Oban – Glencoe Monday 21 May 2018
Today we were going drive to Gallanach, just outside Oban, to catch the ferry to the Island of Kerrera for a 6mile circuit walk. We woke up it was raining and very cold, so we decided to get supplies and do some housekeeping instead and head to Glen Coe, Scotland’s most famous glen. We will try and do this on our return from Islay in 10 days or so. We camped at The Hotel Leven in the carpark for the night.
Glencoe Tuesday 22 May 2018
Today was sunny so we headed off to Glencoe Village to the Glencoe Visitor Centre. The centre is run by the National Trust of Scotland and being members, it is free; another saving of £13. The centre provides comprehensive information on geological, environmental and cultural history of Glen Coe through interactive and audio-visual displays, maps explaining the history of mountaineering in the district and relives the story of the tragic Glencoe Massacre in a very real way. This is an excellent place to begin to gather understand of the history of the area and Highland history.
After visiting the centre, we went on a 2 km circuit walk through the woods. The walk started at the viewing platform where we saw Glencoe’s towering mountains. We continued along the trail to the site at Inverigan where there is a ruined house that dates from the late 1800’s which is thought to be one of the settlements which was involved in the Massacre of 1692 and then a little further along is the distinctive dome of the Pap of Glencoe mountain, which is very impressive.
After leaving the Visitor Centre we headed to our campsite for the night at Invercoe Caravan park booked in and then went on a drive through Glencoe Village to the Folk Museum, a small thatched cottage which houses a varied collection of farm equipment, military memorabilia and other tools. Further down the road is the MacDonald Monument where in 1692, thirty-eight MacDonalds of Glencoe were massacred, a very stirring site. As it is Spring, the bluebells are just starting to flower and make a beautiful sight.
We then continued our drive and in the fields on the side of the road was our first sighting of wildlife for the day, a red deer eating. As you drive along through the glen you are surrounded by the towering peaks of Glencoe’s mountains, formed 470 million years ago by the force of colliding continents. It is an absolutely, magnificent sight.
Further up the road we stopped to take a 2km walk to An Torr and Signal Rock. The path goes over a bridge with water rushing over rocks below and continues through woodlands to Tom o’ Ghrianoin, Gaelic for Hill of the Sun, capped by Signal Rock. Tradition has it that this was the gathering point for the MacDonalds of Glencoe at times of emergency. We climbed to the top of the rock and the view of the glen would have been amazing if the trees had not grown so much.
Continuing our drive, we passed the Falls of Glencoe and the magnificent Three Sisters, massive mountain spurs. The view is mesmerizing, and it feels like you are stepping back in time. Some of the mountains have snow on the top which looks incredible.
After the magnificent Glen drive we returned to our campsite to enjoy the view over Loch Leven. It reminds us of the Rocky Mountains in Canada and Newfoundland, spectacular views around every corner.