Gaelic Romance

One of the things I love about the Scottish mountains is the Gaelic names. They are so much more romantic than their English equivalents. They also tend to be more descriptive and give a sense of what life might have been like in the past, in these remote regions, when they were much more populated than they are now.

Coire nan Arr
Watercolour in A4 sketchbook

This sketchbook study is from a recent trip to Wester Ross, where I found some wonderful subjects around Applecross. "Coire nan Arr" means "The Corrie of the Giants" and standing there, surrounded by towering cliffs, the name seems entirely appropriate. In the same area is the "Beallach na Ba", one of the highest mountain passes in Britain. The name, which in English means "The Pass of the Cattle", reminds us of a time when livestock were an important resource, and cattle-droving was a common occurence.


  1. you should try some welsh names keith,lovely calm greys in this,i like the contrast between the rugged mountain vs the delicate tree

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  3. Yes Rob the celtic languages all seem to have the same air of romance about them.

    Thanks for the comments, I hadn't thought of the rugged/delicate contrast.


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