Please note – this is a backdated trip – pre-lockdown.
Aaaaand I’m back – it’s been a wee while since i’ve posted about my adventures – SO, Here.We.Go.
This week I took a long weekend up in my favourite spot …. Glencoe!
Arriving into Glencoe on the Friday evening ( via the lovely and previously blogged about Deli Ecosse – nice to say hello to the friendly ladies!) we were welcomed by the snowy peaks – and a bit of rain. Straight into the Kingshouse to say a big hello to Tom and Dave (see previous blogs) and we checked in to our room.
We planned to ski over the weekend (I have not skiid since high school so this would have been INTERESTING) but sadly due to high winds the slopes were closed – BUT in a place like Glencoe that is no problem. Time to explore!
Unlike the previous cycle down Glen Etive with Jenny – we drove down to the Loch Etive itself this time – luxury – passing the raging white waters flowing down the glen – filled by the multiple white streams pouring down the mountains. It was a wet day! But very Skyfall-esque (A location for the Bond film Skyfall was down Glen Etive!) If you take a trip down – drive alll the way down to the end of the road. You will not be dissapointed! It is beautiful and the loch is HUGE. There is a small car park – and a place to leave your bike too if you are cycling down (good effort!) Then there is a nice walk along to the old boathouse which you’ll be able to see.
It was a bit on the wet side but still magnificent!
We saw stag after stag on the edge of the woods – as tame as Kingshouses’ Sam the Stag! Some horses around too … sadly far away and in their stables. GUTTED.
A trip down to the Clachaig Inn was a must later on for some munch and a wee brew. We were lucky to find a table! I was also transfixed by a flatcoat retriever …. wow. What a dog! After dinner the local band – Box O Bananas got the crowd singing along. Yet again I pretended to know the lyrics … haha.
The next day we headed off to the stunning Glencoe Lochan for a walk. There are a variety of routes you can take – we decided to do the full loop. See the link! – https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/glencoelochan.shtml
The forest paths were stunning and then we reached the glass like waters edge! Beautiful.
The sun played hide and seek a bit – but then blasted through 🙂 We also spotted a few frogs with their pool of spawn. Anyone else have a bowl of spawn in primary school and watch them change from tadpoles to wee frogs and then release them into the wild? Me too.
Moving on ….. we then needed munch.
As recommened by Marie – located in Glencoe Village is the wonderful Crafts and Things – which produced the best cheese and ham toastie I think i’ve ever had and a massive hot chocolate. Devoured. This place is full of lovely books, gifts and local stuff! Can imagine in summer time it being very very busy.
Later on we took a walk along from the hotel, part of the way towards the Black Corries Lodge. I was sad to learn that there is actually a white horse that lives along there …. gutted was an understatment that we hadn’t walked the full way haha. This track runs along the back of the hotel so you can easily hop in it!
A dramatic view!
We came back to the hotel to a roaring hot fire and tucked into a yummy dinner – then a wee catch up with Tom and Dave ..and maybe a few pints… 🙂
With a lovely recommendation from Katarzyna – the next part of the trip was to hike up to The Lost Valley (or Hidden Valley?). This walk did not dissapoint. What a place! It was nice a quiet – only bumped into a few hikers and offered one some jaffa cakes for sustenance. Snacks are important.
To ge to this route you head down the Glencoe road past the waterfalls on the left (worth a stop to see) called The Meeting of The Three Waters I believe – then you will see a car park on the left hand side after you wind through the road. Park up and head down the path on the left has side as you look up to marvel at the Three Sisters! (don’t look up and walk downhill at the same time though – I will not be held responsible – it is hard not to look).
The route is pretty straight forward although it was a bit on the snowy side. I haven’t seen it in summer time – but the path should be taken with a bit of caution and walking boots for sure.Waterproofs etc recommended as always 🙂
Downward toward the river crossing we headed to the steep stairway down to the river crossing which was amazing. Thundering and fast flowing water from the rainy days before was blasting through the rocky riverways. Lovely!
Up through some Birch trees, passing MORE deer. They are EVERYWHERE. Then comes the big ol waterfalls – the drop here on the left is pretty steep – so would advise if you are with wee ones to keep them on the right hand side.
Onward! You then come to a pass in the river which we were advised to take by a passing hiker (axe and all) – due to snowfall and slippery conditions. Alternatively you can cross further up – a bit more of a scramble I believe. We hopped across the fast river with the rocks. Duncan leading the way with his fearless water ways!
We made it to the top. What a place.
Snow snow snow!
Gandalf and his staff!
The way down was a bit slippery … but we made it back unscathed.
I know I ramble on about Glencoe … and here I go again … BUT it is just the most magical place – no matter the weather. Another weekend filled with fresh air in my lungs and mind cleared we both felt alive!
Glencoe is on our Scottish doorstep (public transport, car journey away etc ..) So whether it’s your first time headed to Glencoe or a return – GO! You won’t regret it.
Next time on the blog – plans for the future! As we are currently on lockdown I hope to inspire you with some ideas / suggest others that may also inspire you – for when we are back to normal 🙂
Til next time,
Another great blog Ana, leaving me drooling for Glencoe! And more great photos. Such a magical place. The hidden valley is so beautiful. The Clan MacDonald used to keep their cattle there to protect them from cattle thieves (or maybe it was they who were the cattle thieves and hiding their spoils?). So easy to defend because of the narrow entrance to the valley. And that is also where a lot of the MacDonalds fled to hide when escaping the Campbells at the time of the massacre. It is believed they had got a tip-off that the Campbells were about to attack them all during the night, which is why the death toll wasn’t higher, as some managed to flee.
Oh, and memories of many many great nights in the Clachaig Inn! Well, you felt you’d earned it after a day in the hills!
Great blog Ana! It brings the memories back. I’m glad that you decided to hike up to The Lost Valley. It is a truly magnificent place! Thank you!