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Author Topic: UK Trip Suggestions  (Read 12039 times)
rgs
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« on: December 09, 2011, 07:14:31 PM »
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I'm planning a trip to  the UK in July, 2012. I'll have about 5 or 6 days in and around London followed by about a week in Scotland mostly on Mull and Skye. I'm looking for experienced suggestions, especially between Mull and Skye. I am told Skye is spectacular but most of my time will be on Mull. I'll be on foot or bus or bicycle most of the time. The primary impetus for this trip is music study but I want to make a lot of photographs also. I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks!

Richard
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 01:21:35 AM »
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Skye will be cloudy & wet. And in July, full of the infamous Scottish midgie, an insect so ferocious it can make grown men cry & drive Commandos & Special Forces soldiers in search of a pub. Take a head-net & wetproofs.

The mountains are spectacular, and if you climb, you're in for a treat. I would certainly advise a visit to Elgol, the Trotternish Ridge & the Quiraing, Storr (the Old Man and surrounding area is a must-see), and if you are happy in the mountains,  climb the Cuillin & down into Loch Coruisk.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 04:25:06 AM »
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I'll be on foot or bus or bicycle most of the time.
Probably an advantage in London, but once you get away from the capital that will dramatically slow you down and limit your options.
As Bill says, the weather can be pretty terrible in the western isles, even in the height of summer, so if there's any way you can hire a car rather than rely on rural public transport* you're likely to have a far better trip for photography. Distances can also be quite large and many locations are away from the rural bus routes, often up big hills too.
Sure, touring by foot, cycle and bus can be a good way of leisurely seeing the country, but when time is limited you'll also restrict your photographic options a lot. There's not much to be said for waiting an hour for good light, only to have to rush away to get the only return bus of the day before you've got the shot.


*Google the timetables and you'll see that rural UK bus services can be few and far between.
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 08:12:36 AM »
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If you are visiting Mull, I would be certain to make daytrips to the Treshish Isles and Staffa (through turusmara daytrips). iona of course is worth a visit too. Skye might be even more spectacular, but the vulcanic - geological and historal past of Mull is very interesting too.

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DickKenny
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 10:36:36 AM »
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Whilst in London. you might be interested in visiting the restaurant at the top of the OXO Tower on the South Bank. They have a balcony from which there is a magnificent view of St Paul's across the river and the City towers beyond. Its a great scene during the daytime, and particularly stunning at night.

And last time I was there the staff had no problem with me setting up tripod etc., outside on the balcony at 10 in the evening.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 10:53:07 AM by DickKenny » Logged
john beardsworth
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 01:14:45 PM »
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If you are visiting Mull, I would be certain to make daytrips to the Treshish Isles and Staffa
That's a good suggestion.

Also, don't underestimate the time it takes to travel in this part of Scotland, even if you rent a car (which is a very good idea).
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IanP
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2011, 08:26:42 AM »
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...."climb the Cuillin & down into Loch Coruisk".

Only if you are very experienced, they not be high but the weather changes rapidly in the Cuilin hills and to cross over the main ridge and descend into loch Coruisk can be a major undertaking.  You can access the loch as well either by boat trip or the walk up Glen Sligachan and over a much smaller rise.

Ian.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2011, 10:08:35 AM »
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...."climb the Cuillin & down into Loch Coruisk".

Only if you are very experienced, they not be high but the weather changes rapidly in the Cuilin hills and to cross over the main ridge and descend into loch Coruisk can be a major undertaking.  You can access the loch as well either by boat trip or the walk up Glen Sligachan and over a much smaller rise.

Ian.

Which is why I prefaced the suggestion with a "If you climb ..."
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michaelmph
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 12:28:43 PM »
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One thing to be aware of is that the 2012 Olympic Games will be held in London with the opening ceremony on 29 July. Maybe you'll be in Scotland by then, but I can assure you that London will be teaming with tourists and athletes well before the games actually start. Many (most?) native Londoner like me will be well out of here before the games start. London in the summer tourist season is heaving at the best of times, with packed public transport/ streets / shops/ theatres etc but 2012 will be something else. The only plus is that the Olympic Village and Park are in the very eastern part of the capital in a newley redeveloped part of the old docklands, so that may mitigate some of the crush. Still, there are lots of places to see outside London, though the British Tourist Authority will be launching a huge advertising campaign encouraging visitors to visit the rest of the country. You may feel in need of a holiday after London and Scotland will be a welcome respite at the end of your trip. Good luck.

