Why have I never been here before? (It's only 30 mins from Bromsgrove down the M40, between the motorway and Stratford). It is just stunning. I came primarily to photograph the herd of fallow deer. Helen had challenged me to "go out with your cameras" so I did! I had both Canons on the go; the 1DX with the 70-200 zoom for the deer close-ups and the 7D with a 17-40 zoom for the more scenic shots. I saw a small herd of young males, about a dozen in total. Clearly not bothered about people. I spent at least an hour with them, letting them get used to me and slowly getting even closer and changing viewpoint so some are front-lit and others back-lit to try and bring out the shape and textures. I believe there is another herd in a different part of the park.
I then strolled round the lake, looking at reflections and "people-watching". After three hours, it was time to head for the cafe and refreshment. (NT cafes do lovely cakes!). As I came out and carried on strolling around the grounds, I noticed two people heading for the rear of the main house, one with a tripod. That's usually a sign of a "serious" photographer so I followed. The three of us realised there was potential for a superb sunset. The place closes at 4pm at this time of year but she does do photographic work for the NT and had specifically asked to stay on, with her friend. I just tagged along!
Talk about "right place, right time". It just got better and better.