Glencoe is a stunning part of Scotland. See our recent pictures of our holiday there. As well as some walking on the West Highland Way we did.
Lynne and I had a wee caravan (actually it would have slept four so it was pretty big) at Invercoe Caravan & Camping Park.
Our March 2015 Glencoe holiday was so good that Lynne decided she wanted to live there forever.
This dream was only shattered by me pointing out (me killjoy) the realities that we had no jobs there and it would be a long way for people to come to visit us.
However what actually clinched our returning home together was Lynne’s discovering that Facebook wasn’t always accessible due to the dodgy mobile phone signal….. 😉
We had a fantastic drive from Glasgow. Stunning weather.
It was Saturday 21st March at the start of our holiday adventures.
Our holiday caravan park was situated in the picturesque village of Invercoe, which is basically a stone’s throw away from the village of Glencoe itself.
Day By Day Our Glen Coe Holiday Week
In the photograph above you can see a few of the houses of Glencoe village (as well as some cattle).
The towering mountains of the actual western entrance of the Glen are in the background.
Turning round from the previous view, this is Loch Leven.
This loch is actually a tidal sea loch (tide is out here).
We enjoyed a delicious seafood platter from this loch when we had lunch at the Lochleven Seafood Cafe.
We went for a drink in the local Glencoe Inn on this, our first day.
On returning to our caravan we got this amazing view looking westwards out over Loch Leven with the sun setting.
Sunday was a dry day, albeit pretty grey.
So with it being dry, and Scotland’s weather prone to change at the drop of a hat we decided to walk up part of the West Highland Way
We started from the village of Kinlochleven walking as far as the Devils Staircase.
There’s loads of Hydro Electric schemes in Scotland (we do make good use of so much rain).
We passed by this top level pumping station which channels water in 6 huge pipes down to the turbine station at Kinlochleven.
There are many roads and paths over the hills in Scotland.
Some are ancient paths where cattle would have be driven on these to market, known as “drover’s roads”.
Other paths were built for military purposes in the 1700’s so soldiers could quickly march to quell any highland uprisings of the Clans, known as “Wade’s roads” as they were built by General Wade.
This part of the West Highland Way that we walked on above is an old military road.
This was Lynne’s first walk on any part of the West Highland Way.
We hope to do the whole 96 miles together one day.
I’ve done it previously, so here she is checking out the way for future!
The view above is looking North East.
Hidden behind all the mountains and clouds is Ben Nevis.
That mountain is of course Britain’s highest mountain.
We took a breather here, not for long though, because it was pretty cold.
Although most of the winter snow has melted you can still see plenty of it on the tops on the mountains.
It might not look like much from a distance but if you were to get up close it would still be a few feet deep!
The view above was taken walking back down the West Highland Way.
You can just about make out, over the lip of the hill in the centre of the photograph the village of Kinlochleven where we started.
On Monday we took a trip into Fort William to get some provisions in (wine mainly 😉 ) for the caravan.
We also had a bit of a wander about.
Fort William is the largest town in the area and also the start of the Caledonian Canal to Inverness.
These lock gates above form Neptunes Staircase at the start, leading in from the sea loch, Loch Linnhe.
You can hire canal boats to live in (like the one above) as you travel the length of the canal from Fort William to Inverness.
It takes about 2.5 days minimum to travle the distance.
The scenery is stunning though so you’d probably want to take at least a week!
The canal is still used commercially too by fishermen and sailors.
You can avoid the lengthy passage around the top of Scotland to get to Inverness.
If your boat is small enough to fit through the canal!
Above, Ben Nevis is hidden in the clouds.
We weren’t to be lucky enough to see it from the ground on this holiday.
However, plans may be afoot to tackle it sometime this year with some friends of ours!
On Tuesday we planned to eat at the Lochleven Seafood cafe mentioned above, for lunch.
We decided we had better do plenty of walking to build up our appetites.
It was just as well we did for the seafood platter we ended up having was huge!
There’s an abundance of forest walks too around the area of Glencoe.
Not just mountain walking.
So we set out to explore these.
The particular forest path above that we ened up on actually leads to a lochan.
It was built by the owner of the estate at the turn of the 19th century for his homesick Canadian wife.
To remind her of home!
Ok can anyone see Lynne? I seem to have lost her……..
Above we eventually arrived at that Lochan.
The mountain you can see is the “Pap of Glencoe”.
It’s a small but distinctive mountain beside Glencoe village.
Here I am, just to prove that I was actually on this holiday too.
I tentatively handed Lynne my precious camera for a few nano seconds…..
Apparently there is an abundance of wildlife within this forest.
Deer, red squirrels, pine martins and golden eagles can be seen.
Well I’m afraid all we did see nature wise was these 2 ducks.
Even then, they decided to swim away from me. I’ve always had that effect on birds………
Wednesday was an absolutely stunning day!
We decided to walk a part of the other side of the West Highland Way from Kinochleven to Fort William.
It’s a pretty steep climb out of Kinlochleven until you get up into the Glen where you get this stunning view of beinn na caillich.
Again this part of The West Highland is an old military road.
Years ago these ruins above were inhabited by crofters trying to eke out a living on the really poor land.
