Best photography locations in Scotland

Discover the best places for landscape photography in Scotland

Scottish Highlands, in the North of the United Kingdom, has the best photography locations in Scotland. Plenty of islands, lakes/lochs, rugged coastlines & mountains, makes this area a paradise for landscape photographers.

In this list, you will find from the most iconic locations to some other beauty spots. Definitely the best places for landscape photography in Scotland. At the end of the post, you can find a map with all geolocations.

One of the reasons that these landscapes became famous, its that famous audiovisual films choose Scotland for its landscapes. Films as Harry Potter, James Bond Skyfall or series as Game of Thrones & Outlander was filmed in Scotland.

If you are interested to know which and where are these locations, we also add at the end of the post the most famous film locations in Scotland.

Glencoe

Scottish Highlands Photo Tour Etive_Mor

Glencoe is a must-see area in your travel to the Scottish Highlands. Very easy access to famous spots as Etive Mor Waterfall or the Three Sisters made this area one of the most popular spots for landscape photographers.

If you are an adventure photographer, you have a few options for hiking and climbing the mountains of this valley. But if you prefer easy locations, besides the previous waterfalls, you also will find famous film locations in this valley.

Bow Fiddle Rock

Bow Fiddle Rock scotland

Close to Portknockie, you can find the Bow Fiddle Rock. An incredible and photogenic rock formation on the northeast coast of Scotland. We recommend to plan carefully your shooting, as the tide and waves can change the spot fast.

In this area, you will find other interesting rock formations, as the Whale’s Mou’s. This is is truly a gem for photographers, but sorry to repeat, be aware to visit at low-tide.

Old Man of Stoer

Old Man of Stoer, Scotland

The Old Man of Stoer (don’t confuse with the Old Man of Storr) is a dramatic sea stack at the north Stoer Head Lighthouse. From the parking of the lighthouse, you will need to walk around 30 minutes to arrive.

Be ready for strong winds in the area, anyway the path is not dangerous and the place is easy to find. During the footpath you can find some other interesting compositions, so we suggest you to dedicate a few hours to this place. It’s perfect for sunset shooting and close to that, you will find our next recommended spot.

Clashnessie falls

Clashnessie falls, Scotland

Close to the Old man of Stoer, you will find one the most beautiful waterfalls in all Scotland: Clashnessie falls. Its just 15 meters, but the beauty of impressive of this fall, make this spot a must-see spot.

The path to arrive is fairly rough and boggy. Its signposted from the beach car park and easy to find. Simply respect the area to avoid problems with the owners of the land.

Stacks of Duncansby

Stacks of Duncansby, Scotland

Our northeast recommendation: The Stacks of Duncansby. This impressive two rock stacks is only one of the attractive of the area. The 3 km. path along the coast offers incredible views of this landscapes.

In this area, you can find some other different spots to photograph as the nearest lighthouse. Also, this area is one of Britain’s best sea bird colonies. So, if you are planning a tour to the northeast part of Scotland, don’t miss this spot!

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, Scotland

Not far from Duncansby, there is this magnificent castle. The rock formations and cliffs that surround the castle, make this another must-seen for your north Scotland tour. These landscapes will offer you different great compositions to capture in one shot the icons of Scotland.

This location is fairly far from touristic routes, so its hard to find as one the best photography locations in Scotland. So if you are looking for something unique and original, we are sure this place not will defraud you.

Eilean Donan

Photo Tour Scotland Highlands Castle Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan is one of the most iconic castles in Scotland. Located where three great sea-lochs meet and surrounded by the mountains of Kintail its one of the popular spots for photographers. Thanks to this location, in the entrance to the Isle of Skye, is a very popular spot that you will enjoy better during sunset.

Best photography locations in Isle of Skie

The Quiraing

Scottish Highlands Photo Tour Quiraing

At the Quiraing, you will find probably the best landscapes of all Isle of Skye and for sure one of the best photography locations in Scotland. The possibilities go from an easy shoot close to the car parking to different levels of hiking.

Going to the north is much easier, and in the south, you will be able to capture unique captures. Anyway, go there during sunrise, so the light will be coloring all these landscapes.

Old man of Storr

Scottish Highlands Photo Tour Old Man Storr

If you are planning to visit the Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr is probably one of the pics you will want to take. The path from the car parking to the viewpoint takes 1 hour 15 minutes. Anyway, the views you will get once you arrive at the top will make your efforts rewarded.

The best moment to photograph, it’s sunrise. So take a head torch to climb to the viewpoint. We also recommend taking time to explore the area, as you can get different interesting compositions there.

