Episode 39 (Season 4): ‘Where it all began’
Let me take you on a hike in my favourite place in Scotland – the dramatic mountains of Glencoe!
‘Where it all began’ is a story about a walk through one of the most beautiful places in the Scottish Highlands. I’m taking you with me as I hike the Two Lairigs route from Glen Coe to Glen Etive and back.
Along the way, I tell you about my personal relationship with this glen, the exact moment I fell in love with Scotland and I reflect on some of the conflicting feelings that always cross my mind when I find myself in the Highlands.
This hike was recommended to me by photographer, climber and climate activist Adam Raja – you will be able to listen to my conversation with him soon!
After the story, I’ll tell you some of my top tips to make the most of your trip to Glen Coe!
Are you ready? Great – let’s travel to Scotland!
Written and hosted by Kathi Kamleitner.
Produced, edited and sound design by Fran Turauskis.
Transcripts and social media by Kirsty Spain.
Cover Art illustrated by Lizzie Vaughan-Knight.
All original music composed by Bruce Wallace.
Additional sound effects from Zapsplat.
All photographs by Kathi Kamleitner.
Use my Glencoe travel guide to plan your trip to this beautiful glen!
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My Glencoe Travel Tips
Explore off the beaten path
Glencoe is without a doubt one of the most visited places in Scotland. Many people drive through the glen on their way north to Fort William, Loch Ness or the Isle of Skye. In fact, during the summer months it’s almost impossible to get parked up at the car parks throughout the glen because there are so many cars and tour buses stopping here.
But despite that, it’s actually pretty easy to explore Glencoe off the beaten path.
One option is to put on hiking boots and set out on one of the many walks and hiking trails in the glen. You can find several of my favourite hikes and viewpoints in my Glencoe travel guide. And don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to hike 9 miles for all of them.
Learn about the cultural and natural heritage of the glen
Glen Coe is not just pretty, it’s also brimming with history and has a fascinating landscape. Two great places to learn about the the history and the nature of Glen Coe are the Glencoe Folk Museum in the village, and the Glencoe Visitor Centre that is run by the National Trust for Scotland.
If you’re keen for a more challenging day in the hills, hire a hiking guide
The mountains of Glen Coe should not be underestimated and so it’s always safer to hire a hiking guide if you’re new to these hills or plan a walk a little outside your comfort zone.
My go-to guiding company in Glencoe is Girls on Hills. They’ve taken me up Buachaille Etive Beag, across the Aonach Eagach ridge and to the Devil’s Staircase on a navigation course. They run navigation and trail running weekends for women, but are also available for private guiding for mixed groups.
Stay a few nights
Another great way to enjoy Glen Coe without the crowds is to spend a few nights in the area. That way, you can visit popular locations early in the morning or later in the day when the buses have gone.