WHETHER it’s the colourful uniforms or merry moves, morris dancers are a wonderful aspect of British culture.

From Carlisle to Cornwall, every region has its own twist and everyone who passes by cannot help but stop and watch.

Maldon group Alive And Kicking have been doing just that, performing in places such as outside the Tower of London, the National Theatre at Southbank and in Covent Garden.

Recently they took a trip further afield to Edinburgh.

And their stay at the Hampton Hotel in the city’s West End soon became a photo shoot as they became involved in a new project to highlight the interesting activities which being people together.

Photographer Ian Weldon collaborated with Hampton By Hilton to create the This Is Real Travel campaign, a series of photos documenting the variety of people who stay in their hotels and why.

Mr Weldon said: “This series is all about celebrating those heart-warming and often humorous connections that happen when we travel, and I hope it shines a light on the fun and friendliness that can be found in every single type of trip.

“This series brings to life the real side of travel by celebrating the connections that make travelling experiences so special but often don’t make the photo album.”

Dancer Ruth Everson, 66, said: “All five of the morris dancers, including myself, were going to Edinburgh for the weekend to do a little performance and also explore the city.

“We don’t usually spend a lot of time socialising together, but wanted to take a trip to enjoy the weekend as a group of friends.

“We knew a photo shoot was taking place but had no idea we would feature so heavily.

“We walked into the hotel in our costumes and met the photographer who absolutely loved the group’s energy.

“He explained the purpose of the shoot to us and that it was all about celebrating and capturing those ‘real’ travel moments that take place, which make travelling experiences so special and that go beyond overly-posed pictures on social media.

“We loved the concept of this – long live real life, I say, and none of this ‘filtered’ stuff, so we were very excited to take part.

“The video and photo shoot went really well. We all thoroughly enjoyed it – it was a lot of fun.

“The shoot was something completely different to what we normally do in our everyday lives.

“We also had the opportunity to play our musical instruments in the video which was a very special moment for all members of the group.

“I loved how it captured so many little moments – from unpacking our cases and having a cup of tea, as well as showing some of our morris dancing.

“I thought it would be funny having a photographer follow us around, but Ian was great and really blended into the background so we could be completely ourselves around him.

“The content Ian captured was us genuinely just going about our days and having fun with each other.”

Ruth became interested in morris dancing as a child when her father took her to see a performance.

Since that moment, it was always an activity she wanted to try.

She added: “When my daughter started Primary school, there was a clog dance club and they were short of a musician to play the melodeum, so this was my first opportunity to become involved in a dance club and opened up my eyes to the activity.

“A few years later I wanted to take up some exercise that was going to be fun, so I phoned up a morris dance club and I asked how I could become involved.

“I have now been dancing for 12 years and have made some incredible friends along the way.

“My favourite aspect about morris dancing is that we get to perform all over the UK and whenever we perform it always puts a smile on people’s faces.”

“Edinburgh is definitely the furthest from home we have been dressed in our dancing uniforms.

“Wearing our kit around Edinburgh and in the shoot has definitely been one of my favourite experiences with the Morris dancers.

“The specific kit we wore for the shoot was chosen in 2000 and the colours of the kit are the Maldon colours.

“For us, wearing our dancing kit feels like the norm – even though it might feel unconventional for people watching us!”

To view the This is Real Travel series, visit news.hampton.com.