On the Road: Glen Etive

The rough, single-track road snaking its way through Glen Etive, just south of Glencoe, is amongst the most breath-taking drives in the world. Following the white waters of the River Etive fourteen miles to the north-shore of Loch Etive, it’s a dead-end drive well worth the detour.

“Turning left off the busy A82, just past Glencoe Mountain, our highland trip took us on the 28-mile round-trip through Glen Etive. We’d read about the second-to-none scenery, and watched James Bond steer his Aston Martin through the winding glen in scenes from Skyfall, but nothing could prepare us for just how beautiful this remote stretch of road really is. Even with moody skies, bitter winds and lashing rain, the landscape is mind-blowing. And once the noise of the west-highland thoroughfare is out of earshot, there’s nothing but you, the roaring river and the soaring mountains to make you feel suddenly very far away.

It’s not easy to find somewhere truly remote, particularly in the UK, and even in the middle of winter Glen Etive’s famous landscape meant we were joined by a handful of other climbers, road-trippers and brave wild-campers. But as we stopped to shoot the scenery, say hello to the local deer and park for the night on the shores of the loch, we felt very lucky to have the place almost to ourselves.”

– Alex, Hugo, Romy & Sisi

Getting there: heading north towards Fort William, look out for the small left-hand turning towards Glen Etive, just past the Kingshouse Hotel

Travel tip: with so much ground to cover and so many breathtaking landscapes hidden down single-track roads, the best way to explore Scotland is on four wheels. For our winter trip we had a loose route mapped out but were keen to keep the journey open, so felt really lucky to team up with California Scotland and take to the road in one of their ultra-cosy VW vans. Owners and California-enthusiasts Linda and Jeremy lent us ‘Jackie Brown’ – which, as one of the newest, best-equipped campers in Scotland, meant we could sleep wherever we wanted, and kept us all warm despite the wild winter weather.

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