Glencoe lies within the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area and has been described as one of the most spectacular and dramatic glens in the Highlands. The mountains of Glen Nevis are made of ancient sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The Glen also provides one of the ' best-exposed examples of cauldron subsidence', resulting from the collapse of the volcanic crater of an ancient volcano.
Ancient peaks, ridges and truncated spurs characterise this landscape, with the distinctive peaks of The Shephards (Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag), and the enigmatic Bidean nam Bian, the dramatic spurs of the Three Sisters of Glencoe and the spectacular narrow notched ridge of Aonach Eagach. The impressive ridge of Aonach Eagach extends for some 10 km ridge from the Pap of Glencoe to the Devil's Staircase (cf the West Highland Way). These peaks and spurs tower above the long narrow sea loch of Loch Leven, the impressive Blackwater Reservoir and the extensive blanket bog of Rannoch Moor. The Mamore Forest to the north is characterised by rounded, rocky mountains and open rolling moorland.
Glen Coe supports a diversity of vegetation and habitat types and a rich flora including a number of rare species. It is also a good place to see a variety of birds from upland birds such as snow bunting, ptarmigan, golden eagle and raven to birds associated with boggy moorland and woodland habitats.
Glen Coe also has a rich cultural heritage. Glen Coe achieved notoriety in 1692 as the site of a bloody massacre perpetrated by government troops under the command of Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon. An unfortunate delay in expressing allegiance to King William III brought about a tragic series of events that led to the lost of over eighty members of the Clan MacDonald from either violence at the hands of the redcoats or through exposure during their flight into the hills. The tragedy had its roots in "The Glorious Revolution" and the Jacobite uprising of 1689, although it is the heinous nature of the massacre, i.e. 'murder under trust, ' that has endured.
Take time to visit the National Trust Visitor Centre near the village of Glen Coe to learn more about the Glen Coe Massacre and the natural and cultural heritage of the region. The Glencoe Folk Museum, housed in thatched cottage, also showcases articles and objects relevant to the history of the Glencoe and North Lorn.
Glen Coe and Loch Leven afford some excellent hill and low level walking opportunities amongst a stunning backdrop.
The Glen Coe Mountain Resort offers a range of activities including mountain biking, hill walking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding and sledging. The chair lift also affords some stunning views over the Glen.
The Ice Factory in Kinlochleven offers indoor and outdoor rock, indoor ice climbing, bouldering and an aerial adventure course. Other adventure activities in the region include mountaineering, bridge swinging, segway, gorge walking, paintballing, canyoning, coasteering and white water rafting and via ferrata.
Glen Coe has also served as several film sets, such as James Bond film Skyfall, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. Clachaig Gully was the location of Hagrid's Hut in Prisoner of Azkaban.