Gairloch, Scotland by Mary Spiteri

Picture Story

Situated in the north west highlands of Scotland, Badachro Bay is a former fishing settlement sheltered amongst beautiful mountain ranges. It's an area of outstanding natural beauty and for good reason. The bay is stunning, with Dry Island and Horrisdale Island in the middle and because its sheltered we get very little snow. It's so picturesque that Ben Fogle visited Dry Island and the Island was also featured in a TV documentary called 'City life to Country life'. It's considered to be a very remote area of the highlands as our nearest main city is Inverness. We moved here a year ago from Oxford and if you consider that your regular trips to Starbucks are a priority then this is not the place for you. However, the community spirit endures here, people wave, say hello and always give you that Scottish welcome.

It's the simple pleasures of life here that make the difference, not the designer stores and having everything on tap. It's the incredible beauty of nature, peace and more importantly, the community. Just the ability to have all the outdoor experiences here like paddle boarding, sailing, hiking, horse riding and the pure joy of the changing elements of the year lift the spirits. Talking of elements, this year the bay area froze over which the locals say hasn't happened for years. I've called this image 'Waiting', as the boats are icebound and are only waiting for the sun and then the sea, enabling them to sail once more. The texture of the ice is incredible, a vast contrast to what we normal see; the light is just beginning to fade, its blue hour and a sense of peace descends on the bay . It's only then that you can hear the ice moving beneath. These sounds, the peacefulness and the light make this a magical experience even in winter. A time when the sailboats in the harbour are just waiting for the spring, calm seas and a good strong wind.

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