A highland road trip is a must for your Scotland bucket list, and the scenic drive along the A82 Glencoe Valley is definitely one of the best drives in the country.
From mountain peaks and deep valleys, to plummeting waterfalls and vast lochs, the scenic sights along the way are truly magical. Whether you’re looking for a fun day trip or a staycation destination in one of the country’s most iconic locations, Glencoe showcases Scotland in all its splendour.
We’ve highlighted some of the best things to see and do through the Glencoe Valley, provided some key driving tips for venturing down Scotland’s A82 road, and listed our highland accommodation if you plan to stay a little longer.
Glen Coe is a protected valley of land that borders the town of Glencoe. It is known to be a must-see destination when visiting Scotland and definitely one to add to your travelling itinerary. The Munro peaks and hanging valleys that surround the glen have been carved by historic glaciers and volcanic activity, and what has been left behind has been admired by so many for hundreds of years. Although the land is rich in lush greenery and home to a mass of Scottish wildlife, the A82 road allows visitors to pass through the valley peacefully, to witness the breathtaking beauty of the glen.
The Glencoe Valley is famous for two main reasons, its scenery and its history. The density of the incredible mountain peaks within the valley is fascinating and attracts keen hikers throughout the year. The landscape and wildlife is truly magical and showcases the beauty of Scotland. However, Glen Coe also has a dark history and is known for the dramatic events that took place back in 1692. Known as the Glencoe Massacre, 30 members of the Clan MacDonald were killed in retaliation for failing to pledge allegiance to the reigning monarchs.
What you’ll find in the Glen
As you make your way along the A82, through the valley, towards Glencoe, there are endless natural sights to see and stops along the way. From mountain view points, to lochs and waterfalls there is so much to admire, so make sure you get your camera ready!
The first loch that you’ll find en route through Glen Coe is Loch Tulla, close to Bridge of Orgy and contains locally bred Scottish salmon. Slightly further north and you’ll find the Loch Tulla viewpoint car park which boasts stunning views of the surrounding munro peaks. Continue to drive before reaching a small loch, called Lochan na h-Achlaise, which is a lovely stopping point for a stroll around the banks of the loch to admire the water and the many small islands on the water. Finally, before reaching the top of the Glen Etive Road, you’ll find the final loch, Loch Ba which is made up of small rivers and pockets of water, which runs along both sides of the A82.
Buachaille Etive Mor
The road then leads you closer to the magnificent mountain range of Glen Coe, where you’ll come across the breathtaking scene of one of Scotland’s most photographed mountains, Buachaille Etive Mor. It’s perfect mountain peak makes for a great photo opportunity and its 1,022 metres of climb makes for a popular hike for many keen walkers.
Meeting of the Three Waters
Further along the road, you’ll reach a bridge section of the A82 which offers an exciting spot to stop at and admire the waterfall that plummets in three sections, beneath the road. The waterfall is the point where the three streams meet, which then runs into the main River Coe, before flowing along to join Loch Achtriochtan. This is just one of the spectacular waterfalls in and around Glencoe.
Three Sisters Car Park
The next stop along the A82 is the incredible views of the Three Sisters. There is a large car park where you can get out and take in the surrounding scenery and admire the spectacular landscape of these three peaks. Glencoe has many hiking and walking trails that also make for days of fun exploring Glencoe.
Our final favourite stop along the A82 road is Loch Achtriochtan. This is a small loch that fills the glen at this narrow section of the valley. The scenery here is beautiful and the shores of the loch is the perfect picnic destination on a warm, calm day.
Driving Tips for the A82
Although this is one of the most beautiful routes to explore in Scotland, the A82 is a very fast road, so should be driven with care. While you admire the stunning surroundings, ensure if you decide to stop, be careful and don’t brake suddenly.
Sometimes known as the Glencoe Drive or Glencoe Road, the A82 connects many major cities to Glencoe and the Highlands. From the city of Glasgow to Glencoe Village, it takes about two hours and fifteen minutes, and around three hours from the capital city of Edinburgh.
Although this is an exciting day trip activity, there is so much more to see and do in and around Glencoe, making a longer visit worth the stay.
Our recently renovated hotel in Glencoe, the Glencoe Inn compliments the nature and adventure that surrounds and boasts warm authentic hospitality inside. This is the perfect base to explore Glencoe, and we guarantee a relaxing night’s rest in the still of the Scottish Highlands.
More Adventures In and Around Glencoe