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  • Writer's pictureJoe Taylor

Scottish Highlands - December

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Some of the best short trips away are the sporadic ones.

Being fortunate enough to own a van gives me the freedom to say last minute "bugger it, I'm out of here"

Glencoe A7Riii 55mm Iso100 F4 1/100th

So after a spruce up of the van and about an hour or two of preparation we were ready.

I refer to we and that's myself, my wife Laura and our five year old Border Collie. He's almost human though, apart from being unable to talk he possesses many similar traits to myself. He can only put up with people for a certain amount of time before getting grumpy. He's pretty athletic and is happiest when in the countryside. He also loves nothing more than a warm fire and being at home. His name is Bryn and he'll feature in many more blog posts.

Laura & Bryn - Kinlochleven A7Riii 55mm Iso200 F4 1/400th

After arriving late on the Friday night we parked up in a good little car park close to Loch Lomond. There were toilet facilities which was an added bonus for getting ready in the morning and also a river running through if you like to dip your toes or have a dog that likes to paddle. Staying over here gave us a head start and allowed us to be at the first and only planned photography location for sunrise or there about.

The said location was Kilchurn castle. I'd visited the castle once before in torrential rain, whilst at a UK Shooters meet up a few years ago. This time the weather was in our favour. Only a breath of wind and acceptable light. I captured a nice landscape of the castle and was also entertained by the land owner screaming across the loch and some walkers with their dog off the lead. BEWARE! she meant business. Make sure you adhere to all 6000 DO NOT signs if you decide to visit.

Kilchurn Castle A7Riii 24mm Iso50 F14 6 seconds K&F Variable ND

Later that day we headed up to Glencoe and did a short hike up the Lost Valley (Coire Gabhail) between the Three Sisters (Bidean Nam Bian). Once past the selfie takers and car seat adventurers in the car park, it's not long before you enter a magical world of steep sided rock slabs, gushing crystal clear pools and the freshest air that you could possibly breathe.

Once at the top of the walk but still between two of the mountains, you stand on a vast plateau of broken stone in awe of the surroundings. I managed to frame a couple between a gap in the rocks to emphasise the sheer scale of this place.

The Lost valley(Coire Gabhail) A7Riii 85mm Iso200 F8 1/100th

Later that evening we parked up at the Clachaig Inn and once finding the entrance to the main bar, were greeted by a roaring fire, like minded "outdoorsy" folk and some tasty grub. Followed by a few too many pints of ale and two double drams of single malt. I slept well lets just say that and the low single figure temperature inside the van didn't bother me too much either.

I would highly recommend this pub to anyone visiting the area. It has a rich mountaineering history and is one of those places where you feel comfortable to kick off your walking boots, take your dog in and feel good after a day in the hills, or the car if you prefer carparks and selfies.

Surprisingly Sunday brought a fresh head and dry welcoming yet frosty weather. We had a walk planned from Kinlochleven. Just short of seven miles and 1600ft of accent this was a nice length walk to do before traveling back home to Northumberland.

I'll leave you with a few images from the rest of the day including a herd of female Red deer that we were lucky to encounter.

Scotland we will be back.

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