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THE FAR NORTH

September 13, 2019 - September 18, 2019

£1899
  • TRIP AT A GLANCE

    • Dates: 13 – 18 September 2019
    • Duration: 5 nights / 6 days
    • Location: Assynt and Sutherland
    • Start/Finishes: Inverness
    • Comfort: Classic
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Price: £1899

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend six days developing your photography skills in the company of Colin Prior
  • Private en-suite accommodation at the comfortable Edrachilles Hotel
  • Access to some of the most remote and secluded locations in Scotland
  • Tutorials and critique sessions with individual feedback on each participant’s work
  • Workshop restricted to nine clients plus Colin and assistant

Easy straightforward hiking generally over good trails with no major ascents. The days are fairly leisurely and we spend about 6-8 hours outdoors. Terrain underfoot is mainly on paths or hill trails which may be muddy in places. Daily walks are mainly glens or coastal hikes with some ascents up to 450m (1500ft).

With superb views overlooking Eddrachilles Bay to Drumbeg and the mountains of Assynt, the workshop will be based at the Eddrachillies Hotel. Purchased in March 2016 by Richard and Fiona Trevor, the hotel has been upgraded and the food has a distinctive Scandinavian influence. All guests will have private accommodation with en-suite facilities. Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals are included throughout and packed lunches will be provided on the first and final days.

Also included are all standard coffees and teas taken throughout your stay at the hotel and there is a popular non-chargeable Tunnock’s munchies plate. Yum!

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

  • Five nights’ accommodation in the comfortable Eddrachilles Hotel.
  • Each client will have private accommodation with en-suite facilities.
  • Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals are included throughout.
  • Personal tuition, critique sessions and tutorials.
  • All transport (including ferries) during the trip, starting and finishing in Inverness.

TRIP DETAILS

Great heather slopes; grassy gulleys opening on glimmering lochs like tiny oceans, with rocky headlands and bays and solitary trees; near crests against the sky and far away elegant outlines of Foinaven and Arkle; life starting away from the feet, mosses, a strange flower, a bird that disappears before one quite sees it, a peace until this very moment was unimaginable; a remoteness, a wildness, a curious quality inspiring something akin to tranquillity.

 

Our base at the Eddrachilles Hotel, gives us access to some of the wildest landscapes, bays and beaches in Scotland. As one travels northwards, the Torridonian sandstone, gives way to quartzite and then to limestone at Durness – a transition which is reflected in character on the landscape itself. Travel in the Far North tends to be, mainly, along single-track roads which follow glens between mountains such as Ben Stack and Foinaven and Arkle, or across peat moorlands towards Ben Loyal. In contrast, the north coast is backed by sandy beaches and sheltered coves amidst myriad colours.

TRIP ITINERARY

Below is a typical itinerary, which will inevitably change to take advantage of the optimum weather conditions on the day. The forecast will be studied and the most suitable location chosen. We will plan to shoot at dusk and dawn as dictated by the weather.

Day 1

Dundonnell and Coigach

Colin will meet you underneath the main display board in the arrival hall at Inverness Railway Station at 0830 on Friday morning. Inverness is a small station so it will be easy to identify Colin. On the final day of the workshop, we will return you to Inverness Railway Station at 1500, allowing clients to connect with the rail services south.

After the group has assembled at Inverness Station, we will head north for Dundonnell where we’ll spend the morning. A path leads to a high point which overlooks the An Teallach massif and creates one of the most dramatic viewpoints of the mountain. We’ll then head to Ullapool for lunch and continue north, stopping at a variety of locations in the Coigach and Assynt landscape, arriving at the Eddrachilles Hotel around 1700.

Day 2

Oldshoremore and Cape Wrath (ferry crossing and minibus included)

Lying between moorland and sea, Oldshoremore has one of the largest and least disturbed areas of machair on the mainland. Rich in lime, the shell-sand grassland supports a wide variety of wildflowers, which include heath harebells, bluebells and spotted orchids whilst providing ideal habitat of birds such as the skylark, twite and oystercatcher. Following Oldshoremore, we will head north to visit Cape Wrath, where the Lighthouse built by Robert Stevenson in 1828, stands on the most north-westerly tip of the Scottish mainland. We cross the Kyle of Durness by ferry boat and then travel twelve miles by minibus along a track to the lighthouse.

Day 3

Achnahaird Bay and Stac Pollaidh

Lying in the heart of Coigach, Achnahaid Bay affords panoramic views to the mountains of Assynt. As we follow the cliffs up to a high point, Suilven, Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh and Ben Mor Coigach rise from the moorland beyond Enard Bay. Alternatively, the bay with its white coral sands and rocky inlets offers an alternative location for those who prefer seascapes. After lunch we will head to Stac Pollaidh where we will ascend the western path to photograph it’s northern aspects in the late afternoon.

Day 4

Loch Arkle, Loch Loyal and Kyle of Tongue

Today we drive south-east from Laxford Bridge where Foinaven and Arkle dominate the Reay Forest. We’ll explore around the lochs on their lower slopes then continue along Loch Shin to Lairg where we will head north to Loch Loyal and Ben Loyal – considered by many to be the perfect Scottish mountain. From the village of Tongue, we will return following the coastal road back to our hotel.

Day 5

Handa Island and Assynt (ferry included)

A short boat trip from Scourie will take us to Handa Island where during the summer months over 100,000 seabirds breed on the Torridonian sandstone sea cliffs. We’ll explore the island during the morning and in the afternoon head south to Lochinver taking the coastal route through the Assynt landscape, stopping to photograph Suilven. If the weather is favourable, we will reposition for sunset near Lochinver.