Michael
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jeremyrh
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 02:13:20 PM »
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Which is why I prefaced the suggestion with a "If you climb ..."
I hope the OP takes that caveat seriously. Climbing in Skye without proper equipment and specific Scottish experience is foolish.
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luxborealis
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 09:39:01 PM »
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Mull is a fascinating location. We stayed in a B&B on Loch na Keal and I awoke to spectacular views across the sea loch to the eroded formations of a former volcano and dramatic headlands. Driving around Loch na Keal across Arnameach and around Loch Scridain on the way to our ferry to Iona was equally spectacular. Then, there's Calgary Beach in the north - you'd think you were in the Mediterranean with the colour of the water and sand - and the colourful village of Tobermory. We only had a few days on Mull but could have easily spent two weeks and not run out of photo ops, rain or not. Rain should not be a deterrent - there's something to be said for inclement weather (at least from my perspective).
You can have a look at some of the photos here: http://quietlight.ca/gallery/photos/UK/scotland/mull/
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rgs
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 09:47:40 PM »
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My thanks to all of you. Your help is appreciated. You have made planning much easier. Thank you.

RGS
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famalam
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 06:09:09 PM »
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Skye is unbelievable. Since you're up that end, you could also consider heading down to the Lake District, which is also stunning.
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Photo Places
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 03:45:05 PM »
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I'd definitely second the Lake District - it's more compact than Scotland and no less beautiful, though perhaps a little less 'wild'. Check out Loughrigg Terrace above Rydal Water and Grasmere, Blea Tarn (Langdale), Wastwater (England's Deepest Lake and home to its alleged favourite view) and of course the beguiling Borrowdale and Buttermere. There are some guides to various parts of the lakes on my site: Photo Places

Enjoy the trip! Smiley
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2012, 08:40:07 AM »
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Given that the Olympics will be on, probably best to forget about London this trip (Some would say better to forget about it altogether) and spend more time in Scotland. You could easily spend 3 months photographing in Scotland and still only have covered 10% of the most dramatic and scenic locations.

Some good advice in the contributions farther up the thread. Just one point in relation to Chairman Bill's first observation - about the weather. Don't be put off by the promise of mist, rain and low cloud on Mull, Skye or, indeed, anywhere in the north-west. That is, by far, the weather that produces the best photographs. The last thing you want on the Western Isles is sunshine. It is pretty much the opposite on the Northern Isles and down the east coast - where blue skies and sunshine can be usefully incorporated into your photography.

The midgies? Yes - worst on the west. But the preferred repellent by the Royal Marines is, believe it or not, a woman's skin preparation called Avon Skin-so-soft. Beats Jungle Formula and suchlike out of the park.

Enjoy your trip.
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IanP
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 02:09:12 PM »
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You might be OK with the midgies Richard - they prefer the English blood, they've been trained that way!  Agree with the above - Avon skin so soft better than most of the other products if they do bother you.

Sorry Chairman Bill - didn't read your post well enough.  Amazing though how every year you come across people in trainers (sneakers for you Richard) 3000 feet up the hills in the north-west. 
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rgs
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 09:51:43 PM »
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Lived in Alaska for 6 years. I don't know that midgies can beat Alaskan mosquitos. Those things are huge and very aggressive. Story was that one landed at the airport and they had it all fueled up before they realized it wasn't a plane!

I appreciate everyone's input. Sadly, I have to pospone this trip. With the olympics, it sounds like next summer will be a better choice.
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jeremyrh
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 03:20:55 AM »
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The midgies? Yes - worst on the west. But the preferred repellent by the Royal Marines is, believe it or not, a woman's skin preparation called Avon Skin-so-soft. Beats Jungle Formula and suchlike out of the park.

I think this is a bit of an urban (or rural ... ) myth to be honest. I have used SSS in Scotland and not found it very effective. Did make me smell nice, though  Grin
More scientifically ... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2045813
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