With less than 24 hours left until I leave for 10 days travelling Iceland, I'm procrastinating from packing by mulling over recent photos from my road trip up north. I spent several days in Inverness and various small towns in Sutherland - Tain, Dornoch, Golspie, Brora and Helmsdale - researching jewellery made from Scottish gold. I was there for work, scouring museums and castles for historical jewels for a paper I'm giving at the Costume Society conference, 'Power of Gold', at the V&A at July.
In between research visits, I got a chance to walk around some of the areas related to the nineteenth-century Sutherland gold rush. The trip marked the furthest north I've been on the Scottish mainland. When you spend most of your life living in Shetland, urban spaces or warmer climes are often more appealing destinations than nooks in the north east (beautiful as those nooks may be), so I was delighted to get the chance to visit. Here are some photos taken on wanders around the hills and burns of the gorgeous Helmsdale and Kildonan area.
I expect that my instagram feed will be full of mountains, glaciers and icebergs over the next little while, and I'll be back here soon with landscapes from much further north. Meantime, all top tips for Iceland are more than welcome - any suggestions?