Sitting on the shore of Loch Leven and surrounded by towering mountains, Glencoe village marks the gateway to the magnificent Glen Coe, one of Scotland's most impressive valleys.
The main road between Glasgow and Fort William runs through the glen and is a remarkably scenic drive. Three massive spurs known as the Three Sisters guard the southern side of the glen, with the precipitous Aonach Eagach ridge to the north. The cinematic landscape has featured in Skyfall, some of the Harry Potter movies and Braveheart, but the temperamental weather ensures it’s ever-changing, with rain giving way to sun or even snow at a moment's notice.
The glen is also one of Scotland's most historic — it was the scene of the most brutal massacre in Highland history. Following the Jacobite uprising of 1689, King William of England ordered all Scottish chiefs to sign an oath of allegiance to the crown.
Alastair Maclain, Chief of Glencoe, was intentionally thwarted in his efforts to reach the local sheriff in time and was late in signing. When the military regiment from Argyll later arrived in Glencoe they were billeted with local families, as was customary at the time. But, in February 1692, the regiment brutally murdered their hosts in the middle of the night to send a strong signal to other clans reluctant to sign the oath. A memorial in the village commemorates the families from the MacDonald clan that were killed.
Today, Glencoe is a tranquil spot with plenty of local services. It has a surprising number of art galleries for a village of its size, but inside any one of them you'll quickly see how local and international artists have taken advantage of the outstanding local scenery. The majestic mountain landscapes, steely gray lochs and nearby Atlantic coastline have all been recorded in a variety of mediums and styles.
The village is also a popular base for hikers and climbers, who have been drawn there for many years by the sheer variety of terrain. There are plenty of options for short, manageable walks to impressive waterfalls or lake viewpoints but, if you're eager to tackle something more challenging, it's easy to get advice locally on a number of superb hikes and climbs.
The remote and spectacular Glen Etive is a well-tested walking route. For the more experienced, the Lost Valley at the top of Bidean nam Bian, at 1,141 m (3,743 ft), and the knife-edge Aonach Eagach, one of the Highland's most beautiful and challenging ridge walks at 953 m (3,127 ft), are great options.
Suggested itineraries featuring Glencoe
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Glencoe, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Glencoe
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Glencoe
- Fort William 10 miles away
- Oban 24 miles away
- Loch Awe 28 miles away
- The Highlands 37 miles away
- Isle of Jura 49 miles away
- Loch Lomond 50 miles away
- Loch Ness 51 miles away
- The Cairngorms 64 miles away
- Inverness 65 miles away
- Isle of Skye 65 miles away
- Glasgow 66 miles away
- Isle of Islay 76 miles away
- Edinburgh 89 miles away
- Speyside 90 miles away
- St Andrews 92 miles away
- The Lake District 173 miles away
- Liverpool 242 miles away
- York 246 miles away
Photos of Glencoe
Accommodation choices for Glencoe
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Glencoe. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.