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Juls, our daughter, and I, participated in a seven day photography, walking holiday in Scotland which commenced on 12th October 2019. The photographs therefore not only tell the story of the travel but also include some where I am trying to be artistic.

Days 1- in the Cairngorms National Park

Juls and I flew to Inverness the day before and stayed overnight in Aviemore so that we could meet the group at 10h00 at Aviemore Station. The group leader was Alastair Goodridge. The other participants were Heidi, Helen and Louise.

We drove in a minivan to the nearby Glenmore Forest Park and wandered on a circular route through the area including the Abernethy National Forest Reserve. The area was beautiful and autumn colours were appearing. There were plenty of photographic opportunities. Alastair was knowledgeable about photography but waited for us to seek help from him. The walking was slow and easy. We stopped to eat our packed lunches.

Mid afternoon we drove down to near Kingussie and explored the ruins of the Ruthven Barracks. The barracks are the best preserved of the four barracks built in 1719 after the 1715 Jacobite rising. Set on an old castle mound, the complex comprises two large three-storey blocks occupying two sides of the enclosure, each with two rooms per floor. The barracks and enclosing walls were built with loopholes for musket firing, and bastion towers were built at opposite corners. The barracks were destroyed by Jacobites following their retreat after the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

We then checked into Coig na Shee Guest House for two nights.

Day 2 – Mist above Newtonmore and a waterfall in Glen Feshie

We were up before sunrise and drove up a hill to take photos of the early morning mist above the town. I then walked down to the cemetry in the valley.

After a late breakfast we walked in Glen Feshie and practiced photographing a waterfall

We returned to Ruthven Barracks to photograph it at sunset

Day 3 – Insh Marshes and Highland Folk Museum

In the morning we walked in the Insh Marshes

Afterwards we explored the Highland Folk Museum

Day 4 – relocation to west coast

Today we relocated to the west coast of Scotland, past lochs and mountains and through the town of Strathpeffer. It was an amazing sunny autumn day.

We boarded a RIB at Gairloch and travelled two hours on the sea to Shieldaig from whence we will be exploring for the next three days.

Day 5 – Loch Torridon and Bealach na Ba

We spent the morning walking on the shore of Lake Torridon

In the afternoon we drove up a mountain pass, Bealach na Ba, to some wonderful views.

Day 6 – Beinn Eighe

Beinn Eighe is a complex mountain massif about ten miles from Shieldaig. It forms a long ridge with many spurs and summits, two of which are classified as Munros. Heidi did not hike with us today which left me as the weak link. We hiked for about two hours up a valley. I realised that i was holding the rest of the group back so I left the group and returned to the car park. They continued for another two hours to an amphitheatre behind the mountain. We returned to Shieldaig for hot chocolate.

Day 7 – Coulin Estate and back to Inverness

We walked for several hours, at a very easy pace, around the lakes of the Coulin Estate. This was a lovely way to end a very rewarding week.

The last three days had the most gorgeous weather.

Alastair has been a very good guide. He knows the areas where we have walked well and understands the environment. He has allowed us to find our way with our photography but has been available for, and been completely competent to, provide help and training. He has been sensitive to the needs and fitness of the group. He enhanced the trip.

Alastair dropped us at Inverness Airport in the afternoon for our flight back to London, after a really wonderful week.

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