We were so excited when Tribe Photo Co agreed to partner with myself and good friends and fellow photographers, Jessica and Rodrigo Pereira, on our field trip to the Scottish Highlands. Jess and Rod traveled up from Sheffield, and we met in Edinburgh before heading off to our first stop in the historic city of Stirling. It gave us our first taste of some delicious Scottish fayre.
Then we visited Callander, a bustling little town full of cafes, tourist shops, and Scottish Woolen Mills. It's often described as the ‘gateway to the highlands.' It’s nestled at the foot of the imposing Ben Ledi, which gave us a hint of the rugged landscapes that lay before us as we headed North. After a short stop to take in the views, fuel up on coffee, and capture a few images, we headed onwards to our destination for the night.
All three of us absolutely love Glencoe and had decided we wanted to explore that area. Our first night was spent at the Strathfillian Wigwam Village just north of Crainlarich. Try pronouncing those names!
It gets dark by 4pm in the wintertime, but that didn’t stop us building our campfire, pouring the drinks, and reminiscing about the year. We reflected over the year we had all experienced while munching on gooey toasted marshmallow deliciousness. We didn't know, however, that we’d be waking up to large piles of snow in the morning.
After a quick weather update, we reassessed our plans and called ahead to our next destination. We asked them to get the wood burning stove fired up inside our geo-dome so it would be warm when we got there.
We figured it was good to get on the road as soon as we could since we knew we still had to navigate our way through the Glencoe pass, leading us into the snow storms. Jess took to the wheel for the first leg of our journey into Glencoe, and we had some hair-raising moments as folks on the roads aren’t always confident in their winter driving skills.
Unfortunately, our plan to stop off in Glen Etive and try to photograph the infamous herds of red deer was thwarted as the roads quickly become impassable. We did, however, capture a few of the classic views from the pass. We all braved the cold to photograph the little white cottage with majestic Stob Dearg in the background. It’s one of the iconic and most photographed viewpoints in the mighty glen.
And just as the sun began to fade behind the mountains, the eye of the storm came straight towards us. We decide to stop and embrace it as a beautiful photographic opportunity. With its mountains and glens steeped in a history full of clan rivalry and battles, the dreary weather only added to the dramatic landscapes.
Safely through the glen, we stop in the village of Glencoe to catch our breath as Rod set up the GoPro camera for some on roof footage. Sadly, the freezing temperatures and icy surface put a stop to that!
Here you can see the Pap of Glencoe in the distance. It’s Gaelic name is Sgorr na Ciche and it's known as a steep and rough climb. But when you get to the top, you’re rewarded with incredible views over Glencoe, the Amores, and Loch Leven.
The next couple of days were filled with wandering along snow laden forest tracks that overlooked the Great Glen. After soaking in the spectacular views of Loch Garry and Glengarry, we headed towards the Cluanie Inn where Rod and I sampled the local venison. Jess opted for a veggie soup instead.
We decided to return to Edinburgh for Cairngorms National Park, and once again had a few snowstorms and adventurous white outs at the top of the Lecht Ski Resort. Thankfully we made it through and were able to enjoy a well-earned coffee break in the woods before our final stop in Glenshee.
What a magical snowy adventure. As we traveled through the final pass toward home, I had a chance to capture this beautiful hind (female red deer), which was the icing on the snowy cake. Here's to the next adventure...