go to content

48 Photos That Prove That Scotland In Winter Is Basically Narnia

Who cares if winter lasts a hundred years when it's this beautiful?

Posted on

1. Loch Lubnaig, Perthshire

John McPake/ Stirling Council / Via Flickr: stirlingcouncil

This beautiful loch looks even more magical when it's blanketed in snow. This stunning photo was taken in February 2011 at the end of one of the coldest winters since records began.

2. Falls of Dochart, Killin, Stirling

Willie Angus / Via Flickr: willowherb

The Falls of Dochart run through the small town of Killin in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. In summer the falls send up a misty spray as the waters crash into the rocks; in winter they're reduced to a frozen trickle.

3. Carn nan Sac, Càrn a' Gheòidh, Aberdeenshire

Scottish Dream Photography / Via Flickr: ross_vernal

Càrn a' Gheòidh sits 3199 feet above the wildfowl-filled Loch Vrotachan, which may explain why it's called "Hill of the Goose" in Gaelic. Climbers walk along a ridge known as Carn nan Sac to reach the summit.

4. Loch Turret, Perthshire

Neil Roger / Via Flickr: neil_roger

If it weren't for Loch Turret, Famous Grouse fans would be very disappointed. The loch supplies water to Glenturret distillery in Perthshire, which provides some of the whisky that makes up the famous blend.

5. Meall a' Bhùiridh, Glen Coe

John O'Brien / Via Flickr: totspurjohn

Meall a' Bhùiridh means "Hill of the bellowing" in Gaelic. The mountain is one of several in Glen Coe and is a popular skiing destination in winter.

6. Liathach, Glen Torridon, Northwest Highlands

Steve Schnabel / Via Flickr: 15572139@N07

Liathach is widely considered to be one of Scotland's most challenging mountains due to its narrow summit ridge. In winter the surrounding marshland often freezes, making the walk even harder.

7. Loch Torridon, Achnasheen, Ross-Shire

Steve Schnabel / Via Flickr: 15572139@N07

Loch Torridon is a glacial sea loch on the west coast of Scotland. The loch is surrounded by the breathtaking Torridon hills and contains several picturesque little islets called Eilean Mòr, Eilean Tioram, Sgeir Ghlas, and Sgeir na Trian.

8. Cairn Toul and Braeriach, Cairngorms

John O'Brien / Via Flickr: totspurjohn

Cairn Toul is the fourth highest mountain in Scotland, while Braeriach is the third highest. Braeriach means "brindled greyish upper part" in Gaelic, which proves that it's not always easy to come up with names for mountains.

9. Loch An Eilein, Rothiemurchus, Aviemore

Steve Harris / Via Flickr: steveharris

Loch an Eilein is famous for its island and stunning 13th century castle. The surrounding pine forests were also used by famous Scottish outlaw and cattle rustler Rob Roy to hide his stolen cows.

10. Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Kenny Sievwright / Via Flickr: kennyseivwright

The pretty rural town of Banchory is surrounded by beautiful woodland rich in ancient Pictish archaeological sites. There are also several stone circles nearby in case you need to sacrifice a lion.

11. Loch Garten, Highland

Ben Palmer / Via Flickr: btpalmer

Loch Garten is famous for its nesting ospreys. A pair of the rare birds made the loch their home in 1954 and were carefully guarded by the RSPB after becoming extinct in the rest of the UK. You can keep an eye on them too via this webcam.

12. Ben Lui, Oss and Dubhchraig, Southern Highlands

George Paterson / Via Flickr: georgep008

The majestic Ben Lui group of mountains are widely considered to be the grandest in the Southern Highlands. Their snow-covered peaks loom high above Cononish Glen, giving walkers and climbers a truly stunning view in winter.

13. Boblainy Forest, Beauly, Highland

Via Flickr: swan-scot

This pretty coniferous forest is situated just outside the even prettier village of Kiltarlity (Gaelic: "Cill Targhlain") in the Scottish Highlands, which takes its name from an ancient Pictish King.

