5 Tips and tricks for your trip /
Just a few things that I really think that are very helpful when you are planning a trip to Scotland.
1 - Rent a car! You need one to go to remote places
People usually ask about what is the best transportation method in Scotland, well nothing better than a car! Unless you are only planning on staying on Edinburgh or capital cities then use your legs or the bus, that will be okay. But I really recommend to rent a car, you will be totally free to go wherever you want to go! We had some nice experiences on the road, and also some weird ones (at least for us), I can remember once that we were going to St Abbs Nature Reservoir, and you actually have to step out the car to open a fence! And close it back after (of course).
2 - Don't be afraid, but be careful
There are some places that are awesome, but there are not easy to reach, sometimes even scary and dangerous. But I can assure that if we can do it you can do it, just be extremely careful! Like first time that we went to the Devil's Pulpit! We basically ended going back home pretty scared, because you have to reach the bottom of the pit using some creepy stairs and it is usually quite wet, so we thought about it for a while and at the end we decided not to go down, we were not ready for that. Next time there, we were ready so we could go further and I even go into the water to take some pics, it was freezing, but.. I had some clothes back in the car :)
3 - Historic Scotland heritage trail
Castles! Scotland is well known for them, it is mandatory to visit some. If you are coming for some days you will need to buy the Explorer Pass from Historic Scotland, just visiting Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and another one it is worth it the price. True is that not all of the castles are managed by Historic Scotland, such as Dunnottar Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Glamis Castle and some more, but in any case it is always a good idea to buy the Pass. And also, apart from the castles, there are these two places: Inchmahome Priory and Loch Leven (included in HS) that are really nice to see.
4 - Nature Reserves are awesome
There are so many National Nature Reserves in here, and in every single one you will find so many trails to follow (with different levels of difficulty). Ideal places to sync with the nature and to enjoy the wilderness of the forest or just feel the tranquillity of those eternal and solitary beaches. You can find also the Cairngorms National Park, a massive extension (I think it is one of the biggest of the entire island) of mountains, lochs, ski stations, etcetera... it is simply breathtaking. An awesome place, been there so many times, but still we have lots of spots to discover!
That's my thing and one of my main objectives every time that we are planning a trip so :) One thing that I started doing here is long exposure shots focusing on lochs or the ocean itself, I really enjoy taking these pictures because I think the result is quite nice, just three things:
1. Tripod, if you don't have one or you can't travel with it, just use whatever you will find to keep the camera quiet. I did this many times, it worked fine! Ideally I recommend as well to buy a remote shutter, not 100% necessary but... they are not expensive and it is a warranty that the camera will not move (sometimes I took pictures during 3 minutes, so...)
2. Light, obviously most of the time you will be using the camera during the day, it is indispensable to have a ND filter for your lens (Neutral Density Filter, think about it as sunglasses for your camera), you really really need one of this (In my case I have a ND 1000 filter, it is practically opaque).
3. Sun, take care with it! If it is too sunny, even with the ND filter the photos will end with strange bights sometimes. It it best to take these kind of pictures with soft light.
Try it! As I said the result is amazing :)