Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Crovie, Scotland

Photo of the Day

The tiny village of Crovie was one of my favourite spots on my most recent visit to Scotland. This former fishing village has only one walkway that is too narrow for cars, so everyone has to park at one end of the town. But even given that fact, apparently Tesco will still deliver groceries there! I saw a couple of delivery people carting a load of food up to the last house in the village while I was there. It’s not recommended that visitors drive all the way down the steep slope to the village, so they did a good job to get there.

The quiet row of houses is a magical place.

Click to see a larger image:

The village of Crovie on the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland at dusk.


Glen Affric

Photo of the Day

Glen Affric is sometimes described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland. Since I haven’t seen them all, I can’t officially comment, but if there are glens that surpass this place in beauty, I want to see them.

Click to see a larger image:

Glen Affric in the highlands of Scotland.


Fingal’s Cave

Photo of the Day

The jewel of the the uninhabited island of Staffa is Fingal’s Cave, a giant sea cave formed entirely from hexagonal basalt columns. The small island is west of the Isle of Mull and attracts visitors mainly for this natural wonder.

Tempestuous waters jostled our boat while we attempted to moor, but expert guidance from our boat’s crew allowed all of us to safely hop onto the jetty so that we could make the short walk to the cave. The basalt columns formed by ancient volcanic eruptions serve as the pathway to the cave and you almost feel like you’re walking on a giant batch of french fries.

Once we arrived at the main attraction, the high tides pushed waves into the cave where they thunderously crashed against the walls. That awesome roar from the waves was quite a show and easily made up for the choppy seas we faced getting on and off the boat.

Click to see a larger image:


Blackrock Cottage Panorama

Photo of the Day

Scotland’s dramatic vistas attract landscape photographers in swarms. The dependability of certain spots is clear when you scout out locations on Google Maps: you can often find photographers with cameras set up on tripods pointed at prime locations on the street view.

The Blackrock Cottage, just east of the entrance to Glencoe, is another one of those iconic views that every photographer has to grab if they’re anywhere nearby. On a trip into the highlands, you pass within a mile or two of this picturesque home, so of course, on the way up I had to stop and try my luck.

I tried to put my own spin on the oft-photographed view by making it into a panorama and capturing a little more of the stark surrounding countryside and not just the cottage with the imposing peak of Buchaille Etive Mor in the background.

Click to see a larger image:

A panoramic view of the Blackrock Cottage with Buchaille Etive Mor in the background, near Glencoe, Scotland.


Lunga Island Puffin Call

Photo of the Day

Some of the tiny, uninhabited islands off the western coast of Scotland make ideal fare for a boat excursion thanks to their wild, isolated landscapes and some excellent wildlife opportunities. The Treshnish Isles, a group of small islands west of the Isle of Mull offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the cutest of all birds, the Atlantic Puffin.

These hilarious waddlers stumble along the edges of the island’s cliffs and trip over themselves to get into the small holes they call nests. With how ungainly they are on land, you’d swear they were related to penguins. And while penguins show their grace in the water, the puffins get to be quick and nimble in the air. Darting from cliffs to sea and back, they move in blurs. It’s only when they get back to the cliffs that they start flopping around in an effort to get one foot in front of the other.

While you can’t exactly cuddle with them (and believe me, you’ll want to), they’re surprisingly tolerant of human presence on their island. Us big mammals have the habit of scaring away some of the puffins’ predators, so they don’t mind if we’re getting a few feet away from them with our cameras whirring away like paparazzi on the red carpet. The one in the image below was calling out to one of his puffin compatriots, perhaps wondering who they guy with the big lens in his face was.

Click to see a larger version:

An Atlantic Puffin on Lunga Island


Ardnamurchan Point Lighthouse

Photo of the Day

Recent adventures to Scotland took me to the Ardnamurchan peninsula which features the most Westerly point in mainland Great Britain. Narrow, winding roads rise and fall over the stark, wavy landscape to reach Ardnamurchan point which features a picturesque lighthouse as seen below.

This shot required manoeuvring over a rough terrain full of tiny creeks, slippery stones, and tidal inlets as well as around sheep that looked unhappy to have me in their presence, but those rocks in the foreground along with the long exposure of the turbulent water gave this photo more texture and depth than I might have gotten from a more accessible location.

Click to see a larger image:


Over Eilean Donan Castle

Photo of the Day

I’ve recently returned from another great week in Scotland. They all seem to be great, but this one even had the weather contributing to the quality of life. Sunny skies have browned my arms while hiking through gorgeous glens, trekking up and down hills overlooking lochs and castle, and spotting just about every bit of wildlife that the UK seems to have on offer.

