Scotland photo adventure

I feel drawn to the solitude of mountains and sea. Add in autumnal light and you have the perfect recipe for a few days away to refresh the soul. I commenced my adventure in the Wester Ross region of the western highlands, before making my way further north to the wide open spaces of Assynt, north of Ullapool.

Loch Clair

I had done my research and so I had already identified a few locations to visit, the first being the wonderful Loch Clair at the head of Glen Torridon. The early morning light with Liathach in the distance provided the perfect start.

Loch Clair

Parking at the Beinn Alligin car park I made my way alongside the Abhainn Coire Mhic Nobuilthe river in search of waterfalls and the constantly changing light conditions.

Clear skies were replaced with dark, moody clouds, which in turn gave way to that perfect post storm light that breeds rainbows.

Caledonian Pine after a storm

Autumn colours had arrived and the trees were alive with vibrant orange and brown foliage.

A short drive brought me to the 20 km long Loch Maree to catch the evening light descending across the mountain mass of Slioch.

The next morning I left the comfort of my wonderful B&B, Millview in Ullapool, for another early start in search of the distinctive Stac Pollaidh.

Stac Pollaidh mirrored in Loch Cul Dromannan
Perfect tranquility

The road to Achiltibuie takes you alongside Loch Lurgainn, which opens up even more splendid views of Stac Pollaidh.

The road eventually reaches the sea and a short walk to Achnahaird Bay. This beautiful, wide sandy beach affords stunning views of the mountains Stac Pollaidh, Canisp and Suilven in the background.

There is possibly no finer scenery to be found in the whole of the Scottish highlands than the single track roads that wind themselves close to the coast in this region. The one from Badnagyle to Lochinver is no exception. This glorious road offers some stunning views of the inland mountains, and shows Suilven from a particularly unusual angle.

My final destination for the day was a view of the mysterious mountain Suilven, as seen from the Glencanisp estate, with Loch Druim Suardalain in the foreground.

A two hour wait in the rain was rewarded as the clouds cleared to reveal magical late evening light. The mountain rises almost vertically from a wilderness landscape of moorland, bogs and lochans known as Inverpolly.

A double rainbow
Suilven emerges from the cloud

For my final day exploring this wonderful region I drove north towards Assynt, passing views of Stac Pollaidh once again.

My destination was the distinctive scenery and mountainous backdrop of Loch Assynt, but first I was interested in photographing an old bothy at Elphin

A quick stop at Loch Awe

I waited for the next round of rain to pass before making the short walk to view Ardvreck Castle. This ruin dates from the 16th century and stands on a rocky promontory jutting out into Loch Assynt. The light was once again on my side, especially when a rainbow decided to point to the pot of gold buried deep within the castle.

With just enough time for one final exploration I visited the Wailing Widow waterfalls, found on the Kylesku road just north of Loch Assynt.

Wailing widow waterfall
Created By
Graham Coates


All images copyrighted Graham Coates