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The Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary to Glencoe

Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 19th July 2018

Visit Glencoe for an unforgettable trip around the Scottish Highlands. From iconic films locations to the sites of bloody battles fought centuries ago, wildlife watching to the ski slopes – our itinerary will take you from historic sites to modern day wonders, with some tasty local food along the way. In a part of the world famed for its friendly Scottish hospitality, a warm welcome always awaits at each and every stop.

One of the best things about Glencoe is how easy it is to get there from Scotland’s two major cities. Even the route itself is particularly spectacular, taking you through famous glens and past Ben Nevis. Drive from Glasgow to Glencoe in around two hours, or three hours from Edinburgh. There are also regular bus services to Fort William, which is an excellent starting point for exploring the area.

To help you plan your visit, we have compiled the ultimate 2-day itinerary to Glencoe with a top selection of entertainment, activities, accommodation and restaurants.

Shortcuts: Day 1 Day 2

 

Day 1: Fun, Nature & Culture in Glencoe

 

9:00 | Glencoe Mountain Resort


Attraction

Glencoe, PH49 4HZ 01855 851226

Accessibility: Chairlift ride, cafe and toilets are disabled-friendly

Recommended Visit Duration: 2h to 2h30

Photo by Richard Cooke / CC BY 2.0

 
Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty over 200 hectares on Rannoch Moor, the Glencoe Mountain Resort boasts outstanding vistas, including views across to the Buachaille Etive Mor mountain. The sweeping views make the resort a popular spot for landscape photographers throughout the year. If you keep your eyes to the skies, you may just catch a glimpse of the area’s golden eagles too.

During the summer the resort is popular for mountain biking, hill walking, and taking a ride on the chairlifts. The chairlift will carry you from the valley floor to 2,200ft up the mountain in just 12 minutes. Or you could give tubing a try – where you ride a large doughnut-shaped tube down the dry ski slopes. In the winter, the resort offers a range of snowsports across 20 runs and 8 lifts including skiing, snowboarding and sledging. The terrain is varied, and there’s something for all levels of experience. However, the more experienced skiers can enjoy some of the longest and steepest runs in Scotland.

There’s a welcoming cafe on site, serving up delicious homemade food and is the perfect place to stop and admire the breathtaking Highland views.

 

11:30 | Clachaig Inn


Food

Glencoe, Ballachulish PH49 4HX 01855 811252

Accessibility: Bar, toilets and accommodation are disabled-friendly

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h

Photo by Johnny Durnan / CC BY 2.0

 
Worked up an appetite after a busy morning? Next stop is the award-winning Clachaig Inn. Offering a warm Scottish welcome and an extensive menu made with delicious, locally-sourced ingredients, it’s the ideal place to stop and rest a while. Choose from sitting in the light and contemporary Bidean Lounge, or head through to the cosy, wood-panelled Boots Bar which has a more traditional feel. While you’re there, make sure you try the wild Highland venison or some Stornoway black pudding, or sample some local craft ale or the area’s very own Clachaig Gin – provided you aren’t the designated driver, of course!

 

12h40 | Glencoe and Dalness Visitor Centre


Attraction

Glencoe, PH49 4HX 01855 811307

Accessibility: Hearing loop and access to toilets, café & viewpoint

Recommended Visit Duration: 30m to 1h30

Photo by Jim Barton / CC BY 2.0

 
Stop by the visitor centre run by the National Trust for Scotland, where you can grab a cuppa and find out more about the fascinating history of Glencoe. On the many trails around the area, you can explore historical sites, including the site of the infamous 1692 Glencoe Massacre where up to 100 members of Clan MacDonald perished. On a more cheerful note, you can also visit the sites where films such as Braveheart, Harry Potter, Rob Roy and Skyfall were filmed. The visitor centre also offers vast information on the fascinating wildlife that inhabits the area, and you can even take a highland safari to spot some for yourself.

 

13h00 | Nature Walks

From the visitor centre, there are numerous walks you can take and discover the history, myth and legend that characterises this intriguing area. With walks for all levels and ranging from short strolls to long hikes in the countryside, there’s something for everyone who wants to stretch their legs and explore on foot. There are guided walks available to book, or you can make your own way around following the trail markers.

 
Accessibility: These walks are of all levels of steepness and terrain conditions. Consider instead the popular Land Rover Safaris, which allow visitors of all abilities (including wheelchair users) to experience Glencoe and its wildlife.

