Clava Stone Circles, Culloden and the Castle of Mey: Trip Notes

The Clava stone circles, neolithic burial sites, are not really circles but doughnut mounds with standing stones around them.  There are three of them in a small park.  Fortunately, we had some morning sun.  A wide-angle shot from inside a mound looking out through the entrance passageway was a little different.  A 3/4 aerial view would be best, but nothing was around to climb up on.

The sun was shining at Culloden battlefield too, although it tended to be in and out as the clouds swept by.  Very atmospheric when you’re there, but pretty flat and not a huge amount to shoot.  The various stone grave markers showing where the different clansmen fell, or at least are buried, are small but sombre reminders of the slaughter.

Plenty of dramatic scenery in the Cairngorm Mountains, although not like the Alps – more green and rounded than craggy.  The heather was out but rather a dark purple than bright.  The land flattens out as you move into the far north of Scotland, so the views become less dramatic until you reach the coast.  Dunnett Head (the furthermost point on the UK mainland) makes a good shot.

The Castle of Mey, previously owned by the Queen Mother and visited regularly by her until her death at 102, is worthwhile visiting for its external views and walled gardens, but no photos are allowed inside the castle for “security reasons”.  Small guided tours are very interesting, lots of backstairs gossip and snippets of info about the Queen Mum’s habits.

Thurso, where we stayed, is not remarkable from a photographic aspect, but is the best base for a trip to the Orkneys.

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