Another week means another weekend. Eagerly we packed up the Landy and made a beeline for the A82, the highway to the mountains and the road to Ardtornish.
This time we were heading for unfamiliar territory, staying at Castle Cottage on the Ardtornish Estate in Lochaber. Like all good adventures, we began with a short ferry from Corran, and we reached our safe haven with enough energy for a dram or two before hitting the hay.
Our photoshoots are normally just us, the team, hanging out in the mountains with friends and this was no exception. With an early start fuelled by Alec’s bacon, eggs, and coffee (that man knows how to do mornings) we hit the trails around the estate.
At this time of year, sunlight is limited but if you’re lucky enough to see it’s glorious rays you’ll be treated to the most impressive hues of orange and gold. We hiked up Meall Achadh a' Chùirn on the edge of Loch Arienas and watched as rain clouds drifted across the sky. No Scottish adventure is complete without a good pelting of rain. With that ticked off the list, we descended through the heath and moors back to the car.
After a quick lunch back at the cottage, we were eager to explore more. This time roaming the shoreline and nearby forest on the other side of Loch Arienas. The forest, covered with moss and dripping from the intermittent showers was an enchanting backdrop to the afternoon.
The dwindling light sent us on our way to the Lochaline Hotel for a refreshment. The hotel perched on the coast looks out onto the Sound of Mull, an area I'd explored before. Sitting at the bar, I looked out over the same shore I'd reached last year by sail.
We hunkered down in the cottage that night, feasting on a hearty chilli. With the fire set, we dried off our boots and settled into the evening. Whether it's a campfire or a fireplace, there’s nothing more comforting than staring into the hot blaze with good company.
One of the most recognisable prints in Scotland, Emily Mackenzie's "50 Shades of Scotland" print manages to pick 50 simple shades from this beautiful country, and transforms them into a journey through Scottish history, and Scottish culture.
We caught up with Emily and asked her about her hometown of Edinburgh, and for her advice on how to make the most of being an artist in the city.
The Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens is the green and growing heart of Edinburgh. Big enough to spend the day in, it's the perfect place to take a packed lunch and try to get lost among the trees.
If it's a little too far for you to visit, then here's a little tour from our most recent visit to the Gardens.