Wild Camping: Glen Affric and Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin | North Photo

Wild Camping: Glen Affric and Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin

Wild Camping: Glen Affric and Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin

 

Back in April a friend and I went up, via Glencoe and Glen Etive, to spend a few nights wild camping up in Glen Affric.

 

What a place! It was stunning – helped by the fact that we had fantastic weather. Beautiful forests, stunning lochs, waterfalls and majestic mountain ranges.

 

So where do I start – when we first got there we set out to find a decent spot to camp then set about exploring our surroundings. One of the first things that caught my eye was a lonely tree poking out from a rocky beach, looking quite incongruous in its setting. The beach belonged to a small nearly-island on Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin. I say nearly-island because (luckily for us) there was a small sand bank connecting it to the mainland that we could nip across to get onto the island.

We set up camp for the night on the little island, choosing a spot well tucked away from the world and the gentle winds. By the way, we’re very considerate campers and don’t leave a trace of our presence when we leave. Here’s our campsite from another point on the same island (taken on my HTC M9):

 

Wild camping at Glen Affric

 


 

Star Trails

 

That night I set the camera up with an intervalometer and sat back with a nice warming rum.

This is the result – around 200 photos taken over the course of a couple of hours. The tree and foreground are naturally lit by the moon which was only a couple of nights away from full:

 

Startrails in Glen Affric

Startrails in Glen Affric

 

This starlapse video shows the accumulated effect of the stacked photos:

 

 

 

As a demonstration of how great the weather was the next morning, I took a nice simple photo which shows the vivid sky and loch:

 

 

There was a good reason we chose to do this in April – although it was cold at night (so much so my tent iced over), there was not a midge in sight! In my opinion worth being a bit cold to avoid being nibbled…

 


 

Loch Affric

 

The following day we took a walk down to the start of Loch Affric – at the point where the two lochs join there is a short climb to a viewpoint which offers some of the most stunning views of the glen. Literally a 360 degree vista, look west and you look over the gorgeous Loch Affric and into the Kintail mountains beyond; look south and your gaze lands on seemingly endless natural Caledonian Pine forest; east takes you back down the picturesque Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin; north onto the nearby hills. The sun was setting at the point we where up there which added a real atmosphere to the scenes.

 

Loch Affric

The stunning views over Loch Affric

 

Kintail Mountains

The Kintail mountains from Loch Affric

 

Caledonian Pine Forest

Natural Caledonion Pine forest in Glen Affric

 

 

Back up at the other end of Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin we explored the dam, which you can walk almost right across:

 

Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin Dam

 


 

Glen Affric by Moonlight

 

Later that night I thought I’d focus on the moon this time – it was nearly full and the sky was crystal clear. So I dug out the zoom lens and took a shot of the moon itself, with another photo of a ‘moonscape’:

 

The Moon

 

Moonscape in Glen Affric

A Moonscape looking west along Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin

 


Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out my other Highlands explorations, including Plodda Falls and the dramatic sights of Glencoe and Glen Etive.

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