October 2015

Dusk in Edinburgh's Old Town, no filter

This month I was honored to judge #NoFilter Edinburgh — a photography competition run by London City Airport — which challenges bloggers to showcase the best of the city without using filters to enhance the images. Edinburgh is such a historic and elegant city, its beauty shines through without needing hours of touch ups or filter apps to improve its atmospheric facades.

Take a look at some of the unfiltered images from the competition below, along with thoughts from each of the entrants.

If you feel inspired to pay a visit, you can check out my itinerary ideas for a host of things to do in Scotland’s most beguiling city. Read more...

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Doune Castle, Stirlingshire, Scotland

I’ve been on a bit of a castle kick lately, and today’s focus is on one of the most popular castles in Scotland. Doune Castle stands just northwest of Stirling and rose to cultural stardom with the release of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975. It is an undeniably handsome facade perched in the midst of a wooded bend of the River Teith, just outside the town of Doune (and near to Deanston distillery). This is a pretty part of Scotland, where the Central Belt gives way to foothills rolling up into the highlands, and it is easily accessible on drives north from the cities.

I visited Doune Castle this past May…

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Dunstaffnage Castle, near Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Hardly a ten-minute drive north of Oban stands one of the oldest castles in all of Scotland. Dunstaffnage Castle looms from a rocky promontory and glowers across a key junction of western Scotland’s sea lanes, guarding the entrance to Loch Etive and protecting the Pass of Brander from Scotland’s enemies. A fortification has stood here for a very long time — some posit it may have been a Dál Riatan stronghold as far back as the 7th century — and the impressive structure visible today was largely constructed in the 1200s.

Old castles like Dunstaffnage are my favorite kind because they were functional, defensive fortifications… Read more...

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Here at last, in the shadows of Glencoe where the Three Sisters and Aonach Dubh shoulder into the thundering heavens, mankind’s scrabble for dominion falters. The four of us are dying as we stand along the margins of Loch Achtriochtan, our selves sliding from the flesh into the embrace of the glen. The weather, as we call it, becomes a colossal Kundalini serpent twisting and writhing between the mountains. Rain pinwheels down on the skirling winds, and I huddle and shiver in my jacket. Each of us sifts through memories stranded here when youth more brightly tingled our bones.

Sheep stand around a small cottage…

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