top of page
Multiple exposure flower

Spring in the Scottish Highlands:
Flowers and Waterfalls

£1,399 (Members price £1,349), Deposit £300
Forsinard, Sutherland
Reflection of a flower

Duration & Dates

7 days (6 nights)

23rd to 29th March 25

6th to 12th April 25

4th to 10th May 25

18th to 24th May 25

22nd to 28th March 26

12th to 18th April 26

26th April to 2nd May 26

24th to 30th May 26

If you are a group of 2 or more, please contact us for bespoke dates and itineraries.

Included

  • Full Board Accommodation

  • Single occupancy rooms as standard

  • Vehicle and guide

  • Transfer from Inverness airport or railway station

Price

£1,399

Members price £1,349

Deposit £300

Anyone can join as a member for just £25 a year

Group Size

3 people per holiday per 1 guide

Not Included

  • Initial transport to lodge

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Camera equipment

  • Travel insurance

 
Description

Experience the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of northern Scotland during spring, a season bursting with life and creativity. Our 7-day (6-night) photography holiday is designed to immerse you in the rich natural beauty and diverse photographic opportunities of this amazing region. From dramatic coastlines and serene lochs to the intricate details of emerging flora and the mesmerising movement of water, this tour offers a unique blend of subjects and techniques to enhance your creative photography skills.

A Season of Renewal and Rebirth. Spring in the Highlands is a time of renewal and rebirth when the landscape awakens from its winter slumber and bursts into life. The once snow-covered hills and valleys transform into a vibrant tapestry of fresh greens, blossoming flowers, and budding trees. This season of growth and rejuvenation brings a sense of hope and energy, making it an inspiring time for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Emerging Flora and Fauna. As the temperatures rise and the days lengthen, the Highlands become a haven for wildlife. Flowers such as bluebells, primroses, and wild garlic carpet the forest floors, while delicate blossoms adorn the trees. Birds return from their winter migrations, filling the air with their songs and engaging in courtship displays. This abundance of flora and fauna offers endless opportunities for capturing the delicate beauty and dynamic energy of spring.

Dramatic Waterfalls and Flowing Rivers. Spring is the season when the Highlands' waterfalls and rivers are at their most dramatic. Melting snow and late winter rainfall swell the waterways, creating powerful cascades and rushing streams. The dynamic movement of water, whether it's the gentle flow of a river or the thunderous roar of a waterfall, becomes a central theme for photographers. The interplay of light and water, with sparkling droplets catching the sunlight, adds a magical quality to these scenes.

Golden Light and Gentle Mornings. The quality of light in spring is particularly enchanting. Early mornings are often adorned with a soft, golden glow as the sun rises, casting long shadows and illuminating the dew-covered landscape. Misty mornings are common, creating an ethereal atmosphere that enhances the sense of mystery and wonder. This gentle, golden light is ideal for capturing the subtle beauty of the Highlands, from the rolling hills, down to the intricate details of a single flower.

Exploring Dynamic Landscapes. Spring in the Highlands reveals a diverse range of landscapes, each more captivating than the last. From the dramatic coastlines and serene lochs to the gentle straths and wild moorlands, the region offers a rich tapestry of natural beauty. The interplay of land and water, combined with the vibrant colours of spring, provides a constantly changing canvas that invites exploration and creativity. The weather can be unpredictable, with sudden showers and bursts of sunshine, adding an element of excitement to each day.

 

Cultural Heritage in Bloom. The historical and cultural heritage of the Highlands is brought to life in spring. Ancient castles, standing stones, and historic settlements are framed by blooming flowers and lush greenery, creating a harmonious blend of past and present. The weathered croft houses and Iron Age Brochs, rich in colour and texture, become even more photogenic against the backdrop of new growth. This season offers a unique opportunity to capture the enduring spirit of the Highlands as it embraces the cycle of renewal.

A Time for Reflection and Growth. Spring is a season of reflection and growth, both in nature and within us. The awakening landscape invites introspection and a deeper connection with the natural world. For photographers, it is a time to experiment with new techniques and perspectives, inspired by the vibrant colours and dynamic scenes that spring provides. The sense of renewal and possibility encourages creativity and exploration, making it a perfect time to develop and refine one's photographic skills.

