Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Thursday, June 22, 2023

UK, Finally


Chalk Cliffs, Seaford Head, England

We’d been planning this trip since 2018, and it had suffered two COVID - related postponements.  We were ready.  Our dear English friends had volunteered to do most of the planning and we were so grateful. We told them that we were more interested in the countryside than cities and museums and (we might have regretted this request) that we wanted to see as much as we could. They planned everything and drove us around Scotland in a jaunty rented bright blue MG. That being said, the pace was impressive, and the days are long in Scotland in June. There was just one opportunity to nap in two weeks. 

Glasgow Cathedral

We spent about a half-day each in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London.  London in particular was surreal because we arrived by train from their home in Surrey and poof, there we were walking along the Thames.   

Highland Cow

It’s always good to have an idea of the iconic visuals when I’m traveling; the things which help tell the story of the place. If I don’t know what I’m looking for, I won’t see it. The most elusive project was finding Highland cattle (“coos” locally.) All through Skye and the Highlands, I obnoxiously reminded my 3 non-photographer companions (who were just trying to have a nice trip) to keep looking for the beasts.  For days on end.  Ultimately we found them, on our last half-day in Scotland, on the battlefield at Culloden of all places.  You’ve got to admit they’re compelling.


Scottish Lamb

Sheep, on the other hand, were almost literally everywhere.  They’re better looking than ours in the states, and the lambs are irresistible.


Eilean Donan Castle

Stone structures are iconic and ubiquitous too.  Ruins, bridges, huge cairns, castles, and plenty of homes and businesses which still operate.  Just about everything is older there than in the states.


Fairy Pools

We were thrilled to see so many waterfalls and pools. Despite the lack of rain while we were there (zero), we were surrounded by water and engulfed in green.

A very early sunrise, Skye

Did I mention that the days were long? Really long?  If you count civil twilight at each end, there were 20 or more hours of light.  This poses an issue when trying to catch early light in the morning.  At around 4:00 AM. Sometimes after a rather (ahem) social evening.


Loch Lomond Sunrise through the window

Sometimes I stumbled out to shoot sunrise, and sometimes I set up the tripod in our bedroom, shot out the window, replaced the blackout curtains, and crawled back in bed. Sometimes I missed it.


Mosaic, Loch Lomond

I have to remind myself, on trips with really expansive views, to keep an eye to the details.  They, too, are there if I look for them. 

From the pub, Ben Nevis Trailhead

The views out the windows of our accommodations, from pubs, and from castles-turned-museums were so impressive that I couldn’t resist documenting them, too.

 A few words about the food.  First, Scotland boasts some spectacular and fresh seafood.  One of our traveling companions is a vegetarian, and I thought she missed quite a lot (though I’m sure she was unconcerned.) I set out to have what I thought to be the local dishes.  Yes, I had haggis and black pudding, and I thought they were rather good. Likewise, the pub versions of shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, coronation chicken, and (oh my heart) cheese and chutney toastie; a variation on grilled cheese.

 I had a hard time choosing images this time.  As you can imagine, there’s A LOT more on the website. Thanks for coming along.