Keukenhof, The Netherlands

Acclaimed as one of Europe's most valued attractions, the Keukenhof is unique in providing worldwide visitors with a vast display of 7 million flower bulbs each year. More than 44 million people have visited the park in the last 60 years and apparently holds claim to being the most photographed place in the world.

Keukenhof translates as Kitchen Garden, stemming from the 15th Century where the land was used for hunting and gathering herbs.

Having seen many idyllic images of the intricacy which makes the Keukenhof so unique, we jetted out in the early hours of Sunday from Heathrow. At this point, I might add that I was shooting a wedding in Dorset the night before, and as such arrived at the terminal running on adrenaline and caffeine after just three hours sleep.

Conditions were less than perfect, as grey overcast clouds and spits of rain seemed to be the theme for the two days we were staying in Holland. Not to be deterred, we spent two full days walking the Keukenhof and their 10 miles of footpath.

To our luck, a 'Bird of Prey' display was taking place on the days we were visiting. Fascinated by the nature of birds and their sheer beauty, we stood patiently in the rain whilst these magnificent creatures soared about the grounds. I lied, we actually knew about the show and as such I packed my 70-200 F2.8 IS L and 2x Extender to make the most of this opportunity. Love this next shot of the Bald Eagle as rain falls from its beak...

With the weather taking a turn for the worse, we turned our attention in trying to capture a different look on the flowers at Keukenhof. Hannah recently purchased a Canon 100mm F2.8 IS L Macro lens and it really came into it's own. Close focusing distance, incredible 4-stop image stabilising system and being tack sharp open wide, it shot this almost 'fine art' image of a rose bud at 1/10th and F2.8

Rainfall really brought out the scent in the flowers, and despite the wet weather we had a fantastic time. The precision in which these flowers are grown, and the colour combinations really make it a visual feast.

In summary, the Keukenhof is a great place to visit. Being a short flight from the UK (about an hour) it makes an ideal weekend break and I can certainly see ourselves returning in the future. One thing I can highly recommend is the waffles, you can't beat waffles. To finish up heres a few more images from the weekend away...