Mark Hamblin pays a seasonal visit to the Cairngorms in Scotland and is delighted by the unpredictable scenery and weather, which all offer excellent opportunities for the landscape photographer
he Cairngorms is a wild place of high mountains, ancient forests, open moorland and home to a quarter of Britain’s rare and endangered wildlife. Yet for those living outside the UK, the Cairngorms is one of the lesser known of the world’s national parks. When we think of national parks, inevitably the likes of Yosemite and Yellowstone spring to mind and, within the UK, the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales would probably occupy the top spots of many people’s list. One reason that the Cairngorms remains somewhat undiscovered is perhaps down to its youthfulness, having been formed just over a decade ago in 2003. Surprisingly it is one of just two national parks within Scotland, the other being Loch Lomond and Trossachs, further south. But despite its youth it went straight to the top of the charts as the UK’s largest national park, almost twice the size of the Lake District, with half this area considered as Wild Land.
But what do the Cairngorms offer the landscape photographer during the winter months, when in theory this part of northern Scotland should be at least partially covered in snow? I say, ‘should be’, because like many other parts of the world the...