Great landscapes in Scotland

Glendhu Bothy, North West Scotland, near Kylesku – The Hidden Highland Bothy

The North West of Scotland is a rugged, extreme and wild place. Even though this is on the North Coast 500 (a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle), there’s places here people wouldn’t know about unless they get a map out and take a good look.

Glendhu Bothy is an old cottage based at the end of Loch Glendhu. It’s a beautiful area surrounded by mountains, and down at the Loch you may be able to pick up some mussels from the Loch to eat.

To get to Glendhu Bothy it’s a 5-mile hike on the edge of the beautiful Loch Glendhu. You can get there by foot from Kylestrome just after Kylesku Bridge. It’s an easy walk on foot with a well-maintained path and will take around 1 – 1.5 hours depending on conditions.

Along the way you will see some beautiful views of the Iconic Kykesku Bridge and there’s some waterfalls to check out as well. The main attraction though is Glendhu Bothy. This is a secluded bothy off the beaten track. Sitting here on a warm summer’s day would be amazing, especially with view from the Bothy up the Loch.

From Glendhu Bothy you can walk to Eas Creag An Luchda waterfall or go to the remote Glencoul Bothy. These are long walks and the terrain does change, so be prepared for that.

As you can imagine the weather in Scotland is unpredictable. It can be sunny, raining, hailing and snowing all in one day. Also, being in the Glens, the weather can change rapidly, so being prepared is essential. In the winter it’s essential to wear layers. I start from the base layer, then a shirt, wool jumper/thermal jumper, insulated Icepack Jacket and the Momentum Jacket with waterproof Barricade™ technology. In the summer it can still be cold in the Glens so having the appropriate gear with you is essential but the number of layers will reduce.

Loch Na Gainmhich, North West Scotland

Loch Na Gainmhich is based on the A894 road to Kylesku about 30 minutes from Ullapool. 

To get to the Loch and the amazing waterfall, you stop at a parking place before the gnarly bend. You’ll know what I mean when you see it.

It’s about a 10-minute walk from the parking place to the Loch. Once there, you get a beautiful view of the mountain and Loch Na Gainmhich. This is really special at sunrise. The big surprise is the waterfall. You get some amazing views of this waterfall up top, but you can also go to the bottom of the waterfall with a short walk down the road and follow the path up the gorge - do expect some scrambling in some areas.

You can expect it to be windy here as it’s quite open, so be prepared - especially in the winter with the wind chill. In the summer it’s very pleasant, except in July–August when the midges are out. Plus, wear wellies or waterproof walking boots. I can’t stress enough how important this is, especially when you get up close and personal with the waterfall.

Kilchurn Castle, Argyll and Bute

Kilchurn Castle is based in Argyll and Bute at Loch Awe. It’s an iconic and historic castle which is a must-see if you are in the area.

The area is extremely boggy, so wear wellies and waterproofs such as the Momentum Jacket and Dry Requisites.

This is one of my favourite castles and is a photographer’s dream to shoot, especially in low cloud and moody conditions. These conditions bring the best out of Scottish Castles.

Matthew’s kit list

Momentum Jacket

I need a jacket which is both durable and reliable. I spend most of my time in the Scottish Highlands and the weather can be unpredictable. I need to know I’ll be able to stay dry when I’m hours away from my car. It’s great to know that the waterproof Barricade™ technology will keep me protected in these harsh environments.

The Momentum Jacket is ideal for keeping me dry yet remains breathable while I shoot photos. I want to be as comfortable as possible throughout.

I wore this jacket when storm Freya hit Scotland and it protected me from the wind and the rain, which believe me was needed that day. Also, the design is very stylish and it’s great for my shoots.

One of the best features of the jacket is the PackPocket™, which makes it really quick and easy to have at the top of your bag and pop it on when the weather changes in an instant.

Troggings Jacket

Being prepared is very important in Scotland as the weather is fickle. Therefore, having the right layers is essential, especially when you are hiking in the hills and Glens. The Troggings Jacket acts as the perfect layer to keep you warm and comfortable.

I need to know whilst shooting in cold environments that I’m protected and one of my favourite designs of the jacket is the pockets - they are located in the ideal place where they protect my belongings from the weather.

Dry Requisite Waterproof Trousers

In the rain it’s the dream to stay dry. Having trousers like the Dry Requisites makes that dream come true. In Scotland, rain is quite common so when on the hill or hiking to the nearest bothy, it’s great to know you are protected from any storm.

They give me protection when I’m walking to wild locations to shoot. For instance, when I was hiking to Glendhu bothy and the heavens opened, I had confidence that I would remain dry.

There are so many features of the Dry Requisites I like such as the pocket which is secretively hidden away. However, the main feature I like is the waterproof technology as when the rain is running down off your Momentum Jacket, at least you can be sure that your trousers will remain dry. 

A little about me

My passion for outdoors started when I was 14 years old. My father was a wildlife photographer based in the Scottish Highlands and he gave me my first camera. This led to me going to some truly wild places with him and really appreciating the land we live in. I believe it was from here I started to grow a passion for photography.

Fast forward to 2017, I decided to buy a digital camera for myself. This was mainly to take pictures of moments with my family but soon it grew into being out in the outdoors again and shooting landscapes. 

I started taking photography seriously in 2018 and my work has evolved into outdoor/landscape photography. With outdoor photography I get this sense of belonging when I capture a picture of an individual against the landscape. Having someone fit into a beautiful landscape is for me capturing the land we live in and also telling a story. This is what I appreciated when I was 14 years old and what inspires me now.

To be honest, I can see myself evolving into this genre I love so much. It’s about the challenge of finding locations which fit the need of my shoot. That’s why working with Rohan has been really exciting as it’s pushed me to go to extreme places, off the beaten track.

Overall, photography is my soul and passion and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

Follow Matthew’s Journey on Instagram.