Tag Archives : rural


Storr Lochs: the hidden funicular

Where’s the working railway on the Isle of Skye? The railway doesn’t go to the Isle of Skye, right? It ends at the pier at Kyle of Lochalsh, or else at the harbour at Mallaig, where boats take you over the sea to Skye. But there is a railway on Skye. It’s below the spectacular stacks […]

Uncanny Valley

On a small wooded peninsula where there estuaries of the Dwyryd and Glaslyn meet at Penrhyndeudraeth south of Porthmadog in the foothills of Snowdonia in the kingdom of Gwynedd, you can find the Uncanny Valley. Portmeirion: the construction that looks just close enough to being a village as to be eerie, but just far enough […]

Under the hills of Torridon

There aren’t many more stunning parts of the country than Torridon in Wester Ross on the coast of the Northwest Highlands. The steeply enclosed Glen Torridon, with its mountain river tumbling down from the Coulin Estate, and its mirror lochans like Lochan an Iasgair. Opening out to the sea loch, Loch Torridon, dotted with tiny […]

Autumn at Stourhead

I’m not sure why it has taken so long to do a post for Stourhead, the impressive landscape gardens at the source of the River Stour in south west Wiltshire. I guess I was taken there so many times as a child that I’ve managed to avoid going back too many times since to take […]

Crossing the Moorfoot Hills

From where it flows into the Tweed at Innerleithin, a solitary road runs up alongside the Leithen Water — Abhainn Leitheinn, the grey river — and is soon enclosed in perfect round and green hills. It twists and turns and climbs northwards through these, the Moorfoot Hills, treading a path between Whitehope Law and Windlestraw […]

Lesser of The Lakes

Windermere is famous as the largest of The Lakes in the English Lake District, and in England generally. Its also famously a beautiful place, flanked by the high fells of Langdale and pretty villages like Ambleside, celebrated in verse and on canvas by the romantics, and loved by the millions of tourists who have poured […]

Edge of the Vale

In the summer I spent a few evenings and early mornings shooting the hills surrounding the valley of the River Stour — the Blackmore Vale — in North Dorset and South Somerset. For much of the year, the clay and low limestone ridges of Thomas Hardy’s vale of little dairies provide little to keep a […]

Winter in Keswick

In February 2010 I booked the train up to Penrith… only to break the bicycle I’d planned to take on the day before departure…. so changed plans and walked everywhere in the snow around Keswick and Derwent Water, where the boat bus company fought to break the ice… up over Walla Cragg and Latrigg in […]

The standing stones of Machrie Moor

On the west side of Arran — the “Scotland in miniature” island of the Firth of Clyde — you might find a gateway, half hidden in high hedges, with a sign indicating the path to Machrie Moor. The track winds through the sheep fields and scrubland, and past a small and slightly mediocre fenced-off stone […]