Home DestinationsAmazing Scotland Glen Etive and Bridge of Orchy

Glen Etive and Bridge of Orchy

by wanderscapes

Our blog series on our journey through the beautiful Scottish landscapes continues… In this blog, we bring you one of the most beautiful highland journeys passing through the lovely valleys of Glen Coe. If you haven’t read the previous blogs of the series, you can read them here. We continued our drive through Glencoe and arrived at Glen Etive.

This is a beautiful valley that fills our hearts with peace and happiness as we drive through. The mountain ranges stand majestically and the lovely River Etive flows peacefully, offering one of the most picturesque settings we can imagine – a perfect setting in every sense of the word.

Glen Etive
River Etive

Glen Etive

The River Etive originates on the peaks surrounding Rannoch Moor, and turns mighty at the head of Glen Coe, thanks to the numerous tributary streams meeting there. From a point known as the Kings House, the river flows for about 18 km to reach the sea loch, Loch Etive. The river and its tributaries are popular with whitewater kayakers.

To the north end of Glen Etive lies the two mountains known as the Herdsmen of Etive – Buachaille Etive Mòr and Buachaille Etive Beag. Some other peaks accessible from the Glen are Ben Starav and Beinn Fhionnlaidh. The valley is so beautiful that it is a part in the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area – one of 40 such areas in Scotland.

View of the Valley

River Etive

The River Etive is one of Scotland’s most popular and challenging white water kayaking runs. It provides a multitude of solid Grade 4 rapids with a wide range of falls and pool drops. Unsurprisingly, Glen Etive is the backdrop in many movies, including the hit movies such as Braveheart and Skyfall.

We spend some wonderful moments taking in the beauty of the nature and relaxing by the side of the river. Spending a few minutes at the riverside listening to the sounds of water is the best way to calm your mind. Magical and thrilling – that’s what one feels like just being there.

The cascades

The road running along the valley is narrow and unsuitable for big vehicles like caravans. If you are looking to spend some time in nature this is an ideal spot. You can set up your tent somewhere near (but not too close) the water and spend an amazingly refreshing time at the lap of nature.

If you are not up for tenting, you can walk along the numerous trails and enjoy the company of nature. The natural flower carpet and lovely meadows add a mystic charm to the entire setting. And if you can’t go camping, kayaking or trekking, just drive through to enjoy some majestic scenes. There are several points along the route where you will want to stop and click some snaps. Make the most of it and take home some awesome snaps and beautiful memories.

Old Military Road

This was a part of the network of roads built by the government to facilitate quick movement of troops so as to supress the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. Until then, there were no roads other than the cattle roads. Now the military road is more or less disused although some parts are now part of walking trails. In some parts, the new A roads run parallel to it.

We can see a part of the Old Military Road when we travel from Glencoe to Bridge of Orchy. You can read the wikipedia article on these roads here

Bridge of Orchy

The bridge of Orchy is the name of a bridge, village and a railway station in the Scottish highlands. Named after the crossing over the River Orchy, the bridge was constructed by British Army during the pacification of the Highland Clans following the Battle of Culloden in 1746. It was during this period that military roads were built between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands to facilitate the speedy movement of crown forces.

Bridge of Orchy

Today the place attracts tourists from far and wide, thanks to its beautiful settings and river. The West Highland Way long-distance trail runs through the village. The peaks like Dorain and Dòthaidh is situated close by. The River Orchy is said to be one of the finest white-water rivers in the United Kingdom. People come here for canoeing and whitewater rafting. It is a good base camp for those who wish to hike the two peaks as well.

It is also a great place to spend some time and enjoy a picnic with family. There are some tables and benches where you can enjoy a packed lunch while taking in the beauty of the setting. If you are not too short on time, a visit to Bridge of Orchy is highly recommended.

You can see our vlog on the same here

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