Wild Light Scotland , Northern Exposure
The Highlands – Destination summary
Main Features: Puffins, wild and empty Highland Landscapes, stunning beaches, castle ruins, remote villages.
The Highlands of the far north feature some of the finest and most dramatic beaches and mountain scenery in the whole of the United Kingdom.
You’ll have 6 days to explore and photograph some of the remotest and wildest corners of the Highlands as we travel over the top of the UK mainland. From Inverness up towards Ullapool, and the Kyle’s of Durness and Tongue across the top to John O’ Groats in Caithness and back through east Sutherland back to Inverness.
Inverpolly and Assynt
The Highlands north of Ullapool have been described as Scotland for the connoisseur. One of Scotland’s best loved peaks Stac Pollaidh, sits proudly above the rocky loch strewn landscapes, hemmed in by other classic peaks. Wide open Achnahaird beach offers a wealth of beautiful seascape compositions sitting almost at the tip of the Coigach peninsula. You’ll have a full day to explore these truly amazing landscapes, capturing a variety of scenes.
Sandwood Bay & Oldshoremore Beach
Sandwood Bay is remote and along with its famous sea stack Am Buachaille is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in Scotland. It’s also said to be the finest beach in Sutherland if not Britain. We’ll be hoping for some wild sunsets to complement this wild and evocative part of Scotland.
Handa Island is home to a colony of seabirds including Puffin, high cliffs, sea stacks and the remains of a 19th century village. You’ll take a short boat trip over to the island to explore its coastline and cliff top trails on foot, while catching sight of the birdlife and puffins that nest on the Island.
The Northern Beaches & Kyles
The remote Highland villages of Durness and Talmine provide a quiet setting to relax and explore before we photograph a duo of stunning beaches; Sango and Rispond. Beautiful Sea Loch, Loch Eriboll’s shores are lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Views from its eastern shore reveal dramatic views back towards the peaks of Cranstackie and Foinaven.
The Kyle’s of Durness and Tongue make for striking abstracts at low tide as we make our way east.
Ben Loyal and Ben Hope
We’ll have the opportunity to photograph two of the regions favourite peaks in Ben Hope and Queen of the Highlands Ben Loyal over a remote Lochan.
Caithness and East Sutherland
Scotland’s most northerly point is Dunnet Head and it’s Lighthouse offers great views to Orkney and the sea birds nesting in the adjacent cliffs. From our comfortable base near John O’Groats you’ll also explore the village, Dunnet Distillery ( Rock Rose) in Castletown and the nearby cliff tops that offer great views out over the Duncansby Sea Stacks.
South of the former Herring boomtown town of Wick are two castle ruins that sit on the cliff tops and we’ll take our time to explore and photography both these sites.
On our final day we’ll make our way south to the old Whaligoe steps that desend to an ancient harbour, take a detour to my ancestral home through the Strath of Kildonan and Glen Loth and relax in the Gardens of Dunrobin Castle* prior to arriving back in the Highland capital.
Start time 10:15 pick up Inverness 16th May
End time 17:00 drop off Inverness 21st May
Getting there Inverness is serviced by bus and rail from Edinburgh or Glasgow (3-4 hrs) or by air from major UK airports plus Dublin and Amsterdam airports
Accommodation Lovat Arms Hotel, Beauly 1 night – The Old School House Inshegra, Sutherland – 2 nights Luxury Lodges, John O’Groats* – 2 nights. All single occupancy rooms. * subject to Covid self catering restrictions an alternative may be required at Castletown Hotel – superior double.
* subject to availability and additional entry charge
Meals – packed lunches or cafes along the way. Dinner at local restaurants /pubs as appropriate to our schedule and possibly self catering one or two nights in Caithness.
Essential equipment camera, lenses and good quality tripod.
Non essential but recommended Polariser, neutral density graduated and straight neutral density filters would be useful. I use Lee ND filters both hard and soft. A Laptop with Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop or other image editing software. Good quality waterproof camera bag.
What to expect
* All Covid safety measures and protocols will be in place as required by law and within the current guidelines. By May restrictions will have hopefully eased but the safety of all participants is my priority.
Participants will be invited to share 6 of their final images with Glen and their fellow participants for comment after the trip via a secure online link.
The Highland’s reliably fickle weather can be a feature of Scotland and her dramatic and romantic landscapes. Conditions can be glorious at times but it’s not unusual to turn cool and rainy at any time of year. This can and often does add to the dramatic nature of light and land. It’s important that you have adequate and good quality outdoor clothing ( jackets and over trousers) including waterproof hiking boots that are waterproof.
Locations and fitness.
Not all locations will be by the roadside, some locations are easy to reach, some require a little effort, walking sometimes on muddy and boggy surfaces. This can involve short hill walks, walks across rocky, uneven terrain and slippy surfaces. Walking times can be up to one hour – one way, however participation is optional at every location.
All ages above 18 years are welcome but a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required, regardless of age in order to fully participate and appreciate a Lightstalker’s photo adventure or workshop. If you have any doubts of your suitability for a specific trip please contact Glen directly.
16 - 21st May 2022 6 days
Places available: 4 only
Trip fee: £1895.00
Booking deposit: £250.00
Starts / ends: Inverness
- 6 full days on location
- 5 nights single occupancy accommodation
- 5 breakfasts
- Pick up from Inverness and drop off
- Boat to Handa Island
- Tea coffee and snacks*
- Practical guidance on location
- Day and dusk sessions
- Lightstalker Adventures limited edition Beanie
- Transport to / from Inverness
- Lunch or evening meals
- Alcoholic beverages
- Entry fees
- Please ensure you have adequate travel Insurance
- Inverpolly and Assynt
- Stunning Sandwood Bay
- Hand Island Puffins
- Oldshoremore beach
- Stac Polly and Ben Loyal
- Kyle of Durness and Balnakeil
- Talmine and Farr point
- Dunnet Head / Duncansby Stacks
- Long exposure seascapes
- One of the remotest regions of the UK
- Taliored help and guidance
- Creative advice
- Off the beaten track locations
- Plenty time on location
- Post trip review
- Small groups (max 3)
- Highland guide with local knowledge
He helped us develop skills to turn an ok shot into a great shot." Craig Burns, Canberra, Australia