Its not really a surprise that no one lives here now. The soil is very poor. You can’t make a living here.
We walked as far as this ruin, tigh na sleubhaich for lunch.
Then we walked back to Kinlochleven.
The ruin was about halfway along the Glen.
It felt like a long walk back to Kinlochleven but it’s good path.
With the sun in the sky, it’s was just magical.
At the top of the decent back down to Kinlochleven you can see where we climbed up on Sunday, directly opposite on the other part of the West Highland Way.
You can also just make out the pipes of the hydroelectric scheme descending to the turbine house.
Thursday was an easy day, in preparation for a visit to my favourite restaurant. The Crannog in Fort William.
It just wasn’t worth getting the camera out so we took a trip through to Spean Bridge for coffee in the morning and ambled about until food time.
Our final day, Friday it was a bit wet.
It wouldn’t have done to sit about so we decided to walk the Glencoe Orbital Track.
We passed by the Red Squirrel Campsite.
I’ve camped here many times over the last 20 years though I’ve never once seen a Red Squirrel!
Maybe I should ask for my money back, or sue them under the Trades Descriptions act?
The track takes the old Glencoe road and rather conveniently leads you to the entrance of the iconic Clachaig Inn.
The signpost in this photograph above is opposite the inn with the face of Aonach Dubh in the background towering above the Glen.
The Clachaig Inn is again another place I’ve frequented when camping here.
You’re always guaranteed a warm fire and a decent pint here, whatever time of year.
Unfortunately the Orbital path wasn’t finished yet on this visit.
So after a further forest walk and view eastwards through Glencoe from a bridge over the river Coe, this is as far as we could get.
We decided to have a rather nice event to end our last day.
A pint at The Gathering Place before we headed back to our caravan to get ready for our last evenings dinner at the Glencoe Hotel!
The rainbow we saw above from outside was a rather nice touch too.
I know I’m really lucky to live just over 2 hours driving time away from this amazing place. But there’s so much more of this I want to show you……..
Wow. There just aren’t words for the incredible drama of nature. Even with more “drab” colors, the landscape has just so much expression, such a nostalgic and reflective and historic quality, that you just have to pause like Lynne and take it in.
That’s exactly how I feel when I’m out in the mountains Susie. All nostalgic and reflective.
And I’m really delighted that you feel that sense of tranquility through just looking at the pictures. Thank you! 😀
I just loved looking at your pictures! They are truly awesome but I can’t imagine seeing these first hand! Looks like yall had a great trip! Thank you for sharing!
So glad you enjoyed the pictures Tricia, thanks for taking the time to pop over to my blog! 😀
I’m the same way as Lynne when I visit somewhere incredible — I want to drop everything and just move there. Shoddy wifi is definitely a deal breaker, though 😉 Gorgeous pictures, Neal! You know how obsessed I am with mountains and forests, so places like that feel just like home 🙂
Thanks Amanda. 😀
Yeah, I think I’m a bit more practical in these cases, it’s not that I wouldn’t want to move there, but maybe I see ourselves gradually working our way there by working hard, saving our pennies and then getting there!
Hopefully by that time the wifi might be better too. 😉 But that is a frustrating thing we take for granted sometimes isn’t it? I remember reading how frustrated you get when you’re in your Canadian mountains and the wifi isn’t reliable there either. 🙂
Thanks for checking through my pictures and your comment Tamieka, I’m glad you enjoyed them. 🙂
You take such amazing photos! My mother in law lives near Fort William, we’re headed up there next weekend! It is so beautiful! I haven’t been to Glencoe yet, though! It is lovely to live so close to such humbling and beautiful natural delights, isn’t it? 🙂
Thanks Erin, I’m delighted you like my photo’s. And yes, I’m so jealous that your mother in law lives near Fort William AND you’re headed up there next weekend! I LOVE that part of the world. I’d happily go back there right now! 😀
Great pics! We lived in Inverness for 5 years and it’s amazing how rural that can feel when you stay for longer than a holiday! Ha ha!
Off for a wonder up Conic Hill tomorrow – just looking forward to some fresh air and tranquility!
Hi Jen, thanks for the compliment about my pics. 😀
I’m ashamed that I’ve only ever driven through Inverness. However, it’s not completely my fault, as one year I booked a hotel there for Lynne’s birthday but her birthday is December and the weather was particularly bad, all the trains were off and the A9 was blocked! So we had to cancel!! 🙁 We will get there one day though!
Ah, Conic Hill, that’s a good one. 🙂 I enjoyed climbing that on my way down the West Highland Way a couple of years ago. Quite bracing if it’s windy though eh?
Have a great weekend yourself and enjoy the fresh air and tranquility!
That rainbow shot is spectacular! I love seeing the scenery and your pictures make me want to go visit. I’m very impressed by all of the water conservation systems, too…the U.S. needs to get on that a little more!
I couldn’t believe how close we were to that rainbow Meg and literally had to grab the camera before it went!
We have so much water. But we don’t just take this for granted. We either make hydro electric power out of it. Drink it. Make whisky out of it. Make recreation parks out of it. Or bottle it and sell it to the rest of the world. 😉
If you ever get the chance to visit here, Lynne and I would be delighted to show you guys around! 😀