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  • Writer's pictureRalf Steinberger

Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Photographs of fascinating, eerie landscapes




You find here photos I took of Scotland's Northern Highlands region with a full-frame Nikon mirrorless camera in May 2023. The Scottish Highlands' fascinating landscapes are marked by sparse population, treeless mountains, stunning cliffs, mediaeval castles, ghostly ruins and overwhelming clouds.


The high-quality photographs were taken along the famous road North Coast 500 (NC-500) and in Cairngorms National Park. You find here images of Queen Elizabeth II's summer residence Balmoral Castle, Sinclair Castle ruins, Duncansby Head light house and Duncansby 'Stacks', the iron-age Broch Cárn Liath, the 4,000-year-old Hill-o-many-stanes, and more.




Treeless landscape at Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. Land surfaces in Northern Scotland mostly seem to be covered by grass, heather and gores. There used to be forests below the tree line (600-800m) until trees were cut to build ships, build mines and - during the industrial revolution - to make space for sheep, which were needed for wool production.

Treeless landscape at Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. Land surfaces in Northern Scotland mostly seem to be covered by grass, heather and gores. There used to be forests below the tree line (600-800m) until trees were cut to build ships, build mines and - during the industrial revolution - to make space for sheep, which were needed for wool production.



The Duncansby Stacks are peaky rocks situated near Duncansby Head light house, near the north-eastern tip of the British main island.



Dramatic landscape East of Glencoe, South of Loch Ness and close to Great Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis (1,345 meters). Extremely sparsely inhabitated lands are typical for the Scottish Highlands.



14th century Balmoral Castle in Cairngorms National Park was late Queen Elizabeth II's summer residence. She spent three months there every year. Since Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband) purchased and extended the castle around 1850, Balmoral has been Royal private property.



Typical single-track road on the North Coast 500 (NC-500) with passing places every few hundred meters to let cars pass that go the opposite way. Cattle and sheep seem to have a good life in the Highlands.



Deserted white sand beach and turquoise water near Loch Eriboll, in the very North-West of the Scottish mainland.



Càrn Liath (English: Grey Cairn), an Iron Age broch on the eastern shore of the Scottish Highlands, near Golspie, Sutherland.




I did expect more long-horned and long-haired Highland cattle during our trip, but we did come across at least some of these beautiful and majestic animals.




15th century Sinclair castle ruins (top left) were built on impressive slate rocks in a rough, turquoise-coloured sea (Girnigoe, near Wick).




Driving on these windy roads in a very special, fantastic, mountainous landscape was an enormous pleasure. In the picture gallery below, you find more photos of our memorable trip. It is best to view them full-screen on a computer.










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