walkhighlands





Over the sea to Skye

Since re-locating to the Highlands six years ago, I’ve made hundreds of journeys up and down the A9 and the Highland Main Line, to keep up with family and friends in Perth and Edinburgh, and to honour work commitments in the Central Belt. I nearly always tackle the journey in one go, setting the cruise control if travelling by car, or loading up my laptop on the train, focused on getting to my destination with as few interruptions as possible. As I mentioned in my last article, setting aside free time for myself has become something of a challenge over

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Day Tripper to the May

The summer of 2018 was long, hot and record-breaking, yet I spent most of it stuck indoors catching up on a huge backlog of work. I can’t help but feel that I’m entitled to a heat wave again this year, now that I’m in a position to enjoy it. So far, however, the season isn’t living up to expectations. The solstice is almost upon us, yet I find myself waiting for summer to begin. The winter months are long and arduous here in the north east Highlands. Consequently, there is a certain amount of pressure to make the most of

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Out of the woods

Finding peace and mental renewal on a mindful walk in the woods.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Mother Earth

Clam shell, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye

Karen turns her photographer’s eye to the ground to capture the small-scale details in the landscape.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

Layers of time

Karen Thorburn ponders deep time in the amazing landscape of Assynt.

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Posted in Magazine

New Horizons

Karen Thorburn shares her personal perspective on St Kilda – Scotland’s ultima thule. Half my lifetime ago, in 2002, I found myself on holiday with my parents, standing atop huge sand dunes overlooking a magnificent beach on the west coast of the island of Berneray in the Sound of Harris. Pristine golden sand stretched in either direction as far as the eye could see, and turquoise water broke in waves on the shore. The little island of Pabbay lay to the north and, to the west, we looked beyond the Outer Hebrides to a vast expanse of open sea, or

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Posted in Features, Magazine

How to Improve your Landscape Photography

Karen Thorburn shares her tips for taking better landscape photographs. If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know by now that my favourite topic to write about is my emotional attachment to the landscapes of Scotland. This month sees a brief departure from that; instead, I’d like to share with you some of my top not-too-technical tips to help you to improve your landscape photographs. 27 years after picking up my first camera as a young child back in 1991, I’m still striving to improve my skills and expand my knowledge of the landscapes around me. It’s a life-long

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

Miles from Nowhere

As I look out of the window onto the peaceful suburbs of Perth, the rain falls gently from an overcast sky, marking the end of one of the longest spells of dry, warm, sunny weather in recent years. While I’ve been largely desk-bound editing wedding photographs these past few months, my landscape photography kit has been gathering dust in a cupboard in my house at the other end of the A9, and my much-loved bike has been languishing in my shed since a mild day at the beginning of February. Along with my walking boots, running shoes, and gardening gloves,

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Scotland in Miniature

With its rugged mountains, lush glens and windswept islands, Scotland is a utopia for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Despite my background in geography, I have little desire to venture overseas as my constant thirst for landscape photography, coastal walking, island hopping, cycling and camping is quenched within these shores. Scotland has over 790 islands scattered around its 10,250 mile (16,500 kilometre) coastline, but only one of these has acquired the nickname ‘Scotland in Miniature’; the Isle of Arran. My family photograph albums reveal that my childhood had a fairly ordinary start, with a week-long Scottish self-catering holiday once a

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Haven

I stood on the shoreline at Laig, surveying my surroundings. The coastline was peppered with large boulders known as concretions; hard rocks eroded out of the softer cliff face over millions of years; a timescale incomprehensible in my world of sunrises and sunsets captured in perhaps a thirtieth of a second. Behind me, the scattered settlement of Cleadale was dominated by the near-vertical black crags of Beinn Bhuidhe. Across the water, the mountainous profile of the Rum Cuillin was shrouded in a blanket of cloud. Waves gently lapped at my feet and distant calls of cuckoos echoed from the cliffs

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.