Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Sunday, June 18, 2017

We need to talk about Scotland!

Not so very long ago, Looby, Harriet and I went on holiday to Sundrum Castle near Ayr in Scotland, the way I survive the busyness of my business is by having travel experiences to look forward to, it's the thing that very much keeps me going.  So, half term Monday in heavy rain off we all went, Holly Bobbins too of course looking forward to her very own dog friendly holiday.  I was armed with my Fuji XT1, the 35mm f1.4 lens and the 28mm f2.0, I was also armed with a brand new blue leather camera bag from Mapp of London and also a Samsung S8+ from Three complete with tons of data, essential for staying in a wifi-less caravan in the middle of nowhere but I'll get to the phone in a moment.

Now I should say that depending on which camera's and lenses you are using you can comfortably get 2 cameras in the bag, I have a padded insert in mine which I also find super useful for putting in the bottom of my Osprey bag for when I'm working, the Mapp bag is actually big enough to take along to weddings, mostly because I'm lucky enough to have Stacey who carries the bulk of my equipment so I can just keep batteries, memory cards and spare lenses in this one.  It's a beautiful, well made bag and Emma who runs the company is so devoted to making the best products possible,  a photographer herself she knows that there's a line between functional and pretty and that as a woman although you want something stylish, you essentially want something that actually does the job!

So, back to Scotland, a bargain break in a luxury dog friendly caravan courtesy of Hoseasons and I have to say after staying in both a basic caravan at the Berwick holiday park through Haven and this luxury one, I wouldn't go back to the basic one without the central heating, the lovely van we stayed in was just so spacious but even then, we said if Abigail had come to it would have felt crowded.  The thing is though, we didn't really spend a lot of time in our caravan, it was a place to sleep, and a place to cook breakfast in the mornings and the rest of the time for 4 glorious days we travelled and explored, from the South West of Scotland to the banks of Loch Lomond, there's nothing better in the world than being able to enjoy a holiday with your best friend, your daughter and your dog!!

Oh and before we get to the main part with all of the glorious images, well there's something I need to admit to - 

I'm an Apple fan girl, I have been since 2008 when after purchasing a iPod, I later went out and bought my first iPhone and my first MacBook.  I have at times been tempted in the Samsung way so when Three offered to loan me an S8+ for a month I said I would give it a go and let me tell you, it's a shiny, shiny phone, it looks good, it feels great but I love my Apple products and I just found it too different in lots of weird ways so I gave up soon after trying it out, what I did love though was the Three coverage, one day on the banks of Loch Lomond, in a sleepy village called Balmaha we sat at the Oak Tree Inn having lunch and me trying to catch up on business, checking emails etc, my usual carrier O2 couldn't connect to anything, Harriet's Vodafone also had no signal but Three, wow, we actually got 4G in the Highlands, surrounded by mountains it took me by surprise and I'm so thankful for that.  Three actually do a Sim which gets you unlimited data, 500 minutes of calls and 3000 texts for just £25 and I'm not sure how they provide service in the mountainous regions of Scotland but I shall be sending for my free sim and using it the next time I go to the Highlands!  Well done Three!

So back to the part you really all came for, my glorious break, mostly rainy apart from our day spent travelling around Loch Lomond but we didn't care, in fact we didn't give a fig because we were warriors, we were the best of friends and nothing could dampen our spirits not even the pouring rain, oh and if you're wondering, the bag coped admirably with the rain but then wanting to save the beautiful leather I swapped to my hiking Osprey bag as that was what we did for some of the holiday at least, we climbed over hills and vales and admired the views as we got to the top whilst Harriet and Looby cursed me for wanting to climb yet another mountain path, I can't help it, no matter where I go, I always want to find the highest accessible point because everything looks more splendid when you are up high!


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