One of those lochs and castles visited was the magical Eilean Donan on Loch Duich. It’s one of my favourite places in the world and I keep hoping I get to be in its neighbourhood every time I go up to Scotland.

For today’s photo of the day, I embarked on a little trek that quickly got a lot longer than anticipated when I was struggling to get the view I wanted. Driving up the tiny country road that provides views above the castle wasn’t quite good enough for me, but I couldn’t find an accessible path up to the hills. A couple miles of driving, a hefty climb, and then a couple of miles traversing steep slopes back to almost where I had started and I wound up in the spot I wanted just as the sun was descending.

The result is below showing the sun touching the mountains in the west while the colours sweep across the panorama of the lochs and castle below.

Click to see a larger image:


Millstone at Longshaw Estates

Photo of the Day

Autumn colours add magic to the forests surrounding Longshaw Estates in the Peak District and the abandoned millstones hiding beneath the trees.

More of my photos of the Peak District and the English midlands are available here.

Click to see a larger image:

An abandoned millstone in the forest near Padley Gorge in Longshaw Estate, Derbyshire.


South Stack Lighthouse at Dusk

Photo of the Day

Here’s another shot from last Easter Weekend. This is the South Stack Lighthouse on the Western Coast of the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales.

Giant cliffs loom over the rocky peninsula where this beacon shines out into the water and when the light spins around, it casts an eerie glow back onto the land. My camera didn’t pick up the light returning back to the land and though I probably could have done a longer exposure to show the spotlight’s streak upon the cliffs, I thought it would have started looking pretty artificial, so I went for this classic view of the lighthouse at dusk instead.

Please visit my Wales image gallery to see more photos of North Wales.

Click to see the image on a black background:

The South Stack Lighthouse at dusk on the island of Anglesey in North Wales, UK.


Llynnau Mymbyr to Snowdon

Photo of the Day

Last weekend, good weather and an even better hotel deal prompted a last-minute trip to North Wales. Among the many gorgeous spots visited was Llynnau Mymbyr, a pair of lakes nestled in the mountains of Snowdonia.

This photo takes in the view westward across one of the lakes to Snowden, the highest peak in Wales still covered in its winter snow.

Click to see a larger image:

Snowdonia's peaks, including Snowden, Wales' highest peak, viewed from the Llynnau Mymbyr lakes in North Wales, UK.


Autumn Mushrooms in the Peak District

Photo of the Day

As autumn winds down, today’s photo of the day brings a bit of vestigial life in the form of some diminutive mushrooms at one of my favourite spots in the Peak District: Longshaw Estates. I’m no mycologist (yes, I had to look that up) so I’m afraid I can’t tell you what kind of fungi we’re looking at here. They’re small, they’re cute, and from the looks of it, a little bit slimy. Anyone know what species we’re dealing with or does that just describe most mushrooms?

Click to see the photo on a black background:


Mermaid Street in Rye

Photo of the Day

The most famous street in the small medieval town of Rye in East Sussex is Mermaid Street and its most famous building is the Mermaid Inn. It’s been operating for almost 600 years and is visible on the right side of this photo.

Please visit my gallery of photos from Kent and East Sussex to see more of the area.

Click to see a larger image:


Photo of the Day

If you ever drew a picture of a castle when you were a kid, chances are it looked something like Bodiam Castle. The moated castle is near archetypal in its appearance. The imposing towers, the solid ramparts, the bridge and moat. It’s all just perfect. If I had any of my childhood drawings, I could probably find one that has a castle that looks just like Bodiam.

For more images of Bodiam Castle, visit my gallery of images from Southeastern England.

Click to see a larger image:


The White Cliffs of Dover

Photo of the Day

The morning sun warms the brilliant chalk faces of the White Cliffs of Dover in today’s photo of the day. The spectacular coastline overlooks the English channel and either welcomes visitors coming in from Europe with a splendid sight or gives a final taste of some of England’s magnificent scenery to those departing its shores.

While walking along these iconic cliffs, clear days will yield a view of the French coastline in the distance. And while admiring the view, your phone just might beep with a misguided text message welcoming you to your respective phone network’s French services. No one called while I was there, so I managed to avoid the roaming charges.

An interesting detail here is the remnants of a recent landslide spreading parts of the cliff into the ocean.

For more photos of this beautiful part of the world, check out my photos from Southeast England.

Click to see a larger image:


Canterbury Cathedral Cloister

Photo of the Day

The previous photo of the day showed us Canterbury Cathedral from a distance, but today we’ve moved inside the cloisters. The sunlight streaming through the elaborate gothic arches makes for quite a sight.

If you’d like to see more of my images of the cathedral, check out my gallery of photos of Southeastern England.

