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We are The Sassenachs –
Are you considering eloping to Glencoe?
Glencoe is truly the most amazing place in Scotland. We may be biased (more on that shortly), but we truly believe that it is.
Easily accessible yet wonderfully remote, this area could be the perfect location for your Scottish Elopement.
Where the past feels a little bit closer
And magic is hidden along every winding path
We love Glencoe. We live in Glencoe. As your Glencoe elopement photographer, we cannot wait to welcome you here and help tell the story of your elopement in this mythical, moody, breathtakingly beautiful place.
This guide was created to show you how to celebrate your elopement in Glencoe.
Oh, just one more thing…
We are, at the time of writing, the only elopement photographers who actually live in Glencoe. In fact, from our garden office, we can see the mountains that you will be getting married beneath. And all this means that nobody knows the area better than us.
Harry Potter, Outlander, James Bond and YOU
Glencoe has been calling to the adventurous sort for years (and when you consider the skirmishes between rival clans that took place on this land, we mean hundreds of years). The splendour of the valley has been featured in scores of movies and series, but here are a few of our favourite spots.
Outlander— The Three Sisters is a majestic trio of mountains that tower over the glen. You can spot them in the opening scene of Outlander. Ralston Cairn along Glencoe Pass is a lovely viewpoint. The Buachaille Etive Mòr is another Outlander option for sharing your vows.
James Bond— In the 1969 movie, Bond reveals his father is from Glencoe, and that comes back in the 2012 movie Skyfall. There’s a moment where the characters Bond and M look out over Glen Etive toward Bond’s family home that’s stunning (but not very private for an elopement ceremony).
Harry Potter— So much of this series is rooted in Scotland, but a particular spot from the set of the third movie comes to mind. Hagrid’s Hut was situated near the base of Clachaig Gully, with views overlooking Torren Lochan and the Signal Forest. The hut is no longer there, but the amazing views remain.
“We couldn't be happier with Clover. It was truly an elegant experience from start to finish. We were treated like royalty.”
aria & declan
“Our pictures from Clover are breathtaking. I still can't believe that's actually us. What an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience”
michelle & robert
so, what's in a name?
GLEN COE LEADS TO GLENCOE, WHICH IS A WAYS AWAY FROM THE HEAD OF THE GLEN, AND WHAT? MY HEAD HURTS.
Okay, here’s the difference for all you language nerds out there (say hi to Matt when you see him at the annual meet-up). Glen Coe is the valley, as in, the name of the valley (or glen) is Coe. The village of Glencoe, which sits on the shores of Loch Leven, is situated at the mouth of the valley.
For the sake of clarity (and finding any of this on Google), we’ll call the whole stunning area Glencoe.
"They have a way to make you feel instantly comfortable."
"It’s hard to explain how thankful we are to Matt and Jodie.
They have a way to make you feel instantly comfortable by their kindness, professionalism, sense of humour and flexibility!
They understood what we wanted immediately, and we will never thank them enough for the experience we had with them, and the amazing photos that they did!"
chloe & Antoine,
Scotland’s climate can be a bit moody (but that’s part of why we love it, right?).
That moodiness is magnified in Glencoe.
Sudden rainstorms, whipping wind, snowflakes in June…the time of year you choose to elope in Glencoe can affect the look and feel of your ceremony and images. But as two people who live here, our best advice to you is to be prepared for it all.
It’s chilly and a bit blustery, but seeing the wildflowers start to blossom against a backdrop of snow-dusted peaks…that’s a truly unforgettable vista. Spring is not peak tourist season, so you’ll have an easier time of finding lodging and other reservations. Just be prepared for more unpredictable weather.
May to September brings steadier weather and longer days. And heather! Beautiful, purple heather. Expect warmer temps and more sun, with the occasional storm rolling through the valley. But this is also peak tourist season, so you’ll need to plan further in advance and expect higher prices. Also note: late August to late September is peak midge season. You’ve been warned. From 2023 we will no longer offer elopement photography in Glencoe in August or first week of September due to tourist numbers and midges.
