Scotland trip advice not stalking related

The Singing Stalker

Well-Known Member
Evening one and all
Once again I need to turn to the great unwashed to seek mystical guidance.

My dad is an amateur photographer and his passion is wildlife photography, he even spent a week up near the arctic taking piccies of polar bears and such. That was just last year.
It was his 80th last week birthday and I made the mistake of telling him I would bring him to Scotland for a week so he can do some photography as we would have a wander around. My Bad. He is fit as a fiddle and can walk me under the table as long as he has a regular break with a cup of tea and a sandwich. I have got his flight booked and so I will collect him from Glasgow airport on the 21st September. Nip over to Edinburgh and spend a few hours over there. then on upwards in a northerly direction.

Sunday spend at Oban?
Monday Around Fort Augustus day around loch ness?
Tuesday at Speyside near Aviemore
Wednesday Moray firth Dolphins and anything else we can fit in after.
Thursday John O Groats/ Thurso
Friday back sown south somewhere.
Saturday morning in Edinburgh and drop him back at Glasgow for his flight home.

Other than that he wants to go sit in a shed for several hours and try to get a picture of a pine martin. so I am booking a slot at Speyside Wildlife either on the Tuesday or Thursday and as that is not until the evening about 9pm. we will probably spend the day at the Highland wildlife park to amuse ourselves. I take pictures as well so I wont get bored but he is usually a lot better than me. But lets not talk about my photo of the dolphin breaching the surface. snigger.
I think a trip on a boat off the Moray firth taking wildlife photos of seals, dolphins and birds would be good. Can anybody recommend a good operator for the photography? There are loads of them.

And as we are that way it would seem to be rude not to go to John O groats for a wander. There is a 6 klick walk that he will happily do although I may moan a bit, and take some snaps along the way.

But that is only 2.1/2 days. So I have a number of questions.
Main question. Are we going to be inundated with the midges then? Netted hats advisable?

I am up for any suggestions of where to go, where to stay, things to photograph. I am trying to plan the whole trip so i do not double back on myself. It is the old once in a lifetime trip so I want to make sure we fill in as much as possible. I don't want to just drive around as it gets boring for the passenger. So start one place stop for a few hours drive to next place etc. Nothing is set in stone and I haven't booked anything yet except the flights.
All being well I will also pop into Mcleods to have a look at their secondhand scopes. Not that I am having anything to do with shooting :D. No siree.

so all suggestions greatly received.



Well-Known Member
Well, as you're up that way, there is a spot I know not far from Drumnadrochit that he could get some otter pictures.
You could then continue up to Glen Affric which has to be one of the most photogenic areas of Scotland, just be careful on the roads as there are a LOT of red deer there.
Pm me if you're interested in the otters.


Well-Known Member
For dolphin gillimot & bird collony trip the best by far around is ecoadventures in Cromarty I beautiful fishing village 25 miles from Inverness city. You can find them on the web and the pn number is 01381600323 they are the real deal and aim to impress not just a tour its a memory you wont forget.
I need to book again so addictive living so near to this. You can almost touch the dolphins your that close.
Enjoy and let me know if you go and what your thoughts are.
P.s the young lady who is the skipper - her father takes guests out on the hill so may be a contact for you.
Kind regards


Well-Known Member
If your at Oban, take a ferry trip to Mull and see the Sea Eagles. As for midges, there will be a few million of the little darlings going about. Take nets with you



Well-Known Member
Glen Strathfarrar is simply stunning, highly recommended.
We holiday close to there every year, I never tire of it.


Well-Known Member
Between Kinbrace & Altnaharra there's Loch Choire estate.....on the estate there are bothy's one by Loch Choire (Loch Bhealaich end) & there are pine martens/otters/golden and sea eagles may also be seen.
The loch is some 3-4 miles long I think. Of course it's 'stag' season, so you'd have to be careful of any shooting taking place.
It's a shorter walk in from the 'Crask Inn' on the A836 Altnaharra/Lairg road perhaps 7 miles, but you can overnight in the bothy.

The track through from Badanloch is a long way....perhaps 14 miles.
Perhaps a word with the head stalker might allow a car in. ATB
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Well-Known Member
Loch Park. Drummuir Estate between Keith and Dufftown. Speak to James he has PineMartins "nesting" in the roof of his shed, you can get quite close to them (10 metres). His number is 01542810334. Nice Guy, lovely place for photography.