Click to see a larger image:


Canterbury Cathedral

Photo of the Day

Just as striking from a distance as it is from up close, Canterbury Cathedral glows in the last light of the day. It’s an enormous building that truly dominates the medieval town surrounding it.

This world heritage site is one of England’s best-known buildings and deservedly so. The massive gothic building has a history that dates all the way back to 597 A.D. That kind of timespan always boggles my mind and visiting a place with so many stories in its walls is one of my biggest attractions to this country.

For more images of Canterbury Cathedral, check out my gallery of images of Southeastern England.

Click to see a larger image:


Leeds Castle

Photo of the Day

Today’s photo comes from my recently-published gallery of photos of Southeastern England. My time there was spent getting over a pretty nasty flu, so I didn’t make any heroic efforts to try to catch many sunrises and sunsets while there. Fortunately, the weather was generally cooperative during the day and after sleeping in a bit, I was still able o get some nice shots of the area.

This is Leeds Castle in Kent, a remarkably lovely castle. While wandering through its impeccably-manicured gardens, it’s hard to think that it was originally built for the purposes of fortification – it’s far too peaceful a place to be built in preparation for battle.

Click to see the image on a black background:


My Photos in Countryfile Magazine

Check out the May issue of Countryfile Magazine and you’ll find one of my images of the Old Man of Storr. It’s a big, two-page spread image that’s part of their article on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.

I don’t have a copy of the issue yet, but here’s the image for your viewing pleasure (click for a larger view):

The Old Man of Storr Panorama

And I neglected to mention my last appearance in the magazine – in the March issue, another photo from Skye got a two-page treatment:

Countryfile Magazine March 2012, Sligachan Bridge

Here’s the photo of Skye’s Sligachan Bridge on its own (click for a larger view):

Sligachan Bridge Panorama

Lastly, check out my gallery to see a bunch more of my photos of Scotland.


Dunvegan Castle and MacLeod’s Tables

Photo of the Day

This view of Dunvegan Castle on Scotland’s Isle of Skye required that I grow a few feet to get a line of sight over the trees. I’ve been trying for years, but I don’t seem to be getting any taller, so I took to the branches to gain some height.

I can’t say I recommend precariously balancing yourself in a prickly tree with a camera in one hand trying to keep steady enough to take a photo, but sometimes that’s just the only way to get the shot. It was no more than a few feet off the ground, but those few feet made all the difference.

My goal with this shot was to be able to get the castle and MacLeod’s Tables in the same shot. They’re the two unique flat-topped hills you see in the middle of the background.

Click to see a larger image:

Dunvegan Castle, looking across to Macleod's Tables on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.


Evening in Glen Coe

Photo of the Day

As I trundled up a boggy hillside soaking myself up to the ankles while being swarmed by midges, I thought to myself, “I have to come back here and spend more time.” No, really!

I only had one all-too-brief evening in Glen Coe, Scotland and much of my time was actually spent in nearby Rannoch Moor. So, I owe Glen Coe another visit. I need to climb some of those hills. Just look at ’em! Great walks are sure to abound in these stunning Scottish highlands.

So, until I get back there, I will gaze longingly at this photo and know that some gorgeous sights await me.

Click to see a larger image:


Neist Point Lighthouse

Photo of the Day

Here’s another one from the beautiful Isle of Skye in Scotland. I could explore that place for weeks…

This image is from Neist Point, a rocky promontory that extends out from the Westernmost part of Skye. The drive there follows one of the island’s ridiculously narrow roads covered in sleeping sheep and stops a short walk from the cliff tops towering over the ocean. There is a walk down to the lighthouse pictured below, but I was more interested in this dramatic perspective with the cliffs rising above the land and sea.

Click to see the image on a black background:

Neist Point Lighthouse


Panorama of the Storr

Photo of the Day

A while ago I posted this image of the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Today’s image comes from the opposite side of the Old Man. It was a breathtaking walk to get all the way around that took me to the summit of the Storr where a crystal-clear day allowed me to see almost the whole Isle of Skye in a 360-degree view. As evidenced by this photo, the views didn’t stop as I made my descent. This brilliant day gave me a great view of the magnificent rocks towering over the landscape.

Click to see a larger image:

Old Man of Storr Panorama


Rannoch Moor Sunrise Panorama

Photo of the Day

The great views from Scotland’s Rannoch Moor keep coming. All of these spots are just off the road that leads into Glen Coe. I hope I get the chance to go back and explore more of the area to see if I can find any good walking trails.

Click to see a larger image:

Rannoch Moor Sunrise Panorama


Rannoch Moor at Dusk Panorama

Photo of the Day

From near the same spot as the previous photo of the day, the sun has set and the dusk colour paints the sky over Rannoch Moor.

Click to see a larger image:

Rannoch Moor Morning Panorama



By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close