Photography by Ian Cameron

Caithness & Sutherland Masterclass

Duration of Course:   7 days ----- £1795
(Half Board Single Occupancy of twin / double rooms).

* Maximum group size  FOUR

* Dawn - Dusk field tuition

* Evening lectures / review

* All transport at location included. (7 seat MPV)

* Pick up/drop off to/from Inverness accommodation or train Station.

Caithness and Sutherland are two of the remotest and in my opinion, most inspiring places in the UK.  Life appears to be that bit tougher and the population seem to be sporadically distributed, often with huge distances between neighbouring connurbations.  It is as though humans merely have a tenuous foothold, one that blends quite seamlessly into this vast and wild landscape.  If the UK has a wilderness at all this must surely be it.  The beaches of Sutherland are beautiful beyond belief and of course virtually empty, the plunging cliffs and dagger like sea stacks of Caithness are simply magnificent, and all the time, the overwhelming sense of peace, endless space and  huge sky captivate you completely.

This course will be split between two locations, two days in Caithness and five days in Sutherland, it has been timed to take advantage of the emergence of flowering pink thrift on the top of vertigo inducing 500 foot cliffs.  The flowers add a pleasing accent of colour that fully denotes the onset of summer in Scotland.  Lastly and perhaps most importantly for landscapers is the north east and northwest facing sunrise / sunsets that occur at this time of year, typically you get two bites at the cherry on most of the Sutherland beaches, albeit at arduous times of the day.  Secondly early May through to July is the the only time of the year that Ben Loyal is attractively lit in early morning sunlight, often in the presence of a mist rising over reflective Loch Hakel, a truly gorgeous sight, but early May will still be early enough to offer relief from midges. 

Warning:  Be under no illusion, this course will test your resolve and your dedication to the cause of landscape photography.  At this lattitude the workshop demands very early starts and correspondingly late finishes.  To make the best use of available light, your body clock will need to adjust itself to a midday siesta of five to six hours, when light is least conducive to good landscape photography.  Without the midday rest period, the 16 hour days will quickly take their toll. Heh! even I need to sleep!!  For the record sunrise is as early as 5am and sunset  is about 9.15pm and it is best to be in position both before sunrise and after sunset.

During the course you will be staying for two nights, half board, single occupancy of twin/double rooms at the Castle Armstown Hotel near the Queen Mothers castle in Mey close tor to Dunnet Head and thereafter a further four nights at the very pleasant and friendly family owned Betty Hill hotel near Tongue, a location with sensational views over Torrisdale beach.  You will be staying at both hotels on the same half board single occupancy of twin/double room basis but PLEASE NOTE: The Betty Hill hotel does NOT have ensuite bathrooms.  The bathrooms are shared, there are plenty of them and they are truly excellent shower facilities and I never once had a problem getting access but they are are shared.   (for the record it might be possible to get a room with ensuite but the price for the duration of the course would increase by would increase by £120.00 and is subject to availability).  I am confident everyone will love these very special areas of Britain and return with some of the purest and most unblemished British landscapes you are ever likely to capture.  The numbers have been limited to a maximum of four guests plus your instructor to ensure minimal impact, a higher percentage of personal tuition and freedom of space in the vehicle.  

Grade: Easy/Moderate Mostly short duration walks but occasional descents down moderately steep paths to the beaches and the odd longer walk in.  (VERY FEW MIDGES)

A £350.00 Deposit is required to reserve a place on this course.