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Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
April 13, 2012
From journal The roads to the Isles
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
November 23, 2003
Glen Coe is a steep-sided valley surrounded by majestic mountains that were formed when an ancient volcano erupted over 420 million years ago. The Ice Age glaciers further sculpted the mountains, and they are now an important wildlife site with 36 endangered and 15 rare species of plants and animals inhabiting the area.
The main road through the valley curves past flat moor land with trickling streams and high mountainhills that offer skiing during the winter months. The drive from Ft. William toGlasgow can be done in just a few hours, but it took us much longer because we kept stopping to take pictures or follow a trail to the top of a hill or along the wetland.
Glen Coe falls under the protection of the National Trust for Scotland, and there is a Visitor Centre near the small village of Glencoe. The centre has been designed to resemble a Highland village from centuries ago and has a gift shop and exhibit hall with a multimedia presentation detailing Glen Coe’s most infamous occurrence - the Macdonald massacre in 1692.
King William III offered amnesty to all Highland clans who had fought against him on the condition that they take an oath of allegiance by 1 January 1692. Unfortunately, the Macdonald chieftain was late in taking the oath, so the clan name did not appear on the amnesty list. Secretary of State Sir John Dalyrmple decided to set an example to others who had not takenthe oath, so he sent troops to Glen Coe. Assuming that everything was OK, the Macdonalds welcomed the troops into their homes, where they stayed for 10 days, eating their food and drinking their ale. On February 12, orders were received to kill all clan members under the age of 70 at 5am the nextmorning.
Most were alerted by the gunfire and managed to escape into the nearby hills, but 38 people were killed that day. When the other clans heard how the government had abused the Macdonald hospitality, there was such an outcry that Dalyrmple was forced to resign.
Today, thesesame hills offer shelter on a much happier note - to hikers who travel the 95-mile scenic West Highland Way and day-trippers like ourselves who come to admire the beauty of the area. Rail enthusiasts also visit the area on the West Highland Way train route from Glasgow, but I think Glen Coe is best explored on foot – up close and personal.
From journal Scenic Fort William
dundee, United Kingdom
April 29, 2003
The centre itself is a strange but interesting mix of exhibits on every aspect of the Glen, ranging from the famous massacre to the nationally important flora and fauna the glen has. The trust also have countryside rangers based in Glencoe who offer guided walks of varying lengths and the occasional land rover safari to spot wildlife.
From journal Over The Scottish Misty Mountains