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8 otherworldly family adventures around Glencoe, Scotland

Scottish Motorhome Trip - our first family road trip around the Scottish Highlands and islands. Glencoe gave us the chance to taste haggis, chase Harry Potter locations, be awestruck at The Great Glen and to find out more about the Glencoe massacre by torchlight.

Our Scottish motorhome trip continues! If you missed the last instalments start here. 8 things happened in The Great Glen, aka Glencoe that totally blew our minds, time to share them with you.

Ben Nevis Range Cable Car

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On route to Glencoe the Ben Nevis range cable car called to us and we leapt out the motorhome. Much excitement and coordinated family bobble hat wearing on the cable car.  The cafe gave us such a warm and friendly welcome, just as hearty as the soup. The driving rain against the glass and the mountains slip into mist, we had almost given up hope of going outdoors when suddenly it cleared completely. A recurrent pattern in our Scottish trip.

The Snow Ball Fight

Moments later we were having snowball fights half way up the range, another surreal and brilliant moment. The kids screaming with glee and slipping down the mountain as Mr A annihilated them. Still no waterproof trousers had been purchased, but the great thing about the motorhome was we could quickly change before heading on to Glencoe Camping and Caravanning Club site.

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The other end of the great lochs

As we rounded the end of Loch Linnhe towards Fort William, we reached the end of the great lochs.  From Inverness to Fort William, our journey – via a loop out to Skye –  had taken us along the entire length of this run of lochs that crosses the country East to West. It’s an incredible landscape and fascinating to think about what happened in the ice age to create this landscape. We’d learnt lots about that via the incredible exhibits at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

 

Mountains in the mist

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At first glance the kids were unimpressed with simpler Glencoe site, they had grown accustomed to loch side camping. But as we rested in the van and watched the mountains come in and out of view several times over an hour, it really was quite breathtaking.

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Torchlit walk past the site of the Glencoe Massacre

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For the kids, Glencoe site came alive when we took a late night walk to the village.  Armed with torches we walked through the National Trust for Scotland land, along a stream, and past the site of the Glencoe Massacre. It was dusk and the story of the little boy whose finger was chopped off really captured their imaginations. In the village there are pubs and cafes (with wifi).

Harry Potter Location Hunting

Next day we parked at The Clachaig Inn, having seen on the pubs website that Hagrid’s Hut and the Bridge of Sighs had been set here. It was fun wondering exactly where the spot might be, having seen the actual bridge at Warner Brothers World of Harry Potter. I have no idea if we guessed right, but we enjoyed our pottering!

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Vegetarian Haggis

The pub has rooms and lodges and does good food, I was thrilled to have my first taste of vegetarian haggis, compete with neaps and tatties. The haggis was made with kidney beans and lentils and all three were beautifully seasoned.

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The Great Glen

Full and satisfied it was time to continue our filmic journey through The Great Glen. Rob Roy, Braveheart, Harry Potter were filmed in Glencoe and you can see why. All the landscapes in Sctoland were breathtaking, but Glencoe was quite otherworldly and spellbinding.

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The scale of it is remarkable, it widens out as you drive west to east, huge snow topped peaks, with gigantic plains on either side that you could imagine all kinds of dinosaurs, creatures, warriors and travellers appearing across.

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Glencoe was speckled with people who had abandoned their vehicles, standing dramatically poised in time, windswept hair, cameras and phones in hand gazing hypnotically at the view. There was something incredibly filmic and apocalyptic about their posture.

I soon realised that capturing it in a photo was impossible, and instead I simply stared and enjoyed that otherworldly feeling. Once again Scotland reminded me of my place as a tiny speck in a chain of events on Earth, a feeling that makes you feel truly alive.

The Harry Potter Train

If you are making this journey May-October go take the Harry Potter train and see the incredible Viadcut it crosses. I was gutted to miss this, as we arrived in April.

 

Need to Know

We travelled in partnership with Visit Scotland and stayed at Glencoe Camping and Caravanning Club Site, travelling in a motorhome hired from Bunkcampers.

Read about our first stop at Loch Ness Shores, our journey to Skye via Eileen Donan Castle and our Day on Skye at Neist Point and the Fairy Caves.

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2 Comments

  • Reply P.S. - One Day on Skye - Neist Point and Fairy Pools - P.S.

    […] stop Glencoe…for haggis, Harry Potter set hunting and snowball […]

    13/06/2016 at 9:00 am
  • Reply P.S. - An Uninhabited Island Adventure - Things to do In Loch Lomond - P.S.

    […] to Skye via Eileen Donan Castle, our Day on Skye at Neist Point and the Fairy Caves or our otherworldly adventures in Glencoe. I’ve blogged for Visit Scotland about our favourite moments and shared my 10 tips for a […]

    03/07/2016 at 10:00 pm
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