For other places with the same name, see Glencoe (disambiguation).
A loch in the Glencoe area

Glencoe is a famous valley ("glen") in the Scottish Highlands and also the name of the village adjacent to the glen on the western side. It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland. It is a part of the designated National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. Loch Leven, in the adjacent area, is a salt water loch connected to Loch Linhe, a sea loch.


Glencoe is famous for its landscape - it is home to some of the most spectacular mountains in the UK. The glen is a U-shaped valley formed by Ice Age glaciation. It is about 16 km (10 miles) long with the valley floor less than 700 m (0.4 miles) wide, with towering mountains rising sharply from the valley floor to heights of around 900 m (3,000 feet).

It was also the site of the historic Glencoe Massacre that took place on 13th February 1692.

When William III replaced James II on the British throne in 1689, he offered peace, on condition of their taking an oath of allegiance within a certain date, to the rebellious Scottish clans that remained loyal to the latter. The MacDonald chief dithered but arrived for submission on the last date. Some procedural wrangles followed and his opponents wanted to teach him a lesson, even though he was allowed to take the oath.

Earlier, on their way home from the Battle of Dunkeld, the Maclains of Glencoe, a sept of Clan MacDonald, together with their Glengarry kinsmen, looted the lands of Robert Campbell of Glenlyon. He was ultimately forced to take an army commission. Robert Campbell and his men were billeted in Glencoe and accepted the traditionally warm hospitality of the MacDonalds. At some point during their stay, Captain Campbell received orders to "put to the sword all under 70". Thirty-eight men were killed, and forty women and children died of exposure after the village was burnt. Some of the officers refused to execute their orders and broke their swords in protest.

The glen is virtually uninhabited.

Glencoe in winter

Other destinations

Some of the other villages worth visiting in the area of Glen Coe:

Get in

By Car

Drive along A82 and you'll see it.

By Bus

Regular local buses run to and from Fort William and Kinlochleven. Coaches running between Glasgow and Fort William, Kyle of Lochalsh and the Isle of Skye will also stop in Glencoe several times a day.

General view of the Glencoe area

Coach Tours

A large number of tourists visit the area in coaches from Edinburgh or Glasgow. In many cases, Glencoe and Loch Ness are clubbed together for the tour. Listed below are some of the tour operators. Prices mentioned are for Glencoe and Loch Ness tours.

Get around

It's a walker's area.




The best way to experience Glencoe is to walk. Recommended walks include:

For the more experienced:

Do not forget that rock climbing is a potentially dangerous activity and it is essential to be well equipped. Advice and maps can be found at the Glencoe Visitor Centre.




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