Dramatic scenery, great hikes, luxurious log cabins and hearty pub food – what more do you need to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Glencoe is one of my favourite escapes – just two hours from Glasgow and Edinburgh with breathtaking scenery to make you feel like you are a million miles away, a perfect dog friendly destination. Take care when driving along the roads though, we drove up in the dark and met one of the locals – a huge stag just meandering along the side of the road!
We stayed for two nights at the Woodlands RiverBeds Wee Lodges, which were surrounded by trees onlooking a gushing river, firmly nestled in nature with the luxuries of a comfortable cosy cabin, that boasted underfloor heating – which Sid was particularly fond of, mood lights and private hot tub. Each lodge was completely enclosed which allowed Sid to potter around the decking and a hamper of warm pastries were delivered to our door each morning.
After a day hiking, getting a wee bit soggy we headed for the Glencoe Inn and Gathering, where we were warmly welcomed by friendly staff that provided Sid with a water bowl and biscuits and plenty of fuss. Inside the Glencoe Inn and Gathering boasts the Fish and Chips Co. and Red Shed Pizza – both options you can sit in or take away. With this in mind, we ordered a fish supper and the three-cheese oven fired pizza and we were not disappointed! The fish was delicious, fresh and coming from someone that eats a lot of fish suppers was one of the best! Followed by a chocolate and espresso Sundae and we left feeling very satisfied!
There are so many hiking options in Glencoe, whether it’s a gentle walk around Glencoe Lochan or a more strenuous climb, these are a few of our favourites:
Signal Rock and An Torr
This is a walk that we’ve completed a few times, it’s actually quite short and lets you explore the woodlands, there is a car park just off the main road or you can park at the Clachaig Inn which has a range of ales and gins to try. Walking from the car park the path leads you to a bridge which crosses the River Coe, following the bridge the path forks, and if you head left towards the deer gate and follow the path for signal rock where according to the legend that is where the signal was given to proceed with the Glencoe Massacre.
Another gentle walk just outside Glencoe village is Glencoe Lochan, there are three different short trails, we decided to combine all three together, for a more strenuous walk, this is also where you can start your journey to complete the pap of Glencoe.
If you’re looking for a scenic drive, the road to Glen Etive is just that, where James Bond and Braveheart were filmed it’s a stunning single-track road – around 12 miles down to the head of the Loch – just keep driving until you run out of road! Make sure to look out for the herds of red deer which frequent along the route.
Grey Mare’s Tail – Kinlochleven
Just a short drive from Glencoe, Kinlochleven is a wee village popular with climbers who visit for the Ice Factor Climbing Centre – which has the biggest indoor ice climbing wall in the world! We headed for the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall, we left our car at St Paul’s church. It’s a short 15-minute walk to reach the bottom of the 300ft waterfall which is easily signposted.
Things to do
Woodlands offers a few different options for outdoor activities – Segway, golf, whisky tasting to name a few but we decided to give the e-bikes a spin and it was probably my favourite part of our whole trip. Sid was in his K9 sports sack and LOVED all the sniffs as he glided along. We cycled along the cycle path heading towards Oban and we were met with stunning views across Loch Linnhe.
We decided on a spot of gin tasting from local distillery Pixel – they offer gin and rum tasting classes and meet the maker distillery tours- which can be done online too so you can do them from the comfort of your lodge. Pixel spirits are bottled and labelled by hand and individually numbered and signed. Their gin has even won a number of awards, perfect after a day exploring the mountains to sit back and enjoy on the decking looking out onto the river.
The Glencoe Visitor Centre was next on our list, free to enter and dog friendly we were welcomed by a member of staff that told us to pop to the café to get Sid a treat! We’d actually visited before, but we enjoyed returning, learning about the history of Glencoe and how the Highlanders lived three hundred years ago.
Glencoe is one of the most dog friendly locations that we have visited with nowhere turning us away, an outdoor playground with spectacular scenery that can be enjoyed whatever the weather!
Special thank to @sid.the.border and Kayleigh for staying with us and sharing this brilliant blog!