En route to Glencoe, in the heart of the Highlands, lies the Glen Etive road which affords twelve miles of magnificent Scottish scenery. From vast moorlands and incredible mountains, to clear lochs and stunning valleys, there is so much to admire on this glorious drive. Not only is this known to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful drives, it has also played its part in James Bond’s Skyfall film. Bond author Ian Fleming, had a lodge in this incredible glen and the road was used as a feature location in the 2012 production.
So whether you are touring Scotland’s famous movie trail or exploring the beauty of Scotland, we’ve listed everything that you should know before embarking on a trip down Glen Etive Road.
Where is the Glen Etive Road?
Situated in the west of the Scottish Highlands, Glen Etive is south of Fort William and can be reached along the A82 between Glencoe and Bridgy of Orchy. The turning onto Glen Etive Road is signposted on the A82, near the Glencoe Mountain Resort. The turn will be on your left if you are heading from the south, or on your right when coming from Glencoe.
The road isn’t very long but is packed with natural beauty. With no facilities or shops, make sure you pack some food and drinks for a scenic picnic in the heart of Scotland.
Driving the Road Through Glen Etive
Known as the ‘Herdsmen of Etive’, the Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag, are two mountains that welcome visitors at the beginning of the road. With its perfect pyramid peak, Buachaille Etive Mor is one of Scotland’s most photographed mountains, so make sure you get your camera at the ready to snap a shot of this incredible natural landmark.
Along the first stretch of the road, you’ll follow the banks of the River Etive, which begins at its source in the Rannoch Moor and is a popular destination for whitewater kayaking. After following the flow for around four miles, you’ll reach the Etive Mor Waterfall in Glencoe, which offers another photo opportunity, only a few minute’s walk from the road.
Continue a few minutes further and you’ll recognise the location where Agent 007 and his beloved M stop on the way to Bond’s home, in his famous Aston Martin. Through heather-covered moorland, the road winds through the glen before becoming narrower and sheltered through the thick Glen Etive forest.
Soon after, you will reach a couple of small lochs that are surrounded by incredible, rugged mountains, before arriving at the Gualachulain. Continue through this tiny hamlet and you’ve made it to the end of the road. Here you’ll be greeted by the banks of Loch Etive and views of the incredible landscapes around the glen. Loch Etive is 30 kilometres and is filled with crystal clear water that mirrors the sky and mountains on a calm, warm day. This is a great point to stop, rest, or stretch your legs and wander around this nature-filled destination.
This is the final destination of the Glen Etive Road, unless you head out on the water. Originally, the road continued around the loch to reach Taynuilt and offered a steamboat service to Oban in the 1800s. However, nowadays this is a great location for a day out on the water with a kayak and an incredibly scenic spot for a picnic on a sunny day.
Staying Near Glen Etive
This is a fantastic Scottish day trip and an exciting adventure when exploring Scotland or on holiday in the Highlands. Our newly renovated glencoe hotel the Glencoe Inn is only a 15 minute drive along the A82 from the top of the Glen Etive Road and makes for a perfect base for your next Highland escape.
Discover our boutique Glencoe Inn hotel and start planning your itinerary for you, your loved ones and even your four legged-friend.
More Adventures In and Around Glencoe