Berkeley Vale winter scenes – present & past

The year 2000 ended with snowfall as seen here in Berkeley deer park!   

Throughout December and into New Year 2021, Berkness will be adding photos taken in the Vale of Berkeley in winters past and present.  

A new photo will be added regularly to celebrate the best of the season and the local sights.  The photos were taken this winter unless specified otherwise.  The most recently added are shown at the top.

Nature's recycling in action in Berkeley deer park...

Berkeley deer park in the dying days of the year 2000

There are a number of dead and decaying trees scattered around Berkeley deer park.  Over the years, these trees have been shrinking away as they slowly give their nutrients and moisture back to the soil from whence they came.

This is nature’s recycling process.  Unfortunately, the natural self seeding and growth of young trees is prevented by heavy grazing.  And so the natural process of renewal is disrupted and broken.

This tree in the foreground looks like an old oak.

A beautiful afternoon at Sharpness Old Dock...

Perfect conditions at Sharpness Old Dock

The beautiful weather of Christmas morning continued all day and by the afternoon stunning clouds were forming again.  This photo was taken at about half past three.   Later there were stunning sunset colours but I had already gone home for a warm cuppa!

Sunrise on Christmas day in the flooded castle meadow...

Berkeley Castle reflects in the still flood water

In the lead up to Christmas, we had seemingly endless rain and flooding around Gloucestershire.  But on Christmas morning the sun rose to reveal a crisp, clear and bright morning.  It was so still and silent.  The day felt truly magical and special.

Berkeley really is at the end of the rainbow...

A rainbow over the meadow - 23 December 2020

This fantastic capture of a stunning rainbow – arching over the field below Lantern Close and opposite the castle meadow – was sent to Berkness by a Berkeley resident out walking his dog.

I am rather envious that I did not see the rainbow, let alone take this photo.  There are benefits to having to walk the dog in all weathers!

It also reinforces my number one rule for getting a great photo.  Rule number one is that you have to be there in the first place.  Rule number two is that you have to take along your camera – a phone camera will do.  Rule number three is that you have to take the camera out of its bag or your pocket and take a picture.


By the way, nearly all the photos on this website were taken on a phone.  The exceptions so far are the snowy ones below.

Under the mistletoe in Berkeley Deer Park on Christmas Day...

Berkeley Castle and church can be seen though the gap

After all the rain and unseasonably mild temperatures in the lead up to Christmas, the forecast for Christmas Day was sunny and cold.  I got up early to see the sunrise over the flooded castle meadow, then headed to the deer park.

The sun did not disappoint – though Jack Frost did as he did not really come out to play.

In this photo looking north from the deer park, Berkeley Castle and church can be see through the gap under the tree.

Zoom in and you can see the town, castle and church.

We may not have had a white Christmas here but we do have plenty of mistletoe!

The score so far is:  🥰 Lovers 1 – Snowmen 0 ☃️

The old permissive walk around Berkeley Deer Park...

Early snow in Berkeley Deer Park - 18 December 2010

There used to be an enjoyable circular walk around Berkeley Deer park – also known as Whitcliff Park.  There was for many years a permissive public footpath.  In return, the Berkeley Estate received public funding – ie tax payers’ money – but the path was quickly closed by the Estate after funding came to an end during austerity.  Mean or what?

This is looking north, walking back towards Berkeley town which can be seen in the distance.

The two walkers have seen this photo since it was posted by Berkness.  Whilst unwittingly zooming in for a closer look, they realised it was themselves and their previous dogs out enjoying the walk!!

Looking south down Berkeley High Street at sundown...

As the sun sets, the lights come on

The weather has been typically variable but  unusually warm this month – or is that the new norm?

This recent December’s day had a bright close to the daylight.  But even when it is raining, the lanterns and window displays make a walk down Berkeley High Street a spirit lifting occasion.

You may also notice the recently redone pavements!!!

Teasel and umbellifer seed heads line the Little Avon...

The Little Avon in early winter

The Little Avon takes rain water just a few miles from the Cotswolds near Wotton-under-Edge towards the Severn Estuary at Berkeley Pill.

Seen here between Stone and Berkeley, seed heads lining the winter river bank give the promise of new life next year.

Red deer graze through the snow in Berkeley Deer Park...

Taken in 2012 on the permissive circular walk

This photo was taken when there was still the permissive route which allowed a circular walk around Berkeley Deer park – also know as Whitcliff Park.  This is looking east on the top with my back to the hunting lodge.

The walk was open to the public for many years in return for public money for improving the park.  Once the funding ceased during austerity, the Berkeley Estate were quick to close the paths and put up huge, nasty signs all over the route.  The signs have an unpleasant tone with threatening messages and are eyesores spoiling the remaining right of way which goes along the ridge.

I cannot see signs there of much conservation effort or biodiversity to show for the taxpayers’ money.

Dreaming of a white Christmas...

Looking across Berkeley Pill to the old mill

A lot of snow, let alone a white Christmas, is rare in Berkeley Vale and will be increasingly so.

But it can happen!  Christmas Day 2010 was very white and finger numbing cold.  The photo above captures the sunshine that day just before a fog descended.

A pylon can be see with its head in the fog.  This was part of a chain of large pylons which marched across Hamfields Lane and beyond but have since been dismantled.

A frosty morning in the Berkeley Castle meadows at sunrise...

Waiting for the sun, it was as cold as it looks!

This is looking east towards the sunrise.   I don’t like getting up early, especially when it is cold.  In the event, I got there far too early because the sun rose slowly from behind some tall woods!

Throughout December 2020, Berkness will be adding photos taken in the Vale of Berkeley in winters past and present.  

A new photo will be added almost daily to bring you a festive mood whilst celebrating the local sights.  Each photo of the first week is included below, most recent first.

Romance in Berkeley Deer Park - because snowmen need love too...

Mr & Mrs Snow visit Berkeley in a past winter

I hear they didn’t stay around in Berkeley for long – something about not liking the warmth of the place.

First Up: A frosty daybreak in Berkeley Castle meadows...

First hard frost heralds the start of winter 2020

Berkness hopes you enjoyed the photos and wishes everyone all the best throughout 2021.

And looking forward to you visiting Berkness throughout in 2021…