It has been a most interesting start to 2016…
At this time of year, and after some long winter months, many of us are looking forward to Easter and planning a bank holiday adventure. I, however, have already had a privileged sneak preview… Myself and the APC crew have been travelling thousands of miles across the British Isles – flying and filming some of the UK’s top rambles from the air, during the best days of January and February for Channel 4 / More4.
The shoot took us all over, from the stunning rocky shores of the unmistakable Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland to the beautiful craggy valleys of the English Peak District. We encountered a whole range of environments and landscapes including Welsh icy mountainous waterfalls to picturesque sandy beaches on the west coast of Scotland.
The location that really stood out for me, during our aerial filming adventure, however, was the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. This formidable pinnacle of rock is part of the iconic Trotternish ridge which towers above the paths below and overlooks the nearby west Scottish coastline. This incredible place has been nominated for the Countryfile landmark of the year 2015/16 and was used to film the relatively recent Hollywood blockbuster film Prometheus, and when you go there you’ll see why.
The steep 30 minute walk in the Scottish freezing winter winds from the nearest car park to the Old Man of Storr, with all the gear and two drones (even with a 7 strong team) was no easy task but the reward was stunningly worth it. To begin with we sent up our Quadcopter with longer flight times to recce the surrounding area, capture flight data and block out the camera movement with the producer Alice Taylor (from True North Productions). We then took off with the more powerful Hexacopter to capture the Old Man of Storr in glorious HD, together with the surrounding mountains and the beautiful coast in all its glory. The perspective from the drone camera was truly breathtaking.
Another reason the Isle of Skye shoot was a highlight of the series for me was that I had been to the Isle several times before as a child. Skye was one of my family’s regular holiday destinations and travelling around the island with the crew brought back many fond memories. Skye really is a magical place to visit with a rich mix of beautiful beaches, huge mountains and sprawling, never-ending vistas. There are some fantastic local inns and eateries too, and, of course, the Talisker Whisky Distillery, where we managed to squeeze in a visit during a rained off day.
I can’t recommend this place enough and I can’t wait to get back – I’ll just make sure to pack my waterproofs next time!
Coastal Walks with My Dog – Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March 2015 on More4 at 9pm.