Glen Coe

Glen is a synonym for a narrow valley is Scotland and Ireland. Glen Coe is considered the most beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands. Glen Coe is situated in the western part of the Scottish Highlands, specifically in the Lochaber area of the Highland council area. It lies between the towns of Fort William to the north and Tyndrum to the south. The glen is formed by a volcanic eruption and subsequent ice erosion, resulting in deep valleys, steep-sided mountains, and stunning geological features.

The alternative name of this valley is Glen of Weeping‘. The weeping refers to a massacre of one of the Scottish clans in 1692.

In 1692, during a period of political unrest and tension in Scotland, members of the Campbell clan, who were loyal to the British Crown, were billeted with the MacDonald clan in the Glen Coe area. The MacDonalds, who were part of the Jacobite movement supporting the exiled King James VII, had been slow in pledging their allegiance to the new king, William III. Under orders from the British government, Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon and his men were instructed to carry out a military action against the MacDonalds as a form of punishment and to assert control. Despite being extended hospitality by the MacDonalds, the Campbell soldiers turned on their hosts. In the early morning hours of February 13, 1692, the Campbell soldiers launched a surprise attack on the MacDonalds. The massacre resulted in the deaths of about 38 members of the clan, with several others perishing due to exposure and starvation while fleeing into the mountains. The event became infamous due to the treachery involved in attacking guests who had offered hospitality. The Glen of Weeping is a term sometimes used to describe the glen or the area of Glencoe as it mourns the loss of those who died during the massacre.

If you visit Scotland not solely for hiking purposes, you can visit this place by taking the A82 road. You cannot stop just at its shoulder in the valley. There are, however, a couple of car parks you can stop, admire the view and take photos.

Glen Coe’s breathtaking scenery has made it a favored filming location for movies and television shows. It has been featured in films such as “Skyfall” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” among others. The glen’s dramatic landscape and rugged beauty lend themselves well to cinematic storytelling.

The A82 is a road in Scotland that runs from Glasgow to Inverness further to the North of Scotland. It is altogether 270 km. To get to Inverness you will also drive alongside the famous Lochness lake (you have to cross Fort Augustus). Because of the landscapes, it is an overwhelming driving experience. The hostel and hotel base is well-developed in the region, so you can split the ride into two days. Below a couple of pictures I took as we were on the way,

Glen Coe