When you picture the Highlands—deep valleys, towering mountains and endless lush landscapes—what you’re probably envisioning is Glencoe. This part of Scotland is so iconic that it has graced the big screen many times, including in the James Bond film Skyfall and some of the Harry Potter films.
Glencoe, or Glencoe Village, located about two-and-a-half hours north-west of Glasgow, is a settlement in the valley—one of the area’s most famed glens—and visitors are rewarded with plenty of outdoor adventure and unique accommodation options. The valley has long attracted walkers, climbers and mountain bikers looking to explore the steep ridges and famed mountain ranges, including The Three Sisters. And, the sparkling lochs, such as Leven or Linnhe, offer paddlers plenty of on-water opportunity.
After days spent exploring, travellers won’t have to go far to find a cozy spot to unwind, but a true standout is five-star luxury hotel Glencoe House. This historic property, which reopened in 2012, was built in 1896 by Donald Smith, more commonly known as Lord Strathcona, the Scottish-born Canadian businessman who, among many other accolades, was a member of the House of Commons, a Hudson’s Bay Company governor and was the man who famously drove the last stake of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Many of the baronial manor’s original finishings remain, including the huge marble fire-places and the incredible plasterwork ceiling in the Great Hall, and the property is surrounded by native Canadian trees, a thoughtful gift for Strathcona’s homesick, Canadian wife, Isabella.
[This story appears in the January 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]
Where to Mark the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria in 2019
The second-longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Victoria's legacy continues to thrive and there are some great sites in Scotland and England to visit to mark this special anniversary, such as Windsor Castle, the Isle of Wight and the new V&A Dundee museum.