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Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Hiker above Loch Leven

Glencoe is surely one of the most famous Glens in Scotland and offers walking and climbing for all abilities

As always, before you go out make sure you have good walking shoes or boots and suitable clothing – sometimes you can see all four seasons weather in one day here in Glencoe!  It’s always wise to let someone know where you’re going too.

Here’s a selection of walks in and around the area:

Ben Lora

Ben Lora is only 308 metres high, but the views from the top are as good as any Munro. On a clear day, you’ll even get a good view of Mull. Start from the village of Benderloch, half way between Glencoe and Oban, about a half hour drive from the Ballachulish Hotel. The walk begins on forest trails, climbing above the treeline, through a boggy patch to the summit.

For the full route description, go to the Walk Highlands website.

West Highland Way

One of Scotland’s most iconic long-distance walks, the West Highland Way runs from Glasgow to Fort William. Some of the best sections are within a half-hour drive from the Ballachulish Hotel.

Try the section from Inveroran to Glencoe on the original road. Brought the bikes? This part of the route is cyclable too. If you fancy a challenge, take the Devil’s Staircase from Glencoe to Kinlochleven, or try the Mamores route from Kinlochleven to Fort William.

Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal runs from Fort William to Inverness – but you don’t have to walk the full 60 miles. Park up at the Moorings Hotel, and take the path beside the impressive locks of Neptune’s Staircase. Continue along the canal as far as Gairlochy – about nine miles each way. It’s flat, and perfect for a gentle walk or cycle.

The Hidden Valley

This is where the Macdonalds of Glencoe hid their rustled cattle. Take the A82 past Glencoe and follow signs to Coire Gabhail. The walk is rough in places, but it’s rewarding – explore the valley floor, in the shadow of huge rock faces and boulders the size of houses. At a little over two and a half miles, it’s not far – but it is remote, so it’ll take you around two hours.

Find the full route description on the Walk Highlands website.

Pap of Glencoe

A short, steep hillwalk up one of the iconic landmarks in Glencoe. You can see it from the burial islands viewpoint at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel – and climbing it will give you a completely different perspective.

Known in Gaelic as Sgorr na Ciche, the viewpoint at the top is excellent. It’s a steep and boggy climb to the ridge, with a rocky stretch on the final ascent to the top. It’s just over four miles in all – and takes between 3.5 and 5 hours to complete.

Find the full route description on the Walk Highlands website.

Ben Nevis

The highest mountain in the UK, and one of the most popular. Although there’s a mountain track to the top, the weather conditions can change extremely quickly, so be prepared. It’s 10.5 miles, and will take you a full day. Be sure to take a waterproof, good boots, water and plenty of snacks (flapjacks recommended).

There’s a visitor centre at Glen Nevis, where you can park and get all the information before the climb. Find the full route description on the Walk Highlands website.

Buachaille Etive Beag

This ridge-top walk gives you wonderful views to the Aonach Eagach ridge, Beinn Fhada and Buchaille Etive Mhor. The start of the walk is on the opposite side of the road to a large cairn, at the Lairig Eilde footpath in Glencoe. It’s a circular walk with a total ascent of 550m. The path is mainly good, although a bit undefined in parts, and the full circuit is about five miles, and takes between six and seven hours.

 Find the full route description on the Walk Highlands website.

Beinn a Chrulaiste

Beinn a Chrulaiste is often overlooked for its larger neighbours, but climbing to the top of this rounded hill gives you a stunning perspective on the Glen. It’s a moderate four-hour walk, and in wetter weather it’s best to retrace your steps from the top to avoid the boggiest patches. There are car parks on either side of the road at the top of Glencoe, where the public footpath leads up to Kinlochleven.

Find the full route description on the Walk Highlands website.