 

Glencoe Woodland Walk

Easy 30 minutes 1 mile / 1.5 km

Photo by Karl and Ali / CC BY 2.0

 
Leaving from the visitor centre, this short walk takes you through stunning birch woodland and offers views of Glencoe’s incredible mountains. Keep an eye out for red squirrels, pine martens and roe deer. You’ll also visit the ruins at Inverigan – one of the sites of the Glencoe Massacre.

 

Ballachulish Slate Quarries and Loch Leven

Easy 45 minutes to 1 hour 1.25 miles / 2 km

Photo by Kim Traynor / CC BY 2.0

 
Delve into Scotland’s industrial heritage on this easy, flat walk. You’ll visit the Ballachulish slate quarries, which once supplied slate to the entire country, followed by a gentle stroll to the foreshore where you can enjoy beautiful views across Loch Leven.

 
 

Glencoe Lochan Trails

Easy 1 hour to 1.5 hours 1.5 miles / 2.5 km

Photo by Shirley Grant / CC BY 2.0

 
This relaxing walk takes you around the peaceful lochan and woodland. The landscape here was shaped by Lord Strathcona who planted Canadian conifers to help his homesick wife feel more at ease.

 
 
 

An Torr Woodland Walks

Moderate 25 minutes to 2 hours 2.5 miles / 3.75 km

Photo by Richard Webb / CC BY 2.0

 
This small, mixed woodland is a fantastic place to spend a couple of hours enjoying the fresh air and winding walks. Discover the historical Signal Rock, which is where the Campbells lit a fire to signal the start of the Glencoe Massacre.

 
 

Lost Valley

Moderate 2 to 3 hours 2.5 miles / 4 km

Photo by Paul Birrell / CC BY 2.0

 
Legend has it the MacDonald clan hid their stolen cattle in this valley, perhaps thanks to the cover offered by the deep gorge. This path has some steep sections and involves some scrambles, but your effort is rewarded by the views of two of the three sisters of Glencoe mountains.

 
 

Devil’s Staircase

Hard 3 to 4 hours 6 miles / 9 km

Photo by Tim Heaton / CC BY 2.0

 
The Devil’s Staircase walk takes in a section of the famous West Highland Way. The path earned its name from soldiers who had to carry building materials along the route – often they would be paid their wages at the end and then head straight to the local pub. Many soldiers never made the walk back on a cold winter’s night, hence the name!

 

Pap of Glencoe

Hard 3.5 to 5 hours 4.5 miles / 7 km

Photo by Peter S. / CC BY 2.0

 
The Pap of Glencoe Walk is a distinctive yet incredibly steep path, but you’ll be rewarded with astonishing views across Glencoe and Loch Leven. The Pap mountain dominates the Glencoe landscape and reaching the top feels like quite the accomplishment.

 
 
 

15h30 | Glencoe & North Lorn Folk Museum


Attraction

Glencoe, Ballachulish PH49 4HS 01855 811664

Accessibility: Disabled-friendly access to main building

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by Andrew Curtis / CC BY 2.0

 
Explore the diverse collections on show, including toys, costumes, utensils and Jacobite relics found in the area. There are even weapons which were discovered in the thatched roofs of Glencoe cottages which were thought to be used in the Glencoe Massacre. The museum hosts events throughout the year, which offer a glimpse of past times in Glencoe.

 

OR 15h30 | Glencoe Activities


Attraction

Ballachulish PH49 4JX 01855 413200

Accessibility: Unassisted wheelchair access

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by Imcpy / CC BY 2.0

 
Fun is the number one priority at Glencoe Activities. Hop on board a Segway and explore the area, try out the golf course, test your head for heights on the high-wire Jenga, or practise your aim with laser clay shooting – it’s the perfect place for a little friendly competition! If you feel the need for speed, jump on board a high-speed boat trip for an exhilarating water adventure.

 

18h00 | Lochleven Seafood Café


Food

B863, Fort William PH33 6SA 01855 821048

Accessibility: Access ramp to restaurant & disabled-friendly toilets

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by Dave Fergusson / CC BY 2.0

 
After an action-packed afternoon, you’re sure to have worked up quite an appetite. Pop into this popular lochside restaurant for dinner and sample some locally caught fresh fish and seafood. As you eat, you can soak in the breathtaking views across Camus Mhor bay to the Pap of Glencoe mountain. On warmer days you can sit outside and enjoy the breeze on their outdoor terrace. You haven’t really visited the west coast of Scotland until you’ve tried fresh lobster, oysters, razors, clams and mussels plucked straight from the water.

