Capturing Water on Camera Holiday in the Scottish Highlands

Glen Coe

Code: LLEWA

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • High Mountains

Holiday overview

Glen Coe is a perfect destination for capturing water on camera, visit some of the most beautiful lochs, rivers, waterfalls and coastline in the Scottish Highlands; it provides endless opportunities to capture various waters from different surroundings. Mountains, including Ben Nevis, will be our daily background with the occasional castle and a good chance to see red deer and eagles. Whether you are a beginner or expert your leader will guide to the best locations and demonstrate techniques to help you make great photographs.

Suitable for all levels of photographer. 

Holiday highlights

  • Find out how to get the best results from your own camera
  • Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage you in small, sociable groups of up to 12 guests
  • Daily image review sessions offer constructive feedback throughout your holiday

Price includes

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • All transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other mode of transport e.g. boat

In pictures...

Accommodation

Glen Coe awards

Alltshellach is a fine highland residence, situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven. With magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and a superb indoor pool, it's extremely popular with all outdoor enthusiasts.

Alltshellach has 37 bedrooms, all located in the main building. Many of the rooms enjoy excellent views of the loch and the surrounding mountains. 

Rooms

'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

'Best' Rooms 

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £20 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At the house

  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Three lounges
  • Multi-purpose ballroom
  • Highland bar
  • Free WiFi is available in some public rooms 
  • Range of board games and books
  • Heated indoor swimming pool
  • Extensive gardens with views and access to Loch Leven

Dining

An example of Glen Coe evening mealAll holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

More details on Glen Coe accessibility

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request
  • A small fridge is available for storing medication  Good signage for fire escape routes
  • One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff has had disability awareness training

Itinerary

On our photography holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 3 miles (5km) each day. Please note that access to waterfalls may involve steep and wet ground. Each evening your leader will hold review sessions, providing constructive feedback on your images.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way. 

Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (Best and Better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. 

Alltshellach & Loch Leven views

We start our day discussing various techniques and ideas for photographing water. After a picnic lunch in house we shall explore the immediate area around Altshellach foreshore and Loch Leven. At other times, local photoshoots will be announced for early morning and late evening photography on the shores of Loch Leven within walking distance from hotel.

Gleann Cia-aig & Neptune’s Staircase

Morning stroll looking for waterfalls between Loch Lochy and Loch Arkaig, followed by an afternoon visit to Neptune’s Staircase, a series of lochs on the Caledonian Canal culminating in a grandstand view of Ben Nevis across Loch Linnhe from Corpach.

Grey Mare’s Tail & Glencoe Lochan

Heading deep into the hills by the shores of Loch Leven, pausing for views, we stop at Kinlochmore for a woodland walk to Grey Mare’s Tail. Continuing around the head of the loch, the afternoon is spent at Glen Coe Lochan with an easy walk around the loch searching for spring colours, perhaps with reflections.

Glen Etive & Eas an Fhir Mhoir Waterfall

A remote and dramatic glen leading to Loch Etive, following the River Etive for about 15 miles from Rannoch Moor. On our return we shall pause for some of the best views of Glen Coe, including Blackrock Cottage and that classic view of Buachaille Etive More that graces many calendars and postcards.

Departure day

Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

What to bring

  • your camera and other essential accessories
  • memory card
  • battery and charger
  • your camera’s instruction manual
  • waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
  • bag for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
  • Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
  • a laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
  • filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising will all help you achieve a wider variety of water images

Optional camera accessories (remember you will have to carry some of these)

  • spare memory cards
  • a spare camera battery
  • a spare camera (you never know!)
  • a small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
  • memory stick or CD for storing images
  • a tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
  • camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer

Local area

Discover the Highlands

Alltshellach is situated beside the shores of Loch Leven. This is a spectacular location with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

About 2 miles away, across the loch is the village of Ballachulish. Here you’ll find a post office, food store and bank. A much wider range of facilities can be found in Fort William, about 14 miles to the north.

