Glencoe is a magical place in the Scottish Highlands. The landscape around Glencoe is instantly recognisable from films such as James Bond’s Skyfall and Harry Potter & the prisoner of Azkaban. It is therefore no wonder that there are many fantastic Instagram spots in Glencoe! Here are the top 8 photo spots in Glencoe and the nearby area. There is also a handy map of the photography spots in Glencoe to help you plan your perfect Instagram spots in Glencoe day!
- Getting to Glencoe
- Where to stay in Glencoe
- What time of year to visit Glencoe
- What to wear in Glencoe
- 8 Instagram spots in Glencoe
- Map of Glencoe photography spots
Getting to Glencoe
Glencoe is located in the Scottish Highlands. It takes around 2 hours to drive to Glencoe from Glasgow. The route through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs is just a taster of what is to come!
Where to stay in Glencoe
When visiting Glencoe there are a few places you can stay. Many people simply drive through Glencoe and stop off on their way to Fort William or Skye. If this is the case you may want to stay in the Trossachs national park to the south the day before then stay in Fort William after your day in Glencoe.
Click here to find places to stay on booking.com
Best time of year to visit Glencoe
Glencoe is beautiful year-round. Different times of year bring different photo opportunities. Some photographers swear that winter is the best time to visit Glencoe when there is snow on the peaks or in the valleys. In summer the hills are vibrant green from all the rain. In autumn the birch trees turn golden and the landscape takes on orange hues. Each season brings different vibes to your Instagram spots in Glencoe.
Just bare in mind that during the summer months, the midges are here! The wee beasties will eat you alive.
What to wear in Glencoe
It is no secret that it rains a lot in Scotland, meaning that any trip to Glencoe comes with a certain risk of rain. Therefore, you should pack your waterproofs on your trip to Glencoe. In the winter months, it is even snowy so warm and waterproof clothes are essential.
If you are lucky enough to get a clear or even sunny day, it never really gets hot. The average annual temperature is 8.6 °C and even in July, the warmest month the average temperature is 15 degrees. Yet the views and epic photo spots in Glencoe are worth bracing the weather for!
If you are looking for Glencoe Instagram outfits, consider wearing tartan or a bright colour to stand out against the landscape. I just threw a tartan shawl over my jumper and am quite happy with the results.
In terms of footwear, make sure your footwear is waterproof. Hiking boots are great if you are going to tackle one of the hikes near the 3 sisters like the Lost Valley. I would argue that wellingtons are essential when visiting the essential Glencoe Instagram spot at the Glen Etive waterfall. Not only is it very muddy but wearing wellies means you can go into the river. We had lots of fun splashing about and getting reflection shots of the mighty Buachille.
8 Instagram spots in Glencoe
Without further ado, here are 8 amazing Instagram spots in Glencoe! There are classic and iconic Glencoe photography spots as well as a few lesser know photo spots in Glencoe.
Buachaille Etive Mor from the Glen Etive road
Buachaille Etive Mòr is one of Scotland’s most recognisable mountains. The munro stands proudly above the moorland at 1,022 m and translates roughly as ‘the heardsman’. Buachille will feature in many of your photos during your photography guide to Glencoe trip.
From the Glen Etive road you can really capture its almost perfect ‘mountain’ shape. Buachille stands at the head of Glen Etive. There is a single-track road, which featured in the James bond film skyfall. This single-track road will lead you to our next Glencoe photo spot, the Glen Etive waterfall, but before you park up pull into one of the laybys to capture the magnificent Buachille Etive Mor from the roadside. I would recommend wellies as the moor can be boggy.
This is one of my favourite Instagram spots in Glencoe and one of my favourite photo spots in Scotland.
I just need to come back and climb Buachille Etive Mor one day…
Etive Mor Waterfall
The Glen Etive waterfall is a popular photo spot in Glencoe. The huge Buachaille Etive Mor mountain is an epic backdrop for a series of pretty waterfalls.
To reach the Glen Etive waterfall you must follow the single-track road to Glen Etive, where Skyfall was filmed. If you are approaching from the south, the road appears on your left a few minutes after passing the Glencoe ski centre. Follow the road until you reach a small dip in the road and a few trees. After the trees is a small parking area for around 5-6 cars. We did manage to park a campervan here during our visit midweek. After parking up, cross the little bridge and follow the muddy paths towards the towering Buachaille Etive Mor mountain. The Glen Etive waterfall is just a few minutes from the road making this a very accessible, if not muddy, Instagram spot in Glencoe.
There are plenty of great angles and photo spots at Glen Etive waterfall. Bring a tripod for those smooth falls and be prepared to get in the water for certain angles.
As hinted before, wear wellingtons or very waterproof boots when visiting this Glencoe photo spot.
This is a very famous photo spot in Glencoe so you will not have it to yourself. We even saw a lady in a wedding dress during our visit. If you do feel the need to find a quieter spot head up to our next Glencoe Instagram spot.
While the Glencoe photo spot of the Etive Mor waterfall is fairly well known, a much lesser known Instagram spot is further up the stream. Clamber over rocks or walk along the bank to the top of the waterfall for calmer waters. On dry days, you may be able to capture Buachaille Etive Mor’s reflection in the water below.