 

20h00 | Wind Down and Relax

After such a thrilling and action-packed day, we are sure you’ll want to sit back and relax. There is plenty of accommodation options around Glencoe – these are some of our favourites.

 

Red Squirrel Camping Site


Accommodation

£10.50 per person, per night

Argyll, PH49 4HX 01855 811256

Accessibility: No disabled-friendly facilities

Photo by Leslie Barrie / CC BY 2.0

 
This popular campsite has been welcoming visitors since 1914 and is the ideal place to become well acquainted with the Highlands. There’s something a little bit magical about waking up to nature and birdsong, isn’t there?

 

Isles of Glencoe Hotel


Accommodation

From £79 per night

Park Rd, Fort William PH49 4HL 01764 651843

Accessibility: Facilities for disabled guests – room, toilets & parking

Photo by Isles of Glencoe Hotel

 
For a touch of comfort book into the Isles of Glencoe Hotel and enjoy the sweeping views across Loch Leven. This friendly hotel has its own swimming pool if you fancy taking a dip, and there are special offers on rooms throughout the year.

 

Ballachulish Hotel


Accommodation

From £78 per night

Glencoe, Fort William PH49 4JY 01764 651842

Accessibility: No fully-accessible disabled rooms

Photo by Ballachulish Hotel

 
With a variety of rooms available, you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest your weary head after a fun day exploring Glencoe. This old-fashioned hotel has plenty of places to relax, and the rooms have big, comfortable beds, some with views of Loch Linnhe and the Pap of Glencoe.

 

Day 2: Highland Titles Reserve & Attractions in Fort William

 

09h00 | Highland Titles Nature Reserve


Nature

Duror, Appin PA38 4BW 01631 740333

Accessibility: Disabled-friendly toilet and vehicle guided tour

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h30 to 2h

Highland Titles Nature Reserve at Glencoe Wood

 
After a solid night’s sleep you’ll be raring to go, and what better way to kick off your day than with a wander around the Glencoe Wood nature reserve. Drop into the visitor’s centre to pick up a map of walks in the areas and plan which parts you want to visit. You can even take away a unique souvenir of your visit – your very own plot of land and the title of Lord or Lady*!

 

11h30 | Inchree Falls


Nature

Fort William, PH33 6SG Parking Facilities

Accessibility: Path in good condition, yet not totally disabled-friendly

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by Steve Fareham / CC BY 2.0

 
These impressive falls drop several hundred feet into the River Righ and there’s a 30-minute circular walk you can take from the car park to see the waterfalls from the best angles. It’s a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but truly comes alive with colour during autumn.

 

13h30 | Ben Nevis Inn


Food

Achintee Rd, Fort William PH33 6TE 01397 701227

Accessibility: Disabled access to both restaurant & accommodation

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by N Chadwick / CC BY 2.0

 
Tuck into some hearty pub grub at this 200-year-old inn at the foot of Ben Nevis. It’s a popular spot with locals and tourists alike and the menu boasts some traditional Scottish favourites like haggis or Cullen skink. There are also some good vegetarian options available.

 

14h30 | Old Fort


Attraction

Fort William, PH33 6EN Open 24 hours

Accessibility: Mostly flat terrain, thus being disabled-friendly

Recommended Visit Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Photo by Nathanael / CC BY 2.0

 
Only a stone’s throw from the main road that runs alongside Loch Linnhe lies the ruins of an old stone fort that gave nearby Fort William its name. As well as being at the centre of the Glencoe Massacre, the fort also came under attack from Jacobite forces in 1746. Today the ruins are a fascinating place to explore Scotland’s colourful history.

 

15h00 | Old Inverlochy Castle


Attraction

Fort William, PH33 6TF Open 24 hours

Accessibility: Mostly flat terrain but path might be uneven

Recommended Visit Duration: 45 minutes to 1h30

Photo by JThomas / CC BY 2.0

 
Delve even deeper into the area’s rich history, with a trip to 13th Century Old Inverlochy Castle on the banks of the River Lochy. The first and second battles of Inverlochy were fought here, and today you can imagine the clansmen fleeing the battle on their boats along the river, here the ruins are an intriguing place to explore.

