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Browsing Posts in Glencoe

Today, I drove up from Glasgow to Fort William in readiness for a Speyside Whisky Tour commencing tomorrow morning.

The journey was relatively uneventful with plenty of opportunities for photo stops on Rannoch Moor and around the Glencoe area.



On the way to Fort William the road runs parallel (for a short length) to the West Highland Way, a popular hiking trail which connects Fort William with Glasgow. This trail takes about one week to complete and was well patronised today. Read more on Glencoe…

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.

Read more on Glencoe, Scottish Highlands…

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:

Read more on Glencoe, Scotland…