When I was thinking about #mybestshots I
realised that for me, my ‘best’ shots are
about memories and moments.
Sometimes it’s a place: the light streaming
through the trees at Tentsmuir, or the
pink-tinged skies of a sunset at Yellowcraig
or Ravensheugh. Sometimes it’s a specific
moment; a walk where I can remember the
sense of peace and freedom, even though
it was a few years ago.
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But then sometimes it’s a building, or the
way buildings interact either with the
landscape or each other. Or a specific
detail, like the window in the previous
photo from a visit to Belsay Hall in
October 2016, with those wonderful
shutters. I’d intended to choose twenty
photos with the story behind each, but….
well, that plan didn’t quite work out, as you
can see by the length of this story. So these
are some photos and places leading up to
the end of 2018, as I also wanted to rewind
a little with this story - plus, I shared a
‘best of 2019’ story here.
This was our first trip to Belsay Hall in
Northumberland in October 2016 and it’s one
of my favourite places. If you enjoy
architectural details, this early 19th century
house is fascinating. I loved this fireplace (also
on the cover) with its original Delft tiles, and
then in the next photo, the former library used
as an exhibition space.
Belsay Hall was built from the rock carved from
the Quarry Garden, and this is one of the most
unusual gardens I’ve seen. There’s just
something about the scale of this place as you
weave between these looming rock faces. The
garden has its own microclimate and you can
feel the humidity shift as soon as you arrive.
Cragside, also in Northumberland, and
again this was our first visit in September
2016. I loved this moment when we came
to an old thatched boathouse - a boathouse
without a pond, as the water that was once
here has been drained, so I didn’t expect to
walk inside and find this boat.
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I remember this so vividly. It was July 6
2018, a Friday evening, and we’d driven
down the coast to have a picnic at John Muir
and watch the sun set. The light was
glorious. Just one of those moments where
you feel so grateful to be experiencing it
together. And Harris loved paddling.
Richard took this next photo, so it’s not
one of ‘my’ best shots, but it’s one of my
favourite moments and photos with
Harris. It was June 21 2018, the summer
solstice. We always want to mark the
solstice so we’d driven to Gullane beach
to watch the sun set over the sea. I
scooped Harris up for a cuddle, the
warm light glowing on his fur.
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December 27 2018, towards the
end of a long walk at Tentsmuir,
heading over the grassland to the
beach, with this gentle, gentle
light. And peace.
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June 9 2015, and our second visit to
Hidcote in Cotswolds, with its incredible
Arts and Crafts-inspired garden. I loved
this place. Just… magical. So many special
moments. A must-visit if you’re in the area.
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I’ll be honest, this ‘best shots’ story could
simply be about photos of Harris as most
of the shots I connect with involve the wee
fella. So I’ve been holding back here!
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February 12 2017, and a windy, bitterly cold
walk at Embleton Bay, with these wooden
cabins - all holiday homes - tucked up on
the dunes, facing the sea and the elements.
Embleton Bay
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The view from our last home
in Edinburgh, as someone
grabs a morning smoke after a
fresh dusting of snow.
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February 10 2018, at Elie Ness Lighthouse,
and one of my favourite walks in Fife,
heading from Elie along the coastal path in
the direction of St Monans. And this light
in the third photo here.
Elie Ness Lighthouse
December 28 2017, and
Abbotford’s Hope Scott Wing
glowing with warmth in this low
midwinter light.
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June 27 2010, shot on Richard’s old
compact camera, and a visit to Little
Sparta in the Pentlands - a garden that is
described as Ian Hamilton Finlay’s
greatest work of art. And this moment, in
a wooded area, when we happened across
this gilded head of Apollo.
Little Sparta
shot in East Lothian,
Edinburgh, Fife,
Perthshire, the Scottish
Borders, Northumberland
and the Cotswolds.

nature | coast | exploring ♡ Harris + Bracken interiors journalist 📍Scotland

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