Glen Etive Road: Mountains, Ravines, Ancient Battle Grounds, and, er, James Bond?!

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While there is no shortage of beautiful rural hotspots in the Scottish Highlands, few places hold a candle to the ethereal, moody vibe of Glencoe.

What was once a fierce battleground between rival clans during the 17th century is now a peaceful outdoor haven for lovers of the great outdoors. But there’s more to Glencoe than misty-topped mountains and the occasional unearthed instrument of ancient war – most notably Glen Etive Road – which has quite the claim to fame!

Read More: Glencoe Lochan Trail: The Lowdown

glen etive glencoe photoshoot

Photo by Wildling Weddings During a Glencoe Adventure Shoot

Where is Glen Etive Road?

Glen Etive is a narrow valley that can be found in one of The Highlands’ best-loved areas – Glencoe. Glen Etive Road follows the ravine along the River Etive, and visitors can use the route to get to the infamous Buachaille Etive Mór mountain.

Getting to Glen Etive is relatively simple, especially when coming from the nearby airports in Inverness, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, but owing to the rural nature of the location, we do recommend hiring a car to fully enjoy the experience.

Why Visit Glen Etive?

Glen Etive is the ultimate road trip route for visitors of The Highlands and is especially loved by walkers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts.

No matter the weather, this atmospheric and otherworldly location does not disappoint. Whether you’re seeking mountains to climb, glens to roam, or lochs to swim in – Glen Etive has it all. And the wildlife is pretty incredible too!

But it also has another claim to fame: being a movie location.

Those who have already seen Glen Etive in the flesh will understand why this area was chosen for not one but two Hollywood movies: the 2012 James Bond film, Skyfall, and the 1995 epic movie, Braveheart.

Glen Etive Skyfall

The name’s Bond. James Bond.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will likely have seen at least one Bond movie, and it was Daniel Craig in Skyfall who almost single-handedly made Glen Etive Road a household name.

Lovers of the franchise will know that 007 isn’t all about martinis and beautiful ladies – he loves an epic location too, and Skyfall follows his journey back to his Scottish roots, which features his family home, (the fictitious) ‘Skyfall Lodge’ in Glencoe.

Fun fact: Ian Fleming, the writer behind the Bond franchise, was so impressed by Sean Connery’s performance in Dr. No that he decided to write in some Scottish heritage as a quintessential component of Bond’s backstory.

According to the novels (which focus on Bond’s upbringing and history more so than the movies), 007 studied at a private school in Edinburgh during his youth, and his father hailed from Glencoe (hence the inclusion of this location in Skyfall).

glen etive glencoe photoshoot

Photo by Wildling Weddings at Glencoe Elopement

Glen Etive James Bond Locations

As well as the infamous scene in front of Etive Mór in Skyfall, other Scottish Bond locations have included:

  • Loch Gare (Argyll & Bute) in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
  • Eilean Donan Castle (Isle of Skye) in The World is Not Enough (1999)
  • Loch Craignish (Ardfern) in From Russia With Love (1963)
  • Duart Castle (Isle of Mull) isn’t a direct location but was the home of Fitzroy MacLean – one of the key inspirations behind the character of James Bond. 

Where to Stay in Glen Etive?

Glen Etive may be pretty off the beaten track but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of places to crash.

Whether you favour a countryside B&B, a fancy hotel, a snazzy glamping pod, or a simple and nostalgic campsite, some of the best accommodation in Glencoe includes:

Inverlochy Hotel

Being in the heart of rural Scotland doesn’t mean sacrificing 5-star glamour. This exceptional luxury hotel features spacious and cosy suites, as well as a terrace, a garden, and a library.

Popular amenities include:

  • Room service
  • Pet friendly
  • Bar & restaurant
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry service

Nearby attractions include Nevis Range Mountain Experience (4-minute drive), Ben Nevis (12-minute drive), and Inverness City (84-minute drive).

RiverBed Lodges (With Hot Tubs)

A soak in a hot tub with a glass of local Scotch in hand is one of the best ways to warm the cockles (those Highland winds can make your teeth chatter!). As well as that, these luxury lodges will make you feel like you’re sleeping among hobbits in The Shire!

Nearby attractions include Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course (5-minute walk), the Glencoe Visitor Centre (8-minute drive), and Ben Nevis (30-minute drive).

Popular amenities include:

  • Hot tubs
  • Pet friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free breakfast

Kentra Cottage

This 5-star Highland retreat makes for a stunning honeymoon or romantic getaway with your sweetheart. Featuring one bedroom and one bathroom, you have plenty of space all to yourselves for the ultimate lavish vacation.

