Fàilte gu Alba – expansive landscapes and big skies

During our recent tour of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands we traveled from Fife (where we had stopped the first night after traveling up from the English Midlands) up through Perthshire and Aberdeenshire, Speyside and the north coast and over to Inverness. From there we worked our way up the northeast coast to John o’ Groats and across the top of Scotland and down through Sutherland. We crossed over to the Outer Hebrides (Lewis, Harris, North and South Uist, Benbecula, and Eriskay) from Ullapool, then came back to the mainland via Skye. From there, via the Kyle of Lochalsh, we traveled down the west coast to Argyll & Bute, and over to Loch Lomond on our last day.

I took over 1000 photos on my Nikon D5000. On many occasions I felt I could only do justice to the landscapes we saw by taking a panorama of individual shots and combining them into stitches. The result for some is more than acceptable. For others, the blending between the individual frames is not even, but they nevertheless allow you to appreciate the beauty of these outstanding Scottish landscapes. Click on each of the photo below to open a full size version. I hope you enjoy these photos as much I did taking and editing them.

A939 towards Ladder Hills

Taken from the A920 between Huntly and Dufftown, looking southwest.

1746 Culloden battlefield, east of Inverness.

The last battle fought on British soil was fought at Culloden (just east of Inverness) 0n 16 April 1746, when the Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie were defeated by the Hanoverian ‘Butcher Cumberland’.

This bridge, west of Inverness, carries the A( across the Moray Firth into Ross and Cromarty

This bridge, west of Inverness, carries the A9 across the Moray Firth on to the Black Isle of Ross and Cromarty. Taken from North Kessock on the north shore, looking east.

Dunnett Head looking eastwards Thurso

From Dunnet Head – the most northerly point in mainland Britain – looking east towards Thurso and John o’ Groats.

On A836 westwards

On the A836 westwards from Thurso.


At Coldbackie, near the Kyle of Tongue, on the A836.

Kyle of Tongue

Crossing the causeway at the Kyle of Tongue on the A838, west of Thurso.

Loch Eriboll

Loch Eriboll, on the A838, looking southwest from near the mouth of this sea loch on the north coast of Scotland just east of Durness.

Nr Rhiconich

Looking westwards along Loch Inchard, near Rhiconich on the A838 in northwest Sutherland.

Above Laxford Bridge

Loch Laxford, on the A838 in northwest Sutherland.

Laxford Bridge

Approaching Laxford Bridge, looking southwest , on the A838.

Above Loch a' Chairn Bhain

Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, on the B869 heading west after Unapool.

Towards Drumbeg

Near Drumbeg, on the B869, heading west.

Drumbeg Viewpoint

Drumbeg viewpoint, on the B869.

South on A837 Lochinver to Loch Assynt

Heading east on the A837 between Lochinver and the junction with the A894.


At Strathcanaird on the A835, looking west towards Ben More Coigach, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor.

Towards Inverewe

Little Loch Broom on the A832 towards Inverewe (from Ullapool).

Gruinard Bay

Gruinard Bay along the A832 towards Inverewe Garden.

Near Inverewe

Looking north across Gruinard Bay (on the A832) to the mountains of the Coigach beyond Ullapool.

Inverewe foreshore

The foreshore at Inverewe Garden, looking south at the southern end of Loch Ewe.

Inverewe walled garden

The walled garden at Inverewe and the southern end of Loch Ewe.

Lewis landscape north of Stornaway

The landscape of Lewis north of Stornaway.

Butt of Lewis

The Butt of Lewis, almost 59°N. Next stop: North America. Cliffs covered with fulmars, shags, and kittiwakes. And sea pinks, of course.

South Harris

The mountains of South Harris.

Sound of Harris

Crossing the Sound of Harris (with Harris on the horizon) to Berneray and North Uist.

Road to Lochmaddy North Uist

On the A865 heading east towards Lochmaddy from Bayhead in North Uist.

North Uist towards Lochmaddy

Looking southeast over North Uist with the mountain Eaval near Lochmaddy on the left, and the mountains on the right in the distance on South Uist.

Mtns of South Uist

The mountains of South Uist (looking east) with Ben Mhor on the right.

Machair and mountains at Garrynamonie South Uist

Machair and mountains at Garrynamonie, South Uist (looking east).

Machair at Mhalacleit

Machair at Mhalacleit, South Uist.

Ben Mhor - South Uist

Ben Mhor on South Uist, looking west from Loch Eyenort.


Houses on Eriskay, looking southwest towards Barra.


The hills of north Skye looking south towards Staffin.

The Cuillins from the west

The Cuillins of Skye, looking southeast along the A863 near Drynoch.

Eilean Donan Castle

Looking southwest along Loch Long at Conchra (near Dornie on the A87) towards Eilean Donan castle.

Loch Awe

Looking northeast from the southern end of Loch Awe in Argyll & Bute towards the mountains of Glencoe.

Loch Lomond

Looking north along Loch Lomond at Inverbeg.

In due course, I’ll be adding more photos to individual posts I am drafting about particular places we visited on our 2,260 mile trip.

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