Scottish Highlands through a Lens Festive Break
Glen Coe is one of the most beautiful places on Earth with a photo opportunity around every corner. You’ll explore around Loch Leven, finding spots to make the most of both the natural and built environment. With stunning mountains, glens and lochs, nature is at the heart of this holiday although there are a few castles to provide a different focal point too. Rivers and waterfalls allow you to experiment with different shutter speeds to produce either sharp or blurred effects. In October you might be lucky enough to see – and hear – the red deer rutting and perhaps try to capture the action with a long lens.
- Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light compositions
- Be guided and encouraged by your professional HF Holidays Leader
- Visit the most inspirational vistas that surround the country house
- 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 essential transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other modes of transport (e.g. boat)
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
On this photography holiday, you will be visiting a range of locations which all have something different to offer. With your Leader in tow, you will explore the local area through the lens of your camera, practising techniques and gaining an array of top tips along the way. The full day will be spent outdoors so be sure to bring your sturdy shoes! Dispersed throughout the week shall be opportunities to review photos with your Leader and the group if needed.
Come ready to capture a variety of settings and subjects such as hills and mountains, lakes or waterfalls, townscapes and more!
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
Situated in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, Alltshellach is a stately Scottish house set amid a rugged landscape. The house is a picture of Highland solidity, with spectacular views of craggy mountains and grassy slopes beyond the loch. This pocket of domesticity lets you admire nature at your leisure though, sipping tea or G&T as you watch clouds scud across the sky. In fact, this one-time home of the Bishop of Argyll & the Isles has been recast as a hiker’s hotel, with an air of old-world splendour, excellent accommodation, a generous indoor pool, three lounges and a supremely cosy Highland Bar that’s well-stocked with local beer and whisky, all of which is (almost) enough to distract you from the vast vistas over the waters. But it’s the great outdoors you’re here for and the house is ideally situated for accessing the Mamores, the mountains of Glen Coe and tackling Ben Nevis as well as bagging munros and spotting local wildlife.
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
All 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
Just 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.
- 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
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
There are 38 comfortable bedrooms, all in the main house, with a range of ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ options to choose from. Rooms radiate cosiness thanks to little touches – a remedy for even the dreichest day. Those with a view are worth the extra spend, as you’ll be overlooking the gardens and loch. The Best rooms include Room 21, a spacious corner room with lovely views of Loch Leven, while Room 23 is a stately showstopper that was once the official Bishop’s bedroom, complete with original features and cracking views.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive gardens, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose ballroom, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Stroll the gardens that dip down to the loch. The small peninsula at the bottom of the lawns is called An Dunan and often becomes an island at high tide – look for prehistoric rock art cut into the slabs on its side. Make time too to plunge into the heated indoor swimming pool and do a couple of lengths under the watchful eye of the mountains through the panoramic windows. Inside the house, head for one of the communal areas: you’ll have three to choose from and can kick back, relax and catch up with other guests. Later, stop in the Highland Bar for a nip of whisky or a nightcap – the comfy seats make a fine spot for a dram and there’s a range of good single malts to choose from that’ll have you believing you’re living a laird’s life.
Food & Drink
As at all of our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Alltshellach is full of Scottish flavours and focusses on locally sourced and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when you might be treated to Cullen Skink Soup and a trio of smoked salmon, mackerel pate and steamed mussels with Highland oat cakes, while mains may include Highland game and ‘Barlotto’, a type of nutty risotto made from barley instead of rice. Finish off with a spoonful of Iron Brew Ice, chocolate and marmalade mouse and Atholl brose, a luxurious blend of honey, whisky and carefully selected herbs for a flavour of the Highlands.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- Camera and a selection of lenses if you have them (e.g. wide-angle, telephoto, macro, etc.)
- Spare battery and charger
- Your camera's instruction manual
- Laptop for reviewing, editing and sharing photos - not essential but good to have!)
Other optional camera kit may include tripods, Neutral Density filters, waterproof coverings for your camera, a spare memory card or a laptop for reviewing and editing images. Please feel free to bring any other items you use which are additional to this list.
You will be outdoors for the majority of this holiday, walking up to three miles each day (with some ascent and descent) carrying your kit. Please be sure to bring suitable outdoor clothing, sturdy boots and waterproofs to contend with our changeable British weather!
Martin is the Director and Senior Guide at Northern Experience Wildlife Tours (NEWT) and a Director of Astroventures. Fascinated by everything in the world around him since a very young age, Martin divides his time between leading wildlife, landscape and photography day tours, workshops and package holidays for NEWT, delivering sessions on a range of astronomy topics for Astroventures and coordinating the groundbreaking North East Cetacean Project, which has extended and refined our knowledge and understanding of whales and dolphins off the Northumberland coast. Martin’s astrophotography concentrates on widefield nightscapes, the Milky Way and aurora. In his ‘spare time’ Martin is a British Cycling Level 2 Road and Time Trial coach.
Very enthusiastic, knowledgeable with the ability to communicate on all levels- a really nice person.
7 nights from £1,099pp
...or call 020 3974 8865