Snow on Ben More, Mull
Ben More on the island of Mull is the only island Munro outside of Skye. Ben More lies between Loch na Keal to the north, and Loch Scridain to the south. The mountain’s summit is formed where three ridges meet.
Ben More is a popular hill for hillwalkers. There are stunning views from the summit, which is 3169 feet above the lochs. On a clear day it’s possible to see out to Coll and Tiree to the west, and Morvern and Ardnamurchan to the north.
The commonest route for walkers to take is from the north side, starting out at Loch Na Keal, and taking the track which passes by Dhiseig, a house on the northern slopes of the mountain. Since the route starts from sea level, it takes several hours to climb the hill to the top and back.
I love the winter colours on Mull. There’s been some dramatic winter storms recently, with snow then heavy rain in the middle of the week. There’s often a cap of snow on the summit of Ben More at this time of year. This photo was taken from the south side, by Advergnish farmhouse near Pennyghael.
Snow at Loch Ossian
During the week I went hunting for some snowy photos, and decided to head up to Loch Ossian on Rannoch Moor. From Corrour station, there’s hills and moorland stretching in every direction. When I got off the train, all of it was covered in snow. Apart from the abandoned house (Lubnaclach), there’s no signs of buildings for many miles beyond the station area. That’s a lot of white!
The forestry track heading east from Corrour heads over to Loch Ossian. Hidden in the trees at the west end of the loch is Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, run by the SYHA. The hostel was refurbished in 2003, and is now billed as an ‘eco-hostel, with a wind turbine, solar panels and composting toilets.
It’s an incredibly beautiful area of the country. The forestry track continues right round the loch, making for a wonderful fairly flat walk straight from the station. And for those who want to climb Munros, there are plenty within striking distance of the hostel. The train takes you up to 1339 feet at Corrour station, so there’s not too much more climbing to do from there! This photo was taken from the track to the south of the loch, looking towards Ben na Lap on the north shore. It’s probably the easiest of the Munro’s to climb from the station, being fairly close, and also having a steady gentle climb up the west side. The hostel is in the small cluster of trees, seen here at the left hand end of the loch.
Snow at Corrour station on Rannoch Moor
This week a made a quick journey north to look for snow in the Highlands. I headed to Rannoch Moor on the train first thing on Wednesday morning. On the strength of a good forecast for two days, I had booked a bed at Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. It’s a place I’m very familiar with from my younger days, but I hadn’t been back in many years. I was intrigued to see how it looked after the major refurbishment it underwent in 2003. I was also hunting for snowy photos for the Photography Scotland’s 2014 landscape calendar.
Corrour station, at 1339 feet, is Scotland’s highest train station. For the final hour of the journey north, we had the most fantastic snowy views. From Tyndrum onwards, we were above the snowline, and the sun was out. Corrour is possibly familiar to many people who have never visited it, after its brief appearance in the film ‘Trainspotting’. It’s a remote spot, with just a station platform, and one building opposite – peculairly, this is a restaurant. Corour Station House Restaurant was built after the station master’s house was knocked down in 2000. With no public road, it’s only possible to get to the UK’s most remote restaurant by taking a train on the West Highland Line. And in the winter it’s essential to book before you go, otherwise you may find the restaurant is shut!
There was still a little late morning sunshine as we pulled into the station at Corrour. Several walkers got off to head up Leum Ulleum, the hill to the west of the station. I had my camera out, and headed off down the track to the youth hostel. The view looking back at the station shows just how remote it is.
It was sunny as we were heading North through Scotland towards Glencoe. The clouds suddenly rolled in as we approached Rannoch Moor – it’s such an atmospheric place on days like this.
You can buy this photo as a card or print from the Photography Scotland website shop
I love Glencoe on days like this – looking at its atmospheric best with clouds swirling around the tops.
I took this photo looking westwards down Glencoe, towards the foot of the glen.
Here’s a couple of my favourite snowy landscape photos from last year’s freeze, taken on a trip to Wiston Lodge.
Dawn over Wiston, near Biggar, in the Scottish borders
Tranquil morning mist on a snowy morning at Wiston, near Biggar
This was one of those perfect days for landscape photography – or it would have been if I had had my wellies with me! A group of us were staying at Wiston Lodge in the Scottish borders, early in January last year. It was an amazing weekend with deep snow lying, sharp frosts overnight, and clear sunny days. I decided to get up early to take some dawn photos, and had trouble tearing myself away from it all – I nearly missed breakfast!
Blue skies over Tinto hill
A photo from a snowy foray into Princes Street last winter.
Ramsay Gardens in the snow, Edinburgh city centre
Spotted at the back of St Mary’s Cathedral this afternoon.
Winter berries covered in snow
If you happen to love Christmas, and are feeling ultra organised, I’ve just been updating the website shop with some wintery Scottish photos that would make lovely Christmas cards.
Only 91 days to go, I believe…
Ben More on Mull, capped with snow
And if you happen to find you’re not so organised, you can email any of the images as free e-card…
After a lovely evening at the final Tass session for 2010, I walked home via Princes Street. There’s been plenty of activity going on in Princes Street gardens, getting ready for the Hogmanay street party and fireworks. And the castle is looking stunning!
Edinburgh castle in winter, at night
The cathedral looks pretty dramatic in the morning sun…
St Mary’s cathedral in winter snow
A serene (and cold!) morning shot from the top of Calton Hill.
Looking down Edinburgh’s Princes Street on a snowy morning
Winter snow in Glencoe
On a recent trip to the west with the band, we caught the first dusting of snow on the hills in Glencoe.
A light dusting of snow on Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands
Another jaunt into the snow before work. Today my wanderings took me to the Meadows, past the old infirmary building, and onto George IV Bridge. The sun came out all too briefly, just as I got to the top of Candlemaker Row.
Candlemaker Row, looking towards the Grassmarket, Edinburgh
As I meandered down the mound, I was struck by the lack of colour round about.
Railings on the Mound, Edinburgh
I nipped up Calton Hill this morning, before I went into work. just as I arrived, the dark clouds started rolling in. It was another 20 minutes before the next dump of snow happened, though, so there was time for a few photos.
The cannon on Calton Hill, Edinburgh
The folly on Calton Hill
By the time I was at the top, there was just one wee hole in the black clouds, sitting over the hills in Fife. It didn’t last long!
Clouds rolling in over the Fife coast, Scotland
Amazing watching the sun coming up this morning from Calton Hill. What a beautiful city Edinburgh is!
It’s carried on snowing overnight in Edinburgh. Schools are shut, and the airport is closed. Buses and cars are abandoned on the roadside. But doesn’t it all look beautiful? It’s definitely time to get out there with the camera today!
In the meantime, here’s one more from last winter’s big snowfall:
Snow in the Scottish borders