Glencoe Lochan is the first location to feature in this new series of short videos I’ve been shooting as I travel around Scotland. Each shines a spotlight on a different place that I recommend visiting. Some will be well-known, whilst others are off-the-beaten-path or only known by locals. Either way, I give you a little background about the place. – maybe its history or a legend associated with it. And afterwards, some additional tips to help you get to know the location even more.

Glencoe Lochan is located at the edge of the small Highland village of Glencoe

Glencoe Lochan is easily reached by following the road through the village centre. Then cross over the bridge and turn left at the Forestry Commission sign. It’s a short drive up the single-track road before reaching a car park. From here you can follow several waymarked trails that take you around the lochan. I recommend the blue mountain trail for a more interesting walk. You need to be able to walk along steep and uneven paths but there is nothing difficult and you don’t go very high just through the woodlands above the lochan.

If you are just looking for a gentle stroll take the red trail that takes a simple loop around the lochan. This is an all-ability path and is suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs. At the far end is a fantastic view across the water back to the Glencoe mountains. Mighty Beinn a Bheithir, which means ‘thunderbolt’ in Gaelic forms an impressive backdrop. Sitting there looking at the trees and mountains maybe you can imagine that you are in Canada. This part of Lord Strathcona’s estate remained a refuge for his homesick wife.

The Pap of Glencoe from the lochan
Looking across the lochan toward the distinctive Pap of Glencoe

From home to hospital to hotel

Glencoe House itself became a military hospital during World War 2. Once hostilities ceased it was converted into a civilian facility. It eventually closed its doors in 2009. Local people attempted to raise funds to purchase the building for the community but were unable to do so within the legal timeframe. The empty building was purchased in 2012 and reopened as an exclusive hotel two years later.

For more details about walking around the lochan see this walk from the team at Walk Highlands.