Donald Ford Images - Scotland's golf and landscape photographer

Sutherland and Assynt at their scintillating best.....

When the numerous plans were laid in December and January for this year's photographic adventures, a return visit to the fantastic golf course at Durness ( just a stone's throw and a wee ferry trip from Cape Wrath! ) was almost first on the list. It is eight years since I paid it a visit and, aside from the members proudly claiming the title of "most northerly course on the British mainland", the views all around are simply glorious. ( See the image attached to this blog, if you need any persuasion! ) It WAS, however, time to see it all again. As a fanatic of all that Assynt has to reveal to its huge number of admirers, I decided to attempt a late afternoon and evening visit ( hopefully to benefit from a reasonably accurate weather forecast! ).  Durness was, naturally, the number one target, while the spectacular mountain and coastal scenery which makes Sutherland such a special place was also eagerly anticipated. I have never enjoyed much luck with the charismatic mountains of Ben Stack and Arkle, just a few minutes east of Laxford Bridge, off the main Lochinver to Durness road. Coming up from Lairg, it was noticeable that the skies were improving and, with a feeling of some relief,  the Arkle shot was first in the bag. The right turn to Durness left a half hour of motoring, which stretched by another thirty minutes as a lovely shot of Beinn Spionnaidh and the River Dionard was irresistible.

Then the Kyle of Durness came into view, looking magnificent in the early evening sun and a handy motor boat, moored off Keoldale ( from whose jetty the ferry heads off to make Cape Wrath accessible ) was the focal point for a lovely composition looking back down the Kyle. The golf course was then just three minutes away and, despite one stubborn cloud blotting out the sun for half an hour, it dissolved in good time to present the nine holes in glorious evening sunlight. It sounds  self-defeating to say it, but even the eventual pictures don't do this magical place justice. As golfing venues go, it IS unique.

An hour and a half was all that was required; when you've been once or twice to a new destination, you soon learn where the best viewpoints are and, in this case, I SWEAR that the tripod legs occupied the identical location to their previous one! As late evening beckoned, it was time to head south to see if Assynt could provide a spectacular finish to the day. It tried VERY hard, though the sun had nearly gone by the time I got down to Kylesku, then Loch Assynt and Elphin.  As is its custom ( it never fails! ) Quinag provided a cracking couple of images, while  the sun setting behind Suilven almost provided the shot of the day - but I couldn't find the perch I wanted, so that one slipped away. A quite spectacular five hours had come and gone in no time - or so it seemed - but it was a VERY happy photographer who then made the long, five-hour journey home for a deserved ( if seriously foreshortened ) few hours in his bed! I've said it before and I will keep repeating myself.....that corner of Scotland HAS to be the most exciting of them all. The scenery, light and landscapes are staggeringly beautiful - and unique.

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