My Favourite Place To Photograph Stags and Deer
Bradgate Park is located in Leicestershire, lying around 6 miles northwest of Leicester, and 7 miles south of Loughborough. It is easily accessible by car, bike or walking, and there are nearby train stations in both cities that are just a short taxi journey away.
I'm telling you all this because this park is one of my favourite places in England to photograph the deer rut. It features some stunning scenery, but the main selling point is the plethora of stags and deer that roam this wonderful place. There are so many wonderful photo opportunities here, and it is sure to be a place that you walk away from feeling fulfilled, particularly if you are a photography enthusiast.
For those of you that are interested in deer or stag photography, here's a brief rundown of the park's history, along with all the beautiful deer species you can find there.
A history of Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park was first enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago, and it is the only Medieval deer park in the county of Leicestershire. There are 830 acres of natural beauty for members of the public to discover, with some of the park's entrances being very close to Leicester City Centre. Rugged landscapes are the order of the day, with lots of intriguing rock formations and old woodland areas. It looks like a setting from a fantasy film, and the views need to be seen to be believed.
It's not all fields and rocks here though, there are waterways as well. The River Lin runs through the lower section of the park, and many of the deer will roam nearby and come down for a drink. It feeds the nearby Cropston Reservoir, and an interesting fact about the river is that the Victorians once created very shallow waterfalls to clear the silt from the water. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular areas in the park, and definitely a place to sit and rest whilst photographing some of the nearby deer and other amazing wildlife.
The Deer Herd of Bradgate Park
Yes, the deer and stags are the main attraction if you want to visit this beautiful area of the Leicestershire countryside. As of right now, the herd is around 550 strong, with a mixture of both Red and Fallow deer. Current estimates from the park wardens suggest that around three-quarters of the herd are Fallow deer, leaving well over 100 Red deer to spot and photograph.
These creatures are utterly beautiful and have free reign all over the park. They can walk around as they please, often posing perfectly for photo opportunities. You will see some stags butting antlers on the hills, many young deer sipping from the lakes, and plenty of lively ones skipping about.
It truly is a wonderful experience to head to Bradgate Park and experience the magic of this place for yourself. Whilst a beautiful sight throughout the whole year, the best time to visit is during the autumn. Not only is it rutting season, so the stags will be looking to impress the females by donning themselves with lots of grass on their antlers, but also the autumnal colours provide stunning backgrounds, making the whole park look like a masterpiece. leading to many amazing photo opportunities!
In conclusion I'd highly recommend a trip to Bradgate Park this autumn, If you'd like to join me for a stag photography workshop please click here for more details.
Check out my next blog post where I'll give you some tips you can try out to improve your deer photography.