Glencoe might be one of the most popular destinations in the Scottish Highlands. You’ll find all the classic highland activities here – from Scotch whisky tasting to hiking and kayaking, plus snowshoeing if you’re on a winter trip. But Glencoe is also guaranteed to surprise: you’ll have the chance to ride husky sledges through the highlands, drive remote mountain roads to hidden glens and who could pass up on a visit to the Highland Chocolatier? To inspire your journey into the Scottish Highlands, these are the top things to do in Glencoe, Scotland.
Planning a trip to the Scottish Highlands in the near future? Join our wintertime adventure to Glencoe and the surrounding valleys for some active outdoor therapy and cultural activities led by our Local Insider.
You don’t need to visit the Arctic to see the Northern Lights, you can experience this otherworldly natural phenomenon in Glencoe. Visit the Scottish Highlands at the right time of year and, with a little luck, you’ll see this spectacular light show in the dark skies. The Aurora Borealis can be seen between October and March – and on a clear, dark night in the highlands, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in Norway or Iceland.
Ever wanted to ride a Husky sledge across the snow? Visit Glencoe in winter and that’s exactly what you can do. You’re a long way from Alaska, but with the help of a team of hard-working huskies and the experienced trainers at Bowland Trails, you’ll soon be holding on tight to the reins as you’re sent hurtling across the glen on the back of a sledge. The husky teams at Bowland Trails have won British, European and world championships, so, don’t worry, they’ll keep you safe.
The Scottish Highlands are always full of surprises, but few are as welcome as the chocolatey delights waiting to be sampled in the village of Grandtully. Overlooking the flowing highland waters of the River Tay, you’ll find an award-winning chocolatier mixing Perthshire cream with rare cocoa, sourced from the South Atlantic island of Sao Tome. Chocolate-lovers will revel in the unique opportunity to taste hand-crafted Velvet Truffles and Spiced Pralines on tastings and tours led by Iain Burnett – a renowned culinary expert who’s better known as the ‘Highland Chocolatier’.
Why not take to the water for a sea kayaking adventure on Loch Leven? This large expanse of water is where the River Coe empties after its winding journey through the glen. You’ll love how easy it is to escape the rest of the world as you paddle your way out into the loch, surrounded by mountain peaks and rare birdlife. Your loch-side vantage point offers a glimpse of Glencoe from a unique perspective.
There’s more to Glencoe than mountains and lochs, including intriguing history all around you. Delve deeper into the local culture with a visit to the Glencoe Folk Museum – housed in a traditional 18th-century thatched hut – where you’ll find historic local artefacts and collections dating back hundreds of years. You’ll be shocked to learn of the true story behind the infamous Glencoe massacre that scarred the community for centuries.
Fort William to Glencoe, Glencoe to Oban, Glasgow to Glencoe – the list of epic road trips in the Scottish Highlands goes on and on. But have you heard of the drive from Glencoe to Glen Etive? It’s one of the most scenic road trips in Glencoe – think remote mountain scenery – and, at 12mi (19.3km) long, one of the shortest. Better known as the ‘James Bond Road’, this is where the Bond movie Skyfall was partly filmed.
Hiding in plain sight – just off the main street in Glencoe village – you’ll find a hidden world of highland flora awaiting you at the Glencoe Secret Garden. This small playpark is surrounded by some of Glencoe’s greenest greenery and, although it’s rather small, it makes for a lovely little escape from the busy streets of the village around it. Sit back on the grass with a cold iron-bru in hand.
A lasting tribute to the people of Glencoe and the surrounding villages can be found overlooking the River Coe. As with most communities in the United Kingdom, many soldiers from Glencoe were killed during the First and Second World Wars – and the community built a wonderful memorial to honour their memory. Pay your respects and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the lovely riverside setting in this often overlooked part of Glencoe.
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