Photography Around Argyll
During the summer of 2021 I had the opportunity to take a photography trip around Argyll. To be fair, the trip wasn’t exactly planned. We had sold our house in Dorset and moved to Scotland. The big problem was that we hadn’t actually found a house to buy. We were pretty sure that our final destination would be Argyll as it was close to my wife’s family, the primary reason for our move after having lived in Dorset since 1985.
As a result of having not yet found a house, we moved into our pretty ancient camper van and set off on a combined house hunting and photography trip around Argyll. For those interested in such things, our camper van is called Daisy.
Travelling Around Argyll
It must be said that being a photographer in Argyll and Bute is a gift. There are beautiful panoramas around every bend. From Machrihanish at the southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula to Oban in the northwest and the Arrochar Alps in the east, photography around Argyll is a pleasure.
If you are travelling around Argyll for photography you can’t rush, and not just because the roads force you to slow down. Getting off the beaten track to explore the area offers rich rewards.
One of the real delights of camper van travel is that you have the ability to take your time to explore hidden places. We enjoy camping off grid, only using official campsites when we need to shower and empty the toilet.
Unfortunately motor home and camper van users who camp off-grid sometimes get a bad reputation for leaving rubbish behind and for emptying their toilet in inappropriate places. We belong to Motorhomes and Campervans Against Litter. This Facebook group has almost even thousand members. When we park off grid we spend a little of our time picking up the litter left by others. This image shows me after a litter pick on a beach at Machrihanish.
Photography Around Lochgilphead
After spending sometime in the south of the Kintyre peninsula we headed north to Lochgilphead. It was at Achnabreac Forest, just north of Lochgilphead that we discovered a hugely useful piece of information for those who like to camp off the grid.
Forestry and Land Scotland are running a scheme allowing motorhomes and camper vans to park overnight in the forests. An overnight stay is often free, though some locations make a small charge. As we travelled we made use of the scheme in a number of locations. All were very quiet, clean and secluded. Given the hot weather that we experienced we were amazed to find that the places we chose were surprisingly free of the dreaded west highland midge.
All of the locations allowed for lovely long walks with the dogs and offered plenty of opportunities for photography around Argyll.
Photography Around Oban Argyll
As I have already said almost everywhere around Argyll offers photography opportunities but I especially enjoyed the area around Oban. We stopped for a few nights on a campsite. With the sea on one side and the hills on the other I was in heaven. The dogs were pretty excited too.
I am lucky. My dogs, an English Springer Spaniel and a Fox Red Labrador are well behaved around animals. The spaniel was 11-years-old at the time and he can be a bit grumpy, so he had to stay on the lead. The Labrador however completely ignores animals so it is safe to let her run free. That was a godsend as she was just over a year old and impossible to tire out.
The views from the hills above the campsite were well worth the climb.
The final leg: An Abrupt End To Our Trip Around Argyll
When you are the proud owner of the 25-year-old Motorhome you expect things to go wrong. We have been really lucky, after 10-years of ownership the van has never let us down. Until this trip! As we finished our stay around Oban, we decided to head north aiming for Skye.
As we travelled we noticed a hissing noise and a burning smell from the van. I spent some time trying to track down the cause without success. Eventually I asked my wife to get out of the van and noticed that her seat was very hot, not just where she had been sitting, the entire metal frame of the seat was so hot you could barely touch it.
In the finest traditions of mechanical problem solving we went off for an ice cream. It was clear that our leisure battery was fried and in danger of catching fire. I was worried that it might damage the van’s solar panels, so that was the end of the trip until we could return home and get it sorted out. We did fix the problem and we were soon on the road for more photography around Argyll, but that is for another day.
I hope that I have tempted you to undertake your own trip for photography around Argyll. You will find castles, beaches, lochs, and hills that are worth photographing. A little exploration will reveal plenty of Urbex locations if you are interested in urban exploration. You will also find a slower pace of life and plenty of space to breath.
Many of the images featured in this post are available as stock photography from my shop. You will find the prices much lower that Adobe Stock or Shutterstock.