Glencoe Lochan The Mountain Walk

 

Difficulty : EasyDuration : 1 HrsDistance : 2.5 Km

 
This trek is ideal for those who are less able to get to the heights of the Highlands to take in the breathtaking views. This great little trek located near the small picturesque village of Glencoe, is an easy walk around a beautiful Lochan which lies silent nestling in amazing woodlands and mountain scenery. The Lochan itself has a few rhododendron clad islands that add to its magic and the woodlands contain a huge variation of rare and classic local tree species. The Lochan is a artificial but over the year has more than adapted to its surroundings. There are three walks that can be done from the Lochan car park, this particular trek takes in the Mountain Walk, which takes you to the picnic area look out from Stac a' Chlamhain.


Full route description for this walk

 

To get to the Glencoe Lochan forestry commission car park simply follow the old road out of Glencoe village. After a few hundred yards you'll come to the small stone road bridge that crosses the River Coe, the road bends to the right and then a small road leads off to the left sign posted to the Lochan and Hospital. Follow this road and go right at the fork to reach the Forestry Commissions car park, which is well looked after and has excellent facilities and information boards that contain much information about the available walks and a brief history of the Lochan. The Lochan is often referred to as either the Glencoe Lochan or the Hospital Lochan. The term Lochan simply means 'Small Loch' and the original Glencoe estate now stands as the local Glencoe hospital.

Glencoe Lochan

Glencoe Lochan

Glencoe across Loch Leven

Glencoe across Loch Leven

The story behind the Glencoe Lochan is a romantic tale. A gentleman by the name of Donald Alexander Smith who was born in the ancient Royal Burgh of Forres in the North East of Scotland, emigrated to Canada in 1888. While in Canada he became a successful wealthy man and later became the governor of the Hudson Bay company, high commissioner for Canada and eventually went on to become Lord Strathcona. He acquired the Glencoe Estate and in 1895 had Glencoe House built for himself and his wife Isabela, who was born in Canada and had native American grand parents. In order to make sure his wife didn't miss her homeland he created the Glencoe Lochan in its beautiful mountain surroundings just for her.

Clachaig Inn

Clachaig Inn

Clachaig Lochan

Clachaig Lochan

From the car park follow the signs that point the way of what is known as the 'Mountain Walk'. The path leads out of the car park and up into the forest on the side of Stac a' Chlamhain. The path through the forest is a well laid path and very obvious at all times, it is quite steep in places and climbs from more or less sea level to around 100 meters above sea level when it reaches the outlook from Stac a' Chlamhain. It is pretty hard to get lost on any stretches of this walk as the sign posts put in place by the forestry commission are near perfect.

The trees of the Lochan plantation are made up mostly of majestic conifers, huge rhododendron bushes and fantastic hardy ferns. On this part of the path the sides are flanked by tall conifers and every so often an avenue of thick rhododendron bushes. The sounds of many bird species will be a real treat through the forest. As the path climbs you'll be bedazzled by awesome light effects as the sun shines through the roof of the forest and captures the huge trunks of beautiful trees like the Scots Pine.

Glencoe Lochan

Glencoe Lochan

Glencoe across Loch Leven

Glencoe across Loch Leven

You will eventually reach a look out point where there is a picnic table and a few other benches. This small hill is known as Stac a' Chlamhain. From this view point you can see out over the Lochan and over Loch Leven towards the huge rugged mountains over the lochs. The view is fabulous from up here and a great place for a lunch break.

Behind the view is the forest and through the trees you will see a huge and very definitive hill behind. This is Sgorr na Ciche, or as it is more commonly known the Pap Of Glencoe. Many refer to this hill as a certain part of the female anatomy and may be interested to know that the scots word of pap word translates to breast, also the real name of Sgorr na Ciche translates very roughly to the pointed peak of the breast. This well known hill stands tall above Glencoe village and at the end of a magnificent ridge. It gets its unique shape from the hard wearing quartzite rock summit which has stood for years while the more frail rock around it weathered leaving the strange shaped peak we see today.

Pap of Glencoe

Pap Of Glencoe

Aonach Eagach

Aonach Eagach

Leaving Stac a' Chlamhain now take the path down back through the forest. The path can be steep in places and although not quite as clear as the ascending path the descent is still an obvious route. You will continue to descend until you get to a stream which is crossed where it falls down through the forest into the Lochan. The path will eventually reach the far shores of the Lochan. Continue around the end of the Lochan to see what is one of my favorite views. From the end of the Lochan the view over the Lochan is magnificent with the backdrop of the rugged peaks of Sgorr Dhearg and Sgorr Dhonuill that along with wooden banks and rhododendron clad islands reflect in the still waters of the Lochan making for a picture perfect scene.

Loch Leven

Loch Leven

Loch Achtriochtan

Loch Achtriochtan

There is now a path about a hundred yards from the end of the Lochan in the north west corner of the Lochan. This path leads through the old estate woodlands. Follow this path through the forest for another magical journey through Douglas Fir and Sequoias mixed with a great variation of ground plants and forest ferns. The path will eventually pass a glorious little lily pond and then lead back to the Forestry Commission car park.

Map of this walk

 



GPS route files of this walk

 
 

Memory Map
MMO route file

 

Viewranger
GPX route file

 

Google Maps
KML route file

 

Magellan GPS
RTE route file

 

Garmin GPS
GPX route file

 

Silva / Lowrance GPS
USR route file




Maps available for this walk

 
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OS Explorer 392
1:25,000

Ben Nevis &
Fort William

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Memory Map V5
OS Explorer
1:25,000

Munros
Ben Nevis
& Glencoe

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Viewranger
for Symbian

OS 25k & 50k mapping
on your mobile phone!




Weather forecasts for this walk

 
Mountain Weather Information Services
 

Mountain Weather
Information Service

Detailed mountain
weather forecasts

Met Office Mountain Area Forecasts
 

Met Office Mountain
Area Forecasts

Detailed mountain
weather forecasts

The Met Office
 

The Met Office

Long range forecasts
and information

BBC Weather
 

BBC Weather

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Webcams near Lochaber, Scotland

 
 
Ben Nevis Lochaber Webcam
 

Ben Nevis
Visit Fort William

Ben Nevis Lochaber Webcam
Buachaille Etive Mor Glencoe Webcam
 

Buachaille Etive Mor
Kings House Hotel

Buachaille Etive Mor Glencoe Webcam
Corran Ferry Lochaber Webcam
 

Corran Ferry
Corran Inn

Corran Ferry Lochaber Webcam
Glencoe Ski Area Mountain Webcam
 

Glencoe
Glencoe Mountain

Glencoe Ski Area Mountain Webcam



Accomodation near this walk

 
Camping and Caravanning Club
 

Camping and
Caravanning Club

Britains best kept
camp sites!

Mountain Bothies Association
 

Mountain Bothies
Association

Join the MBA and
search for bothies!

Youth Hostels Association
 

Youth Hostels
Association

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accomodation
!

Camping Barns
 

Camping Barns

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accomodation!




Mountain rescue teams covering this walk

 



Photos taken on this walk

 

These photo's are taken from a trip by myself on February 24th 2004.
Lochan Reflections Sgorr Dhearg And Sgorr Dhonuill Lochan Reflections Sgorr Dhearg And Sgorr Dhonuill




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