Capturing the Essence of Spring 

In essence, spring in the Highlands is a celebration of life, growth, and renewal. It is a season of vibrant colours, dynamic movement, and serene beauty, offering a wealth of opportunities for capturing the life of this breath-taking region. Whether photographing the delicate petals of a wildflower, the powerful flow of a waterfall, or the golden light of a misty morning, spring in the Highlands promises to inspire and rejuvenate the soul.

In conclusion, spring in the Highlands is a time of profound beauty and transformation. It is a season that embodies the spirit of renewal and invites us to celebrate the intricate and dynamic wonders of the natural world. For those who seek to capture the essence of this magical time, the Highlands offer an endless source of inspiration and joy.

Tour Highlights

  • Landscapes: Capture the breath-taking vistas of northern Scotland, with a focus on dramatic skies, golden light, and the textures and colours of spring.

  • Water Photography: Explore moving water in rivers and waterfalls, reflections and refractions, and abstract interpretations of water in various environments.

  • Creative Techniques: Experiment with monochrome shooting, using filters, multiple exposures, intentional camera movement, long exposures/motion blur, and low light image capture.

Close up highland cow
js1-reflection-bigburn-Mar24-226032024-4363.jpg
ds1-rspb tower-blue reflection-spring-114042023-7421.jpeg
 
Creative Adventurers Welcome

At Wild Arena, we seek guests who are eager to embrace the creative journey of photography, rather than those merely looking to replicate specific images from a checklist. Our tours are designed for those who want to delve deeper into the art of storytelling through their photos, capturing the unique essence of the Highland landscapes, its people, and the ever-changing weather. We are committed to teaching a wide range of techniques and providing the support and encouragement needed to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a passionate beginner, our goal is to help you unlock new levels of creativity and create beautiful, original images that reflect the true spirit of the Highlands. Join us if you’re ready to be inspired, to learn, and to explore the limitless possibilities of your photographic potential.

Pre and Post-Tour Engagement

Before your holiday begins, we will arrange a Zoom call to address any questions you may have about the upcoming week. This call will also be an opportunity for you to meet your fellow guests, and you'll be invited to join a personalised WhatsApp group. On our last evening together, we encourage guests to share their favourite images from the week, fostering camaraderie and collective learning among the group. Even after you return home, you can stay connected with us and your fellow participants through WhatsApp and Facebook, continuing to engage and share your photography journey.

What to Expect

We aim to welcome everyone as a friend and help develop their personal photography on an individual level. Small groups and all-inclusive accommodation ensure guests can relax and fully immerse themselves in their hobby.

 

 
Learning Outcomes

Throughout the week, you'll receive guidance on a range of photographic techniques, including:

  • Compositional principles and creative approaches to photography.

  • Controlling movement with shutter speeds, both fast and slow.

  • Capturing creative close-ups with depth-of-field control and compositions

  • In-camera effects such as multiple exposures and intentional camera movement.

  • Use of filters to enhance and manipulate images.

 

All-Inclusive Experience

Stay at Forsinard Lodge, our comfortable base in the north of Scotland, where you’ll enjoy full board accommodation. The lodge provides a perfect retreat after a day of exploration, with facilities to review your photos, and engage in creative discussions with fellow photographers.

 

Personalised Guidance and Small Groups

Our tours are designed for small groups, ensuring personalised attention and a relaxed atmosphere. Our experienced guides will support you in developing your photography on an individual level, helping you unlock the hidden stories in your surroundings.

Join Us for a Creative Journey

Our goal is to provide a week of relaxation, creative stimulation, and the joy of photography. We welcome you as friends, offering an environment where you can grow your skills, find inspiration, and create beautiful, meaningful images.

Derelict boat

Itinerary
 

Daily Excursions and Studio Sessions

Your itinerary will be flexible to make the most of early and late light, seasonal changes, and weather conditions. Activities will include:

  • Visits to the dramatic seascapes of the northern coasts.

  • Exploring rivers and waterfalls for dynamic water photography.

  • Studio sessions focusing on water droplets and detailed macro work.

  • Opportunities to photograph stunning sunsets, night skies, and potentially the aurora

 

Day 1
js1-waterfall-bigburn-Mar24-226032024-4981.jpg
DS1-waterfall-baile an or-january-spring-112012023-2813.jpeg
ds1-lone tree-lettermore-loch loyal-spring-101042024-3374.jpg

 

Arrival and Welcome Dinner (D)

  • Arrival at Forsinard Lodge, nestled in the wild landscape of northern Scotland.

  • Group gathering for a welcome dinner and an introduction to the week ahead.

