The best of Dorset in words and pictures

The River Stour: a photographic essay

Mark Bauer celebrates the river that gives North and East Dorset so much of their character. His favourite times of year for photographing the Stour are late winter and spring, when the river is full and the light clear and crisp, and dramatic skies are reflected in the water below. He prefers to photograph the river at dawn, when rising mists and light frosts create a tranquil atmosphere.

Cutt Mill, near Hinton St Mary is still photogenic, despite having been destroyed by vandals in 2003

Sturminster Newton Mill, framed by frosty teasels. It is mostly 17th century, although some of the roof timbers may be older, and is still in good working order.

The village of Spetisbury, on the A350 between Blandford and Sturminster Marshall, clings to the banks of the river

Crawford Bridge, which crosses the Stour at Spetisbury, dates from the 14th century

The sun rises through the mist on a bend of the Stour upstream from Shapwick

A misty morning near Cowgrove

The weir at Eyebridge, just north of Wimborne. This is one of my favourite spots on the Stour, as the still water creates mirror-like reflections of the dawn sky.

Flooded fields after heavy rain near Wimborne are a reminder of the river’s latent power

The twin towers of Wimborne Minster rise through the mist on a spring morning

The Stour ends its journey at Christchurch Harbour, joined by the River Avon after its journey from the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire

Dorset Directory