Best walks in Scotland: Glencoe Lochan, Lochaber

THIS column is dedicated to walking and ramblers’ groups, where they can suggest the best routes to enjoy across Scotland

By Lawrie McMillan, Scottish Women’s Walking Group

Start: Glencoe Village car park.

Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4km).

Time: Allow an hour to an hour-and-a-half.

Terrain: The red trail around the lochan is wheelchair friendly. The blue and yellow trails can be steep and uneven in sections.

Level: Easy.

Access: Head east through the centre of Glencoe Village and over the humpback bridge. The entrance to Glencoe Lochan is on the left just after the bridge.

The local bus service stops in Glencoe Village, a 20-minute walk from the lochan. A large free car park is available, with public toilets located in the village behind the Mountain Rescue.

What makes it special: Some of the best views and scenery in Scotland.

THE trails around Glencoe Lochan were made by Lord Strathcona in the late 19th-century for his homesick Canadian wife. North American trees were planted in a bid to create a cheering reminder of the landscapes she missed.

HeraldScotland: Glencoe Lochan. Picture: Lawrie McMillanGlencoe Lochan. Picture: Lawrie McMillan

The mountain trail offers glorious views to Loch Leven and beyond. Glen Coe is renowned around the world for its beauty with the lochan offering a delightful peek into it – accessible for all ages and abilities.

Route: A mixture of three forestry tracks allow you to take in the best features that the lochan has to offer. From the car park, follow the blue waymarked mountain trail first to your right. This section is steep and slightly uneven but can be left out by heading straight to the lochan itself.

Take another right and follow the path steeply uphill through the forest until you come to a picnic bench and a clearing. From here you are offered sweeping views down Loch Leven on clear days.

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: Blawhorn Moss, West Lothian

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: The Dunnet Forest Circular, Caithness

Continuing on, the route quickly descends back to the lochan. Take a right to follow the wide-open path around the water, often busy with families and folk of all ages.

Early in the morning, the mist can roll down the hills over the lochan giving it a mystical and otherworldly feel. Views of Beinn a’ Bheithir (Mountain of the Thunderbolt), as well as the unmistakable Pap of Glencoe – accessible from Glencoe Lochan – are visible as you slowly make your way around.

HeraldScotland: Glen Coe. Picture: Lawrie McMillanGlen Coe. Picture: Lawrie McMillan

Along the shores wooden platforms once used for fishing are accessible for a closer look and can be a good spot to meet the friendly ducks.

Once you reach the other end of the lochan, you will see yellow trail markers. Following these will take you around a slightly uneven track through a woodland area of Douglas firs and sequoias.

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: Dunskey Glen and Bays near Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway

You will come across another viewpoint, pass a water lily-covered pond, then finally return to the car park.

Don’t miss: Crafts and Things in Glencoe Village for a welcoming coffee (or wine!) with a light lunch, followed by a wander through the gift shop filled with local crafts and artwork.

Useful information: Scottish Women’s Walking Group meet and walk together all over Scotland. Membership is free and open to all ages and abilities. For details of how to join, visit swwg.co.uk

Do you have a walk you would like to suggest? Email susan.swarbrick@theherald.co.uk

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992