Tales from the forest

Inspiration, stories and an insider's glimpse into the world of Scotland's forests

6 stunning forest views to tempt you outdoors, despite the weather

With snowstorms in April, I think we can agree this hasn't been spring at its best. Many of us are back in the wellies and winter woollens, when we should be enjoying the milder outdoors.

The National Forest Estate is one of those places that looks good in all weathers. As a wee reminder, we've got some inspiration for you! Our planning forester Colin Leslie spends a lot of time in the Inverness, Ross and Skye forests. Luckily for us, he's pretty handy with a camera.

Our inboxes are always a little cheerier when one of his photos arrives – but they're too good to keep to ourselves! We've asked him to pick out some of his favourite places and photos to remind us how magical our Scottish forests can be.

As some people say: there's no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes!

Glenmore Dawn

Glenmore at dawn

“The Ancient Caledonian Pinewoods of Glenmore are special places at any time – but at dawn they can be truly magical. I spent the morning in a hide counting Capercaillie (as part of a national monitoring programme) and emerged into thick fog over the forest. There was an eerie stillness in the Glen as I headed back to the car but suddenly the sun broke through the mist and the forest came alive. “

Blue Dawn – Loch Beinn a Mheadhoin

blue dawn at Loch Beinn a Mheadhoin, Glen Affric

“I arrived at the car park at Loch Beinn a Mheadhoin, Glen Affric before dawn hoping to capture a nice sunrise image. This image was made in the predawn dark about an hour before sunrise. The long exposure required to capture any light at that time has created a dreamy, ethereal effect that for me sums the place up perfectly.”

Winter – Inshriach Forest

View over Inshriach forest in winter

“If you want a great view over the vast expanse of Inshriach Forest and the Cairngorm mountains beyond, head to Uath Lochans, where a forest walk will take you to this viewpoint. The low winter sunlight really helps pick out the details from the frozen lochs to the snow covered mountains beyond.”

Rothiemurchus Forest

Rothiemurcus forest

“Rothiemurchus is a magnificent combination of mountain, Caledonian Pinewood and on this autumn morning – mist. I chose a high vantage point as the mist receded, revealing the silhouettes of thousands of Pine trees.”

The Black Isle

Trees in the Black Isle

“The vast forests on the Black Isle might not have the reputation of the likes of Glen Affric or Glenmore but they are full of hidden corners and wildlife hotspots. This image was taken near the Monadh Mor car park late on a cold winters afternoon.”

Laiken Forest

Starry night sky over Laiken forest

“Laiken Forest is not well known but easily accessible from the Nairn to Glenferness public road. This forest is a favourite of mine for night photography. Just far enough away from the street lights of Inverness and Nairn, here you can escape light pollution and revel in the dark skies overhead. If you are lucky you may even capture a passing meteor!”


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