Friday, 10 November 2017

Glen Etive.

glen etive

I don't live in the Highlands and it's pretty much the most unfair thing that's ever happened to me. So instead I have to make do with forcing my husband to drive me up to beautiful places whenever I can. The issue with making a two- or three-hour drive to somewhere pretty is that when the weather inevitably changes (this is Scotland after all) you have to battle through it.

railway bridge scotland

I've been acting like quite the Negative Nancy lately, and being trapped in the house is just a breeding ground for that really. I like to take any opportunity I can to get outdoors. It slows my brain down in the best way possible; being removed from familiar surroundings gives me literal and metaphorical space from the things that are worrying me. Blair is home for most of November and he decided we'd head up to Glen Etive.

buachaille etive mor
glen etive

When we left, it was sunny and crisp, but of course, by the time we got there it was pissing it down and cloudy. I actually don't mind this; I have this weird thing about Scotland in poor weather. I honestly think it just adds to the atmosphere and gives everything a beautiful moody look. Yes, this is a tragic thing to be writing about landscapes but it's true - I love a Munro with its peak covered by low clouds. Lucky me, then - Buachaille Etive Mor (the mountain in the top picture) was giving me her most ethereal look. On the other hand, though, this became much more of a 'scenic drive' than a 'going for a walk' kind of day very quickly, it was blowing a hooley and I am yet to invest in a winter jacket.

glen etive river etive
glen etive river etive white water kayak

Thankfully, the drive down the glen is beautiful regardless. It follows the River Etive, which is a hot-spot for white-water kayaking. We actually saw a group navigating the rapids and plummeting down the waterfalls (which are a lot scarier than they look in photos). I'm sure this is a really exhilarating sport and loads of fun, but I'm not sure I'm keen to be both terrified and cold. 

The Glen is also featured in the movies Skyfall and Braveheart. Unfortunately I didn't connect the dots on that until after we'd been - I feel pretty robbed of my opportunity to show the world my inner Judi Dench.

glen etive forest
glen etive forest
glen etive forest

We stopped midway along the road to admire this gorgeous view. The clouds were just hanging in the valley, until all of a sudden they started a gentle ascent, curling their way up the hill towards us. Within seconds we were completely enveloped in them - the view disappeared and we were surrounded by just white. It was magical and beautiful and also quite damp, so we got back in the car and headed further down the road.

red deer young stag glen etive
red deer young stag glen etive

At one point we stopped to read a sign, and when we looked back up this guy was standing in front of us on the road. I got the fright of my life and practically screamed, but he couldn't have been less bothered. In fact, he headed towards us and stopped to say hi, which was good of him. 

red deer glen etive
red deer glen etive

Turns out he had quite a lot of friends. Apparently, winter is the perfect time to spot these guys in the Glen as they come down to the roadside for salt. Somewhat explains the huge rocks we'd seen on top of the salt bins along the path. They were very tame for wild beasts - the cars passing them didn't seem to bother them much, they only wandered away when they realised we didn't have food.

red deer stag glen etive
red deer stag glen etive

The stags were so magnificent. Can't really get a more stereotypical Scottish mascot (unless Nessie had popped down for a day out) but they really are gorgeous. Fun fact, we actually went back here a couple of days later with my brother and hand fed some stags a few carrots. We'll probably get in loads of trouble for that but I couldn't really resist, and they seemed to enjoy it...

loch etive glen etive
loch etive glen etive

At the end of the Glen, the river runs into Loch Etive and the road ends. There are tracks along the side of the loch which look like they make for a beautiful walk, but the car and its faithful little heater had other ideas. Glen Etive is a stunning location and I am so keen to go back and explore properly in better weather. In the meantime though, it definitely put a smile back on my face. Good old Scotland never fails to cheer me up.

Have you been to Glen Etive? Or have you visited somewhere beautiful near you lately?
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6 comments

  1. Oh Beth, these photos are GORGEOUS. Your post is giving me the serious envy. My husband is Scottish (as you may have detected from my surname!) and we've got friends in Dundee that we visit every summer. We are thinking quite seriously about moving to Scotland when Flora is a little older and your photos have just reminded me why. Love this post, especially the deer pix. And I'm so glad that your trip has made you feel better too. X

    Lisa | www.lisasnotebook.com

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  2. Oh my gosh! These photos are incredible, bad weather or not! I’ve seen so many people visiting Scotland this year, I really need to adventure around myself.

    The best thing for a bad mood is a wonderful adventure with a perfect view.

    Claudia xo

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  3. Flipping heck Beth, these photos are incredible. You could sell these. I'd love to see more photo-oriented posts like this from you! I'm much the same, I spend a lot of time indoors and getting outside in nature is always a healer for me. I've never been to Scotland but I love a nice rainy, miserable day!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  4. I've never been to Scotland (despite only living in England) and this has made me want to go more than ever! I totally feel as though a misty, drizzly day would make the atmosphere feel more Scottish too

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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  5. These photos are beautiful, I want to go so much! I have visited Scotland once and when I had to leave to come home I cried, I just didn't want to go. I will make it back, I will!

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  6. Your photography is gorgeous in this post!

    Mel ✨
    meleaglestone.co.uk
    @meleaglestone

    ReplyDelete

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