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Let’s go to Glen Coe!

No visit to Scotland is complete without a drive through the spectacular Glen Coe.  The ‘Glen of Weeping’ is one of the Scottish Highland’s most famous natural attractions, with towering mountains and a grim and tragic past.

Whilst taking a selfie with the Three Sisters and that snap of the little white cottage in front of the dramatic Buachaille Etive Mor might top the list of things to do in Glen Coe, however, there is a lot more to this glen beyond the famous views.

glencoe

If you really want to discover this beautiful glen in all its glory, park the car, put on your walking boots, and follow me…

Let’s go to Glen Coe!

If you want a gentle stroll, explore Glencoe lochan

Behind Glencoe village hides a romantic lochan in a beautiful forest. Take a walk amongst the trees overshadowed by two of Glen Coe’s most famous peaks; the imposing Pap of Glencoe which guards the entrance to the glen and Beinn a’Bheithir, the Mountain of the Thunderbolt.

On a clear day, the reflections of the trees and mountains in the lochan are just spectacular.

Glen Coe

Designed and planted in the 19th Century by Donald Alexander Smith (later 1st Baron Strathcona of Glencoe) in honour of wife Isabella’s native Canada, the woodland is full of cedars, larches and spruces. Donald had hoped to help Isabella with her homesickness.

Wouldn’t you love somewhere as beautiful as this planted just for you?

Glen Coe
Glen Coe
How to visit: Glencoe Lochan can be found to the north of Glencoe Village. Parking is either by the roadside at the end of the village or in the Forestry Commission car park by the loch.

There are three routes to explore, the woodland, the mountain and the lochan trail, a map is available in the car park and the routes are well marked. More information is available from Discover Glencoe.

If you are feeling a bit more energetic…find the Lost Valley

Deep between the imposing peaks of the Three Sisters lies a path that leads to a valley with a grim history.

Once used as a hiding place for stolen cattle, in 1692 whilst their clan leader was killed and homes burned by Campbell soldiers, the men of the Macdonald clan hid in Coire Gabhail or ‘The Hollow of Capture’.

The Glencoe massacre eventually led to the Jacobite risings, which finally came to a devastating end 82 years later on Culloden Moor.

Glen Coe

Today the valley is more commonly known as the Lost Valley, and exploring its depths beneath the imposing peak of the dreadful corrie, Stob Coire Sgreamhach, you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the glen beneath you.

It is an unsettling place, but stunningly beautiful.

Glen Coe

glen-coe-munro

How to visit: The walk up to the Lost Valley starts at the larger of the two car parks beneath the Three Sisters. Take the path leading west out of the car park as you look away from the road.

You might also like...  Get Outside! A guide to walking in Scotland

The path winds up the hillside crossing a deep ravine. The walk can be tough going with some scrambling and will take you an hour to reach the valley. Follow the walk via Walk Highlands.

For those who want a real adventure… climb the little herdsman of Etive

If you fancy bagging a Munro whilst in the highlands, well Glencoe has 12 of them for you. Buachaille Etive Mor (the great herdsman) might be the most famous of all of the peaks, but it is a mountain for those who really know what they are doing.

Instead, tackle its slightly smaller neighbour, Buachaille Etive Beag.

Climbing a munro is never an easy task, and the climb up to the Bealach is hard going, and very steep. Once you reach the top the views across Glen Coe are huge & wide ranging.

From here you have the option to climb two Munros; Stob Coire Raineach and Stob Dubh, from which there is a spectacular view down Glen Etive.

Glen Coe

munro-glencoe

buachaille-etive-beag-2

How to climb Buachaille Etive Beag: Parking for the climb is by the large honeycomb cairn. Walk Highlands have the route map.

For those thinking of climbing a Munro for the first time, check out my beginners guide to climbing a Munro. We did the climb in 4 hours, it is 10 miles, and 950m+ in clear and dry weather. Before doing any high-level walks in Glen Coe, check out the mountain weather forecast.

If you don’t fancy bagging Buachaille Etive Beag take a street view trek up the mountain!


So are you ready? Let’s go!

Love from, Scotland x

More information on visiting Glencoe can be found on Outdoor Capital.
If you are quick, the 2016 Glencoe Autumn Festival runs until the 30th October with climbing, tours, whisky, and concerts.

