+25 Things to do in Glencoe Scotland

Here you will find more than 25 things to do in Glencoe Scotland. There is something for everyone here, enjoy picture perfect landscapes, go on a hike, look up movie sights or discover the history and culture of the Scottish highlands.

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We traveled to the Scottish Highlands in June 2022 and this is our guide to this fantastic region!

πŸ—ΊοΈ Where is Glencoe located?

Glencoe is located in the West in the highlands in Scotland, in northern Great Britain, the UK. The highlands contrary to the lowlands, are the most mountainous region on the Great British Isle.

Traditions and the heritage differ in the highlands from the lowlands (i.e., Edinburgh and Glasgow). The views in this region are also legendary and the green lands of the Scots have been featured in various movies over the years.

🏘 Village of Glencoe

The village of Glencoe is situated at the edge of the Glen Coe valley to the west, on the banks of the Loch Leven lake.

It’s a small super peaceful village, which mainly comes to live in the busier summer months.

The Glencoe Folk Museum is located in the village in thatched cottages. Learn more about the Massacre of Glencoe, the local culture and history. You will find objects and plenty of myths and legends in this museum.

Look for the Glencoe War Memorial. It shall remind us all how the MacDonald clan chiefs were slaughtered in their sleep by their guests and kinsman, the Campbell’s. You can take a walk around the surreal area too.

The signal rock, near the village, was used by the MacDonalds of Glencoe family as a meeting point, hence the name.

Glencoe Highlands

πŸ› Glencoe Visitor Center

The visitor center is part of the national trust and makes for an excellent stopover when driving through Glencoe.

It’s essentially an information hub where visitors get to learn more about the Glencoe highlands, its geology and history.

The helpful staff will provide you useful information about other attractions and trails in the Glencoe highlands. Some trails start at the visitor center too, and you get a great view from there.

It’s free for visitors (parking is Β£4) and you can just visit anytime without having to wait in a queue or booking a slot. All profits from the coffee and gift shop are used to preserve the nature reserve and visitor trails.

They show a short film, explaining on how the highlands were formed and more about the ecology of the area. They also show how the houses were built and more about the history and struggle of the people.

Here you can also learn more about the infamous Glencoe massacre of the 13th February in 1692, where 30 members of the clan MacDonald’s chiefs were killed by the Sottish Government forces.

The Pioneers of the Peaks’ exhibition talks about the people who have climbed the peaks of Glencoe and the brave women and men who help to rescue those in need in the highlands.

The visitor center is great for kids too because they have set up children-friendly stations or trails in and around the center.

sarah and christoph glencoe

πŸŒ„ Three Sisters

The three sisters is THE viewpoint if you have only a few days to spare in Glencoe. This is the spot you want to see because it’s exactly as one would imagine the Highlands.

There is a large parking at the base, which can be rather packed in the busy summer months. Come early if possible!

Pick a clear sunny day to make the most of this experience, that way you will be able to see all the 5 peaks.

You can just park at the lot and enjoy the view from there or pick one of the trails up the mountains.

Things to consider when going up the trails: The mountain trails are a bit steep but doable if you are fit or with older kids. They can be slippery when it’s raining or after rain and in the summer it can get hot on the way up because there is no sun cover.

The view from the top is of course well worth the trouble and will reward you with a breathtakingly beautiful highlands view.

🧭 More Things to do

  • Fort William – a town near Glencoe, you get everything there for your outdoor needs.
  • The Meeting of Three Waters – Waterfall spotting
  • Ben Nevis Distillery – Whiskey distillery tasting tour and shop in Fort William
  • Inverlochy Castle – Ruined castle near Fort William
  • Clachaig Inn – Enjoy some time off in this authentic inn

🎞️ Discover Filming Locations

Famous movies were not only inspired by the Scottish highlands but were also filmed at various locations in Glen Coe. Here

  • Harry Potter – Spot the β€œSite Where Hagrid’s Hut was Filmed” for the Prisoner of Azkaban, located at Clachaig Gully, just above the Clachaig Inn at the river coe near the Glencoe village. The Harry Potter Train, better known as the Jacobite steam train, and the Glenfinnan Viaduct are located near Glencoe too.
  • Skyfall James Bond – The James Bond Skyfall Road from Glencoe to Glen Etive is for all 007 die hard fans.
  • Braveheart – Scenes were filmed at nearby Glen Nevis
  • Outlaw King – featured at the Three Sisters and Glen Coe Mountains.
  • Highlander – filmed at the “The Meeting of Three Waters”.
Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct

πŸ–Ό Discover Picture Perfect Spots and Scenic Hikes

  • Glencoe Lochan Trail – located at the Glencoe village at the edge of the Glen, it’s an easy trail with lovely views to Loch Leven
  • Loch Achtriochtan – a stopover on a drive through Glencoe
  • Circular Loch Leven Road – Get inspired on a road trip around the lake.
  • The Lost Valley – located behind the Three Sister a little hidden place with jaw-dropping views.
  • Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Scotland and the hike up is just stunning.
  • Devil’s Staircase at Altnafeidh – part of the West highland way, a nice wee climb to continue to the Stob Mhic Mhartuinn for the best views.
  • Buachaille Etive Mor – A mountain that looks like a pyramid. The Black Rock cottage and the mountain make for a beautiful shot.
  • Buachaille Etive Beag Peak – away from the masses and better for experienced hikers. The views are just from another world.
  • Pap of Glencoe (Gaelic name Sgorr na Ciche) – epic view of the highlands and Loch Leven, but it’s a tough hike up.
River Coe in Glencoe
River Coe in Glencoe

πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ Outdoor Activities

  • Mountain biking
  • Rafting, Kayaking at Ballachulish
  • Canyoning and Coasteering
  • Climbing and Ice Climbing in Kinlochleven ice factory
  • Paragliding
  • Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Windsurfing
  • Horse Riding

πŸ’­ FAQs

Is it Glencoe or Glen Coe?

A village in Scottish is known as a Glen, so Glen Coe is the name of the valley. Glencoe is the village located at Loch Leven at the end of the valley. Yet, both names are used interchangeably most of the time. Coe is the name of the river in this valley.

How to get there?

Glencoe is a day trip away from Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Inverness. It takes about 2-3 hours on a road trip via the A82 to get there from any of these locations. Hiring a car will give you the most freedom, but you can also join a Glencoe tour with a guide, either by bus or a private guide who has a car,

When to visit the highlands?

Every season is beautiful in its own way in the Glencoe highlands. Spring changes within weeks from muddy hills to vibrant lush fields with spring flowers. Summers is the least cold season with temperatures averaging 70 Fahrenheit (ca. 21 Β°C) but it’s also the busiest Tourist season and a swarm of biting insects add to the discomfort. Fall (autumn) is the most colorful season with bright-colored foliage creating picture perfect sceneries. Winter is the coldest season but also the most peaceful of all with white peaks and crystal clear views of the beautiful highlands.

What’s the weather like?

The weather in the Scottish highlands can be rather fickle and cool. So pack accordingly for the journey. Temperatures in summer never cross more than 75 Fahrenheit (ca. 24 Β°C) and the wind can be ice-cold. We visited in mid-June and wore shawls, transitional jackets and headbands.

Where to stay?

The Kingshouse Hotel and the Glencoe Mountain Resort and much recommended places to stay in Glencoe. Camping is another popular alternative in the area.

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