This is the first of a series of daily posts that will tell the story of a week’s adventure in Scotland with my family. We’ve headed to a house in the hills near Dunblane to celebrate my father-in-law’s 60th birthday in style – and this series of posts will document some (but not all) of the sights along the way.

Doing a daily post is a new thing for me, and I hope to use this week as an opportunity to be visually creative and try lots of new things. Without further ado, here’s day one…

(The adventure would have begun yesterday, but late travelling and a lot of rain didn’t result in any photographs being taken!)

We began the journey yesterday, setting off from sunny Essex and heading north to Pontefract, where we stopped over before continuing on the long drive north. We passed through some beautiful landscapes – sadly I was too busy driving to take pictures, aside from the following shot taken at a stop for fuel in Kirkby Thore, Cumbria.

The hills from Kirkby Thore on the A66 | LG Nexus 4

We soon hit some delightful traffic and spent hours driving slowly on the A66. Fluffy clouds and dry stone walls lined the roads, as well as the occasional castle.

Roadside drystone walls | LG Nexus 4

Eventually, the traffic eased and we were able to make a bit more progress. There were lots of views of roads like this – the quintessentially British motorway.

The M6, Carlisle Services | LG Nexus 4

The roads wound ever northwards, and as we passed a gantry bearing the words “Welcome to Scotland” it started raining heavily, which is kind of appropriate. Thankfully, the rain, spray, traffic and insane drivers soon gave way to rural roads and growing hills, and views like this. I just had to pull over to take a photo.

The hills around Cauldhame | LG Nexus 4

Arrival! Well ahead of the other members of our party, we arrive at the beautiful house where we’re staying; Cauldhame Estate. It’s a wonderful and characterful typically Scottish house. The lounge has the most spectacular view to distant Munros…

Distant mountains, comfy chairs – is this heaven? | Pentax K3ii, Cimko 28mm f2.8

…and there was that all-too-rare thing of beautiful warm sunshine streaming in through sash windows.

Light streaming through the windows | Pentax K3ii, Cimko 28mm f2.8

This fine old turreted Georgian house has a beautiful spiral staircase.

Spiral stair | Pentax K3ii, Cimko 28mm f2.8

As the day wore on and the sun began to set, the light and weather over the Grampian Hills became captivating and almost overwhelmingly distracting. This is but one moment – I couldn’t help but keep jumping up to capture how the light was changing.

The Grampian Hills | Pentax K3ii, Prinzflex 200mm f3.5, 5 shot composite

Thus concludes day 1. Check back later for more!