Out & About
Glencoe has been voted one of the top places to visit in the UK
As you drive across Rannoch Moor and come into the sweeping pass of Glencoe, the vista opens up before you. No matter what the weather is doing – rain, brooding clouds or glorious bright sunshine, the Glen takes on a different persona that imprints an unforgettable image and memory.
Why not take some inspiration from the suggestions below and explore?
The ruins of this castle – pronounced ‘cheerum’ – are only accessible when the tide is out. It’s on Loch Moidart, and the location just off the wooded shore is beautifully remote. Perfect for a day trip.
Find out more on the Moidart website.
A medieval stronghold on the shores of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle has a turbulent history dating back to the 13th century. Explore the ruins, or walk through the audio-visual exhibition at the visitor centre to get a better feel for the castle’s important place in Scotland’s history.
Find out more on the Historic Scotland website.
You’ll spot Castle Stalker from the road – its tall, dramatic profile rises from a rock in Loch Linnhe, near Appin. Book on a tour of the privately-owned castle, or get the best view of it from the Stalker View Café. There’s an excellent wildlife hub next to the café – where they show IMAX films of owls and eagles, so you can get up close to the Loch’s top predators.
Find out more on the Castle Stalker View Café website.
Glencoe Folk Museum
The Glencoe Folk Museum’s collection explores the history of Glencoe – from the infamous massacre of 1692 to the slate industry. The museum has a unique thatch roof, and regularly holds events to help the whole family make the most of the collection.
Find out more on the Glencoe Folk Museum website.
One of the few museums where you can look at a Bronze Age pot, then look out of the window to see the cairn that it came from. Kilmartin Museum is next to a rich archaeological site – from standing stones to hill forts and burial cairns.
Find out more on the Kilmartin Museum website.
The Glenfinnan Monument commemorates the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the final call in the Jacobite uprising. A lone highlander stands atop an 18 metre column in the glen – with a dramatic backdrop of Loch Shiel and the surrounding mountains. There’s a visitor centre, café, and shop too.
Find out more on the National Trust website.
Ardsheal House Gardens
The Ardsheal Estate, near Kentallen, includes one of the oldest natural woodlands in Scotland, as well as several unusual geological features. There are 11 acres of lawns, flower gardens and woodlands, containing many fine trees – some that are very old indeed.
With 25 acres to explore, the Ardtornish Gardens make for a captivating afternoon stroll. Carved into the hillside, the gardens have excellent views of the sea loch and hillside, contrasting with the well-kept lawns and borders of the gardens themselves.
Find out more on the Ardtornish website
Covering a beautiful coastal stretch of the peninsula south of Oban, the Arduaine Gardens have a horticultural collection that spans the temperate world. There are rhododendrons and azaleas, blue Tibetan poppies and giant Himalayan lilies – all set against a backdrop of the sea and islands in the distance.
Find out more on the National Trust for Scotland website.
Appin House Gardens
Visit the Appin House Gardens in spring – they fill with the heady scent of azaleas and rhododendrons. Or go for the blaze of autumn colours. There are three acres in total, with specimen trees alongside the broad variety of plants and flowers.
Ard-Dariach Hill Gardens
The gardens at Ard-Dariach are special – kept semi-wild and left to their own devices for large parts of the year, the population of wild flowers and rhododendrons make for a wonderful display. The garden is open year-round.
Find out more on the Ard-Dariach Hill Garden website.