The Highlands of Scotland: Glen Strathfarrar

Glen Strathfarrar is in the Highlands of Scotland, 20 miles west of Inverness.  The road into the glen is private – with a heavily padlocked gate.  To take a vehicle in, visitors need a permit from the gatekeeper’shouse.

Along with Glen Affric and Glen Cannich, Glen Srathfarrar  drains eastwards into the River Beauly.  All three  are fed  from a vast area of high plateau which stretches to the peaks of Sgurr a’Chaorachain and Beinn Fhada only 15 miles from the west coast.

The heavily glaciated valleys are cut into hard gneiss and moine schist rocks.  The landscape is rugged with brooding rocky hills.  It is  riven by rivers crashing over smoothed boulders down steeply wooded valley sides.

The trees, clinging o the bare rocks, have been dwarfed by the harsh winter climate. Pockets of the last remnants of the old Caledonian forest?  Oliver Rackham’s “Woodlands” blows this away as a piece of gossamer.

Wildlife here includes swan, red deer, the odd lynx and horse flies.


  1. Pauline says:

    We have been to Glen Strathfarrar twice when we have been staying at the Aigas Field Centre just a couple of miles away. Your second photo shows the lonesome pine which is their logo. It really is a fantastic place, so beautiful and unspoilt, its also a good place to spot golden eagles and there were dippers on the river when we were there last time. The rangers didn’t mention lynx either time, are they a recent introduction?

    1. Pauline there should not be lynxes there – there is talk of reintroducing them to keep red deer numbers down. This one, seen at very close quarters, must have been an escapee from a zoo or the like. What’s Aigas Field Centre like?

  2. Truly stunning scenes, Catharine! I think I would like to experience it all … except for the horseflies!

  3. You have made me want to visit this lovely place even more!!

  4. Malc Mollart says:

    Lovely atmospheric photos. I particularly like the lone pine tree.

  5. David Sadowski says:

    Your photos are perfect and reflect what is typical of this Beautiful Glen, the lone Pine tree is poignant too for other reasons. I visit this Glen as often as I can, to be there is, to me theraputical, my father was very badly injured during the construction of the hydro scheme in this Glen and to go and walk in this area has a powerful effect on me, it is just so relaxing and thought provoking an area, so quiet and awesome from the river to the towering peaks,and always a blessing to glimpse the wildlife, I have seen many Red deer, eagles,wild or Feral goats and Ravens too. I can reccomend highly evocative reading regarding this Glen in three books by Iain R thompson starting with his book Isolation Shepheard in which he has virtually painted a masterpiece.Thanks for your photos

    1. Dear David – very moved by your comments on Glen Srathfarrar.

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