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Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

San Francisco...
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Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

My husband and I would like to spend a few days (2-5 days) in the Glen Coe area, but we will not have a car and I'm concerned about whether we can get around adequately. I understand that there is a bus from Fort William to the area of Glen Coe, but read somewhere that it doesn't go to the village.

Will we be able to get to beautiful /moderate level (but not extremely challenging) walks, B & B's, and places to eat without the use of a car? Do you have specific places to suggest and ways to get there?

Would we be better off staying in Fort William and taking day trips from there?

Thanks for any helpful comments/info.

Glasgow, United...
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1. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

I think I'd stay in the Glencoe area, rather than Fort William. It's not such a fabulous town, albeit the areas around offer fantastic walking, climbing and water-sports.

Check the Clachaig Inn as an option. http://www.clachaig.com/ The village itself has various B&B options, as listed on TripAdvisor.

There are some nice, gentle walks around the side of Loch Leven too.

Edinburgh...
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2. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

The bus stops at the West end of the village. It's not a problem unless your'e staying way out at the east end of the village, because Glencoe village is long and stringy.

If the reason to visit Glencoe is to see the mountains, it's better to stay at the Clachaig which is right in the middle of the best bits.

walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/glencoe.shtml will give you some short walks as well as listing many of the challenging ones.

Avoid the 4 and 5 boot options. Places like the Aonach Eagach are really for twinkletoe mountaineers.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

Thanks. Helpful advice. A lot of places we checked into were already booked, but were able to book what looks like a nice B & B in Ballachulish. We've been looking at walkhighlands and hopefully we'll be able to get to some of those walks. If we take a bus to the Visitor Center in Glen Coe, will we be able to do any walking straight from there?

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

Also - any advice on which side of the West Highlands Train would be preferable on the leg from Fort William to Mallaig?

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

hmm potentially yes but you will need to walk a couple of miles. I love this route, straightforward enough in the summer grough.co.uk/magazine/2012/08/17/bidean-nam-…

Failing that you could just have a wander up the Lost Valley :)

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

Thanks for your suggestions. When you say we'd have to walk a couple of miles to join that route, what do you mean? Would we be taking a bus to the Visitor's Center and then walking two miles from there to where the described walk begins? Does that mean walking by the road and if so, is that a reasonable thing to do? I think the walk described at the grough link would be more than we would be up for (steepness and length) escpecially if we have to walk 2 miles to even start. Will we still have a good walk if we just do part of the way? Can you suggest how far we should walk if we want to get a special view --or should we just figure it will all be beautiful and we should just go as far as we feel comfortable and then turn around?

Also I'm not clear what you mean "wander up the Lost Valley." Where do we start walking. What exactly is "the Lost Valley?" Is it an area we would just "wander" through -or are there specific paths starting somewhere and going somewhere?

I don't mean to sound dumb. I've been reading a lot of walk descriptions, but it a bit hard for me to visualize having never actually seen the landscape. We live in the US and are more used to specific trails.

Should I stop worrying about this and just figure that once we are in the area, we will be able to get advice about where to go to walk?

Edinburgh...
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7. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/lostvalley.s… Lost Valley description

www.walkhighlands.co.uk/maps/map2_11fw.shtml Lost Valley routemap

Look at the green dots. It's accessible as a walk up the glen from Loch Achtriochtan, or from the roadside: there's a big car park and there's usually a piper playing for the tourists ... If you zoom in you'll see the car parks. Or it's maybe half an hour's walk from the Clachaig inn. The visitor centre is another 20 mins (?) down the main road towards Glencoe village. Scroll on the map for a blue 'V'.

The problem is in getting buses to stop at the Lost Valley carpark or at the Clachaig ... you might be lucky but they're not official stops, and the road is often busy.

Edinburgh...
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8. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

General advice re walking. You will NOT see paint marks on stones or lots of signposts. It's assumed you can use a map and compass to navigate, and therefore you're fairly self-reliant. However most commonly used paths are heavily worn by bootmarks, which will give you some confidence you're on the right route. Maybe too much confidence, because there can be many more trails on the ground than ever appear on the map. Deer and sheep as well as human ...

The lower slopes of most Scottish mountains are covered by peat and heather - which sound romantic until you realise peat can be boggy :-) You need to be properly shod not just because of rocks and outcrops but to keep your feet something like dry.

Edinburgh
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9. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

Unless you walk parts of the West Highland (motor) Way in which case the 'trail' is usually very obvious. :)

Ballachulish is not really ideal as it's not in Glencoe - I would have gone for the Clachaig suggestion as a base, but there are local and Citylink buses to Fort William/Glencoe Village/ etc and the Citylink one through Glencoe (but might only stop at visitor centre, village road crossroad and the Kingshouse).

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Fort William/ Glen Coe without a car

Thanks for all the helpful ideas.