Day 6

Point of Stoer

Having checked out from our Hotel, we will drive to the Stoer Head Lighthouse which is another of Stevenson’s constructions. Built in 1870, it stands high on a promontory overlooking the Minch. We’ll follow the high ground which affords some superb views back across the sea to isolate the lighthouse on the cliff top. We’ll then head out across the moorland path to photograph Am Buachaille which stands at the south-east of Sandwood Bay. We’ll depart at 1230 to arrive at Inverness around 1445 where the workshop will conclude.

GETTING THERE

This trip starts and finishes in Inverness. For train timetables, costs and reservations follow these links:

www.firstscotrail.co.uk

www.thetrainline.com

www.seat61.com

MEETING INSTRUCTIONS

Colin will meet you underneath the main display board in the arrivals hall at Inverness Railway Station at 0830 on Saturday.

At the end of the workshop on Thursday, we will return you to Inverness Railway Station at 1500.

TRIP PRICING

The trip price is £1899 per person. Group size is limited to 9 clients and this ensures that Colin can give a one-to-one tuition and critique sessions.

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Transport to and from the workshop start/end points
  • Travel insurance and personal equipment
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcohol and soft drinks, laundry
  • Gratuities
  • Any other items not mentioned as included
RECOMMENDED PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

The ability to respond to Scotland’s changeable weather with appropriate clothing will enhance your enjoyment. The key is to bring comfortable clothing, which will maintain your body temperature under a variety of weather conditions. If you are at all susceptible to the cold, a down jacket or a similarly insulated jacket is the most effective way to keep warm and can quickly change your mental outlook.

  • Lightweight boots
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat for sun protection or warmth
  • Casual clothes for evening wear
  • Personal wash kit
  • Head torch
  • Optional: sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip salve
PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

Cameras – Camera equipment is very much a personal choice and is dependent on individual preference, budget, and experience. Whether you shoot with a 35mm DSLR or a mirror-less system is unimportant. What is important, however, is that you are familiar with your camera’s layout and menu structure and the difference between shooting modes. An understanding of the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO is essential.

Camera bag – bring a camera bag that allows you to comfortably carry your equipment over rugged terrain. Backpacks distribute the weight between your shoulders and hips making walking much easier than a bag with a shoulder strap and are normally weather-proofed.

Tripod – the ideal tripod needs to be light enough to carry comfortably but sufficiently robust to be used in winds. A tripod engenders a more contemplative approach to the photography and allows the use of slower shutters speeds. A wide range of models are available from Manfrotto and Gitzo and for more advanced photographers, carbon fibre tripods offer a lighter weight solution but essentially do the same job as those made from aluminum.

Lenses – like cameras, these come down to personal choice and will be determined by the type of subject matter normally pursued. Many photographers choose two zoom lenses; a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, which will account for 90-95% of the images taken with only two lenses. Another popular combination is 24-105mm and 100-400mm. Some photographers prefer to work with prime lenses which offer improved performance at their respective focal lengths however, it usually means carrying more weight. If exploring the intimate landscape interests you, then a 90/100mm Macro lens can be ideal.

Filters – The most commonly used filters in digital photography are graduated neutral density filters. These differ from neutral density filters in that they allow you to control luminosity locally. They come in a variety of densities and gradations but in my experience, the most useful is a 0.6 soft and 0.6 hard. Several brands of ‘grads’ are available but by far the best is manufactured by Lee Filters. They also offer a professional filter holder which allows the gradation to be moved within the holder, relative to the scene. A polarising filter is useful for removing reflections from water and increasing contrast. Many photographers favour Lee’s ‘Big Stopper’ which transforms water and clouds into amorphous forms by increasing the exposure by 10 stops.

Backup and storage – Ensure that you have adequate memory cards and a means of backing up your work, either on a laptop, iPad or supplementary hard drive. Bringing your own laptop will allow you to see what you have shot each day and will facilitate critique sessions.

Remote release – essential to eradicate camera shake when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Spare batteries – cold will adversely affect battery life so make sure you have extras.

Lens cloth – useful for removing rain or sea spray.

HOW TO BOOK

We accept bookings online, by phone and post. Booking online is straight forward and enables us to confirm your reservation immediately. Before booking, it is important that you read the relevant Trip Dossier and our Booking Terms and Conditions. If you have any doubts regarding your suitability for a trip, please contact us.

To book online, simply click the relevant link from the trip page on our website. You will then be asked to complete the online booking form and proceed to payment. All payments made are directly through Worldpay in a totally secure environment. For online bookings, we accept payment by Maestro, Visa Electron, Visa Debit and Solo debit cards or Visa Mastercard American Express credit cards. Please note that there is no charge for payment by debit card but a 2% surcharge for payment by credit card. A deposit of 25% is required at the time of booking unless you are booking less than 56 days before departure. In this case, full payment of the trip price is required.

Should you prefer, you can call us with your reservation and card payment. This will enable us to confirm your place although, in all cases, we require a completed booking form (either online or by post) with details of all persons travelling. If booking by post, we accept all of the above payment methods plus cheque or bank transfer. If booking online, we will confirm your booking immediately, including a copy of the Trip Dossier and an invoice for payment of the balance. If booking by any other method, we will confirm your booking within seven days of receipt.

INSURANCE

It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. We also strongly recommend you take out cover for cancellation and curtailment and baggage cover. We work with and recommend Campbell Irvine Insurance whose policies are specially designed for adventure holidays and are underwritten by AXA Insurance. Insurance can be arranged directly from www.campbellirvine.com

 

 

 

Details

Start:
September 13, 2019
End:
September 18, 2019
Cost:
£1899

Venue

Eddrachillies Hotel
Badcall Bay
Scourie, Sutherland IV27 4TH United Kingdom
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Tickets

8 available
The Far North-2018-09-13£1,899.00A deposit of 25% is required

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