This Glencoe Instagram spot makes for lovely reflection photos. There is a handy rock to pose on and if you are quick you can set up a self-timer and run back for some very ‘instaworthy’ Glencoe photos.
Make sure you wear wellington boots so you can get in the water for the perfect Buachaille reflection shot.
Lochan na h-Achlaise
Lochan na h-Achlaise is a fantastic Instagram spot in Glencoe! Well, it is technically just outside of Glencoe on Rannoch Moor. If you are heading to Glencoe via Glasgow & the Trossachs, you will head up the A82 and pass Lochan na h-Achlaise.
There is a small carpark just a short walk from the loch. There are a few deep puddles in the gravel carpark but once you navigate those, park up and head down to the loch. It will take you a few minutes through marsh and bog to reach the loch shores. Wear good waterproof hiking boots or wellies when you head to this Glencoe photo spot.
Once you are down at the water, there are many great spots along the shore line. The little islands, various rocks and the backdrop of the black mount all make for great features.
Fun fact: wonder what Lochan na h-Achlaise translates as? Turns out it means “loch of the armpit”. Not too sure why as it is an irregular heart-shaped freshwater loch. It did not smell either… best just refer to it in Gaelic.
Three Sisters of Glen Coe
The Three Sisters of Glencoe are another famous Instagram spot in Glencoe. Easily visible from the A82, the 3 steeply sided ridges of Bidean nam Bian have enthralled visitors for years. While many simply drive past, park at one of the free carparks by the Three Sisters and get ready to take some photos! If the main three sisters car park is full don’t worry as there are several other parking places. Many hikes start from here and Glencoe is a hiker’s paradise.
There are many various Instagram spots by the Three Sisters of Glencoe. You can of course take photos from the car park or walk down and take photos. In the afternoon, you may catch the rays just peaking out from behind the three sisters. If you start to walk towards the Lost Valley trail, you can cap\ture one of the sisters among the birch trees which frame your images nicely.
The iconic three sisters of Glencoe had to feature in our Glencoe photography guide!
Lost Valley of Glencoe
The Lost Valley is a fantastic easy hike in Scotland. There are also plenty of beautiful Glencoe photography spots to find here!
To reach the Lost Valley park at the 3 sisters car park or if it is full, any of the other car parks closeby. Head down into the valley by following the sign towards Coire Gabhail. You go down metal steps until crossing a little bridge over a dramatic gorge. Through pretty woods which are truly magical in autumn as the silver birches are dressed in beautiful yellow leaves. After the woods, the trail gets rockier, steeper and narrower. You will pass a waterfall too. There are so many places to stop and take photos on this Glencoe hike!
There is one easy river crossing with plenty of rocks to hop across on so you won’t get wet. Take your hiking poles if you are worried about your balance. You will head upwards for a while until the valley widens dramatically. Then you have reached the Lost Valley!
The Lost Valley, sometimes referred to as the Hidden Valley, is said to be the place where the MacDonald‘s would hide stolen cattle. I am impressed if the cattle managed to make it up the rocky sections! The Lost Valley is also a sad place as after the massacre of Glencoe, many fled into the valley but due to the cold perished. It certainly has its own atmosphere and is very impressive.
For your Glencoe Instagram spots collection, there are lots of good photography spots from the initial viewpoint when you first see the Lost Valley. Alternatively, walk down and go into the valley.
If you still have lots of energy, you could keep heading up to the mighty Bidean Nam Bian munro. Otherwise, return the way you came.
The Pap of Glencoe
Fancy getting up high for some epic Glencoe photography shots? Why not hike up the Pap of Glencoe?
The Pap of Glencoe has a very distinctive shape and offers great views from the top of Glencoe, loch Leven and the nearby Nevis range. It’s quite boggy and muddy near the top and then the final 100m require scrambling meaning extra care is required in winter. The Pap of Glencoe is not quite a munro at 724m but it will still take around 3-5 hours to complete.
Otherwise, if you would like the Pap of Glencoe to be the focus of your image, there are lots of Instagram spots in Glencoe and in Ballachulish around Loch Leven to take pictures from.
Loch Leven is a loch on which Glencoe is situated. It is a sea loch and arguably the best view of Loch Leven is from Kinlochleven.
For this Glencoe Instagram spot, hop in your car towards Kinlochleven. In Kinlochleven you can admire the entire width of the Loch. Hop in your car and head upwards to get a higher vantage point.
Little white cottage of Glencoe
Our final Glencoe Instagram spot is the pretty little white cottage on the banks of the river Coe. You may have already seen this cottage. There are actually a few little white crofts in the valley of Coe.
Would you like to live here?
Map of Instagram Spots in Glencoe
Wondering where all of these Instagram spots in Glencoe are? Use this handy map below to help plan your visit and see all the incredible photo spots in Glencoe!
Which Glencoe Instagram Spot would you like to go to?
Have you been inspired to pack your camera and head to Glencoe? While you cannot guarantee what the weather will be like, incredibly scenery, beautiful lochs, mighty munros and fun hikes are guaranteed! Let me know if I have missed any of your favourite photo spots in Glencoe!