urquhart castle


Loch Ness seen from the ruins of Urquhart Castle by BIG ALBERT


Jane Ta
London, UK
Fujifilm X100S | Fujifilm XE-1

What would you say has been your favourite place to visit as a photographer?

London - even if I was born and raised here. Having ventured out mostly around Europe whilst balancing my uni degree, I’ve come to find that London constantly has something new to offer if you’re willing to search about and simply take a second to look. Living in such a fast paced city, it’s easy to forget and take for granted just how rich and full of history and diverse London really is, so as a photographer; it’s my favourite place.

How do you overcome the lack of natural light available in the UK in your work?

I suppose I’ve already learnt to embrace the lack of natural light by incorporating other elements into the photos and focusing on those more. Since the weather is constantly changing, we quite often get really, really interesting cloud formations. And then rain puddles can be fun if you observe what they reflect.

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“An’ it suits ye, sir, I thought we’d take a wee sail down the loch-side to Urquhart Castle.”….“Yonder, that’s Urquhart Castle.” He pointed to a smooth-faced wall of stone, barely visible through the trees. “Or what’s left of it. ’Twas cursed by the witches of the Glen, and saw one unhappiness after another.” ~ Outlander

We camped the next night on the banks above Loch Ness. It gave me an odd feeling to see the place again; so little had changed. ~ Outlander

Roger rowed steadily on, toward the point of the loch where the grim bulk of the ruins of Castle Urquhart stood amid its pines. ~ Voyager

Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle (Drumnadrochit, Scotland)


Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Scotland

On the shores of the loch is the ruin of Urquhart Castle, which dates back to the 13th century. It played a part in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, and in the 17th century it was largely abandoned before most of it was eventually destroyed deliberately in order to prevent it from being used by Jacobite forces.

The ruins were beautiful, set against some really dramatic scenery, and it was kind of amazing to think about how old they were. The castle has been around since the early 1200s, and to me, that’s almost impossible to comprehend.


A handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts. A handfasting was originally more like an engagement period, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. The original handfasting was a trial marriage. It gave the couple the chance to see if they could survive marriage to each other. After a year goes by (a handfasting was once believed to last a year and a day), the couple could either split as if they had never been married or could decide to enter permanently into marriage.