Duration 7 days (6 nights)

9th to 15th December 2023

13th to 19th January 2024

24th February to 1st March 2024

Departure/Return Location Forsinard lodge, Sutherland
Arrival Time  After 4pm
Departure Time Before 10am
Group Size 3
  • 5 full days of creative photography
  • Fully inclusive comfortable, en-suite accommodation
  • Expert guidance and tuition
  • Very small group size for maximum individual attention
  • Un-discovered wild locations
Not Included
  • Initial transport to lodge
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Camera equipment
  • Travel Insurance

This trip is designed to photographically make the most of a beautiful and relatively un-discovered part of the Northern Scottish Highlands, specifically in the dramatic months of Winter.

The area of the central Northern Highlands and more specifically the ‘Flow Country’ around Forsinard is an extraordinarily wild and remote part of the UK. With a latitude equivalent to southern Norway, it is also a location renowned for its amazing skies, both during the day and, of course, at night, with frequent sightings of the northern lights (aurora borealis).

This winter trip aims to make the very best of the photographic opportunities this area offers, with photography time spread throughout the day. With more limited hours of daylight, it is relatively easy, to capture sunrise, dramatic daytime light, sunsets, and nights skies, all within 24 hours. This should, not only provide super picture opportunities directly, but also creates a diverse setting for landscape and wildlife subjects too.

The very small group size of only 3 guests will enable the guides and tutors to really assist everyone individually, not only with technical, camera support but also with location advice and creative ideas. The diverse landscape and varied subjects will hopefully enable everyone to really try shooting with a broad range of techniques and styles in their images, particularly in such varied lighting conditions.

Each days’ itinerary will be flexible depending on the weather conditions, but the aim is to cover as wide a range of subjects as possible, making the most of our local knowledge of locations. The timings for the days will also vary, with some earlier starts and some sessions running into the evenings for night skies and the chance to shoot the amazing natural phenomenon of the northern lights. We will also have time during the trip to sit and review images for those guests that want feedback and discuss alternative, creative ideas too.

Key subjects for the week should include:

Skyscapes: Both during daylight hours and at sunrise/sunset for amazing colours and clouds. We should also be able to shoot images at night, with the moon, stars and hopefully the northern light all contributing to the opportunities.

Landscapes: There are a huge range of landscapes accessible in the area with natural features like dramatic beaches, waterfalls and hills, as possible targets. The region is also rich in characterful man-made structures, including Iron Age Brochs and more recent croft houses and cottages with weathered exteriors, rich in colour and texture.

Nature: The iconic Red Deer of the highlands are often best photographed in the winter months, when they are lower down on the hills. We also have resident river otters, and a broad selection of upland birds. There will also be potentially interesting close-up subjects with mosses, lichens, and fungi in abundance.

Above all else, we want our welcoming, small group trips to be relaxing and creatively stimulating, providing the perfect combination of rest and enjoyment of the wonderful pastime of photography!


Our base for this trip is the beautifully situated location of Forsinard Lodge in northern Scotland. The building was originally built in 1870 by the Duke of Sutherland as a hunting & fishing lodge at the head of Strath Halladale. The river here was highly regarding for Salmon fishing and the surrounding area boasted Red Deer Stags of unusual size. The lodge has spent most of its life as part of a much wider estate, but now provides Wild Arena a perfect bast for photography in this beautiful and relatively undiscovered part of the highlands.

We also boast some amazing neighbours including our good friends at the RSPB reserve at Forsinard, who manage a vast area of diverse upland surrounding the lodge.

Our guests are accommodated in recently refurbished bedrooms within the Forsinard Lodge building. Each room has its own new, en-suite bathroom and are comfortably furnished for our visitors stay. Guests will also have use of a conservatory lounge where meals can be served, and the group can come together in the evenings.





Day 1: Arrival


Arrival at the expedition base at Forsinard Lodge for a relaxed, introductory briefing and welcome evening meal with your hosts.


Day 2


After an early breakfast, we will head out as a group for our first full day of photography. For this first day, the guide usually picks simple and slow paced subjects to gauge everyone’s requirements and allow guests to ‘settle-in’ to the pace of the coming week. Depending on the location and weather, packed lunches are normally taken to maximise the shooting time during the session. Subjects might include landscapes, waterfalls or seascapes. After returning to Forsinard we can freshen up before dinner and a chance to discuss the days photography. After dinner, there may also be an option for an evening session of night sky photography, depending on the weather conditions.

Day 3. (B,L,D)


Day 3


An earlier start with a trip out in search of Red Deer for first light. After a couple of hours we usually return to the lodge for a later breakfast before heading out again for another shooting session. We will try and shoot through until sunset before heading back to the lodge for a later dinner.


