Glencoe and Castle Stalker
Loch Leven, Glencoe, Three Sisters, Castle Stalker
After taking the Ardgour to Corran Ferry, head South to the area known as Glencoe
Loch Leven is a gentle introduction to the wilder scenery of Glencoe itself.
Pap of Glencoe
In Gaelic, the Pap of Glencoe is Sgorr na Ciche and while it isn’t the highest peak around Glencoe, it is a familiar landmark, piercing the skyline around the village of Glencoe.
Glencoe, or Glen Coe, runs from Loch Leven to Rannoch Moor. The glen is spectacular and its bleak aspect seems remarkably well in keeping with its tragic history. Here, in 1682, took place the notorious Massacre of Glencoe, when hundreds of MacDonald clansmen were murdered by Campbell soldiers.
Named after the River Coe which courses through it, Glencoe is also movie maker’s paradise. The list of films made here is vast, so unspoilt and accessible is the scenery. Movies filmed here include Braveheart, Rob Roy, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Highlander 1 and 3, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Skyfall…to name but a few.
The Geography of Glencoe can be somewhat confusing, but it is basically a glacier-made u-shaped glen which twists and turns before the waters of the River Coe runs into Loch Leven.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Glencoe is to visit the Glencoe Visitor Centre. Two walks here are recommended: the 1 mile “Village walk” to see the ruined Inverrigan House, built to commemorate nine MacDonald’s killed during the Glencoe Massacre of 1692. The second is to take the slightly longer 1.5 mile walk to Signal Rock, where, legend has it, that the signal was given to the Campbell’s to start the massacre.
Glencoe Mountain Resort
Car Park Map coordinates: 56.632060, -4.827844
Another easy way to get a taste of Glencoe is to visit the Glencoe Mountain Resort, where you can hitch a ride up the chairlift and, in about 12 minutes, you can witness some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer.
The Three Sisters of Glencoe consist of Short Ridge (Gearr Aonach), Black Ridge (Aonach Dubh) and Long Hill (Beinn Fhada) and can be seen in wonderful view from the village of Glencoe.
No trip to the Glencoe area would be complete without a mention of the beautiful Loch Linnhe. Deriving from the Gaelic word linne (meaning pool) it has historically been known by two names, that of the ‘Black Pool’, the part north of Corran and the ‘Salty Pool’, the part south of Corran.
One of the most picturesque castles in Scotland (although it has competition, obviously), Castle Stalker can be reached by a short boat ride. It isn’t the easiest place to get to, which only adds to its charm in my opinion. Check the Castle Stalker website in advance for available tour dates, advice and directions. If you are happy just to get a good look from afar, you have two options. The first is to walk to the Jubilee Bridge from either Appin or Port Appin. The second option is the easiest by far; stop off at the Castle Stalker View Cafe, off the A828 and enjoy it with a brew in your hand. Map Coordinates: 56.575773, -5.378589
Castle Stalker in films
For fans of Monty Python, you might recognise Castle Stalker as Castle Aaaaaaargh from Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975).