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Glencoe, Scottish Highlands

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This evening, my theme is Glencoe, possibly the most famous of the Scottish glens (valleys) which offers spectacular scenery throughout all seasons. Glencoe is actually a deep glacial trough bounded by steep slopes rising steeply to over 3000 feet. For the geologist, there is a mix of rocks including metamorphic, granite and extrusive volcanic. The landforms were moulded by glacial action which finally ended about 10,000 years ago.

In addition to the images below here are a couple of video clips taken about 8 months apart in different parts of the glen:

Video 1

Video 2

In course of my Scotland tours I invariably visit Glencoe about 5 times each year.

Elsewhere today, I have busy as usual, designing tours and responding to numerous new tour enquiries including a family of eight who desire a one day trip to the Trossachs from Glasgow.

Noticed an interesting report in the national press today commenting on the increasingly tacky appearance and product offering of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. I agree entirely. Edinburgh is really on a slippery slope at present aggravated by the debacle of the new tramway system which is now years behind schedule and fraught with conflict between the principal contracting parties.

On the ancestry side, posted information on Inglis family to my Glasgow Ancestry blog.

Weather here is relatively dry but still cold.


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Glencoe, Scotland

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This evening, I am focusing on one of Scotland's top scenic and historic visitor sites, namely Glencoe.

The name probably comes from the Gaelic gleann comhann meaning 'narrow glen'. However, the second part comes from the River Coe which runs through the glen (valley) and whose etymology is obscure.

In course of my Scotland tours I am a regular visitor to Glencoe but realise there is much more to see than is practical on a typical 'drive through' day visit.

To my mind the are two aspects to Glencoe: (a) the famous (or infamous) massacre which took place in 1692 and which still resonates through parts of Scottish society to this day, and (b) the raw and rugged beauty of the landscape which attracts walkers, hikers, mountaineers -and thousands of people with cameras!

The Massacre of 1692

I am going to concentrate first on the massacre which dates back to the late 17th century when the Government/King was trying to get some sort of control over the clan chiefs in the remote Highlands. On August 27th 1691, a proclamation was read in Edinburgh ( capital of Scotland) pardoning all those who had taken up arms provided they took an oath of allegiance to King William before Jan 1st 1692. All chiefs met the deadline with exception of Maclain, the MacDonald Chief of Glencoe and Glengarry. Due to various circumstances was unable to swear the oath until Jan 6th 1692. However, the Government was not satisfied with this and embarked upon a plan to exterminate the MacDonalds of Glencoe. On February 1st 1692 a contingent of British Army (120 of Argyll's regiment) were billeted with the MacDonalds of Glencoe. These soldiers were mainly of Clan Campbell. On February 12th the military officer, Robert Campbell of Glenlyon received his final instructions from Robert Duncanson, a Major in the Argyll Regiment which commenced with the following narrative:

"You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels the MacDonalds of Glencoe, and to put all to then sword under seventy. You are to have a special care that the old fox and his sonnes do not escape your hands."

In all 38 MacDonalds were shot. However, after taking into account the destruction of houses by fire and driving off the cattle, the total death toll may have been 127.

The image below is that of a memorial to the slain at Glencoe.

To this day there is a hotel in Glencoe with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek' sign over reception which states 'No Hawkers or Campbells'. No doubt this is in full compliance with all human rights and anti-discrimination legislation!

Glencoe Landscape

A wild and natural environment which includes the following sites:

  • Greymares Tail Waterfall at Kinlochleven.
  • Righ Falls, Inchree, Onich.
  • The Lochan Trail.
  • Signal Rock
  • National Trust Visitor Centre. Lots of information regarding the history, people, wildlife, mountaineering and environmental conservation.
  • Ballachulish Slate Arch

View from Onich

Video no 1 shows Loch Linnhe and the Glencoe mountains from Onich

Video No 2 shows a view of Glencoe taken from the National Trust Visitor Centre.

video video


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Glencoe, Scotland

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today, our private tour visited Glencoe, possibly the most famous of all Scottish glens.

The road winds through magnificent hill and mountain scenery including a view of Buchaille Etive Mor and the 'Three Sisters'. The long wall of Aonach Eagach is a superb ridge-walk, albeit not without risk. Much of the land is under management of the National Trust for Scotland which operates a good visitor centre jut a mile or so outside of the village.

Glencoe's other claim to fame (or notoriety) is the massacre in 1692 of 38 members of the Macian MacDonalds by a detachment of soldiers who happened to be from Clan Campbell as part of a Government initiative to bring the Highland clan chiefs to heel. The image below is of the memorial to the casualties of the massacre.

The following three images show the local Glen Coe scenery and are taken from differing view points.


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