Glencoe and glen etive

Glencoe. The most evocative of Scottish Highland names, Glencoe is one of Scotland's true jewels, form the approaches through Rannoch Moor when you get the first glimpses of those foreboding mountain peaks it's a truly breathtaking place. It had been 20 years since I had last been in Glencoe when I first set foot up there this year, I've been back 4 times since such is the lure of the place.

Lochan na h-Achlaise

Lochan na h-Achlaise is one of the first proper lochs you pass on the way into Glencoe, with Rannoch Moor on the other side of the road it's a island and rock pockmarked body of water, similar to Loch Ba on the other side of the A82.

Black Rock Cottage

Black Rock Cottage is one of those iconic photographer locations in Glencoe, found on the approach road up to the Glencoe Ski Centre, it's rarely seen without a camera or 2 pointed at it. If you are lucky, you'll get it with no cars parked outside as it's used as a base for climbers. Seen here from a drone it gives you an idea of the expanse towards the famous Buachaille Etive Mor.

Waterfall on the River Coupall

The waterfall on the River Coupall is another of those iconic locations with Buachaille Etive Mor in the background. It's a series of small falls and when the water is low the closer one runs dry. It's not my favourite place at all, it's very close to the road and the place is always overran with photographers which is evident by the state of the ground round the waterfalls. It's also very boggy around it, losing a shoe is a distinct possibility and is falling flat on your arse, both of which I may have done here...

Glen Etive

While you're at the waterfall on the River Coupall the road there leads you down into Glen Etive and some incredible scenery. The single track road hugs the River Etive all the way down to Loch Etive about 14 miles down the track.


Among the sights you'll find down here is the location Bond and M stood talking next to an Aston Martin in the movie Skyfall. You are more likely to find people re-creating the scene though than a cosy spy huddle.

Glen Etive bike

One of the quirkier sights is the Glen Etive bike, found outside this old hut about 8 miles in. It's not the original bike, it was stolen a few years back and replaced by a local photographer!

Glen Etive
Another view of the River Coupall fall on the way back out Glen Etive
Lagangarbh Hut

Glencoe is full of places I can't pronounce, none more so than Lagangarbh Hut. Glencoe is one of those places where you are always better to visit when the weather is bad, a day of heavy showers will produce amazing dramatic images, much more so than a blue sky. I've been in both and I'd much rather dodge the rain!

Drone view from Lagangarbh Hut
Pass of Glencoe and the Three Sisters

Next up the road is the pass of Glencoe and the Three Sisters, 3 similar height peaks all in a row, the range are called Bidean nam Bian, another name you'd rather not pronounce.

Scrappy at the Pass of Glencoe

My wee dug was a big fan of a day out in Glencoe, here he is with the dramatic backdrop of the 3 Sisters.

Loch Achtriochtan

One of the last major loch's you pass is the tongue twisting Loch Achtriochtan which is found just past the 3 Sisters, this is one of my favourite stops in Glen Coe.

Loch Achtriochtan seen here with the low winter sun casting shadows

There you have it, a whistle stop tour round the easier access parts of one of the most incredible areas of Scotland, can't wait for the next visit!

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Created By
Grant Ritchie


All images copyright Grant Ritchie/Real Edinburgh

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