Myths and legends abound in this magical place. It’s easy to imagine that Fingal, the giant Viking-killer of Celtic mythology, made his home among the towering mountains, and that his poet son, Ossian, found inspiration in the beauty and serenity of the landscape. You’ll see many references to the two of them in place names throughout the area, including Ossian’s Cave.
It’s also very easy to picture the events of 13 February 1692 – the Massacre of Glencoe. On that cold, bloody night, 38 unsuspecting MacDonalds were killed as they slept by soldiers who had billeted with them for 12 days. There’s a monument to the MacDonalds in Glencoe village, where the order was given to begin the massacre, just a short walk from the Glencoe Visitor Centre.
And that’s not the only blood on the ground – the notorious Appin Murder, which inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s fictionalised account in Kidnapped, also took place nearby. James Stewart, the brother of chief suspect Alan, was hanged for the murder close to where Ballachulish Bridge stands today.
Fiction and fantasy are part of the fabric of the glen – its stunning scenery makes it an ideal film location. It’s been the backdrop for, among others, Rob Roy, Braveheart, Highlander, The 39 Steps, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and most recently James Bond.
Did you know?
Glencoe covers 5,800 hectares, has 8 Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet) and 49 miles of footpaths