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This five-day wildlife photography itinerary will provide numerous chances to capture excellent images of red squirrels and other British woodland wildlife against some scenic backdrops.

Based at a comfortable rural lodge in Cairngorms National Park, we have exclusive use of purpose-built photographic hides and, with tuition from award-winning wildlife photographer James Shooter, we will have wonderful opportunities to see and photograph red squirrels. From the hides the squirrels can be seen running and jumping, creating a range of different images.  We aim to capture compelling and personable images of these captivating little mammals, and even portrait shots are possible on our five-day itinerary as the red squirrels take a moment’s rest. 

With their bright bushy tails, red fur and little tufted ears, red squirrels make extremely appealing photographic subjects. Our departure is planned to coincide with winter, which will hopefully provide a snowy backdrop for the furry stars of our show. The weather conditions at this time of year really are some of the most interesting for photographing wildlife in Scotland. In addition to the squirrels, there will also be chances to capture images of other British wildlife including crested tits and several species of woodland birds.

Expert wildlife photographer James Shooter will accompany the entire trip, providing on-hand tuition and help to explain the necessary principles and techniques, so you too can create images with impact and successfully photograph red squirrels. This tuition can cover a number of topics including, but not confined to, composition, lighting, depth-of-field and techniques. 

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Arrive Cairngorms National Park

    Today, make your way to our accommodation in Cairngorms National Park, where there will be a welcome and introduction from your host, James Shooter. In the evening, we have dinner at the lodge.

    Accommodation: Ballintean Mountain Lodge, 4-nights

  2. Days 2-4 : Photographing red squirrels & other woodland wildlife

    For the next three days, we will head out to variety of specialist photography hides, situated in the best locations to capture images of our subjects – primarily red squirrels. We have exclusive use of the hides in the morning and afternoon, spending three to four hours photographing. Using a number of purpose-built hides, we hope to take personable and in-depth images of these little mammals, as well as other resident wildlife such as crested tits. From the hides you will be able to see the squirrels running and jumping, which can make for some dramatic images as well as portrait shots too. The possibility of snow will add another dimension to the wildlife photography here. 

  3. Day 5: Departure

    Following breakfast in the morning, it is time to depart the Ballintean Mountain Lodge and Cairngorms National Park.

Key info

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 5 days from £795 pp
  • Single supplement: No additional cost
  • Group size: 10
  • When to go: Feb-Mar
  • Departures: Please contact us for departure date details.
  • Included in the price/package:
    • 4 nights at Ballintean Mountain Lodge
    • All meals
    • Exclusive use of photographic hides
    • Photography tuition from James Shooter
  • Activities available:
    • Photography

Expert leader

James Shooter

Photo of James Shooter

Living and photographing wildlife in the scenic landscapes of Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, James Shooter has been guiding for the past few years.

An award-winning photographer, James has a particular fondness for capturing wildlife against the dramatic backdrops that winter can bring. He has a very strong academic background in Zoology with Conservation and Biological Photography & Imaging giving him a strong background in conservation and a passion for finding ways to communicate stories through a variety of different media, especially photography.

Featured location:

Cairngorms National Park

More than double the size of the Lake District, Cairngorms National Park is the largest protected area in the United Kingdom. The Cairngorms covers a substantial swathe of the Scottish Highlands, encompassing a range of habitats and a home to a wide array of wildlife including the captivating red squirrel.

  • Where: The Scottish Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: red squirrel, Scottish wildcat, golden eagle, pine marten, crested tit
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography
Featured accommodation:

Ballintean Mountain Lodge

Located on a private estate amongst open woodland in Cairngorms National Park, this rustic yet modern lodge is perfect for exploring this corner of the Scottish Highlands and viewing its wonderful native wildlife. Close to specialist hides, the lodge is an ideal base for photographing red squirrels.