The valley fades to the rust and tan of autumn and the air carries a crisp hint of coming winter. It’s spectacular to see the colours slowly change along the valley and that makes it one of our favourite times to photograph elopements. The weather is usually unpredictable with high chances of mist and fog too, which makes it a popular choice for elopements.
Stormy weather reigns, but you’ll have much of Glencoe to yourselves. It makes for intimate, romantical imagery and a cosy elopement. Between mid-December to mid-January, daylight hours diminish steeply. It can make the valley feel remote and cloistered, like it’s just you two exploring the wild together with not a soul around. For the stalwart, adventurous couple, winter in Glencoe can be spectacular.
So you've decided when but...
From wee lochs to mountains that bring the drama
every hidden corner of Glencoe offers something stunning
The million pound question: Of all the spectacular spots in Glencoe, how do you choose?
We are the only elopement photographers to actually live in Glencoe, so you can rely on us to help you pick elopement and photography locations that speak to you. We do that by truly listening to what you envision for your elopement and then using our decade of experience and love of this place to find the perfect spot.
After we chat on our initial Zoom call, we’ll share images from past couples’ elopements for inspiration and also share a map pinpointing specific locations for you. We’ll take into consideration accessibility, how adventurous you want to be, and the number of guests who’ll be joining you.
But this is important: there is so much more to Glencoe than what you see on social media. With our help, we’d love to guide you to somewhere private and special. And for those few moments as you exchange your vows, it becomes yours and yours alone. Nothing is better than that, right?
Here are a few of our favourite locations to get you dreaming
1. GLENCOE VALLEY VIEWPOINT
The twisting A82 scenic road wends into the heart of the valley, leading to innumerable options for your elopement. The mountains tower above, often shrouded in mist, and ribbons of waterfalls flash silver. It is, in a word, dramatic. If you’re up for an adventure (and are wearing sturdy boots), we love the hike up to the Hidden or Lost Valley and we’ll tell you the tale of Highland Hospitality gone wrong while we’re at it.
2. BUACHAILLE ETIVE MÒR
To the locals, this mountain at the head of Glen Etive is simply called The Buachaille (pronounced boo-kil). At the foot of the mountain, Lagangarbh Hut alongside the magical River Coupall is stunning, but also very popular. Nearby, the sister mountain of Buachaille Etive Beag is a wonderful elopement option. Let’s learn some Gaelic! Mòr means “big” and beag means “small.” You’ll see these terms a lot in the Highlands.
3. THE THREE SISTERS
These steep peaks feel part of another time, where if you look just right, you might spot a wisp of magic or hear a selkie on the wind. The Three Sisters are old, formed by some of the oldest rock on Earth (fun fact: The Highlands and Appalachia in the U.S. were once part of the same mountain range when Pangea was around). Today, The Three Sisters are every bit as magical and make a dramatic backdrop to your elopement. Plus, they are fairly accessible, so that’s a bonus.
4. RANNOCH MOOR
Once upon a time, wilderness reigned across Europe. Today, there are only a few of these untamed environments left, and the Great Moor of Rannoch is one of them. It’s a vast land of bogs, rivers, lochans and rocky outcroppings to explore and is our “special place” in the Highlands (we’d live here if we could!). Though it can be a challenge to access, Rannoch Moor holds an ethereal beauty that feels like it truly never ends. It’s a unique, gorgeous location for an elopement!
5. PAP OF GLENCOE
A conical peak called Sgorr na Ciche in Gaelic, this dramatic, diminutive mountain rises up over the village of Glencoe. Reaching its peak is not an easy stroll, so it’s only recommended for experienced hikers who have climbed hills before. But the views from the top. The views! It looks out over two of Scotland’s major lochs—Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe—making for some major vistas for your elopement.
6. GLENCOE LOCHAN
Closer to conveniences, but no less beautiful, the forest-fringed lochan just outside the village of Glencoe is a perfect choice if you’re including little ones. Along the trails, you’ll find tucked away views of the loch, the village and above you, the Pap of Glencoe.
"As soon as we met them, we felt like we were all old friends getting together again"
"Jodie and Matt were amazing! As soon as we met them, we felt like we were all old friends getting together again. We are both introverts who do not like getting our pictures taken, yet they put us at ease and made us feel comfortable throughout the process. The pictures captured the mood and overall beauty of Scotland, all the while showing how happy we were throughout the day"
Anissa & Jack
STEAL our elopement
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So you've decided you're coming
After all, your elopement is so much more than a ceremony.
