THEY’RE not your average holiday snaps.

University lecturer Duke Gledhill captured stunning images like the one above during his close encounter with the volcanic eruption that has caused travel chaos for millions.

He was on a trip to Iceland with his girlfriend, Jenny Killey, 34, before the havoc caused by the ash cloud now covering much of Europe.

The couple, of Clare Hill, Highfields, also took close-up video footage of the volcano erupting, which can be viewed at

Dr Gledhill, Huddersfield University’s course leader for computer programming, said: “It was absolutely incredible.

“You could almost feel the impact of the eruptions going through your body.

“We must have been a few hundred metres away, but it felt like it was right there in front of us.”

The couple had gone to Iceland to enjoy the visual treat of another breathtaking natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights.

While they were staying at the Hotel Ranga in south Iceland, which advertises itself as ‘your volcano base,’ they had the chance to get up close to the spectacular eruption that would later bring air traffic to a standstill.

Dr Gledhill, 31, said: “When we got to the hotel, helicopters were taking tourists from the hotel up to right next to the eruption.

“We jumped on one with someone from the Discovery Channel who was doing some filming.

“We were close enough to feel the heat without being in any danger.

“We were only out there for about 15 minutes, but got some great pictures and video.

“It was £300 a person, but it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things you just couldn’t pass up on.”

More pictures and video on next page.

The couple returned home on April 5, before flights were grounded.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t have minded being stuck there,” Dr Gledhill said.

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“But we were lucky that we got there before it really started and got out when we did.”