I have spent the past week or so in the Scottish Highlands. Having arrived back home a couple of days ago, I have been resting prior to my return to work. I spent most of my time at the Aigas Field Centre, on a photography workshop with Laurie Campbell, a renowned Scottish nature photographer. While I am at the stage where I don’t really need any tuition, I always pick up a few useful snippets of information. Even by watching him as he teaches others, I am able to find inspiration and his insights at the end of the week are always worth listening to (even if I don’t always agree).
The main reason for going though is the locale and meeting up with people I have made friends with on previous visits. The photography workshops are an added bonus, as they are the excuse to get me to the highlands. The Field Centre was setup a few decades ago by Sir John Lister-Kaye, to promote the natural world. It plays a significant role in the education of children and the future generations of custodians, with their ranger education programme. The setting is an old Victorian hunting lodge, with a huge estate, including a wide diversity of wildlife. They offer a range of programmes, not just photography workshops, but also wildlife and archaeology weeks. There are also some programmes set further afield, such as Skye and the Orkneys. The staff are very dedicated and knowledgeable and the programmes include all food and travel. The food in itself is worth tasting. Lady Lucy, with the help of her team, produces food of restaurant standard, all three courses of it.
The days tend to be quite long and tiring, but the results (both physical and spiritual) are worth it. Would I return or recommend Aigas to others? Well, let’s just say, I’ll be paying my sixth visit in October.