 

15h30 | Ben Nevis Distillery


Attraction

Lochy Bridge, Fort William PH33 6TJ 01397 702476

Accessibility: Tours can be made accessible if booked in advance

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by C Michael Hogan / CC BY 2.0

 
Discover the secrets of whisky making in Scotland as you explore one of the country’s oldest distilleries, which dates back to 1825. Named after and inspired by the mountain which it sits next to, the distillery is even home to its very own giant, Hector. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

 

OR 15h30 | Treasures of the Earth Museum


Attraction

Corpach, Fort William PH33 7JL 01397 772283

Accessibility: Shop & museum accessible, no access to upper deck

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by Clive Perrin / CC BY 2.0

 
You could lose yourself for hours in this unusual collection of natural treasures, which features caves, caverns and mining scenes. Learn about the Scottish gold rush or how fossils are formed, and touch the unique contours of towering geodes. One of the highlights of your visit is certainly going to be visiting the magical UV cave, and the whole experience is extremely child-friendly.

 

OR 15h30 | West Highland Museum


Attraction

Cameron Square, Fort William PH33 6AJ 01397 702169

Accessibility: Disabled-friendly (upper floor access through stairlift)

Recommended Visit Duration: 1h to 1h30

Photo by Chris Heaton / CC BY 2.0

 
Continue your Scottish adventure into the centre of the historic town of Fort William where you’ll find the West Highland Museum. A treasure trove of Jacobite memorabilia, archaeological relics, military objects and Victoriana curios – the extensive collection offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives and times of the West Highlands. Admission to the museum is free and there are a range of events on throughout the year.

 

17h45 | Neptune’s Staircase


Attraction

Banavie, Fort William PH33 7NG Caledonian Canal

Accessibility: Path is disabled-friendly but can be a steep climb

Recommended Visit Duration: 20m to 30m

Photo by Erik Piek / CC BY 2.0

 
Visit the longest staircase lock in Britain, built by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822. The staircase on the Caledonian Canal comprises eight locks and was originally powered by hand – although today it is powered by hydraulics. The lock can lift boats by 20m and it takes around 90 minutes for a boat to get all the way through.

 

18h30 | Inverlochy Castle Hotel


Food

Accommodation

Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN 01397 702177

Accessibility: Due to nature of building, no disabled toilets/rooms

Photo by Johnny Durnan / CC BY 2.0

 
Last, but certainly not least, your final stop on the itinerary is the resplendent 19th century Inverlochy Castle. Indulge in dinner with Albert and Michel Roux Jr at the helm and share a culinary experience you’ll never forget. Choose from three elaborately decorated dining rooms and a menu featuring some of the best British cuisine with French influences. Later, relax in one of the luxurious bedrooms and enjoy views across rolling mountains and glens while reminiscing about your fabulous Glencoe adventure.

 


Brought to you by Highland Titles

Highland Titles’ mission is to conserve Scotland, one square foot at a time™. We are building a thriving network of landowners through selling small plots of land in the Scottish Highlands to fund the creation, improvement and management of nature reserves. By supporting our unique conservation projects, our landowners become Lords, Ladies and Lairds* of Glencoe, when they hold a plot in the Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve, and Lords, Ladies and Lairds* of Lochaber, when their plot is in the Mountain View Nature Reserve. You too can become a Lord, Lady or Laird* – buy a souvenir plot and support our conservation efforts!

 

Did you know?

If you are a Lord, Laird or Lady*, you can benefit from exclusive offers and discounts on local businesses around Glencoe, including hotels, attractions, and shops. Explore all the benefits of becoming a Lord, Laird or Lady*!


About the author

Written by: Stewart Borland


Comments on this post

  • Jaclyn Milne
    01/08/18 - 13:52

    This is an excellent guide. I hope to be visiting in the first half of 2019 and will definitely use the information contained to plan my activities in the area.
    Thank You

  • Lady Vivienne of Glencoe, Lochaber and the Wildernesse
    03/08/18 - 17:28

    The itinerary is good, with plenty of activities included. Unfortunately, you don’t give information regarding disabled access, or whether those with hearing/sight/learning difficulties are catered for. These details are essential for me and my carer when planning a trip, and make all the difference between a fantastic day out and a completely wasted journey.

    • Highland Titles Community Manager
      24/08/18 - 09:50

      Hello Lady Vivienne! Thank you so much for your comment – this was only the first version of this itinerary and we were collecting user suggestions on how we could improve it.

      Adding accessibility information was of the utmost priority – and I am happy to inform you that we have just done that. If you do decide to visit Glencoe and our Reserve, we hope you and your carer have an unforgettable experience!

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