Scotland Travel Series - Mountain Ranges of Scotland

Saturday, March 30, 2013

If like me you are interested in amateur photography you will always be on the lookout for some dramatic landscape that you can shoot. Scotland has traditionally been split into two areas, the lowlands which hold the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh and the Highlands, named due to the mountainous nature of the landscape.

This is home to the highest peak in the UK Ben Nevis which is over 4,000 above sea level. Strangely in spite of its height you will find a well-travelled tourist route that will take you on a winding road to the top. When the cloud is low this can provide you with a venture into the heavens.


With nearby Fort William town making a perfect place to stay the night this is a must for anyone travelling to Scotland, to conquer the highest peak in the UK is no walk in the park and will take you around 6 hours to top and back down.

Another main tourist attraction is the Cairngorms which include the famous Aviemore, the most used ski slopes in the UK. With some breathtaking views, lochs and rolling mountains you could spend weeks here without ever seeing the same scene twice. With the Scottish weather each day brings a new view and new path to discover.


During the summer the bloom of the different plants makes the hills change color from a dark gray or white into a green and purple. This can give you some amazing shots from below or some panoramic views if you ascend one of the many mountains in the range.


Glencoe is a glen, the low area between mountains, which is steeped in Scottish history. Seen by many as a thoughtful and reflective place due to its bloody history of the massacre of Glencoe this is a not to be missed sights for any traveler. The beauty of this area sees nature in all its wonderful glory, with trails and caverns torn out of the side of mountains by rivers and ice over millions of years. The size of the mountains when stood in the glen can provide you with a sense of how old and large this planet of ours really is.


One of the most amazing features of Glencoe is that it is so unspoiled compared to many other developed countries. There is not an abundance of tourist shops and as it is denoted as a place of interest for wildlife conservation it is kept with its glorious natural beauty. Providing home to some amazing wildlife you may feel you have ventured into Middle Earth and could expect to stumble into a village of hobbits. Providing you with a fashion show of gargantuan proportion these mountains compete for your attention with shadows and plants of a wide array of colors and shapes.


One other feature of Scotland is that there are a huge number of islands which surround the coastline, many serviced by ferry from the mainland. If you were to choose one, it should be the isle of Skye. The coastal view of Skye on a clear day has to be seen to be believed, like something straight from a fantasy film. The mountains provide a natural castle like feel to the isle and with many of them to explore you will be spoilt for choice. Once you have finished with the sightseeing you can sample the local delights of freshly caught fish and some locally distilled whisky. With many of the mountains providing natural springs that you can safely drink from Scotland is the home of Whisky and the pure water is the secret ingredient.

On your adventures you should always check in at local information offices to make sure the weather is suitable to climb, as there are many who venture out on a calm day only for a storm to strike and problems arise. Also ensure you prepare yourself with some good quality hiking boots and a backpack with food, water and warm clothing. As you ascend it is common for temperatures to fall the higher you go. If you are visiting between April and September this is the safest time to climb the mountains but for some of the best photography from the bottom winter provides a white gloss atop each of these glorious natural wonders.

Steven Hill

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