In late April we took a trip to Knoydart in north-west Scotland.   Our main aim was to visit friends, but Colin was also looking for inspiration for paintings, and I was helping to research a new book on Knoydart and its people.

We took plenty of photos of Knoydart’s fantastic scenery, which you can see on my other site, Jo’s Journal.   But Colin also likes to spend time photographing wild flowers, and he found lots of beautiful subjects.  It’s a real lesson in taking notice of the detail under your feet, as well as the outstanding view in front of you.

The interior of Knoydart is mountainous and uninhabited;   there’s plenty of heather moorland, conifer forest and peat bog, rising to scree slopes and mountain summit.   Although the heather wasn’t yet in flower some of the lower hillsides were ablaze with yellow gorse, and its sweet scent drifted around in clouds of pollen.   The lichen was incredible in its colour and range, a testament to the clear air and moist climate.  Violets and primroses were blooming in damp, sunny spots away from the harsh wind.

Around the coastline, there’s no habitat of sand dunes and machair that you find on the islands;  instead, the rough moorland seems to drop away quite abruptly to the sea, softened by the occasional sandy bay and pebble-strewn beach.  Tight clumps of thrift (Armeria maritima) cling to the rocks above the high tide line.  In Inverie, a huge clump of marsh marigolds lit up the shadows under a bridge where a mountain stream was flowing out to sea.

All images copyright © Colin Woolf

Marsh violet

Primroses and violets


Lesser celandine

Wood sorrel

Buds of thrift

Heather in moss


Reindeer Lichen

Lichen (1)

Lichen showing wide range of colour

Lichen – spot the beetle!

Lichen on amazing rock

Lichen (3)


Marsh marigolds

Dandelions with the best view

Flowering sedge


Knoydart, with the peak of Ladhair Bheinn in distance


All images copyright © Colin Woolf