14. Lochan na h-Achlaise, Rannoch Moor

Martin Sojka / Via Flickr: msojka

It's not entirely clear why this gorgeous, chilly expanse of water is called "Little Loch of the Armpit" in Gaelic. This mountain fringed loch is far too pretty to deserve such a strange name.

16. Glenshee Ski Centre, Ballater, Aberdeenshire

Dinkydarko / Via Flickr: dinkydarko

Glenshee means "Glen of the Fairies" in Gaelic, and as you can see from this photo it certainly is magical. The hilly glen is a popular ski resort with four mountains, three valleys, and 2000 acres of snow to choose from.

17. Milton of Campsie, East Dunbartonshire

John / Via Flickr: stressedtechy

This long wall is four feet high, but nevertheless it's almost completely buried in the snow. Although this might look like the Highlands, it was actually taken in Milton of Campsie near Glasgow.

18. Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis

Adrian Fagg / Via Flickr: adrianfagg

This forbidding ridge is part of the summit approach to Ben Nevis: the UK's highest mountain. The challenging climb is made even more difficult by thick ice deposits and year round snow.

19. Castle Semple Loch, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire

euphbass / Via Flickr: euphbass

It's hard to believe that Castle Semple Loch is just a 30 minute drive from the bustling city of Glasgow: it feels like the middle of nowhere.

20. Loch Morlich, Inverness-shire

Sheila / Via Flickr: swan-scot

This amazing, jagged plain isn't made from discarded plastic: it's actually a field of broken ice on the surface of Loch Morlich near Aviemore.

21. River Kelvin, Glasgow

Ianan / Via Flickr: ianan

This gorgeous bridge links Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow's botanical gardens, two equally lovely spots that turn into a winter wonderland when it snows.

22. Loch Doon, Carrick, Ayrshire

Brian Wotherspoon / Via Flickr: brian_digital

Loch Doon's crystal clear water used to reflect the craggy outline of Balloch Castle, but the ruins were moved from an island to the other side of the loch in the 1930s to protect them after a dam project raised the waterline.

23. The Pap of Glencoe and Sgurr nam Fiannaidh, Highland

John O'Brien / Via Flickr: totspurjohn

The distinctive Pap is an iconic landmark around Loch Leven and lower Glencoe. It's even more noticeable in winter thanks to its dusting of sugar-like snow.

24. Sand dunes, Dornoch beach

John Haslam / Via Flickr: foxypar4

The dunes bordering this small Highland town are frequently blanketed in snow in winter. These finches were caught flitting between tall stalks of maram grass in search of food on one of the coldest days of the year.

26. Glenmore Forest Park, nr. Aviemore, Cairngorms

Steve Harris / Via Flickr: steveharris

The magical expanse of Glenmore Forest lies at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. In summer these forests form an evergreen sea, but they're frequently buried under heavy snow in winter.

27. Loch Morlich and the Cairngorms

Graham Norrie / Via Flickr: chuckrock

When it isn't frozen into a million shards of ice, Loch Morlich looks like this. The snow covered hills in the distance are the mighty Cairngorms, Britain's highest and most massive mountain range.

30. Goat Fell, Arran

Bill Boyd / Via Flickr: literacyadviser

Gaoda Bheinn- Goat Mountain- is the highest point on the isle of Arran, often described as "Scotland in miniature" due to its unique combination of sandy beaches, snowy peaks, lochs, and pretty farmland.

31. Packhorse Bridge, Carrbridge

gominokouhai / Via Flickr: gominokouhai

This pretty rock arch is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. It was damaged in a great flood called the "Muckle Spate" in 1829, which left it too rickety and unsafe to use. It's now purely decorative.

32. Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Mike Pratt / Via Flickr: photomarv57

This broken lobster pot on Broughty Ferry beach has been claimed by the snowy tundra; this is basically what Cornwall will look like during the next ice age.

