Glencoe valley is Scotland’s tourist attraction situated in the Highlands. More than a decade ago, its landscapes served as the movie set for the next part of the saga of the little wizard and his friends - "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".

The Glencoe in Scottish Gaelic means "valley of tears". The name can be explained in part by the topography of the valley (the slopes are very steep and angular), part by history. At the end of the seventeenth century a bloody massacre of the inhabitants of the village took place here. They were murdered by the army of the English monarch, William III. In this way, the king took revenge on the population for refusing to take an oath of allegiance after the suppression of the Jacobite uprising. Like the Katyn massacre of Polish-Russian relations, the massacre of Glencoe had put up a grim shadow over the relations between Scotland and England for many years. At the entrance to the valley there’s a waterfall called McDonald's Tears, which is a kind of a monument of this tragic day. Those interested in the event of February 13th, 1692 can learn more about it in a local museum.

Łzy McDonalda

Munro's Valley of Tears

Glencoe has the second face as well. The region is very popular among lovers of mountain climbing. It’s not surprising - the landscape is dominated by a single giant, Buachaille Etive Mor, a mountain with a height of over 1,000 m above sea level. The summit of "Great Shepherd of Etive" has lured many daredevils, and his rivals had to accept the fact that there’s only one queen. Despite this, both Buachaille Etive Beag and surrounding hills, its sisters: Beinn Fhada, Aonach Dubh and Gearr Aonach cannot complain about the lack of tourist interest. Each of the peaks has a large group of admirers.

The valley is a real paradise for rock climbers. Within it there’s eight peaks higher than 3000 feet, which is an equivalent to 914.4 meters. These hills are known as Munro's, named after Sir Hugh Munro, the author of the list drawn up in 1891.

Apart from mountain climbing the valley of Glencoe offers kilometers of walking trails, leading through forests and surrounding the lake. Eager can rent a bicycle and explore the area on wheels. There’s plenty to admire - Glencoe enjoys the reputation not only one of the oldest, but also one of the most beautiful and picturesque Scottish valleys.


Another immensely beautiful place is Rannoch Moor - band with extensive moorlands, lakes, hills and areas covered with gnarled pines. What makes it even more attractive is the fact that it’s not so easily available – reaching it requires quite a lot of effort.

Camping in Glencoe

There’re few campsites in the region, so you won’t have any problems in finding something suitable for yourself. At the heart of the village of Kinlochleven there’s a Blackwater Hostel and Campsite, offering tourists a campsite, rooms with bathrooms, positions for motorhomes and caravans and the glamping style accommodation. And it’s throughout the year so those, who want to rest near the valley can enjoy the delights of the region in many ways. In winter, they can enjoy the slopes covered with a thick layer of snow, and in summer – use many opportunities for contact with nature. There’s a plenty of picturesque walking trails, biking trails, tourist can also go fishing on Lake Leven, canoeing or climbing.

In 2015 Glencoe was part of a poetic happening. Verses of Walter Scott's poem entitled: "On the massacre of Glencoe", were displayed on its slopes. The happening commemorated the 323rd anniversary of the tragic events. Who was here then, could see the words "Revenge for blood and treachery!" shining in the darkness, and feel the sad magic of the Valley of Tears.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

Related articles


or log in Facebook and collect points
Ajax Loader