Eilean Donan, Ben Nevis, Fort William and Glencoe: Trip Notes

Leaving Skye, our first stop was at Eilean Donan Castle, the one you’ve seen immortalized on a thousand cake-tins!.  You’ve got a range of shots from the huge parking area next to the loch, but try going onto the shoreline to the right of the entrance gate for a different approach.  Of course, you hope for a mirror-like surface to the water so that you can get the reflections.  Interesting lights, especially in the evening or early morning certainly would add to the results, but most of us have to take what we can get!

Just outside Fort William, with Ben Nevis in the background, you can get a shot of the Commando Memorial.  If the weather is poor, you won’t see the mountains, but the statue of the three commandoes looking suitably rugged lends itself to different interpretations, so your trip won’t be wasted.

Fort William, just a short distance away, is in effect a one-street (although long) town, but it’s enjoyable and you’ll get a few shots of pubs, shops, etc.  Good place to find something to eat, too. The quayside was unremarkable When I was there, so I’d stick to the main street if your time is limited. The end of the West Highland Way walking track is at the other end of the street from the church, there’s a bronze sculpture of a man sitting down, looking happy, and a big map of the Highland Way inscribed into the paving in front of him.  Again, a wide angle is necessary to get the whole map in, but in bright sunlight the grey on dark grey is difficult to capture legibly.  Maybe a few tweaks in Photoshop will be required.

After Fort William, on the road south, you come to the Valley of Glencoe, of massacre fame.  It’s a sombre kind of place with sweeping vistas.  This time it was sunny for me (early afternoon), but actually I preferred it the previous time I was there, with rain and greyness and a little mist.  More fitting, somehow.  It has a feeling of emptiness, even with tourists about, so that’s what I’d go for in my shots.

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