Elgol

Photo Tour Scotland Highlands Elgol

Another popular spot & touristic spot in the Isle of Skye. So don’t expect to be here alone. The beach itself has hundreds of jagged rocks that will be a great foreground. Also, you can use the Honeycomb Rock in your compositions.

The Cuillin in the background will help you to capture great pics during sunset, which is the best time to photograph this beach.

Fairy Pools

fairy pools scotland photo tour

One of the main walks you must do in your visit to the Isle of Skye. Here you will find a natural pools that connect each other with beautiful waterfalls. A paradise for photographers!

The path is easy to find, and well maintained. (Only the start of the path is very steep, but not long) Just be careful to not slide off crossing the river.

The time to visit the Fairy Pools will depend on the time you will spend photographing. Anyway you can reach the top in less than an hour, where is located of the most famous spots.

Neist Point Lighthouse

Scottish Highlands Photo Tour Neist Cliff

Another iconic spot in the Isle of Skye: The Neist Point Lighthouse. The western location in the UK without need to take a boat. This way is a perfect spot for sunset.

The location is fairly easy to reach, and you do not need to walk to the lighthouse to get a great pic. Anyway, move from the parking (the iconic spot) in the area to get original compositions.

As other famous places for landscape photography in Scotland, try to be creative to get something new and fresh.

Best photography locations in Isle of Lewis

Mangersta

best photography locations in scotland Sea Stacks of Mangersta

The Isle of Lewis, located in the Outer Hebrides, offers you great opportunities for seascapes. One of the most famous, and most beautiful, is Mangersta.

The area offers you a lot of possibilities, with a lot of sea stacks close to the coast. The cliffs that surrounded are quite impressive, and there is no path to explore it. So the best advice is to ask local people for the correct way to explore it.

Stac a’ Phris Arch

best photography locations in scotland Stac a’ Phris Arch

This natural Arch is a really impressive location that you must visit if you visit the Isle of Lewis. You can reach after a 2km path from the South, parking in the Norse Mill. If you are visiting with a small car, you can also come from the north from the closest residence village.

As in all cliff locations, be careful! Sunset is the best moment to photograph, as the cliffs during sunrise will give a shadow to the arch.

Famous film locations in Scotland

Games of thrones

Doune Castle in Stirling became one of the first locations when start Game of Thrones. At the first moment, Scotland seemed like the perfect place to record the serie. This castle was used in the pilot episode, but after that, the production decided to move to Northern Ireland as the poor infrastructure of the area was making it difficult to shoot on this location.

For film enthusiasts, we could include this location in our next serie: Outlander. But also in the Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. For Game of Thrones fans, the most famous locations can be found in Iceland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Morocco and Croatia.

Outlander

This serie could require another specific post to talk about locations. Watch this serie if you like Scottish culture, landscapes, and architecture. During the four seasons, you will enjoy all locations used to shoot this series. During our Scottish Highlands photo tour , we visit places like Glencoe & Loch Katrine.

As you can imagine, there are thousands of tours that can bring you around the most famous locations from the cities of Edinburg or Glasgow to the Highlands. We recommend you to visit this website, where you will find a nice map, but also some guided tours.

James Bond Skyfall

One of the main locations of this film was recorded in Scotland. From Glencoe to Loch Craignishe, passing through Glen Etive or Duart Castle. But also Scotland was used in other 007 films as The World is not Enough (1999) using the Eilean Donan Castle as the headquarters of the MI6.

glencoe scotland workshop

Follow in the footsteps of 007, the film is coming back to the origins of the most famous Britain’s secret agent. The last scene, show the childhood house of James Bond, and while you can think its located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the reality is that the house was built especially for the film in Surrey (England).

Harry Potter

Our last film of this extra chapter, need to be for Harry Potter saga. As Outlander, mention all locations where the films was shoot requieres a full post.

Again Glencoe appear in the list but also the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, Victoria street & Balmoral Hotel in Edinburg, the cementery of Greyfriars Kirkyard or Steall falls as example.

Conclussions

This is our list of the best photography locations in Scotland. Anyway, during your travel to the Scottish Highlands, you will find hundreds of places for landscape photography in Scotland. Also, you can enjoy the beautiful city of Edinburgh, or small old towns during your route, to complete your photo tour.

If you want to visit most of these spots with us, you can join our next Scottish Highlands photo tour. During our travel, we will visit most of these locations, but also some others. With our guidance, we will be choosing the right locations and best compositions to make the most of our trip.

According to the actual restrictions, you can travel to Scotland only with guidance that supports the route map. You can find more information in this link.

Eduardo Fuster
About the author

Eduardo Fuster is a Spanish photographer based in Russia. Graduate in Art & Design and specialized in video & photography. More than 15 years of experience working for advertisement, tv, cinema, real estate & stock agencies.