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East Coast of Scotland

A trip combining golf and photography up the east coast of Scotland

Every year I have a golf weekend with a group of friends. The location varies each year and this time it was at St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, the home of golf. I took the opportunity to visit a few photography hotspots before and after golfing. It was a very enjoyable trip and I thought I would share some of the photos, which can also be found, along with others from the trip, in my Scotland Gallery.

On the way to golf my first stop was the Forth Bridge at North Queensferry. The bridge is a fantastic piece of iconic engineering. I then carried on along the Fife coast to visit a couple of the small picturesque fishing harbours, Pittenweem and St Monans. There was heavy cloud cover all day, which was pretty uninspiring, but there is always scope for moody shots that work quite well at the coast, and fortunately the tide was in.

The Forth Bridge, with discarded wood as foreground interest on a grey day

The pier at Pittenmeem harbour, Fife, taken from the base of the lighthouse

Long exposure of the famous breakwater at St Monans harbour, Fife, at high tide

After two days of golf at St Andrews, some good, some to definitely forget, but always with good company, I woke to some lovely weather and spent an hour or so exploring the picturesque town, before setting off north, destination Aberdeen.

A lovely calm morning allowing reflections of St Andrews Castle in the old bathing pool

On the way to Aberdeen I stopped off at the Arbroath Cliffs, Angus. There are some interesting rock formations and lots of scope for landscape photography. The weather had closed in but it was still enjoyable exploring the cliffside paths.

One of the many rocky inlets at the Arbroath Cliffs

Arbroath Cliffs vista

My main photography target was Dunnottar Castle, just south of Aberdeen, as I had seen some fantastic images of this historic site. I was so lucky the next morning to witness an amazing sunrise, with cloud cover lit up by the rising sun. Truly a memorable experience!

A stunning sunrise with a glowing sky at historic Dunnottar Castle

The sun casts rays of gold over the North sea just after sunrise at historic Dunnottar Castle

I visited two more coastal locations north of Aberdeen during the rest of the day. The first was Slains Castle near Cruden Bay, reputedly the inspiration for the castle in Bram Stoker's novel 'Dracula'. The castle was situated on some rugged coastline.

Slains Castle viewed from the south

Slains Castle viewed from the north

I then moved on to visit Rattray Head lighthouse, which included a nearly 'off-road' journey to arrive at the car park. The tide was coming in which meant that the lighthouse was isolated in the sea, and with heavy cloud cover I thought long exposure photography worked best. A place I would like to visit again at sunrise or different weather conditions.

Long exposure of an incoming tide on the coast near Rattray Head lighthouse

Pastel shades of sky and sea contracting with Rattray Head lighthouse

Rain began to fall so I headed back to Aberdeen after an enjoyable and productive day.

The following day I experienced another lovely sunrise at Dunnottar Castle before heading home, stopping on the way at the Linn of Quoich in the southern Cairngorms, visiting the Devil's Punchbowl on the River Quoich, situated in a wonderful forest location.

Rapids and the distinctive 'hole that never fills' named the Devil's Punchbowl, River Quoich

So overall a great trip apart from some of the golf! Fife, Angus and Aberdeenshire are areas which I hadn't explored before, but I will definitely be back.


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