Popular amenities include:

  • Outdoor space (+ BBQ grill)
  • Pet friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry facilities

Nearby attractions include Glencoe Folk Museum (3-minute walk), Loch Leven (11-minute walk), and Glencoe Visitor Centre (3-minute drive).

Holly Tree Hotel

Featuring a hot tub and an indoor swimming pool, the Holly Tree Hotel is the epitome of Highland luxury. Overlooking the shores of Kentallen Pier, all 20 of the stylish suites boast stunning sea views, and on warmer days, guests can enjoy a meal out on the decking.

Popular amenities include:

  • Restaurant & bar
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Fabulous breakfast

Local attractions include Jubilee Park (6-minute drive), Ben Nevis Mountain (12-minute drive), and the Parade Gardens (22-minute drive).

The Ballachulish Hotel

Nestled comfortably between the Glencoe mountains, and overlooking Loch Leven, the fabulous Ballachulish Hotel is a blend of historical style and contemporary comfort – all under a stunning baronial roof. 

Popular amenities include:

  • Bar & restaurant
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Room service
  • Good breakfast

Nearby attractions include Ben Nevis Mountain (10-minute drive), West Highland Museum (20-minute drive), and the Ben Nevis Whisky Distillery (23-minute drive).

The Isles of Glencoe Hotel

From across the nearby shore, this 3-star hotel almost looks like it is floating upon the serene waters of Loch Leven! Featuring an indoor swimming pool, bio-sauna, and a hydro seat, the Isles of Glencoe Hotel is ideal for a spot of pampering after a long day of exploring.

Popular amenities include:

  • Restaurant & bar
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Room service

Nearby attractions include Ben Nevis (9-minute drive), Jubilee Park (7-minute walk), and the West Highland Museum (23-minute drive).

Loch Leven Hotel & Distillery

A distillery and a hotel all rolled into one?! What’s not to like?!

As the name suggests, this fabulous hotel sits at the lip of Loch Leven and boasts some pretty epic mountain views. Guests can tuck into a continental breakfast and browse the shelves of the in-house library – all before heading over to the distillery to sample some of the good stuff!

Popular amenities include:

  • Free parking
  • Restaurant & bar
  • Pet friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Terrace

Nearby attractions include Ben Nevis (10-minute drive), Parade Gardens (19-minute drive), and West Highland Museum (19-minute drive).

Glencoe Camping & Caravanning Site

Campers and motorhomes can pitch up at this fantastic campsite located at the foot of the Glencoe mountains and surrounded by National Trust forests.


  • Flushing toilets
  • Showers
  • Pet friendly
  • Disabled access
  • Motorhome service point
  • Shop

Best Hikes in Glencoe, Scotland

Naturally, The Highlands is one of the best hiking spots in the country, and some of the best Glen Etive trails include:

  • Coire Gabhail (The Lost Valley), 6.3 km.
  • Tom a’ Ghrianain (Signal Rock), 3.5 km.
  • Stob Dubh via Buachaille Etive Beag, 6.9 km.


Is Glen Etive worth visiting?

Lovers of jaw-dropping mountains and scenic countryside shouldn’t miss out on the otherworldly beauty that goes hand in hand with Glen Etive and Glencoe.
Not only is it an ideal place for a road trip, but it is a hiking haven too – and you can even get married there!

What is the famous road in Skyfall?

Glen Etive Road was immortalised by the Bond movie, Skyfall, in which the main man himself (plus ‘M’) stood in front of the Buachaille Etive Mór mountain – and next to Bond’s trademark vehicle – an Astin Martin. 

Where was Skyfall filmed in Glencoe?

The infamous Bond movie was filmed on the Dalness Estate in Glen Etive, which was once owned by the writer himself, Ian Fleming, but is now part of the National Trust of Scotland. 

Is Glen Etive in Glencoe?

Yes, Glen Etive is a part of the beautiful Highland location, Glencoe – and should absolutely be on your bucket list when visiting!

Is Loch Etive freshwater?

Loch Etive is actually a hybrid of fresh and seawater. 
According to the Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland, “Massive fresh water supply determines the range of salinity (below 28.5 psu) in the upper basin. Loch Etive has the largest ratio between its watershed and sea surface area (45:1) of all Scottish sea lochs, which leads to large annual freshwater input, accumulated from 12 rivers.”

Is Glencoe in The Highlands?

Yes, Glencoe is one of the many glorious areas belonging to the Scottish Highlands and can be found in the Ballachulish area in Argyll County. 

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