Yorkshire Photo Explorer

Wainman’s Pinnacle

Wainman's Pinnacle

Wainman’s Pinnacle, near Cowling, North Yorkshire, is my new favourite place for sunset photos. It is situated on Earl Crag overlooking the valleys towards Skipton and the southern Yorkshire Dales. No-one is certain why it was built, although one theory is that a member of the Wainman family erected the monument as a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars¹. Whatever the reason, it makes a spectacular setting perched on top of the rocky outcrop.

One thing I found at this location is that all the weather apps on my phone are terrible at predicting the weather here. If it says ‘sunny with clouds’, it is most likely raining and blowing a gale. At least that was my experience the first time, when I got completely drenched through. Luckily my next visit two days later was much better. I was nervous as I approached in the car as it was raining, but as I got to the brow of the hill I could see the clouds lifting. With any luck, it would be a good sunset. I wasn’t disappointed.

Wainman's Pinnacle

Trying a long exposure to get cloud movement

As the sun began to get low in the sky, the west side of the pinnacle was bathed in a golden glow. This provided a chance to get some shots with the remaining blue sky and disappearing rain clouds. It was fairly windy, so I tried a longer exposure to get some movement in the clouds. With the sky turning orange, I headed around the other side of the Pinnacle to get the sun setting on the horizon. There are some protruding rocks to stand on and all are very easy to access. They are also very stable, so no awkward balancing required and it is easy to set up your tripod.

August is a great time for sunset photos here, as the heather is in bloom, providing some interesting foregrounds. I’d like to come back here and try some more shots from further along the path. I think there are some good photos across the valley framed by the heather. There is also another tower further down the path called Lund’s Tower. I was too excited by Wainman’s Pinnacle this time to try that one as well. Next time!

Here are the photos I took on my visit (click on an image to enlarge):

Approximate post code (for sat nav) BD22 0NS (for the car park)
Parking There is free parking in a small car park off Buck Stone Lane, to the south of the pinnacle. It is an easy walk across the well-defined path in the field to the site

Location of Wainman’s Pinnacle:

For the car park, you are looking for this. You can see Wainman’s Pinnacle on the horizon:

Notes for next time
  • Try some heather framed shots across the valley
  • Walk further down to Lund’s Tower
  • Check my focusing to try to get sharper pictures
  • Try some more long exposure shots to get cloud movement
  • Bring a hat! It’s really windy up there!

¹ Historic England website [accessed 22 August 2016] https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1166685

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