Glen Etive Scotland is definitively one of the most beautiful roads in Scotland. It offers mountains and river landscapes all the way to the wild loch Etive. Don't be afraid of the single track road. Below is my travel guide and photos to help you plan this not-to-be-missed road trip adventure!
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Glen Etive Drive - the video
Glen Etive is a long valley in the Glencoe National Trust. A single track road has been built along the River Etive all the way to the magnificent Loch Etive.
If you want one of the best roads off the beaten track in Scotland, this is it!
And for James Bond fans, Glen Etive was included in the Skyfall filming locations...
Before showing you photos of Glen Etive, the River Etive and Loch Etive, here is a short video to give you a feel for the drive. Please note, that the reality is at least 10 times better than the video (maybe I should have filmed wide angle... I feel frustrated not to be able to give you a better rendition)
Many photos after the information to help you plan your drive!
PLANNING TIPS - Glen Etive Scotland
How to get to Glen Etive - Map
- Glen Etive is a road Off A82 in Glencoe, you can't miss it, the turn is where everybody stops to photograph Buachaille Etive Mor, the most photographed mountains in Scotland
- The small village near Loch Etive at the end of the road is Gualachulain
- Below is a map to help you you get a better idea of where the Glen Etive road is:
Visiting Glen Etive and Loch Etive
- How long to drive Glen Etive? - Plan 1 hour each way to drive Glen Etive + And as long as want to explore Loch Etive on foot or by boat (if you travel with one...)
- How to behave on the road - It is a single track road with many passing places. Don't forget not to tail the other cars to be able to stop at different passing places
- Facilities - No toilets on the road
- Parking - It can be difficult to park as the road is narrow. Do not stop in the middle of passing places! Leave spaces for people to cross.
- Wild camping is permitted
- Many people bring their kayak and boats to enjoy Loch Etive. No roads around it.
- The road of Glen Etive is suitable for motorhomes but when the road is busy in Summer and people don't respect the crossing places, it could get difficult.
- Glen Etive walks and Highlands hikes - there are several in the vicinity of the glen such as Beinn Trilleachan
Glen Etive Road entrance turn at Buachaille Etive Mor
You cannot miss the beginning of Glen Etive. If coming from the East on A82, you will admire Buachaille Etive Mor from far away. Everybody stops at the beginning of the road that is indicated with a sign.
Easy to understand why everyone stops to photograph the mountain of Buachaille Etive Mor (more pictures in the dedicated post).
Don't be scared by the dead-end road sign. Yes there is nowhere to go, but the road is long and beautiful...
See how inviting it is?
Driving Glen Etive Scotland
This drive is really one of the most scenic roads in Scotland. I could not understand why a few cars were speeding. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Along River Etive...
The road is often close to the River Etive. If you are a James Bond fan you can stop everywhere to try finding the Skyfall filming location where they are in front of the car. Personally I did not, I just enjoyed the landscape.
Glen Etive camping - Glen Etive is a great place to enjoy wild camping, along the river or next to Loch Etive (just avoid the forest area). See below the owners of this tent have found a great spot. Please don't forget to take away your rubbish.
Stunning Loch Etive Scotland in photos
After a little section of driving surrounded by trees you reach Loch Etive. It is a 30km long sea loch (yes check on google map, it bends but actually joins the sea). It is all in length with a width around 1.5km. No roads surround it, the best way to enjoy it is to bring your boat.
I just stopped there to enjoy a picnic with a great view. I wish I had planned more time to explore the area as I think this is one of the most beautiful Scottish Lochs.
Where to stay near Glen Etive
Except for camping, you can't really stay in Glen Etive.
But you can drive a little bit further on A82 and stay in Glencoe Village or KinlochLeven with amazing views of Loch Leven and the mountains.
Otherwise, below are some accommodation suggestions in Glencoe
Camping in Glen Etive
There are no official campsite within Glen Etive. You can find some around Glencoe.
But Glen Etive is famous as one of the best wild camping site in Scotland.
Sadly it is also famous for being one of the dirtiest because of the lack of respect from some campers.
So check out the signs for where it is not allowed and be respectful!
Want to see more of SCOTLAND?
The reason we take road trips, don't you think?
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