The Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Glencoe
Have you been dreaming of having a Scottish elopement with the one you love but have no idea where you want to elope to? The options are countless so with that in mind, we’ve created the ultimate guide to eloping in Glen Coe to help you narrow down your search!
Famous for its rugged coastlines, its mountainous backdrops and wildly dramatic landscapes, Scotland has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world for couples to elope!! Glen Coe, along with the Isle of Skye, is probably the most popular location for elopement photography, so we’ve listed some of our favourite places in the area.
Firstly, let us talk about Glen Coe
Glen Coe is the Glen. Glencoe is the village. Usually they are treated as one and the same but sometimes there is a wee bit of confusion surrounding this. The head of the Glen Coe valley is about 10 miles away from the village.
The towering mountains of Glen Coe, which were carved out millennia ago by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions, are what usually bring people to this area. Due to its breathtaking landscape, its easy to see why this area is so popular.
It was here, during our fist holiday together in Scotland many years ago, that we found our love for the Scottish Highlands. In fact, we loved it so much, we ended up moving to a small village not too far away!
Elopement locations in Glen Coe
Glen Coe Valley –
There are plenty of locations to choose from around Glen Coe . If, like us, you’re a fan of Outlander, you will no doubt recognise the beautiful scenery of Glen Coe Valley during the opening credits. It has also been featured in some of the Harry Potter films and was also used in James Bond’s Skyfall.
The towering mountains of the valley offer the most dramatic backdrop and would be a perfect location for your nuptials. If you love exploring, you could follow the path along to the Hidden or Lost Valley as your first walk together as a married couple. Once used by the MacDonalds who would hide cattle there, though how they got them up here seems to be a mystery. It was also here that many of the MacDonalds fled during the massacre of Glencoe. It’s a good two hour walk from the carpark and can be quite a tricky hike for those who aren’t used to rocky terrain as it does involve steep scrambles, but totally worth it if you can.
Buachaille Etive Mor –
The Buachaille Etive Mòr, generally known to locals simply as The Buachaille (boo-kil), is a mountain at the head of Glen Etive and probably one of the most photographed mountains in the area due to its distinctive mountain shape. At the foot of Buachaille Etive Mor stands Lagangarbh Hut, with the flowing water of the River Coupall just below. It’s a stunning, but very popular spot. Its sister mountain, Buachaille Etive Beag, stands to the west and is separated by another stunning valley that runs between the two mountains.
The Three Sisters –
Named as one of the most top views in the UK, The Three Sisters – three steeply-sided ridges – Beinn Fhada (Long Hill) on the east, Gearr Aonach (Short Ridge) in the middle and Aonach Dubh (Black Ridge) on the west, were formed and shaped millions of years ago out of some of the oldest sedimentary and volcanic strata in the world.
They attract and stun visitors from all over the world and it’s easy to see why. Dominating the valley’s skyline, the Three Sisters – with many ridges and peaks – feels like it could be straight out of a magical story book. There is a perfect spot for an elopement, just a short walk away. The path opens up looking down onto the valley and with these magical mystical mountains as your backdrop, this would be one of our top choices to elope to.
Rannoch Moor –
The Great Moor of Rannoch is one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe. The moor is a vast stretch of land made up of blanket bog, lochans, rivers, and rocky outcrops all whilst being backed by the amazing Black Mount mountain range. Whilst this does make the area very challenging in places, its natural beauty feels like it is never ending. It feels breathtakingly out of this world and one place that’s very high up on our list!
Pap of Glen Coe –
What it lacks in height, it makes up for in drama. The Pap of Glencoe, or Sgorr na Ciche, is a conical peak that rises above the village of Glencoe. Probably not for the faint hearted, the Pap of Glencoe is a steep ascent over rough terrain but with its stunning views across Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe, it makes the steep climb worth while. A perfect elopement location especially for those with a love of the hills. Please be aware, this is a very steep climb and we wouldn’t recommend this location for those who are not experienced hill walkers.
Glencoe Lochan –
Glen Coe has plenty to offer if little ones are part of your elopement. The Glencoe Lochan trails, for example, are three waymarked paths which are suitable for all ages and abilities. Located just to the north of Glencoe village, these trails lead around a beautiful lochan which is surrounded by beautiful North American pine forests and overlooked by the stunning Pap of Glencoe. There are several spots around the Lochan that would make for a beautiful spot for you both to take your vows.
Where to stay
So you’ve decided to get married in Glen Coe. Which we think is amazing! So you will probably need somewhere to stay. We have listed a few
Isle of Glencoe – Situated on Loch Leven, overlooking historic islands and overlooked by magnificent mountains. This hotel is perfect for those looking for a relaxing place to stay. Swimming pool and spa facilities are available on site.
Kingshouse Hotel – A place of refuge since the 1750’s, the Kingshouse Hotel has been a stop off for weary travellers for centuries. Warm fires, warm welcome and a wee nip to warm through guests. The hotel was rebuilt and re-opened in 2019. It is also a great place to spot deer.
The Glencoe Inn – The Glencoe Inn provides a welcoming environment, with spacious Lounge and Bar areas. Complemented with cosy soft furnishings, log fires and views towards Loch Leven and the surrounding mountains. The Inn is based in the village of Glencoe.
Holytree Hotel – The Holly Tree Hotel was originally Kentallen railway station on the Oban – Ballachulish railway line. It was built for purpose and opened in 1903. The steamer service called into Kentallen depending on tides and demand. Now a hotel, it has a swimming pool for it’s guest’s enjoyment.
RiverBeds Luxury Lodges – Looking for something a bit different? How about a Wooden Lodge complete with hot tub in the woodland? Yep. We think that sounds just about perfect too!
How to get to Glen Coe
Driving is the best way to get here as it allows the flexibility to come and go as you please. If you are coming from abroad, car hire is available at both Glasgow and Edinburgh airport
The closest Railway Station to Glencoe is Fort William.
If you are coming from the South of Scotland, take the train from Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William. The journey takes a wee bit longer than if you were to travel by car as the tracks weave their way around the mountains but it means you get to enjoy the magical journey across Rannoch Moor.
From either further South, you have the option of getting the Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston. This overnight special will see you leave England and wake up in the Mountains of Scotland – sounds like a dream to us and what a way to travel to your wedding.
From the West, a local train service runs from Mallaig to Fort William or for to make the trip even more special, during the peak season you can hop aboard The Jacobite steam train, great fun if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter fan!
If you choose us as your Glen Coe Elopement Photographers, we would be delighted to help you with your travel arrangements. We often drive our couples around in our 4×4 anyway, especially in winter.
Ah. The Weather.
Here in Glen Coe, the weather is so unpredictable that it is almost not worth writing about. I have known snow in June and t-shirt weather in December.
There is very limited daylight hours in the mountains between mid-December and mid-January but for a small elopement, this usually isn’t an issue.
May and June tend to be the driest months, with August the warmest. For pure atmosphere, Autumn and Spring are generally the times when we get the most dramatic conditions with changeable weather and low cloud. Winter is just beautiful, when the mountains have got their white, winter coats on. And summer…. well that is pretty nice too! (I am not sure my weather section has helped you all that much!)
Wherever and whenever you choose to elope in Glen Coe, you can be sure that you have chosen one of the most picturesque, atmospheric and romantic places in all of Scotland.
If you are looking for a Glen Coe Elopement Photographer, we would love to work with you. We can not only do the photography, we can also offer filmmaking services as well as help plan your elopement. Drop us a message using the form at the bottom of the page and we will be in touch.
Thanks for reading!
Jodie (and Matt)
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