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24 Jun 2019

An adventure duo’s mighty date

Written by Jamie Brogan
A view from a mountain pass looking down a winding road towards a loch.
National Trust for Scotland member and avid photographer, Jamie Brogan, shares his northern adventure from the east coast to Inverewe ... and lots in between.

As a a landscape and urban photographer, I spend my life scouting Scotland’s most beautiful places and landscapes.

With yet another cold week in May upon us, my girlfriend Beth and I packed up and headed north on an epic adventure to explore some of the beautiful locations cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Spoiler alert: we were not disappointed.

An abandoned bothy stands on a hillside with snow-capped mountains in the distance.

From Edinburgh to Inverewe and back again, we covered nearly 600 miles and visited three stunning properties: Corrieshalloch Gorge, Inverewe and Crathes Castle.

With over 300,000 artefacts and 76,000 hectares of countryside in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, we knew there would be lots to visit in the direction we were headed. We had an amazing weekend and were spoilt for outstanding sights and landscapes. Some highlights in particular made a lasting impression on us.

A view of a loch with islands scattered throughout it and mountains in the background. The skies are heavy with clouds.

The drive through the rugged landscape of Wester Ross leading to the small haven that is Inverewe was nothing short of spectacular. Being able to admire Loch Maree – a place I have wanted to visit for a long time – on the way certainly made it a drive I’ll never forget.

The award-winning Inverewe exuded colour and it was great to see a series of projects underway, enhancing the visitor experience in the heritage garden. It was no surprise to us that the gardens are gaining a reputation as an imaginative and inspiring arts destination in their own right.

An aerial shot of the Wester Ross coastline, showing turquoise seas and mountains in the background.

Following our visit to Inverewe, we continued along the North Coast 500 from Inverewe Garden to Corrieshalloch Gorge – home to the Falls of Measach. There we discovered a Victorian suspension bridge that spanned the gorge above the 45m drop of the falls. It was here that I unpacked my entire kit bag, as it would have been absurd not to capture the view with every piece of equipment I own, from drone to polaroid camera.

From sun, idyllic turquoise seas and white beaches to snow-covered mountain tops, bothies and winding mountain roads, the drive itself to Aberdeen hosted some of the most spectacular mountain scenery I have ever witnessed in Scotland.

A lady stands with her back to the camera in front of some steps leading to Crathes Castle.

Marking the final stop on the journey, the magnificent Crathes Castle made for the perfect conclusion of our adventure. Standing against a backdrop of rolling hills and set within glorious gardens, it’s every inch the classic Scottish castle and a really great day out. When we arrived, there was a nice buzz to the place, with the wedding fair taking place inside making the experience all that more romantic.

We spent the morning visiting the jungle of history that is the walled garden, taking in the exotic and herbaceous colours of plants, some of which are thought to have been planted as early as 1702.

There’s every reason to go out, explore, discover and visit some of Scotland’s natural and national treasures. When we got home to the historic city of Edinburgh that we call home, we both felt inspired and eager to plan our next visit on our hit list of National Trust for Scotland locations.