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Tain Viewing

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spike
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:25 pm

Tain Viewing

Post by spike » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Hi all , does anyone know where the best spot is for viewing at tain , only i have a mate down from Inverness and he was hoping to go there when he gets home. Any help would be very much appreciated , many thanks spike . :thumb:

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Mike
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Location: Up North

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by Mike » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:11 am

Hi Spike, have moved this into the Tain section - there's very few places at Tain to get a decent view of the action, the seafront at Inver village could be an idea though.

dornochian
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 9:19 am

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by dornochian » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:52 pm

Some info for those looking to head this way for viewing.

To be honest Tain Range is really a place for watching rather than photography, even with 800mm you'll be cropping some, but if you want to come up then here are the best locations, other than the actual range that is.

if you have a scanner, keep it on

Dornoch beach car park, sit and watch,

Dornoch Point, offers the closest viewing, it gets very cold down there so take a proper coat, access via Dornoch airstrip

You can try Tain beach, but don't get too close to the range, they'll get grumpy and so they should

Inver, i'll not post directions for viewing at Inver as you can't get lost there.

Portmahomack, passing a/c only

The lighthouse, passing a/c only

I'm actually writing a full review of the area and will post it once finished.

On the serious side though, be prepared for long spells of boredom, Tain is not that busy, though the local model a/c club use the airstrip during the week, so that might help out :roll:

spike
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:25 pm

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by spike » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:23 pm

:clap: :clap: Thanks loads for the info , i spent around 2 1/2 hours looking and not a thing on the net . I knew that there would be someone on F/C who would be able to help . Its a shame that all the ranges don't have an area set aside for close viewing , it would make sense , at least anyone in that area would get good shots and the RAF lads could see who is where and what they are up to . :(
It would be brill if the RAF set aside a a web site where spotters could pay a subscription fee for joining , and give phone numbers you could contact someone if you see anyone who looks suspicous . At the end of the day all of us on F/C or any other sites would be more than happy to report anyone up to no good , and especially the way things are these days that would be a good thing .

Well we can only dream . Thanks again for the info and will look forward to your revew dorochian , thanks to you too Mike , my mate will be well pleased :D :D

dornochian
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 9:19 am

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by dornochian » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:56 am

the real sad part about RAF Tain / Tain Range is that the old RAF base could have been the greatest asset to this part of Scotland, the base could have housed a fantastic museum in conjunction with a live range running along side.

I have been doing some internet research on the area for a guide to WWII bases and this area had plenty besides all the Navy stuff, there were at least four major sites all with possibilities of housing museums north of Inverness.

If anyone is heading over at any time, email before and I'll willingly pop down to the car park and offer my limited knowledge, guided tours are extra though :D

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neilf92
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Re: Tain Viewing

Post by neilf92 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:49 am

For the fit and interested it can be interesting to get yourself on the North side of Suie Hill to the West of Tain overlooking the Firth , in front and down from the radio mast on top. With a decent lens ( 400 min) you can watch and shoot aircraft passing low over the firth as they run in or exit the range .
Finding an easy /short way up is tricky . There is a farm / landrover track leads in at Rheguile , left off the A836.
I would recommend you Google down onto it and familiarise yourself with how it passes through a farm yard and Google van coverage stops at a rusty old shed where there would be space to park without bothering anyone . From there I think it's a case of a long walk up the rest of the track which ascends the hill from the East , curving North to reach the mast.
Mostly the aircraft are quite far out over the firth but I missed two Falcons over my head as I reached the bottom of the hill and two GR4's which curved close by before I had got more than half way up . A local
assured me that the jets do pass near to the hillside on occasions .
Another way to access it is from the front of the North face . Google down onto the A836 just between an "A836"to the right and Ardvennie to the left and look for an unusual stone and slate mini tower cottage on the right . Go West a few hundred yards along the A836 and you will find a wide forest road entrance on your left . I parked in there and made my way up through the forest onto the hillside but it is not easy and parts are very steep and need to be avoided. Once clear of these awkward bits its a slog up a heather clad hillside .
As I say , more for someone who enjoys hillwalking combined with the off chance of a low level shot.

It may be worthwhile contacting the range to find out if/ when any Lossie Sqns are intending to use the low , approach along the firth . I think XV Sqn sometimes has a part of the course that uses low level approaches over a week or so. Otherwise it's hit or miss depending on individual sorties on the day . I've seen it quite busy and stone dead.
Last edited by neilf92 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dornochian
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Re: Tain Viewing

Post by dornochian » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:16 pm

the walk Neil is referring to is best done from the farm unless you're happy with hill walking, the route up is steep and you have to climb a gate to access the main dirt track.

The view is great, as for passing a/c I'd advice that your chances are remote, even contacting the range will only result in the daily logged flights and they can cancel at any time.

I'd suggest the west coast heading north out of Ullapool would offer more chances of catching topside and the road puts you level or above them in some places.

If you want a nice back drop, head to the lighthouse at Portmahomack, sit and wait, the FRA is directly in front of you and they are around 250 - 500ft and they fly past frequently when using the range on that route.

The FRA in from the Kyle takes them over the Dornoch Bridge, looking at directly down the Kyle offers Struie Hill as a back drop, I'm covering this in the guide.

ranger703
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:02 am

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by ranger703 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:01 am

http://www.raf.mod.uk/raftain/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Unknown74
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:13 pm

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by Unknown74 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:50 am

I go on family holidays to Brora quite often and although you can't see the range at all as it's further North you can often see the Tornados running in for one of the Targets it's quite amazing when they go low and loud.

dornochian
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 9:19 am

Re: Tain Viewing

Post by dornochian » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:48 pm

JW122, thought I'd give you some quick info, Monday was little in the way of a/c during the day, what did use the range was around 2000ft, it picked up in the late afternoon but again it appears most were working around 2000ft.

Today (Tuesday) it's been reversed, the range was reasonably busy this morning, not sure possibly some Typhoons early? Have been down to the Dornoch beach car park on and off during the day, mid morning we had some Tornados running about, a few low level passes but again mainly at around 2000ft or so. Early evening would have been ideal for low level passes, the low sun was ideal, again mainly 2000ft but ended with a show of force.

If you are thinking of coming up, you might consider the afternoon to evening slots, if nothing is flying you should have plenty of wildlife to photograph and tonight the sunset was delightful, a stunning place to have been.

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Angel15
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Re: Tain Viewing

Post by Angel15 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:06 pm

2 Gripens orbiting @ about 4,000 feet this morning from around 9:30-10:30 with a single Tornado doing a few low runs from the NE. Apart from that very quiet over Tain Range. Did see a single Tornado at about 3-4000 feet around 17:00.

Gripens have been over the range every morning Monday-Wednesday so far in the morning although for Thursday I'm heading for Lossie for some close up stuff:)
Canon EOS 550D & 500D
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Angel15
Posts: 125
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Location: Ross-shire, Highlands, Scotland
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Re: Tain Viewing

Post by Angel15 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:08 pm

spike wrote:Hi all , does anyone know where the best spot is for viewing at tain , only i have a mate down from Inverness and he was hoping to go there when he gets home. Any help would be very much appreciated , many thanks spike . :thumb:
If you drive up to the tower they will let you photo/watch from there :thumb:
Canon EOS 550D & 500D
EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6
EF 24-105 f4
UNIDEN UBC3500XLT

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