The National Trust for Scotland Glencoe Visitors Centre
 (Photo: Martin Shields)
The National Trust for Scotland Glencoe Visitors Centre (Photo: Martin Shields)

Opening the Gateway to beautiful Glencoe

Glencoe’s new-look visitor centre this week welcomed its first guests after a major refurbishment.

The centre tells the story of this world-renowned mountain landscape and National Nature Reserve, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Work took place over the winter, with over £1m invested to refurbish the existing eco-friendly centre, creating a more immersive, informative and welcoming ‘gateway’ to Glencoe.

Interiors have been modernised throughout, taking a fresh approach to revealing the stories that make Glencoe such a cherished place.

History, wildlife and things to do in the glen are brought to life through quirky design, visual display, sound and sculpture.

The National Trust for Scotland Glencoe Visitors Centre (Photo: Martin Shields)

A new 50 seat film screening space will show a specially commissioned film with narration from Game of Thrones star Rory McCann. The piece takes viewers on a journey from the glen’s volcanic origins, through fire, then ice, towards the tragic events of the 1692 Glencoe Massacre, and on to its popularity with walkers and tourists today.

A new exhibition space will focus a spotlight on a different theme every year.

For the first exhibition, Pioneers of the Peaks, the Trust has partnered up with mountaineering clubs, mountain rescuers and the Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection to explore the glen’s role in shaping mountaineering and climbing in Scotland over the last 100 years.

The exhibition brings together some unique archive imagery, artefacts, audio and stories, past and present.

The Highland Coo Café offers panoramic views of the mountains of Glencoe from its new extension, stories ingrained into the tables, listening posts to hear local folk tales in both English and Gaelic, plus a new menu. The shop has been refreshed with exclusive Scottish gifts and distinctive Glencoe product ranges.

All income generated at the centre contributes towards the National Trust for Scotland’s work within the National Nature Reserve. The conservation charity has owned and cared for the glen since the 1930s. The investment is part of a five year plan to improve Scotland’s built and natural heritage.

There’s something for everyone at the revamped National Trust for Scotland Glencoe Visitor Centre (Photo: Martin Shields)

National Trust for Scotland operations manager for Glencoe, Emily Bryce said: ‘We’ve only been open a few days and our new gateway to Glencoe has been very well received by local people and visitors on their Easter holidays.

‘People are really responding to the storytelling that is woven throughout the visitor centre. We wanted to do something that can be appreciated by visitors from across the world, many of whom don’t know much about the glen before they come here, nor speak English as their first language.

‘It’s a real sensory experience, with an inventive use of sounds, graphics and materials in places you wouldn’t expect, you are immersed in the the facts, folklore and atmosphere of Glencoe from the moment you arrive.

‘These great new facilities make it even easier for the Trust to share our love of Scotland and help people experience and value this beautiful place. It’s a job we’re proud to do.’

To find out more about Glencoe, visit