Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead

Blair Castle

When we’ve been in Scotland over the past twelve years, visiting family across the country has meant regular trips up and down the section of the A9 leading from Perth to the northern highlands. Every time we’ve passed by Blair Atholl, the white-painted castle has beckoned for a photograph. Until 2018, the shot would’ve meant finding a probably impossible spot somewhere in the woods to the west of the road and using a long lens to photograph the building at the right moment.

Since 2018, things have become a little easier, as I’ve had a drone with me. But the combination of questionable Scottish weather and anticipation of arriving with family has meant that the I have still been unable to get a photograph of the castle. I’ve only ever had a boring shot of the driveway, taken in 2008, which certainly didn’t do any kind of justice to the historic castle; the only one in Europe which still retains a private army: the Atholl Highlanders.

My luck was in on our recent trip to Scotland, though. Arriving at The House of Bruar – a small and very posh clothing store, delicatessen and restaurant nearby – I saw that there was still a little light left on the surrounding hills, so I drove the couple of miles along a B-road and found a spot from which to launch my drone. I found the right angle and took a few panoramic photos just as the last sunshine of the day was cast onto the castle.

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