Introducing East of the Glen
A few miles east of Glencoe proper, on the south side of the A82, is the car park and base station for the Glencoe Mountain Resort, where commercial skiing in Scotland first began back in 1956. The Lodge Café-Bar has comfy sofas where you can soak up the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The chairlift continues to operate in summer – there’s a grand view over the Moor of Rannoch from the top station – and provides access to a downhill mountain-biking track. In winter a lift pass costs £30 a day and equipment hire is £25 a day.
Two miles west of the ski centre, a minor road leads along peaceful and beautiful Glen Etive, which runs southwest for 12 miles to the head of Loch Etive. On a hot summer’s day the River Etive contains many tempting pools for swimming in, and there are lots of good picnic sites.
The remote Kings House Hotel claims to be one of Scotland’s oldest licensed inns, dating from the 17th century. It lies on the old military road from Stirling to Fort William (now followed by the West Highland Way), and after the Battle of Culloden it was used as a Hanoverian garrison – hence the name. The hotel serves good pub grub (bar meals £8 to £12) and has long been a meeting place for climbers, skiers and hill walkers – the rustic Climbers Bar is round the back. There’s free wild camping across the wee bridge behind the hotel – no facilities, but you’re allowed to use the toilets in the Climbers Bar.