As the adventure capital of Britain, the Lochaber region is a popular destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. During your stay in Glen Coe you may enjoy visiting the following activities and places of interest:

 

Steam train crossing the Glenfinnan viaductJacobite Steam Train   
Ride the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. This stunningly scenic line includes the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films. Steam trains run every day and early booking is reccomended. www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite

 

 

Calmac ferry passing lighthouse at entranceto Oban harbourIsle of Mull
Reached by car ferry from Oban, or Lochaline, Mull is one of the most popular Scottish islands. You could visit the colourful harbour at Tobermory or the abbey on Iona. www.calmac.co.uk/mull

 

Isle of Lismore                
The peaceful island of Lismore is ideal for a relaxed exploration. You can hire bikes at Port Appin, about 30 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, then take the short ferry crossing to the island.

Oban    
The bustling harbour town of Oban, about 45 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, is a popular destination. There's always plenty of activity around the harbour and its well worth the walk up to McCaig's Tower, a remarkable folly built in the style of a Roman ampitheatre, with commanding views over the town.

Eilean Donan castle and its surrounding lochEilean Donan Castle
Nearly 80 miles drive north from Alltshellach is this romantic and much photographed Scottish lochside castle.  Located on a small island just offshore, the castle is isolated by the sea at high tide, only accessible via a stone bridge. www.eileandonancastle.com

3 people ice climbing with ice axesIce Factor         
Try your hand at ice climbing on the indoor wall at nearby Kinlochleven. www.ice-factor.co.uk

Travel

Travel to Glen Coe

Our address is: Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Invernesshire PH33 6SA

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest station is in Fort William, however most guests travel to Glasgow then catch our transfer coach. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.

 Travel by plane

By air:

Many guests opt to fly to Glasgow Airport, then join our transfer coach to Glen Coe.

Bus

Glasgow to Glen Coe transfer

We offer a coach transfer between Glasgow Buchannan bus station**, Glasgow airport and Alltshellach every Saturday. The transfer is £32 return and £21 for a single trip, but a place must be reserved at least 14 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 020 8732 1220.

On arrival days our coach leaves Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station at 4.15pm, or Glasgow airport at 4.45pm. We will arrive at Alltshellach at 7pm which is in time for dinner on your first evening.

On departure day the transfer will get you back to Glasgow Airport by 11.30am and to Buchanan Street bus station by 12.00 noon.

** Buchanan Street bus station is about 15 mins walk from Glasgow central station (frequent buses are available) or 5 minutes walk from Glasgow Queen Street station.

Bus

By bus:

If you are not travelling on a Saturday, the journey from either Glasgow Buchanan Street or the airport can be made using the Scottish Citylink bus, numbers 914 or 915. See www.citylink.co.uk for the timetable. Ask the driver to stop at the north side of Ballachulish Bridge - from here it is a 400 metre walk to Alltshellach.

 

Driving to us

By car:

From Glasgow take the A82 towards Crianlarich. Continue on the A82 towards Fort William. Head for Ballachulish keeping the village on your left. Go straight on at the roundabout over the steel bridge and take the second right B863 to Kinlochleven and the seafood restaurant. Alltshellach is 400 yards further on, on your right.

Travel by plane

Travelling from overseas

Ideally book a flight to Glasgow Airport. From here you can join our coach transfer to Alltshellach (see above).

The next best option is to fly to Manchester Airport, which has a better range of long-haul flights. There are trains from the airport to Glasgow (some direct, others need 1 change). Allow 4 hours to get to Glasgow, then join our coach transfer to Alltshellach. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.

There are also flights to Edinburgh with a train transfer to Glasgow.

Leaders

Derek Forss

Derek has been leading Photographic Holidays for HF Holidays since 1995. In addition to providing clear and straightforward explanations (for beginners and the more experienced) of photo-techniques that are devoid of gobbledegook, he also has an in-depth understanding of the British countryside; essential for teaching wide-ranging aspects of landscape and architecture photography.

Derek created a nice relaxed, happy atmosphere in which we could learn how to improve our photographic skills. The programme of short local walks & excursions by coach to more distant locations gave us the opportunity to photograph a variety of different scenes under varying lighting conditions. We came away having learnt a lot.

Reviews

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