In the south of the highlands is one of Scotland’s most famous areas, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and calm lochans with plenty of wildlife on scene. Only a two hour drive from the biggest cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, this beautiful but busy area of the wilderness is of course Glen Coe. The valley with a volcanic past is one of the countries’ most popular attractions to visit for a quick day trip or for a few days to really savour the hikes and views on offer.
In this blog post, we will share some of the best things you can do if you are visiting Glen Coe for just the day, meaning you won’t miss out on what it has to offer you!
If you are looking to make the most of the outdoors and go hiking, you have plenty of options to choose from. Our three favourite hikes are very close by each other: first up, the relatively easy hike to the Hidden Valley which is in the heart of the glen, starting from the main car park on the A82 beside the Three Sisters. The flat expanse you come across is where farmers used to keep cattle they had stolen from their enemies, to try and survive the harsh winters hundreds of years ago.
The second hike we recommend for more experienced hikers is Aonach Eagach: a gruelling hike up one of Europe’s hardest climbs. If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole ridge line, summiting Am Bodach from the main road is steep but rewarding for the views at the top.
The third is a hike up the Pap of Glen Coe, again another slightly steeper hike, but once at the top the views of the village and Loch Leven towards Fort William is breathtaking and worth the effort.
If you are looking for a more relaxing day trip, there are many areas you can visit without hiking for a few hours. One of our favourite spots is just out of the valley is Glen Coe Lochan, which has stunning views of the Pap and the surrounding mountains when the wind dies down.
The valley of Glen Etive has become a hugely popular tourist spot for many reasons over the last few years. First of all, James Bond and Skyfall filmed some scenes down this stretch of road, meaning many a film and car enthusiast want to enjoy this area of the outdoors for themselves. Further down the same road, there is an abundance of wildlife to see as well, including very tame deer who are curious about anyone who stops to say hello. There have been much conversation recently about the mass tourism, Glen Coe being one of the places this is happening: we recommend not feeding any of the local wildlife and be respectful to them and their surroundings, so everyone can enjoy it for years to come.
If you have enough time to head all the way down this road, Loch Etive is a beautiful location to relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Considering how close you are to the main cities, it’s incredible what you can get up to within a day.
If you are looking for places to pick up some food, there aren’t many in the actual valley – your best bet for finding good food is either from the south in Tyndrum and the Real Food Cafe who serve incredible fish and chips, or at the Clachaig Inn, just a few minutes drive from main village with great pub food.
If you have any other great recommendations in the area of if you go the Glen Coe and visit any of the mentioned spots, let us know how your day goes!