Day 4


After a slightly later breakfast, we will head out for another full day of landscape, close-up and creative work. Depending on weather conditions we may aim to be in a good position for sunset images and the ‘blue hour’. Again, we will return to the lodge for an evening meal and a chance to relax and discuss our photography, After dinner, there may also be an option for an evening session of night sky photography, using local landmarks as foreground detail.


Day 5


Another early start visiting a coastal location for sunrise and beach images. We will then make a longer drive to the west, picking up a number of great locations before returning to the lodge for dinner as normal.


Day 6


The final day of photography and a chance to fill-in any gaps from the previous days shooting. After arrival back at the lodge for mid-afternoon, guests are encouraged to share images from the week and discuss how their photography has developed over the previous 5 days. The day will conclude with a last group dinner. Again, after dinner, there may also be an option for an evening session of night sky photography.


Day 7


After a final breakfast, we will round up the week before guests depart for 10am.

Please note: – The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions. Not all wildlife mentioned can be seen well at all times of the year & some activities mentioned may not always be available.
Meals included are as shown – B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

09.12.23 to 15.12.23

13.01.24 to 19.01.24

24.02.24 to 01.03.24

How to Book

Please select your preferred date from the drop-down calendar icon on the right-hand side “Book Now’ tab and we will confirm if this is available and the timings available on that day. Please scroll through the months to find the highlighted available dates, then add your choice to the cart.

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 5 reviews
March 6, 2023

My week with Wild Arena in the Highlands of Scotland was simply amazing and greatly exceeded my expectations. I can’t praise enough the excellent photo sessions in superb surroundings, the great accommodation and wonderful food. The finishing touch was the wonderful company, both human and animal, which made it feel like I was staying with friends.

If you have an interest in photography, be it as a beginner or someone more experienced, then don’t hesitate to do this workshop. You will have a great time and learn so much, I did.

March 9, 2023

Just back from an amazing week of wilderness photography in Sutherland, Scotland, where I stayed at Forsinard Lodge, the new home base of Wild Arena Photography. The opportunities for photos were abundant and I was able to indulge my interest in Wildlife, Landscape, and Macro photography. I even got Northern Lights photos as the conditions were suitable on one particular evening. My ensuite room was very comfortable and the catering was first class thanks to the resident cook, amoungst many other things, Adrienne. The week's itinerary was structured but there was also flexibility to adapt to changing weather patterns and personal photographic interests. I would heartily recommend this experience to anyone interested in improving or consolidating their practical photography. Thank you again, David, Janet and Adrienne for looking after me so well.

March 9, 2023

I recently spent a wonderful week in the Highlands of Scotland courtesy of Wild Arena Wilderness Photography. They are located at Forsinard in Sutherland. As a novice photographer I was a little apprehensive about coping with all the opportunities which I felt would present themselves but I need not have worried. Over the course of the week I was given unrelenting technical support and encouragement from David Southard who is a very experienced photographer and educator. My confidence soared and by the end of my immersive photographic experience I came away, a much more competent photographer. From stunning seascapes to quaint harbours, river gorges and old churches, I now have scores of beautiful images I would be happy to hang on my own room walls.This has both surprised and delighted me. My en suite accommodation was fab, the food was excellent and the company of David, Janet, Adrienne and Janine was delightful. Thanks for making me feel so comfortable. Kind Regards Margaret.

March 28, 2023

Whilst the journey to get there from Cheshire was long I can honestly say it was well worth it. David and Janet excelled at gently pushing me out of my comfort zone including my fear of heights!! Whilst I like taking photos of wildlife I now find myself delving into the world of landscapes, beaches and even derelict buildings. Accommodation was fantastic and loved there was no tv. Good food courtesy of Adrienne. Highland cows have now been ticked off my photography bucket list.

April 10, 2023

Just got back from an amazing week at Forsinard Lodge in Sutherland, set in a perfect location surrounded by miles of spectacular scenery. Its neighbour, is the RSPB nature reserve of Forsinard Flows, which has one of the worlds rarest peat bogs. Over the course of the week, I was given a mine of information from David and Janet, and really got me thinking outside the box, in developing more techniques away from my usual bird and wildlife photography. A great number of locations were sourced by David, including waterfalls, ruined crofts, old churches, coves, harbours and a lovely herd of Red deer. A lovely en-suite bedroom, and very tasty home cooked food prepared by Adrienne. Raptors spotted were Golden Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Osprey, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, but I missed out on the Hen Harriers. Thank you for a fantastic week, in a truly unspoilt place.

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