which enjoys a dramatic view of the North Sea above a wide sandy beach, is officially the best place in the UK to eat a sandwich and watch the world go by.
Once a common battleground for bloody combat between the Scottish and English, the now tranquil Bamburgh cannot be matched as a venue for a traditional picnic, experts have decided.
A new poll has found that the key ingredient for the ultimate al fresco lunch is a view of water, with seven of the top ten overlooking a river, the sea or a reservoir.
Can't be matched: Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast has today been revealed as the best place in Britain to sit and have a picnic
Number two: Belfast City Hall in the heart of the capital of Northern Ireland was considered an outstanding spot for lunch and the top urban venue
Norfolk idyll: The harbour and beach at Blakeney in North Norfolk boasts the beast of coastal scenery as well as a wonderful village centre
TOP TEN BEAUTY SPOTS FOR A PICNIC LUNCH IN BRITAIN
1. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
Following the stunning Bamburgh Castle in the rankings are Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland, Blakeney in Norfolk, Box Hill in Surrey, Coast Road in Cumbria and the Calf and Cow rocks in West Yorkshire.
The remaining places in the top ten go to the Elan Valley Reservoir in Mid-Wales, Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire, Rhosneigr Beach in north-west Wales and finally Stoke Bay Beach in Hampshire.
Experts said today that these places all offer one wonderful thing - people who decide to dine in the fresh air at any of these places will be genuinely happier when they leave. After several months of nominations, shortlisting and then a vote, VisitEngland, Visit Wales and bakers Kingsmill have announced the best of British lunch spots.
10,000 people put forward their own suggestions and this was whittled down to 25 before the top ten was announced today.
They were not just judged on their beauty, they also had to have easy accessibility for all and are also free to visit.
English countryside: A group of people enjoying the view and a bite to eat on Box Hill in Surrey, which overlooks Dorking from the summit of the North Downs
Beautiful: After a walk the Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor near Bradford, West Yorkshire, was also considered one of the top places for an al fresco lunch
Best of British: This is the stunning, sweeping Coast Road, near Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, which ranks highly in the top ten
Pure drama: The Caban Coch Dam, Elan Valley, close to the area's reservoir in Powys received many votes as a great place to eat
Cotswolds: Tourists stop at the famous stone bridge over the River Eye, Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire, one of England's most beautiful bridges
Each of the top ten will receive a plaque and a bench for people to sit and eat their lunch on.
James Berresford, the chief executive of VisitEngland, said he was pleased that the majority of the spots were in the country he represents.
'What better way to appreciate this green and pleasant land than to sit in a beautiful spot, unpack a delicious picnic and share lunch with friends and family?' he said.
Summer dream: Dog walkers and a family enjoy the beautiful sands at Rhosneigr Beach in North Wales, one of two places in Wales to make top the top ten
Final entry: Propping up the top picnic spots is Stokes Bay in Hampshire, which is renowned for its long sands and dramatic coastline
Dr Manon Williams, the chief executive for Visit Wales, said: "I'm delighted that two locations in Wales have made it to the top 10 lunch spots in the UK.
'The contrast in the two locations voted for by the public shows the variety of what Wales has to offer. Rhosneigr is on the glorious Wales coast and part of the 870–mile Wales Coast Path, and the beautiful, tranquil Elan Valley is a great place to spot a red kite while eating lunch.'
France celebrated Bastille Day, commemorating the start of the French Revolution in 1789 -- the end of monarchy and the beginning of modern France. Reuters photographers Charles Platiau and Gonzalo Fuentes took to the skies above Paris for the occasion, capturing images of the capital city, its unique blend of historic and modern architecture, and some of its residents and visitors enjoying the sunny day.
The Sacre Coeur Basilica and rooftops of residential buildings on Montmartre in Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Arc de Triomphe at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the "Place de l'Etoile", on July 14, 2013.(Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Place des Vosges in the Marais district of Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
Graves at the Montparnasse Cemetery, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
People relax in chairs around a fountain as they take in the sun in the Palais Royal Garden in central Paris, on July 14, 2013.(Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Center Pompidou, also known as Beaubourg, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
A closer view of the Center Pompidou, which houses the National Museum of Modern Art, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
Renovations including a new greenhouse (left) at the zoo in the Parc de Vincennes in the east of Paris, on July 14, 2013. The 131 million euro project will transform the zoo in several ways, creating new habitats and modernizing interactions with the animals.(Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Gare de l'Est railway train station, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Eiffel Tower, the Seine River and the Paris skyline, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The National French Radio building (Maison de la Radio) which stands next to the Seine River, on July 14, 2013.(Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Arche de la Defense building (center) in the financial and business district, near Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
People wait outside the Pyramid of the Louvre Museum in central Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Sacre Coeur Basilica on Montmartre, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
Contruction of the Canopy, as part of the renovation of Les Halles district in Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The construction site of the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation art museum designed by architect Frank Gehry in the Bois de Boulogne, western Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
Rooftops of residential buildings in Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
A military Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft, followed by Rafale and Mirage fighter jets flies past the Eiffel tower as part of the traditional Bastille Day parade, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Ile Saint-Louis, in the Seine River in central Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)#
The Parc des Princes stadium (left) and the newly renovated stadium Jean Bouin by architect Rudy Ricciotti, on July 14, 2013. The Parc des Princes hosts soccer matches of French Ligue 1 team Paris St Germain. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The Hotel des Invalides, with royal courtyard, the Church of Saint Louis and the Dome, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
Troops march down the Champs Elysees during the traditional Bastille Day parade, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The French aerial display team Patrouille de France (French Aerobatic Patrol) flies in front of the Eiffel tower as part of the traditional Bastille day military parade, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau) #
The aerial subway and the city rooftops in Paris, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes) #
The Invalides and the Arc de Triomphe, during the evening of Bastille Day, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes) #
The Eiffel Tower is illuminated during the Bastille Day fireworks display, on July 14, 2013. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)