Scotland is one of the most romantic places on Earth! From the scenic landscapes to eerily beautiful castles, stone bridges to towering forests, it has it all. So don’t be surprised if I return to Scotland again and again in these posts to describe the epic beauty to be found.
In 2018 I spent six months in Scotland and I loved it so much that I went back earlier this year. You know, before the COVID 19 lockdown that shut down global travel. From these travels I have amassed a huge collection of photographs.
Today’s focus: Winter.
Winter in Scotland is cold! I have never actually spent an entire winter in Scotland, but what I experienced was enough to satisfy me that nowhere in Australia is as cold as Scotland. Despite the cold, I was bitterly disappointed that on both trips; I missed the snow at ground level. To see snow, I had to go up the mountain. But still it wasn’t actually snowing, there was just snow on the ground. Not quite as romantic in my opinion.
On my first trip, it didn’t begin to snow until two days after I left and on my second trip it started snowing on the way to the airport! How cruel is that? Just as I was about to leave the country it started snowing and there wasn’t even time to get out and play for a bit!
But I digress! This post is about the romance of Scotland in Winter. So here are seven scenes to inspire your next romance novel.
The Mountain behind the house.
I love this image. I love the stark brown plain contrasted with the white of the snow. It provides a sense of anticipation, of waiting for the world to wake up. Meanwhile, in the cottage life goes on. While the world sleeps, the people are cosy and warm.
This image shows the same house but from another angle. You can see how isolated it is set amongst the vastness of the mountain range behind it, but with the river running past and wide-open plains the people living here could quite happily live a self-sufficient life. So many story ideas come to mind when I look at this picture, almost all of them highlighting the isolation of the place. From farmers to hermits, victims to artists, this place appeals to so many.
On the Shores of the Loch
This next image is of a little sheltered bay on the edge of Loch Leven. You can’t see it in the picture but there is a boat sitting on the sand and the place is littered with fishing paraphernalia. It makes me think of a sleepy fishing village where the men fish and the women keep the house. I just want to throw some characters in there to disrupt that dynamic and turn everything on its head.
British writers have long had a love affair with moors. And for good reason. When the mist settles, these vast boggy landscapes have an eerie beauty that is both terrifying and romantic. As you walk, the ground squelches beneath your feet and puddles of water randomly appear, some large, some small. You never know just how deep it will be so if you don’t want to swim, you’re better off going around. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a decent picture with the mist, but even from this image, you can see just how much water sits in this valley. In winter, some puddles freeze over and the most beautiful ice crystals form across the surface.
Is there anything more beautiful than a snow-covered ground? Even a light dusting of snow can turn a desolate landscape into a beautiful vista. Feeling the crunch of snow beneath my feet, slipping at random places where the ground had turned to ice, picking up a ball of powder and feeling how soft and fluffy it was; I cannot tell you how much I loved this experience. The only thing that would have made it better was falling snow!
Amongst the frozen landscape was this beautiful little stream just ambling across the ground. The water was clear and cold, and along the edge icicles were forming beautiful natural formations that stole whatever breath the frozen air had left me. So many ideas came to me when I saw this stream I wanted to write straight away. Of course, there’s the obvious damsel in distress scenario where some poor heroine slips in the water or some alpha male hero steps in to lift her across so she doesn’t get her skirts wet. But I’ve never been much for writing helpless female characters. Instead, I wonder if maybe the stream could be the divider between two properties; that narrow gap being the only thing separating our two lovebirds.
Finally, this image of the moon rising behind the bare winter trees over Loch Leven just sets my heart aflutter! Can’t you picture a couple locked in a tight embrace beneath such a setting? Magic!
So did you find some inspiration? Let me know what you think.
Until next time…
Enjoy the romance xx