National Trust for Scotland Glencoe Visitor Centre
The NTS Glencoe Visitor Centre consists of a Visitor Centre, Shop and Cafe. It is also the start point for the Glencoe Woodland Trail.
The Visitor Centre is well worth a visit. It provides a fascinating insight into the historical, cultural, and social heritage of Glencoe through interpretation boards, exhibits, artefacts and models. The exhibits cover personal reflections and attitudes to Glencoe and the rich archaeological, social and cultural history of the Glen. Topics covered include Bronze age cup and ring marks, the third century legendary Scottish poet "Ossian", the late six century saint St Munn or Munda, the Vikings, Angus Ogg and Clan Donald .
The most infamous event associated with the Glen, the massacre at Glencoe, is depicted in a film. Other features include references to General Wade, Duncan McDonald, Queen Victoria, and Visitors Today.
There are also audio stories on Deirdre of the Sorrows, Clan Donald of Glencoe, Angus MacDonald and on the man who bought a mountain.
The geology of Glencoe is explored through some interesting displays on the geological history (from 500 millions to present) with an exhibit on the Glencoe volcano and the formation of the caldera. There is also a selection of rocks from various parts of the Glen with information on their features, formation and where to see examples of each type. Other interpretation boards cover the shaping of the Glencoe and its surrounds by glaciation events.
There is also a display on the "Call of the Wild" which recounts notable climbs and climbers, such as Norman Collie, Neil (Nicol) Marquis, Harold Raeburn and W.H. Murray. The exhibit includes profiles and some of the mountain equipment used, including ice axes, hammers, ice shoes and compass. There is also an interactive exhibit on the nature of climbing: the challenges faced and overcome, with advice on best practice, as well as quotes from various mountaineers.
The nature of Glencoe is explored through exhibits on the flora and fauna with reference to the various habitat types, including loch, grassland, cliff, dry heath, wet heath, woodland, mountain heath and rocky slopes. There are also some interesting profiles on five key animals associated with the glen including red deer, otter, pine marten and ptmarigan. There is also some video footage of some of the wildlife seen on Glencoe, as well as a feature on where to find wildlife.
The interesting exhibit on 'Feelie Flora' describes the uses made of local plants, from seaweeds as fertilisers to heather as a roofing material.
There is also an exhibit on nature conservation, featuring species under threat and on the effect climate change is having on the glen and beyond.
An interactive computer game introduces some of the complex issues associated with managing the glen, together with a touch table.
All in all, an excellent way to immerse yourself in the historical, cultural and natural landscape of Glen Coe. Well worth a visit!