Glencoe Workshop Review
Posted on 17th November, 2023
We always try to select good hotels that are handily located for the viewpoints we intend to visit during our workshops. We obviously want to stay somewhere nice and inviting, but that also allows us to minimise the amount of driving and therefore maximise the amount of time we spend behind the camera learning and being creative. I’m not sure any hotel is better located than the Kingshouse. The hotel is situated at the eastern end of Glencoe at the junction with Glen Etive. It faces toward the iconic peak of Buachaille Etive Mor and great shots are even achievable from the hotel’s grounds – Cauldren Falls is just a short walk from the car park. So why is it called the Kingshouse? Well, it was used by the British Army during the subjugation of the Highlands following the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. In fact, Glencoe is steeped in history, as well as natural beauty. Its best known for the infamous massacre that took place here in 1692 when the Scottish army massacred 38 men, women, and children of Clan MacDonald – a further 40 later died of exposure after fleeing the Glen – for allegedly failing to pledge allegiance to the new monarchs William and Mary. The ghosts of the slaughted MacDonalds are still said to haunt the Glen on February 13th – the anniversary of the massacre. Which is just one reason why we run our Glencoe workshops during autumn!
Glencoe is spectacular at any time of the year, but during autumn the colours are spectacular, the light is soft and warm throughout the day, and there is even the chance of a touch of frost or a dusting of snow on the peaks. This is one of our most popular workshops. The photo opportunities within a relatively small area are numerous, with the A82 running through the Glen and making it quick and easy to explore the area.
On the first day we visited the manmade Glencoe lochan. The conditions were still, and the spectacular autumn colours were perfectly reflected. We then visited Castle Stalker – famously used as a location in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The ruin stands alone on a tidal islet with a mountainous backdrop. We were treated to lovely dramatic conditions and the first of several rainbows we would capture during the workshop. Although a band of rain prevented us from venturing out for a dawn shoot on our second day, the light just after breakfast was superb as we captured views of the River Etive looking toward Buachaille Etive Mor. We then visited the Three Sisters – one of Glencoe’s most breath-taking vistas. And with snow forecast to dust the peaks overnight, we looked forward to a busy and productive third and final day.
A DUSTING OF SNOW
After a very productive dawn shoot capturing Buachaille Etive Beag reflected in a little lochan, we enjoyed a hearty Scottish breakfast back at the hotel while enjoying the mountainous views from the restaurant. We then visited a handful of nearby viewpoints, capturing waterfalls and little bothies, before ending the workshop exploring Rannoch Moor. With snow now decorating the highest peaks and no wind to speak of, the scenery and reflections were near perfect.
With memory cards overflowing with great photographs, it was time to return to the hotel for a celebratory wee dram - it would be rude not to while in the highlands! Time to be say goodbye to Glencoe, but we will be returning again in November 2025. Dates will be announced soon and we hope you can join us…