Glencoe is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland and as most of the attractions in the area are natural rather than man made visiting them is free. I've listed 5 of my best recommendations which should provide you with some very special Scottish moments and memories.
Go for a Walk
It might sound obvious but I have seen a countless number of people parking at the roadside and taking a quick photo of the mountains before jumping back in their cars and heading off at speed. If this is your idea of sightseeing or ticking Glencoe off your bucket list then the rest of this article probably isn't for you!
You don't have to be a mountaineer or experienced hill walker to explore the low lying paths that criss cross the glen, although the higher routes should definitely be left to the experts. Heading off the main road is the only way to experience the true haunting atmosphere and towering scale of this magical landscape.
A pleasant circular walk through woodland brings you to signal rock, the alleged place that the signal was given by the Campbells to begin the Glencoe massacre. Whether truth or legend it all adds to the mystery and folklore that captures the imagination and makes Glencoe much more than just a place of natural beauty.
The WalkHighlands website is an excellent online guide to walks all over Scotland including Glencoe. The Wild About Lochaber website gives more info on the walk to signal rock.
See Wild Red Deer
There are not many places that you can get up close to wild red deer in Scotland. The Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe is frequented by a herd of wild but tame deer that are more than happy to pose for that iconic Scottish photograph. Getting up close to a wild 'Monarch of the Glen' with the mountains as a backdrop has to be one of the best free experiences in Glencoe, and dare I say, possibly Scotland!
While there why not pay a visit to the popular Kingshouse Hotel itself. Built in the 17th century it is believed to be one of Scotland's oldest licensed Inns and has an interesting history.
Visit Glencoe Lochan
Glencoe Lochan is an oasis of tranquility hidden away below the mammoth mountains. On the outskirts of Glencoe village this idyllic little spot was planted and modelled to resemble a Canadian landscape by a previous Canadian owner after his wife became homesick.
This is one of my favourite places in the area, the reflections of the mountains and trees in the still water make this a great spot for taking beautiful photographs.
The circular route around the lochan is a flat and easy walk, with longer woodland trails for those that want to explore further.
This peaceful place makes a perfect relaxing escape from the contrast of the wilder landscape that surrounds it.
Photograph An Iconic Mountain
Buachaille Etive Mor (Gaelic for The Great Herdsman of Etive) is the most photographed mountain in the area and most probably in the whole of Scotland. Taking your own image of this majestic, pyramid like form is easily done by parking at either The Glencoe Mountain Resort or The Kingshouse Hotel.
From there you can find the perfect spot to capture your own version of this iconic mountain which is hard to miss as it stands like a towering guard before you,
Visit The Glencoe Massacre Monument
On 13th February 1692 the Massacre of Glencoe took place. A memorial to this infamous event in Scottish history was sculpted in 1883 and now stands in the village of Glencoe. The impressive Celtic cross, carved from granite and quartz, is situated on a small hilltop and each year there is a ceremony held here to remember the events that took place over 300 years ago.
On the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the massacre, members from the MacDonald clan gather in the village, complete with Highland dress, flags and other items displaying MacDonald clan symbols, before making their way to the monument. A service complete with wreath laying takes place as the history of that night is retold.
If you have any more suggestions for great free things to do in the Glencoe area feel free to get in touch and share them with others.
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