Day 2-6

 

Daily Photography Excursions (B, L, D) Each day will be planned to make the most of the weather conditions and photographic opportunities. Expect a mix of the following activities throughout the week:

  • Morning Departures: On some days, we may leave early to catch the morning light, taking a packed breakfast with us. On other days, we might enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the lodge before heading out.

  • Full Day Excursions: We’ll explore various locations including local sites, the wild coastline, high country to the west, and historical landscapes. Opportunities will include capturing landscapes, seascapes, waterfalls and emerging flowers

  • Packed Lunches: To maximize our time in the field, we'll often take packed lunches with us.

  • Evening Returns: Some evenings will see us returning to the lodge for dinner and a review of the day's photography. On other occasions, we might stay out late, enjoying a supper on location to capture sunset or night-time photography.

  • Flexible Scheduling: We will adapt our schedule to include opportunities for sunrise, sunset, and possibly night-time or aurora photography, depending on weather and solar activity.

  • Specific Excursions: Potential specific trips include visits to dramatic coastlines, mountainous regions, waterfalls, rivers and lowland meadows for flowers. There will also be chances to look for local wildlife such as Red Deer and insects.

 

Day 7

 

Departure (B)

  • Final breakfast at the lodge.

  • Round-up of the week’s experiences and a final review before guests depart at 10 am.

 

This flexible itinerary ensures that we can adapt to the best photographic opportunities each day, providing a comprehensive and rewarding experience for all participants.

Meals included are as shown – B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

 
Venue Description: Forsinard Lodge and Surroundings

Our base for this trip is the beautifully situated Forsinard Lodge in northern Scotland. Originally built in 1870 by the Duke of Sutherland as a hunting and fishing lodge at the head of Strath Halladale, the lodge boasts a rich history. The river here was highly regarded for salmon fishing, and the surrounding area was known for its exceptionally large Red Deer stags. Forsinard Lodge has spent most of its life as part of a much wider estate, but it now serves as the perfect base for Wild Arena’s photography tours in this stunning and relatively undiscovered part of the Highlands.

Forsinard and the Flow Country

The lodge is nestled in the heart of the Flow Country, one of Europe’s most important natural landscapes. The Flow Country is an extensive area of blanket bog and wetlands, stretching across Caithness and Sutherland. This unique environment supports a remarkable variety of wildlife, including rare bird species, mammals, and plants. It is one of the largest and most intact areas of blanket bog in the world, and its conservation is crucial for both biodiversity and carbon storage.

Sutherland's Natural Beauty

Sutherland, the wider region encompassing Forsinard, is known for its dramatic landscapes, which include rugged coastlines, sweeping moorlands, and serene lochs. The area is sparsely populated, offering a sense of wildness and tranquillity that is increasingly rare. From the rolling hills to the intricate river systems, Sutherland provides an endless array of photographic opportunities, making it an ideal location for capturing the essence of the Scottish Highlands.

RSPB Forsinard Flows Reserve

We are fortunate to have amazing neighbours, including our good friends at the RSPB Forsinard Flows Reserve. This reserve manages a vast area of diverse upland surrounding the lodge, dedicated to the conservation of this unique habitat. The reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike, offering a chance to see species such as the Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, and Red-throated Diver in their natural habitat.

Accommodation at Forsinard Lodge

Our guests are accommodated in recently refurbished bedrooms within the Forsinard Lodge building. Each room has its own new, en-suite bathroom and is comfortably furnished to ensure a pleasant stay. Guests will also have access to a conservatory lounge where meals can be served, and the group can gather in the evenings for relaxed conversation and camaraderie.

 

Culinary Delights and Hospitality

We pride ourselves on looking after everyone to the best of our ability. Adrienne ensures that guests are kept happy with delicious home-cooked food from our kitchen, providing a taste of the Highlands with every meal. The lodge is designed to be a perfect place for relaxation and learning, fostering an environment that encourages creativity and self-expression—a true 'home from home.'

Whether you are marvelling at the vast, open landscapes, exploring the intricate details of the Flow Country, or enjoying the warm hospitality of Forsinard Lodge, your stay promises to be a memorable and inspiring experience.

 

Kate - April 2024

“A week with Wild Arena at their base, Forsinard Lodge, improved my photography tenfold. David and Janet's passion for photography is evident. Tapping into their vast knowledge and collective experience, I learned so much."
bottom of page