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The Blog

Instagram Diary – Ettrick Valley, Scottish Borders

Jodi Mullen - View Comments

Scotland’s vibrant Instagram community is a fantastic source of inspiration for many visitors and prospective visitors to Scotland. Hundreds of photographers from all over the country use the social media platform to show off our majestic landscapes and views for people from all over the world to see. So what better way to showcase some of Scotland’s lesser known destinations and attractions than by taking a look at them through the cameras of the Scottish Instagram community?

VisitScotland recently asked Instagrammer Darren Brogan (also known as poetic_mouse) to visit the Scottish Borders, a region now more accessible than ever thanks to the new Borders Railway line, for the weekend and share his experiences with us through his photography.

Darren is a keen traveller and photographer from Dunfermline, Fife. He and his wife both share a passion for travel and try to visit new and exciting places as often as they can. They recently returned from a 7 month round-the-world trip and were lucky to visit places such as Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand and parts of South America. They also enjoy exploring Scotland and most weekends can be found walking in the hills taking in the beautiful Scottish landscapes.

Darren and his wife visited Ettrick Valley near Selkirk and from there started their exploration of the Scottish Borders. Here’s an account of their weekend in Darren’s own words and photos.

Exploring Ettrick Valley

My wife and I arrived at the Ettrick Valley Yurts after a nighttime drive through the Scottish Borders. Before settling in for the evening we decided to pop along for a delicious dinner at the nearby Cross Keys Inn after which we headed back to stock up the stove for the cold night ahead.

Chilly Morning, Cosy Yurts | Photo by Darren Brogan

In the morning we spent some time admiring our beautiful frozen surroundings before setting off on a day of walking around the Ettrick Valley. We were fortunate to experience blue skies and amazing views of the hills and even found a map of Scotland in the ice.

Admiring the Ettrick Hills | Photo by Darren Brogan

Map of Scotland in Ice | Photo by Darren Brogan

After our trek, we headed back to the yurt along the meandering country roads and popped in to a local shop to pick up food for dinner.

Borders Roads | Photo by Darren Brogan

St Mary’s Loch, Grey Mare’s Trail and Loch Skeen

On Sunday morning, we packed up and headed out for some more walking in the sunshine. We stopped off at the calm shores of St Mary’s Loch to admire the reflections before continuing on to Grey Mare’s Tail, the UK’s 5th highest waterfall.

Reflections on St Mary’s Loch, Scottish Borders | Photo by Darren Brogan

The climb was definitely worth it with incredible views back down the valley and a great place for a well deserved tea break at the top, where we spent time admiring the frozen Loch Skeen.

Gray Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve | Photo by Darren Brogan

Frozen Loch Skeen, Dumfries & Galloway | Photo by Darren Brogan

On our way home we popped in to see our friends and their friendly highland cows.

Grace the Highland Coo | Photo by Roan Lauder

To learn more about the places Darren visited and other great things to do nearby, please visit our Scottish Borders page.

To see more of Darren’s work, visit his Instagram account.