Check out Discover Glencoe and Glencoe Scotland for accommodation
For Good food & great beer after your walk head to the Clachaig Inn


The National Trust for Scotland manage Glencoe, the visitor centre & 8 of the Munros.

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Let's go to the Spectacular Glen Coe, Scotland

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19 Comments

  • oregongirlaroundtheworld

    27/10/2016 at 10:33 am

    GAH! That is gorgeous! I can not pronounce any of those names, but it wouldn’t matter! Sooo beautiful – thank you for adding it to the very outdoorsy collection of posts this week for #FarawayFiles! PS – whenever I hear about munros – I will forever think of your blog! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    Reply
    • Love from, Smidge

      31/10/2016 at 10:27 am

      I am not sure anyone can really pronounce the Gaelic names of Scotland’s mountains, I’ve been ticking off the easy ones!

      Reply
  • jessica

    27/10/2016 at 11:50 am

    I drove through Glencoe on my way to Fort William and it might be my favourite place in the whole of the UK you fee llike you’re in another world or a movie or something.

    Reply
  • katy@untoldmorsels

    27/10/2016 at 2:54 pm

    Amazing photos – the shadows and reflections are simply beautiful. This is some of my favourite scenery in the world. It is so raw and unrefined. I would love to take up your suggestions and go hiking there. So glad you joined us on #FarawayFiles Kate

    Reply
  • Allison

    27/10/2016 at 8:31 pm

    Glencoe is gorgeous! Scotland has always been at the top of my bucket list- just below the Galapagos Islands. My ancestors come from Scotland and I’ve always wanted to go see it. #farawayfiles

    Reply
  • melchaddphotos

    28/10/2016 at 7:41 am

    I remember passing through Glen Coe for the first time and it actually reduced me to tears and gave me goosebumps! Never before had I seen such beauty.
    The canvas hanging above my fireplace is of blackrock cottage and the magnificent herder!

    Great post

    Reply
  • Danielle

    28/10/2016 at 9:55 am

    Added to the bucket list! We visited the Highlands for the first time last May but only for a day. We have so much more to explore in this beautiful country and with my hiking desires this sounds perfect. Beautiful pictures and scenery! Also – what a lucky lady to have a forest built just for her!! #swoon #farawayfiles

    Reply
  • Clare Thomson

    28/10/2016 at 10:11 am

    This is absolutely stunning and I love the stories you’ve unearthed – it’s such a romantic thing to do to plant something so beautiful for a homesick wife. You really inspire me to dig out my hiking boots. #FarawayFiles

    Reply
  • Alistair Woodburne

    28/10/2016 at 12:06 pm

    Love Glen Coe, will be there in November walking and relaxing in the Clachaig Inn! Can’t beat it. 🙂

    Reply
  • daisythebus

    29/10/2016 at 5:20 pm

    Beautiful images and a great post! We were in the region last summer and were planning on doing a hike in Glencoe, but the kids bugged us into visiting the “Sea Life” sanctuary down the road towards Oban instead… I guess now we have a reason to return.

    Reply
  • Ahila

    30/10/2016 at 1:57 am

    On my way to the Isle of Skye last year, the coach took me past Glen Coe and I thought the place was beautiful from the brief passing glimpse that I had. Love your photos, especially of Glen Lochan – it is such a beautiful lake and woods.

    Reply
  • minitravellers

    31/10/2016 at 9:23 pm

    Those photos are just stunning, I can’t wait til the girls are old enough that we can get them walking out in the proper hills. The light you have captured is just incredible.

    Reply
  • Ruth

    01/11/2016 at 3:12 am

    Oh my! What a gorgeous area! I am a fan of nature and am sure I will enjoy this place. I like how some mountains and valleys seem to be covered by a carpet.

    Reply
  • TheHelpfulHiker

    02/11/2016 at 7:49 pm

    We camped near Glen Coe a couple of years ago and I’m itching to go back (we also spent a few happy nights in the Clachaig Inn). Absolutely adore your photos, makes me want to go back so badly!

    Reply
  • Sasha

    07/11/2016 at 3:51 pm

    I just love all of your posts and the beautiful photos that accompany it. I definitely want to visit Glen Coe, it looks magical. Also, I totally read the title as ‘lets go glen coco’ haha.

    Reply

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