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Scenery of Scotland

Scenery of Scotland

When it comes to pictures of the scenery of Scotland, sometimes it isn’t the pictures that would ever make it into a conventional tourism brochure that say most about a place. I chose the pictures you’ll see on this page because they do, in most cases, have a cool (meteorologically speaking) feel to them. I think I might mean bleak! They sum up for me something about Scotland’s landscapes.

For example, nobody could say the picture below was a calendar shot of the scenery of Scotland, but for me the view below  is the essence of the lonely, bare uplands of the Grampian Highlands in the north of Scotland. Just a rolling plateau, crossed by walkers’ paths and ancient rights of way. This is taken from the summit of Cairn Bannoch, a ‘Munro’ south east of Braemar. The path linking this hill to Broad Cairn (the hill-top on the left) can be seen faintly on the right. The head of Glen Clova in Angus can just be made out in the very centre. It’s late afternoon in September, the wind has turned chill and it’s time to leave these wide and empty spaces to the odd pair of patrolling ravens. Plenty of hillwalkers will know what I mean….

Scenery of Scotland - the view from the summit of Cairn Bannoch, Grampian Highlands, looking southwards to Angus

Scenery of Scotland – the view from the summit of Cairn Bannoch, Grampian Highlands, looking southwards to Angus

(Below) A sense of space. John Muir Country Park in East Lothian from the Tynninghame end. The little town of Dunbar is on the horizon to the east. In less than hour you can be on Princes Street in Edinburgh. But would you really want to be? The scenery of Scotland isn’t all bens and glens.

John Muir Country Park, looking towards Dunbar, East Lothian

John Muir Country Park, looking towards Dunbar, East Lothian

(Below) It’s early spring. In fact, it’s so early, I should stop pretending and just call it winter. This pic looks north-west from the “Gleneagles Gap”, where the Ochil Hills allow one road through from the Forth Valley. It’s a direct but sometimes overlooked route from Edinburgh to the Highlands. In this view, the famous Gleneagles Hotel is dead centre, visible as a thin pale line in the dark woodlands.

Looking northwards out of Glen Eagles, Ochil Hills, towards Ben Chnozie and the Southern Highlands

Looking northwards out of Glen Eagles, Ochil Hills, towards Ben Chnozie and the Southern Highlands

But isn’t it obvious, in the pic above, where the real Highlands start, a little beyond? There’s plenty of snow still on Ben Chonzie, the white plateau to the left, with Glen Turret opening beside it, below which is Glenturret Distillery at the top end of the little town of Crieff. But that’s enough, this picture was supposed to speak for itself….

(Below) Not a tree in sight. Just a Moray Firth coast sea-town sheltering from the wind. There’s a somewhat idiosyncratic (they tell me) golf course below the cliffs. The clubhouse is the white building on the left, by the shore and left of the sea-stack. This is the Seatown of Cullen, on the Moray Firth, north of Aberdeen, east of Inverness. The houses on the horizon are part of Portknockie, the next community to the west.

Looking over the roofs of the seatown of Cullen, towards Portknockie

Looking over the roofs of the seatown of Cullen, towards Portknockie

(Below) On the edge of the famous ‘Rough Bounds of Knoydart’, Inverie, by the shore, is reached by boat from Mallaig, on Scotland’s western seaboard. The pointy mountains look as though they have been drawn in as a backdrop – but what you see is what you get. In a nice way. And, yes, you’re quite right: this is more of a conventional ‘bens and glens’ pic. But, hey, I had to hike a bit to take the shot and I was being eaten alive by the pesky local midges.

Inverie, sometimes the gateway to the Rough Bounds of Knoydart

Inverie, sometimes the gateway to the Rough Bounds of Knoydart

I chose the pictures you’ve see on this page because they do, in most cases, have a cool feel to them. I think I might mean bleak! They sum up for me something about Scotland’s landscapes. But none of them would make it into a tourist brochure. They’re probably too honest. Or not quite sunny and blue enough.

There are more pictures here of the beautiful scenery of Scotland.

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