Glen Coe is a glen in the Highlands of Scotland. It lies in the southern part of the Lochaber committee area of Highland Council, and was formerly part of the county of Argyll. It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, and is a part of the designated National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. The narrow glen shows a grim grandeur. The glen, approaching from the east on the main A82 road, is surrounded by wild and precipitous mountains. Further west at Invercoe, the landscape has a softer beauty before the main entrance to the glen. The main settlement is the village of Glencoe.
The name Glen Coe is often said to mean “Glen of Weeping”, perhaps with some reference to the infamous Massacre of Glencoe which took place there in 1692. However, “Gleann Comhann” does not translate as “Glen of Weeping”. In fact the Glen is named after the River Coe which runs through it, and bore this name long before the 1692 incident. The name of the river is believed to predate the Gaelic language and its meaning is not known. One possibility is that it was named after a tribe once living in the area; however this remains speculation.
The glen is U-shaped, formed by an ice age glacier, about 16 km long with the floor of the glen being less than 700m wide, narrowing sharply at the Pass of Glen Coe about half way along.
The entrance to the glen from above is on Rannoch Moor to the east, below the mountain of Meall a’ Bhuiridh; Glen Etive runs to the south from nearby. The entrance to Glen Coe is marked by Buachaille Etive Mor, “the great herdsman of Etive” at the junction with Glen Etive. Glen Coe then runs roughly west for about 12km before turning north-west towards Loch Leven.
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