Well-Known Member
On the way to Oban, I take it you will be through Calender, take him into Killin. Only a couple of miles off route and falls of Dochart are a must for any photographer.
then stop at barrage at the bottom of loch awe, pass of brander, see if he is quick enough to snap a leaping salmon.


Well-Known Member
You could mackerel fish at Cromaty , Visit Cawdor castle , Fish and chips at Helmsdale go and sit at the harbour , then cut through to Altnahhara , heading north .
Beutiful when the light change and you see Caithness in its soft glow .


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If your going as far as John O'groats it might be worth the marine wildlife trip into the Pentland Firth, all manner of sea birds and there have been loads of sighting of Orca chasing seals.

Pheasant Feeder

Well-Known Member
Whilst your on the west coast, you might wish to try Ardnamurchan, there's golden and sea eagles, pine martin, otters, seals etc. There's a wildlife hide at Garbh Eilean Where I've seen seals and sea eagles. Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide | Wildlife in Moidart, Ardnamurchan, Arisaig, Mallaig and Morvern

My only thought on the itinerary is that you might be trying to fit a little too much in, as wildlife photography takes time and patience. In reality you could spend several days on Ardnamurchan and the West Coast up to Ullapool.

Also to minimise travelling I'd do it in this order:

Sunday at Speyside near Aviemore
Monday John O Groats/ Thurso
Tuesday Moray firth Dolphins and anything else we can fit in after (possibly lunch in Inverness?)
Wednesday. Around Fort Augustus day around loch ness?
Thursday Ardnamurchan
Friday spend at Oban?
Saturday morning in Edinburgh and drop him back at Glasgow for his flight home.

Hope this helps.


Well-Known Member
Well, as you're up that way, there is a spot I know not far from Drumnadrochit that he could get some otter pictures.
You could then continue up to Glen Affric which has to be one of the most photogenic areas of Scotland, just be careful on the roads as there are a LOT of red deer there.
Pm me if you're interested in the otters.

i have stalked sika in that exact area while on honeymoon , absolutly breath taking , i fell in love with area !


Well-Known Member
Theres a lot to see and a week is not long to take it all in, if on the west coast and you want to photograph wildlife
a trip to at least one of the western isles is a must, though it will eat into the time you have available.


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Where do i start! Red kites at Argaty nr Doune, only and hour from Edinburgh, Killin on the way to the west. Avoid oban unless you go to mull for sea eagles (grass point or on the way to ulva), grass point is only 15 mins from the ferry terminal. Tobermory for lunch, possibly head north to glengorm castle (lunch at the farm shop is awesome) and the views are wolrd class.

Alternaitvely go to skye via glenelg stunnign drive to glenelg, possible go A9 stop at Dalwhinnie distillery for a quick tour then drive by laggan. (wee ferry to skye after lunch with shiela at the glenelg inn). Do skye then go plockton then north north...exiting skye via the skye bridge. If you want some quietprivate scenic stuff pm me, i can point you in the direction of accommodation too.

Other idea is take the sea plane from glasgow to tobermoray?



Active Member
Loads of ideas here, and good ones. Sounds like a pretty busy week. If you do end up "eastish"going towards Glen Affric and Strathfarrar, then the Shin falls near Lairg is a "must" for salmon pics, Have a great week whatever, Iain

The Singing Stalker

Well-Known Member
Oh crap, just had a chance to log on. A millions bits of advice, my thanks to you all. I will go through it all over the weekend and drop a few PMs to people. Many thanks. I am trying to avoid trying to go out stalking myself cos I am wanting to ensure it is his holiday, not that he would mind. Oooooh the temptation. Lol.
​Cheers one and all.

The Singing Stalker

Well-Known Member
Thank you one and all for the information sent. Looking like we are sorted for what we are going to do with a few days free to do something on the spur of the moment.
We have decided that a self catering cottage somewhere round 20 miles of Inverness ish as it is central to where we want to go. So if anybody can recommend somewhere out in the countryside as there are loads of places. Quiet area, with wildlife so we can get up early and take some photos.
Pine martens are his no1 priority for pictures.
​thanks again.


Well-Known Member
If you drive tofortrose and go down to the lighthouse at channory point the dolphins are 20yds away
​ Atb tom