33. Braeriach from Carn a' Mhaim, Cairngorms

John o'Brien / Via Flickr: totspurjohn

This is another wintry view of Braeriach (a.k.a. "brindled greyish upper part"). This amazing photo was taken from the nearby peak of Carn a'Mhaim, which is just a hillock compared to the even larger Ben Macdui.

35. Buachaille Etive Mòr, Highlands

Jonathan Tweed / Via Flickr: jtweed

The "great herdsman of Etive" is blanketed in snow each winter, but that- or the fact that parts of the steep climb are graded as "severe"- doesn't stop thousands of climbers scrambling up its icy flanks every year.

37. Loch na Ba Ruaidhe, Glen Convinth

Sheila / Via Flickr: swan-scot

Sleepy Loch na Ba Ruaidhe is part of a small group of quiet lochs in the Western Isles, though you wouldn't even know that there was a loch in this photo: it's completely frozen and covered in deep snow.

38. Moonrise, Rannoch Moor

Martin Sojka / Via Flickr: msojka

This incredible scene looks like something from another planet, but it's actually the frozen expanse of Rannoch Moor: a 50 mile stretch of wildlife-rich moorland bordering Lochaber in Highland.

39. Frozen sand, Balchladich, Sutherland

Tom Parnell / Via Flickr: itmpa

You know it's cold when even the sand freezes. This photo was taken in Balchladich, a remote town in the Assynt district of Sutherland in the Highlands which is almost as far north as John O'Groats.

40. Loch Leven, Kinross, Perthshire

Joe Dunckley / Via Flickr: steinsky

Loch Leven is a easily accessible loch near Kinross, just 45 minutes from Edinburgh. The loch is run by the RSPB as a nature reserve due to an abundance of bird species such as lapwings, migratory whooper swans and pink footed geese.

41. Beinn Damh from Loch Torridon

Steve Schnabel / Via Flickr: 15572139@N07

This shot actually shows frozen grass, but you get the feeling the whole loch isn't far away from freezing point in this atmospheric photo. Nearby Beinn Damh means 'Hill of the Stag" in Gaelic.

42. Summit of Ben Vrackie, Pitlochry

Simon Swales / Via Flickr: swalophoto

This snow-blasted cairn is a familiar sight to the thousands of people who climb this popular hill near the town of Pitlochry every year, though walkers need crampons and ice axes to tackle the ascent in winter.

43. Neilston, East Renfrewshire

Via Flickr: grumpy-puddin

This might look like it was taken in the far North, but it was actually captured in the fairly busy town of Neilston, proving that even commuter villages near Glasgow look like Narnia after heavy snowfall.

44. Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh

Akela NDE / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Eilean Donan is one of the prettiest castles in Scotland at the best of times, but heavy snow turns it into an enchanted palace. It sits on a tidal island where the great sea lochs of Duich, Long, and Alsh come together.

45. Stag, Loch Quoich, Invergarry

Colin Cheesman / Via Flickr: 93309789@N00

If this young stag was standing the other way round, this image would be an almost perfect recreation of Landseer's iconic Monarch of the Glen painting. In true Narnia style, he looks as if he's trying to tell us something.

46. Cir Mhor, Isle of Arran

Stephen Archer / Via Flickr: stephenarcher

Cir Mhor is known as the "Matterhorn of Arran", thanks to its alpine nature. This ice cave looks like something you'd find in Switzerland: it's hard to believe this was taken on a small Scottish island.

47. Beinn Chabhair

George Paterson / Via Flickr: georgep008

This munro's name means "Hill of the Hawk" in Gaelic and boasts incredible views down to Loch Lomond, making it well worth the 3,061 foot climb to the summit.

48. Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus, Aviemore

Alex / Via Flickr: timeoff

Loch an Eilein is a stunning stretch of water near the popular tourist resort of Aviemore. It's surrounded by pine forests and snow dusted peaks, and it boasts a ruined island castle that almost certainly used to be home to some kind of Snow Queen.

"And she has made a magic so that it is always winter in Narnia—always winter, but it never gets to Christmas. And she drives about on a sledge, drawn by reindeer, with her wand in her hand and a crown on her head."