Postcards from Scotland

I’m sitting here nursing a huge mug of tea and thinking back to two amazing weeks camping and hiking in the Scottish Highlands. I don’t want to ramble on about every single part of the break but I want to share some of my favourite moments. Scotland for us has always been on our bucket list, with a love for hiking and a love for photography there really is nowhere better for an exciting adventure. With this in mind, we packed the tent into the car and headed off for two weeks camping in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis and what a two weeks it was. 

After enduring a national and local lockdown, the chance to sleep under the stars, eat camp stove cooked meals and just be free from the confines of the house for a while was perfect for us. We both love camping and it did not disappoint. It was amazing watching the sun dance across the tallest mountain or watch as the rain clouds rolled over its summit. There is something so glorious about sitting outdoors on a cold, crisp night sipping a mug of hot steaming tea whilst watching the head torches of climbers on the mountain making their way up and down the steep path. For me, this was the highlight. I loved being soothed to sleep by the rain on the tent or hearing the tooting of the owls that lived in the woodland. We even had three voles makes a nest under our tent, being back in nature, living in nature was so good for the soul and I felt more at home than ever before.

The west coast is full of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, with white sands and clearest of seas but these beaches are also some of the most wild I’ve ever been too. Isolated houses sit on the cliff edge as the sea crashes into the rocks that sit below it. Those days exploring all the coves and small beaches were some of my favourites. My walking boots were full of sand and my hair smelt of the sea, it was beautiful. Collecting some of nature’s treasures as I explored, my pockets were full of shells by the end of the trip. There is something freeing about sitting on the beach, with no one else around simply listening to the sea. I am desperate to take my small tent back there and do some wild camping. Lighting a fire and enjoying the most wild of places fills me with excitement, perhaps I’ll add it to my list for next year. 

Mountains can scare and enthral in equal measure and each mountain we climbed showed us how changeable they could be. The weather would often close in and we found ourselves being battered by heavy rain and strong winds. It made hiking tough but enjoyable as you really felt as if you were in the wilderness. As someone who loves winter, these atmospheric hikes are my favourite. I love to see the cloud skittering around the sky, mist swirling around mountains and views that break through when there is a moment of light. I remember sitting down as we hiked up the Three Sisters just to soak up the epic views, it was moments like this that made me happy. Soaked to the skin, cold but deliriously happy. I am pretty obsessed with mountains so here I was in my element; my camera was in my hand for the majority of my trip, zooming in on the ancient details of these huge peaks. Some nights the sun lit them up in a fiery glow and other days the dense cloud gave them an intimidating air. I am alive in the mountains and I miss not seeing them every day, home is just a little too flat. 

The drive to the Isle of Skye was amazing, the scenery epic and the weather beautiful, by the time we arrived on Skye however the rain had set in and was here to stay. We had planned to visit the iconic and mysterious Old Man of Storr. The hike was muddy, rainy and slippy as we pushed our way up into the low, dense cloud but the feeling when we got when standing below these old rock pinnacles was strange. You do feel as if you have landed on a different planet and I was content to explore the sanctuary below these pinnacles. It feels almost spiritual being that close to something so old and with the strange weather, it felt all the more atmospheric. 

We packed a lot into those two weeks and I will probably got into more detail at some point about all the areas we covered but these were just a few of my favourites. It got to me like no other place has and I find myself yearning to return now home. I miss the camping out, the mountains, the lochs and the feeling of being free. I think an outdoor life suits me, it’s where I am most happy, there are more adventures to be had and so here’s to planning the next.
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