Sunday, 14 January 2018

New Year Get Away

Glen Affric
After last years New Year trip to the North West Coast I was not best pleased when Audrey told me she had booked us up again for New Year in Clachtoll. I love exploring that area but the weather was awful the previous year  and I did not have much hope.

A week or so prior to Christmas we had a heavy snowfall and although it slowly melted away from the North East corner it continued to fall across on the West Coast.
I set off early in the morning so that I could stop off and take detours in the daylight hours. One of the detours took me to Glen Affric which is deemed as one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. Glen Affric did not disappoint, the  Caledonian Forest covered in snow was like a scene from Narnia. I have visited this area on two previous occasions however the weather had always been against me but today it was perfect.

I spent more hours than necessary travelling to Clachtoll as the lighting was superb, I simple couldn't resist stopping to snap the views.

Assynt Trees

Although the snow was confined to the higher ground the snow capped hills were breath taking. A rare occurrence  of virtually no wind meant for mirror like lochs. It was paradise and hardly another person in sight.

On the morning of the 31st December I set off to capture an image that I had previously seen posted by a photographer local to Lochinver. I had researched the area and the route to  get there, so off I set. Although there was snow on the hills the temperature was sitting above freezing and the roads were clear or so I thought. As I crested a hill I realised that road was covered in a sheet of ice, I had no option but continue. However I soon realised that I had to abandon the trip and turn the car around. Whilst doing so I ended up sliding on the ice, straddling the single track road teetering on the verge either slipping into a deep burn to the rear or heading nose first into a loch !
Fortunately there were two good Samaritans who managed to help me out of my predicament, it did however shake me up and meant that for the rest of the day I struggled to take a photo.

After a festive New Years Eve spent in the company of friends and a longer lie than anticipated on the 1st I eventually ventured out on the road again. I did however make sure that I stayed on the main roads.
 I spent a few hours dodging sleet showers trying to capture Split Rock. Despite the showers the lighting again was stunning with the sun lighting up the hills beautifully. Audrey had taken a photo a number of years ago that I was aiming to emulate however I still cannot fathom how she manged to capture what she did or where she was positioned. I am however happy with my shot.
Split Rock


  1. Neil, your photos are stunning - as usual - but the snowy one of Glen Affric must surely be award winning! Have you considered entering it into a competition?

  2. Stunning photos, as always. Thank goodness for the two good Samaritans. ;)

    1. Thank you. I don't know what I would have done as very patchy mobile service to call for help!

  3. Possibly slightly more of an exciting time than you intended, Neil, but the photos are magnificent!

    1. This is one of my more adventurous incidents and will gladly leave it as a one off.

  4. Wonderful images and evocative descriptions, especially from someone like me down here in the far south where we rarely get snow. I am a tad green about the gills at all the pristine whiteness!