Make the most of your time in Glencoe.
Glencoe has a wide range of accommodations to fit every style and budget. Picture quaint B&Bs, refined lodges, and storied hotels. Depending on when you’re planning to elope, be aware of price differences and how far in advance things book up. There’s a very large difference between February and July! Here are a few of our favourite places to stay in the Glencoe area.
Oh... as a bonus, we've added some great places to eat at the bottom too!
Isles of Glencoe— There’s a swimming pool and spa on site, which makes this hotel in the village of Glencoe a convenient spot. The views are wonderful too!
Kingshouse Hotel— The Kingshouse has been a refuge since the 1750s, and you can feel that history in a hotel that has been thoroughly modernised without losing its sense of place. It’s a great spot to see deer!
The Glencoe Inn— Situated in the village, this inn is warm and welcoming. Past the cosy furnishings and log fires, expect lovely views of Loch Leven.
Holytree Hotel— Opened in 1903, this hotel was originally the Kentallen railway station along the Oban to Ballachulish line. Now it’s a classic choice with a swimming pool.
RiverBeds Luxury Lodges— Outside the village, this lodge offers something a bit different. What do you think about a wooden lodge with a woodland hot tub? Yep, it sounds pretty great to us too.
Glencoe House— Glencoe House is a place that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s luxurious, beautifully-appointed, and full of thoughtful touches and amenities.
Raise a toast and get ready to tuck in
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to refuel before afternoon adventures or a celebration dinner the evening of your elopement, here are the local spots we find ourselves recommending time and time again.
The Clachaig Inn— An open fire, friendly staff and good food make this a cosy spot for a drink and a warming meal. It’s one of the most traditional Scottish pubs in the area! (And fun fact: The inn’s Boots Bar is in Clachaig Gully, the site of Hagrid’s Hut from Harry Potter.)
The Kingshouse Hotel— You’ll find some of the best views around at this hotel’s restaurant. It’s modern fine dining (if you like venison, this is the place for you).
Glencoe Mountain Resort— Good food and hot coffee. Sometimes, that’s exactly what the day calls for.
The Glencoe Gathering— This is our favourite spot to eat. In our opinion, it’s the best pub food in the area and is in a great location.
Loch Leven Sea Food Cafe— A seasonal restaurant, this is a casual spot on Loch Leven for super fresh seafood.
making it legal and other details
All the legal stuff you’ll need to know
As photographers who have a lot of experience helping couples elope, we can always point you in the right direction, but we always recommend asking experts when it comes to filling out the legal paperwork. Your celebrant is a great source of information,
or you can also find more at the Scotland Government Marriage Page.
A bit about cars and driving on the “correct” side of the road
That was for all you Outlanders who tell us we’re driving on the wrong side of the road. If you feel comfortable, we recommend renting a car and driving yourself around. We promise you
get used to being on the other side of the road. Just be aware—we drive on the left and the roads around here can get very narrow.
Think of it like part of the adventure!
We’ll happily drive you around on your elopement day to make everything easier!
Nearest train stations:
Fort William (30 minutes away by car)
Tyndrum (40 minutes away by car)
Oban (45 minutes away by car)
Inverness and Glasgow (both two hours away by car)
Edinburgh (three hours away by car)
You're thinking about eloping to glencoe?
NO MORE BIG WEDDING HOOPLA
NOPE, NOT YOUR THING.
NO STRESS, NO FUSS,
JUST YOU TWO, MADLY IN LOVE.
Who needs the chaos and family expectations, right? You're steering clear of all that pressure.
And planning a massive shindig for everyone but yourselves? Nah, that doesn't vibe with you.
But hey, you're blazing your own trail, right here in Glencoe!
TOSSING ASIDE THE OLD NORMS...
And embracing YOUR way of tying the knot.
Welcome. You are our kind of people.
You want to elope to Glencoe.
We live here.
It's a match made in heaven.
so why choose to
So seriously, why wait? You both deserve this
© The Sassenachs 2023
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