If you are heading up this way with your camera, you are probably going to want to know the best Glen Coe Photography Locations. So this guide is a quick guide to my top 10 photography locations within 20 minutes or so of Glencoe.
Like I often say, Glencoe is the village and Glen Coe is the Glen (Or often the area). We are going to base this search from the village as that is where most people will stay or grab lunch.
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So without further ado, and in no particular order, let’s get started.
Glen Coe Lochan
Directions – from Glencoe village, take the minor high street that runs through the village. Keep going for about half a mile until you see a sign on the left for Glencoe Lochan.
Park in the car park and walk up the red or blue track until you come to the Lochan. There are loads of locations that you can shoot here, some are season-dependent. The one that works all year round is the little jetty that juts out in to the water and points towards the Pap of Glen Coe.
Directions – from Glencoe Village, head along the B863 towards Kinlochleven. Keep going and cross the river. At the Tailrace Inn, turn right and then take your next right on to Wades Road. There is a public car park on your left. Park here and follow the well maintained path signposted towards Viewpoint (Side Note, there is a great waterfall here – Grey Mares – but it doesn’t take a great photo.)
The short walk will lead you to one of the best viewpoints in Scotland (in my opinion) My advice when photographing here is to make use of the vegetation that is prevelant to hide the village – that will either be heather or bracken depending on the time of year. As a great bonus, you are looking due West so in good conditions you will often see a great sunset.
Directions. About 20 minutes away from Glencoe sits the village of Appin. To get here, head on the Oban road (A828) and keep driving for 20 minutes. About half a mile before the castle, you will see it for the first time from a cafe and gift shop – aptly named Castle Stalker View. Stop here if you like for a shot but the best view comes from sea level. Keep driving and park in the car park behind The Old Inn. Take the path down to the shoreline.
The shots here really depend on conditons and tide level. I love shooting here at high tide on a stormy day. The waves create really interesting foreground if you get really low. Alternatively, in summer, the sun sets behind the castle and can lead to some really dramatic sky. As a further tip, look out for the jetty and boat tracks that lead in to the water. I use the rails as a foreground as they point more directly towards the castle.
Directions. Heading back towards Kinlochleven, but this time on the North shore of Loch Leven. To get here, head from Glencoe Village along the A82 through Ballachulish and across the Ballachulish bridge. Turn right on to the B863 and head towards Kinlochleven. About a mile along the road you will see a lay-by on your right with a stone wall. Park here and head backwards 50 yards to a double gate. Walk through these gates and down to the hidden bay.
A scene that wouldn’t look out of place in The Lake District. Perfect in any conditions, I find that the boats make a great focal point on a grey, still day to create a minimalist scene. Sunset can also cast some nice light on the Pap of Glen Coe.
For an article about Glen Coe Photography Locations, we have spent very little time in Glen Coe. Let’s change that!
Directions. From Glen Coe, head along the A82 back towards Glasgow. Opposite the turning for the Clachaig Inn, turn right and park in the small car park.
This is a location with numerous possibilities for shooting – whether that is the wee farmhouse Achnambeithach Cottage, the towering mountains, the waterfall or the Loch itself. I love shooting the farmhouse after or during heavy rain as the waterfall is in spate and the mountains behind are often shrouded in mist. Wait for a gap in the mist that shows the height of the mountains. Alternatively, head down to the Loch Side. You will see most other photographers head over the wee wooden bridge and attack the loch from that side… my advice is to stay on the road side of the bridge and scramble down to the bottom. Find a rock or some reeds for a foreground and shoot up the valley.
Directions. As above, but when you get to the car park cross the A82 and walk down the road following the brown signs to Clachaigg Inn. About 10 minutes walk will see you come across the falls.
When shooting here you have 2 real options – shooting across the falls towards Aonach Dubh, one of The Three Sisters or shooting up the valley between Aonach Eagach and Aonach Dubh. Water levels will probably dictate the shot – a high water level will see you shoot across the falls and a low water level will see you shoot up the falls.
Directions. Follow the A82 from Glencoe village towards Glasgow for about 7 miles. You are looking for a wee hut at the base of the Buachaille. If you have a 4×4 or higher vehicle, park in the car park on the right, if not park in the lay-by on the left hand side of the road.
You can shoot this cottage from the roadside and it will look good. But with a bit of work, you can make your image look great. My favourite shot is to go right down to the river and take up camp at the base of the bridge. Wait for some nice light in the far valley and shoot. Works perfectly during heather season as well. If this shot isn’t for you, or the water is too low, head back up towards the car and you will see a wee knoll. Stand atop that and use a wide lens and put the house bottom centre of the frame.
Directions: This one is easy to find and can be accessed from two points. I will take you to the one that has a slightly longer walk, but includes other photo opportunities along the way. From Glencoe Village, drive towards Glasgow on the A82. Not long after the Meeting of the Three Waters waterfall on the right you will see a double lay-by with a yellow “no vending” sign. Park here.
Walk along the road until you come across a wee track on your left with a metal gate. Walk through this gate and follow the path until you come to the raised viewpoint. These are some of the very best views down the Glen. As an added bonus, when you get back to the car, drop down in to the river and you will be afforded a great shot with a lone tree hanging over the stream which frames Beinn Fhada (the first of the Three Sisters) perfectly.
Lochan na Fola
Directions. Again, leave Glencoe Village and head towards Lagangarbh hut. About a mile short of the hut you will see a large car park on your right with a raised bank immediately behind it. Park in this car park.
Walk back down the A82 towards Glencoe. About 400 yards up, you will see a wee lochan (small Loch). This is the perfect Loch for reflections to Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag. If it is a slightly choppier day, my advice would be to stay up a bit higher but if you can get here on a still day, especially at dawn, get nice and low and make the most of the amazing reflections.
Buachaille Etive Mor
Most guides, including ones I have written before, will have you head to the famous falls on the River Coupall that look up towards the Buachaille. But, and I say this with a heavy heart, the conditions around these falls are so bad that I avoid this area. In my opinion, the National Trust should close this area off for a year or two to allow it to regenerate or create a footpath that runs to the falls. But the mountain itself is still fantastic to photograph.
Directions: Head on the A82 towards Glasgow and drive to the Mountain Centre. When you get to the turnoff, park on the side of the road (safely). Walk back towards Glencoe and you will see a tributary of the River Etive running down towards the mountain. This is your shot. In Autumn, get close to the lone red tree (as per my image below). At all other times of the year, stay closer to the road and capture the shape of the river. An ND filter is going to be useful at this point.
And that’s it! My top 10 locations for photographing in Glen Coe. Of course, there are loads of other amazing locations.
I have been running Glen Coe Photography Workshops for over 5 years. If you would like to book on to a workshop, please click on the link. For any other questions, please contact me using the form below.