Hiking in Glen Coe

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Hiking trip in Glen Coe
 

Eager to walk?

  Distance of this hike 120 km (80 miles)
  What kind of hike is this? Hiking with backpack
  Where does the walk start? Kinlochleven
  What is the rating of this walk? Rating: 80/100

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban was filmed there: Glen Coe, a mountain valley in the Scottish Highlands. We made an awesome hiking trip with backpack: over 100 kilometers through enchanting landscape.

West Highland Way

A dozen miles below the town of Kinlochleven we parked our car and we started with a relatively easy piece on the famous West Highland Way. Past the Bridge of Orgy we followed this long distance path. Then we left the trail and went to the west. We followed our own way with the help of topographic maps and a compass.

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Hiking trip in Glen Coe

Midges: Masters of the Universe

Last year we were fully prepared: we had our midges headnets and bottles full of midge repellent with us when we went to the Highlands. Didn’t meet any midges though. This year it was a great midges year (for the midges, not for us). Took our equipment with us again.

But we had the idea that nothing helped. From five o'clock in the afternoon the midges were Master of the Universe. They even came massively under our head nets. And repellent, the strongest variant, didn’t seem to bother them at all. The only thing that helped a little was to keep on walking. Never walked so much.

Most beautiful part

The whole trip takes you through beautiful, enchanting landscape. Really what you imagine the Scottish Highlands to be. Only on the West Highland Way we met some hikers now and then. Off the beaten track we didn’t meet a single sole (only the midges kept us company). Every single mile was a highlight.

River Etive

Especially after all that rough nature, the valley of the River Etive was really lovely. We walked along the river back to the car again.

Highlight: locally brewed whiskey’s

An absolute highlight was not one of the immense mountains or wide valleys we encountered, but ... whiskey! We could not get enough of the delicious locally brewed whiskey’s. Every pub had it’s own collection on the shelf.

Kings House Hotel

We didn’t pass through a lot of villages. And the villages we did encounter now and then, they didn’t make a lot of impression on us. Not a village but a hotel stood out: the famous Kings House Hotel, a sixteenth century inn in the middle of nature. We camped there and did some whiskey-tasting. And on the way back we treated ourselves to a room (after a exhausting hike of over forty kilometers).

Tips from Frank

Want to go hiking in this awesome area? A few tips: Tip numero uno: Avoid the midges season, say from late May until the autumn. They spoil your evenings; sitting outside your tent is no fun. How to get to Glen Coe? We flew to Edinburgh, where we rented a car. From Edinburgh it is a few hours drive to the start of the walk, about ten miles south of Kinlochleven. Wild Camping is great in the Scottish Highlands. You’ll find a great many beautiful places. Enjoy!

Tags: Scottish Highlands, backpacking, Britain

Written by Frank van der Meer.