Glencoe, Scotland 2024: Best Places to Visit (with Map & Photos)

The Glencoe Valley within the Lochaber Geopark, is one of the most idyllic wilderness areas in Scotland. Perhaps that is why it attracts a type of tourism that knows how to appreciate its haven of peace, walking along the many trekking trails that invite you to dive into its incredible nature.

Glencoe Scotland
Glencoe Scotland

The mountain formations are so characteristic that they receive curious names to define them as the Three Sisters. Bidean nam Bian is the highest mountain, which seems to act as shepherd of the "three sisters", and finally Buachaille Etive Mor is another of the ridges to mention.

Glencoe is synonymous with peace, but more than three hundred years ago it experienced one of the bloodiest episodes in Scottish history, the so-called Glencoe Massacre.

The Glencoe Massacre

The episode takes us back to the seventeenth century when the Jacobite revolts took place that defended the Catholic King James II against William of Orange who had deposed the first. Both in Ireland and Scotland there were uprisings. In the Highlands the different clans that had supported Jacobo II ended up bending to the new monarch who had proposed an amnesty to end the conflict. The deadline to comply with the subordination to William of Orange was the beginning of the new year of 1692, but due to a lack of communication, the news did not arrive in time for the MacDonalds clan that dominated the Glencoe area.

The men of the MacDonalds clan went to the place where they were to accept the new king and there they received the shelter of the Campbell clan, with whom they had historically been at odds.

On the night of February 13, 1692, the entire clan was annihilated at the hands of the Campbell clan who followed the orders of King William, first the men and later their women and children whose villages were razed.

The event was marked as a tragic moment in Scottish history and in subsequent centuries poets and writers took it upon themselves to keep it present as an affront to the monarch.

Today you can visit the monument of the monolith with the cross in the place where the massacre took place, and learn more about the history of the massacre at the Visitor Center where it is explained through an audiovisual.

Glencoe Trekking Routes

When visiting this area of ​​the Highlands, keep in mind that most routes involve spending at least one morning walking its trails. Other itineraries are longer or more demanding and are perfect for a whole day plan.

Its glacial valleys are home to deer that, without hiding, blend in with the rocks. With binoculars we will observe their daily route ruminating the grass on the slopes of the mountains.

Pap of Glencoe

The Pap of Glencoe (742m) towers over the village, and from its peak offers an unbeatable view of Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe beyond Glencoe.

Lost Valley or Hidden Valley

The Lost or Hidden Valley (Coire Gabhail) is one of the classic routes. It starts like other excursions from a car park on the A-82 road and ascends following the stream between the hills of the Three Sisters (Three Sisters, Gearr Aonach (Short Ridge), Aonach Dubh (Black Ridge) and Beinn Fhada (Long Hill) ) to a glacial valley of great beauty. If you continue you can reach the peak of Bidean nam Bian, 1150 meters high.

Aonach Eagach

Across the road and the parking lot is the path that leads to Aonach Eagach, which allows us to get a panoramic view of the Three Sisters and the Bidean nam Bian.

Buachaille Etive Mhòr

The Buachaille Etive Mhòr. With its pyramidal shape, it is another of the mountains with a more interesting ascent. It takes a little more time to climb but it is well worth it.

Glencoe Scotland
Glencoe Scotland

For the less intrepid there are some more affordable itineraries like the Devil's Staircase, the Alt Coire Gabhail and the Buachaille Etive Beag.

Those who want to take at least one photographic postcard or a picture of the Glencoe landscape can arrive from the south through the panoramic road A-82 that like a line of ants opens before the immensity of the mountains that rise to the sides. The car parks follow one another as viewpoints where travelers stop to be seduced by the peace it transmits.

In addition to sporting activities and trekking, Glencoe is well worth a visit to the Glencoe Folklore Museum, an ethnographic exhibition on the lifestyle of the Highland clans. And if we spend the holidays in winter, the ski resort of Glencoe Mountain allows you to enjoy the snow.

In the footsteps of Agent Bond

Agent James Bond's father, Andrew Bond is, according to the fictional character's biography, a native of Glencoe. And perhaps that is why in the movie Skyfall, the secret agent takes shelter from his enemies in the family home that recreated with the setting of Glencoe, the home of his father.

Tourist office

The Glencoe Visitors Center, works as the tourist office where you can receive help, tips, maps and suggestions on activities and routes to carry out on your visit to Glencoe.

On the other hand, in the town of Ballachulish on the outskirts of Glencoe is an information point.

How to get to Glencoe

Glencoe is situated in the west of Scotland, on the way from Glasgow to Skye. To the north is Fort Wiliams, another point of interest in this part of the Highlands.

Glencoe Map