Day 252: Loch Aline to Auliston – Wildcat in Morvern

Argyllshire – North, Scotland

Dawn breaks over the Sound of Mull, Highland, Scotland.

As I make my way beside the Sound of Mull a car pulls up revealing a friendly bearded face “Don’t see many backpackers here, stop in at the next house over the hill and I’ll give you a cup of tea” A few minutes later Brian, a retired air force pilot and indefatigable explorer of the local area, unfolds a carefully annotated map and gives me invaluable advice as to the best route to take through the pathless areas. “Walking around the coast here is much worse than up on the mountains, some very bad ground”,”You be careful, there’s no mountain rescue here” he warns me. His partner Vicky puts her fingers to her lips and beckons me into their kitchen. A wildcat, extremely rare, is standing a few metres away from us in the garden. I attach the telephoto lens as swiftly and silently as possible and capture a handful of frames before it darts away. Waving Brian and Vicky farewell outside their cottage he calls out “When you write your book only mention Morvern in passing, we don’t want too many people here!”

Dawn at Ardtornish castle and the Sound of Mull, Highland, Scotland.

Clach na Criche or the Wishing Stone in Morvern which once marked the border between gaelic and pictish lands. The cairns were built by mourners on funeral processions in memory of the dead. Highland, Scotland.

Wildcat, Morvern, Highland, Scotland.

Winter branches, Bonnavoulin, Morvern, Highland, Scotland.

Last light above Tobermory on Mull from Auliston Point, Morvern, Highland, Scotland.

Winter’s evening over Ben Hiant on the Ardnamurchan peninsula from Auliston Point, Morvern, Highland, Scotland.

Date of walk: 13/12/2018

Equipment for the Morvern peninsula, it will be four days before the next chance to charge up and resupply.

The short winter days necessitate walking a few hours before dawn and after dusk and frequent use of the tripod.


Brian, a retired air force pilot, invites me in for a cup of tea and shows me the best route through the difficult ground.

Camp by a ruined croft in Auliston, Morvern, Highland, Scotland.

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for fairy lights on the tent. Very good for morale on the long winter nights!

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British Architectural & Landscape Photographer.

18 thoughts on “Day 252: Loch Aline to Auliston – Wildcat in Morvern”

  1. Nicola Downey says:

    Quint So beautiful the land you are walking through. Am particularly enjoying the Highland images myself & there is a big part of me that wants to run away there when the suburban thrills of Auckland NZ threatens to underwhelm me. Walk on! Am now actually in touch with all the people getting your pics over here so will send photos when they find their home Xx

    Nicola Downey in New Zealand +64(0)21 473 245 Sent from my iPhone


    • Haha, you should, mind you doesn’t NZ south island scratch the same itch? Incredibly beautiful isn’t it, never ceases to amaze me even after all these miles, Good to hear the shipping is underway, look forward to seeing the prints in their final home.

  2. says:

    I love posts and always a really pleasant surprise when they turn up.

  3. Ann Mackay says:

    You were so lucky to see a wildcat, never mind actually getting a photograph of it too!

  4. Harris says:

    Interesting photos and videos. The arch is a new image to me and the cat portrait is fascinating. What luck! Amazing colours too. It made me realise why some Scottish painters use the seemingly unnatural colours that they do. Thank you!

    • extremely lucky wasn’t it especially paired with a cup of tea and an interesting chat! unusually I had to desaturate those colours as it just looked too artificial otherwise

  5. Pete Johnstone says:

    Some wild country – will that be the remotest you will find on your walk around the coast?

    • No, there are still a few houses scattered about here, North Ardnamurchan is wilder and Knoydart even more so

  6. Sylvia says:

    I so much love your highland pictures! And the highlands, of cause. Between rain and showers 🙂
    What a great luck to spot the wildcat – and even get a picture of it. Cool!
    Great bothy pictures with the beautiful light. Reminds me of some stormy and rainy nights I spent in a bothy.
    No mice? 😉

    • There’s not much light in the highlands in winter but when it comes – wow! that bothy was beautiful but loads of mice, I put my pack down, went next door and found my pack crawling with mice when I returned!

  7. Richie says:

    Had to laugh at the wildcat. Was expecting something like our western mountain lion – an animal that outweighs you and regards you as a light snack. Anyway, good shot! I’m sure that wildcat is just as fierce.

    • Haha that must have been funny, our wildlife is very gentle! Because they cross breed with domestic cats pure ones like this are very rare.

  8. I didn’t know about Scottish wildcats, and living here on the West Coast of Canada for quite a few years, I too immediately thought of a mountain lion like another of your readers. I had to laugh at the pic of the wildcat, looks like a slightly grumpy moggy!

  9. Brilliant photography, Quintin. I am writing a series of novels that tell the stories of the Lords of the Isles and your pics help me envision the Sound of Mull as they would have seen it from Ardtornish Castle.

Whether you have comments on the photos, some knowledge or a personal story on this area you’d like to share, or you’ve spotted a typo or error, I’d love to hear your thoughts.