We were lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful sunny September weekend up in Glencoe and Fort William recently.
Glencoe was one of the first places my partner took me when I first came to Scotland. It’s his favourite place, and it’s not hard to see why. The majestic beauty of the Three Sisters gives the place a real magic that has to be experienced first-hand – no photo can ever do it justice.
Our weekend was loads of fun from start to finish. We went up with a couple of friends and stayed at a gorgeous cottage on the banks of the River Coe.
Our Friday evening was spent at the Clachaig Inn. The Clachaig is a lot of fun – it’s THE place to go when you’re in Glencoe and the atmosphere in there cannot be beaten, especially when they have live music playing. But I’m afraid the same cannot be said for their menu, when it comes to rawfood options!
There wasn’t a salad option on the menu so I did my usual and asked for a side salad as a main course, without dressing or onions (I have nothing against onions, but many years of having to put up with dull restaurant salads that cost a tenner and are nothing but a load of chopped up onions and a bit of lettuce have led to me harbouring a bit of a grudge against them!).
The salad was the typical boring restaurant attempt; a few chopped up cucumbers, some lettuce, and lots of onions (I didn’t bother complaining as at least it didn’t have dressing!).
But I wasn’t there for the food really – I was there for the craic, and we had a great evening. Then it was back to the cottage to sit outside under the beautiful full moon and attempt (hilariously, yet unsuccessfully) to make a fire. I then had my ‘proper’ dinner of a salad that I’d made earlier: lots of interesting flavours with mixed greens and fresh herbs, seaweed, and sprouted seeds. Filling and tasty – just what I needed!
The next day I got up early and spent a few peaceful hours out on the porch enjoying the morning before everybody else got up. I did some yoga, then made a big pot of yogi tea and sat just chilling, taking in the beautiful scenery around me. These are the tranquil times that I always remember and love the most about holidays – just sitting and immersing myself in the energy of a new place.
I knew we’d be out for most of the day so I made some food in preparation. It can be a challenge finding the right food to take on a hike which will provide enough energy for the whole day, without resorting to high-fat or dehydrated foods, or weighing yourself down too much.
I took a litre of green juice in a stainless steel flask, and some chopped-up watermelon in a big container. I also took some dates and celery (I like to chew on celery after eating dates, it feels balancing and also gives my jaws a good workout!). All this gave me plenty of energy for the day.
We were spending the day walking up to the Lost Valley (Coire Gabhail); the hidden valley where the MacDonalds of Glen Coe hid their rustled cattle.
This is a really interesting walk; lots of climbing and clambouring and crossing of streams, plus some stunning scenery and waterfalls. We were so very lucky with the weather; lovely and sunny but not too hot for walking.
We had a smashing day, taking plenty of photos and having lots of interesting chat – the time flew by and before we knew it we were lying in the glorious sunshine of the Lost Valley feeling very pleased with our efforts!
The next day we went over to Fort William and Ben Nevis. I have to admit, we were lazy and opted for the ‘cheaters’ way to climb Ben Nevis – in the gondola – but don’t tell anybody…
Once at the top we sat in the cafe and watched the daredevil cyclists start their descent down the mountain tracks at breakneck speeds. It was enthralling, and very impressive – I don’t know how they have the nerve to do it.
The cafe holds summer ceilidh nights during July and August, with a live band – I bet that is a lot of fun. Scottish dancing at the top of Ben Nevis – now that’s got to be one for the bucket list 😉
Then it was over to Fort William for a visit to Treasures of the Earth, the Crystal museum. This was a really brilliant experience; it was so fascinating to learn about the history of all the different crystals. We visited the shop afterwards and went a bit crazy buying moldavite, crystal balls and all manner of trinkets 😉 I highly recommend visiting this place, it’s a real gem (pardon the pun) in the heart of Scotland.
We’re so lucky to have all these amazing places to visit in Scotland. What are your favourite spots? Let me know in the comments below 🙂