Glencoe Lochan – The Wonderful, Quiet and Peaceful Hidden Woodland Walk in Scotland
Scotland is currently under new restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Keep informed with the latest news on the Scottish Government website. I visited Glencoe Lochan in September 2020. When there were no travel restrictions in place.
When we hear the word Glencoe it reminds us of mountains, low clouds and gloomy atmospheres. We know what to expect from this magical place in the Scottish Highlands. With thanks to a Google search, I discovered Glencoe Lochan. It is near Glencoe Village. Not too far from Glencoe itself.
Glencoe Lochan is a glorious woodland area with the mountains of Glencoe as the backdrop. After adventuring around Glencoe and all it has to offer, it’s a peaceful way to end your day.
It’s owned by the Forestry and Land Commission of Scotland. The Earl of Strathcona planted the lochan in the nineteenth century. He did so for his Canadian wife who was homesick – this was his gift to her. I wish I could get a lochan for a gift! The trees are tall North American conifers. As a Scottish-born person when I first saw the trees I thought ‘wow they’re tall!’ not the same kind of trees I am used to seeing.
Over the past few months, I’ve become a much bigger fan of the Forestry and Land Commission of Scotland. You can always rely on them to give you a beautiful scenic place to walk. Their website gives you so much information on the trails. They tell you the length of time you’ll need. And also the suitability and accessibility of each route for all kinds of walkers. They have coloured posts through the forests. The colours are for each different route so you’ll never stray too far from the path.
The most accessible route is the lochan trail or the ‘red trail’. It’s very even ground with no rocks to clamber over and there are plenty of benches and places to rest along the way. The walk goes around the lochan (a small loch/lake) with those glorious tall trees surrounding you. The route takes around half an hour and you can walk around the lochan as many times as you like. I could walk around the place for hours with my headphones in.
For the woodland trail, you follow the yellow post. It takes you through most of the tall woodlands – the smell of the fresh pine needles! This one is a little bit rockier with some short steep sections but it’s easy to navigate through. There’s a bench not too far along the trail that overlooks Loch Leven. It’s a peaceful place to stop off and enjoy your surroundings for a little while. I was lucky to see some Devil’s Coach Horse Beetles scurrying about the dying leaves on the ground! The yellow trail is the one we took and it was lovely, taking about an hour at a peaceful walking pace. The yellow trail immediately joins onto the red trail to walk around the lochan.
The final trail is the mountain trail which you can reach by following the blue posts. This trail takes you up a steep hill and is a bit uneven with rooty sections. Meaning you’re most likely to come across huge tree roots in the ground that you may or may not trip over! The Forestry Commission says the view from the slopes of Stac a’Chlamhain is superb – so you know it’s a good one. Because we were a little bit tired we decided not to take this route. We were looking for a calm and peaceful walk, but for all the hikers this is the path for you.
If you are planning a visit to Glencoe in the future, put Glencoe Lochan on your list for the same day too. It’s not far from Glencoe and you can also visit the village for facilities and local food. You won’t regret it.