Few Scottish locations transfix a visitor on first sight like Glencoe.

Arrive from the south east and the mighty conical silhouette of Buachaille Etive Mor provides a stark contrast to the swathes of Rannoch Moor. It guards the entrance to the glen, before rocky peaks, cliffs and ridges rise up either side of the captivated traveller. Whether you are lucky enough to experience it on a bright clear day or with the clouds hugging the hills, the picture and feeling you get burns into the memory.

This is the Scotland of imagination. A rugged landscape as imposing as it is beautiful, shaped by millions of years of volcanic activity, by ice ages and the elements, by a chequered history, by wildlife and by visitors.

It leaves you spellbound, every time, although many don’t get to experience the true magic.

Drive through on the A82, grab a quick selfie, and you merely get a glimpse of the stunning landscape. Stop and explore and you discover Glencoe in all its glory.

The glen, a National Nature Reserve, is cared for by the National Trust for Scotland and their Glencoe Visitor is a gateway to a variety of adventures. It’s a hub for all those who love the glen – somewhere to gather inspiration for walks, re-fuel after a busy day, and uncover the stories that make this place world-renowned.

Here’s just a few ways to make the most from a visit to Glencoe:

Unearth the history

Glencoe is a landscape forever haunted by a tragedy: the Massacre of 13 February 1692. On that day, 38 men, women and children of the MacDonald clan were murdered by the soldiers they had welcomed as guests into their homes, one of the most infamous moments in Scottish history. You can discover more about this in a powerful short film in the Visitor Centre. Trust archaeologists have recently excavated some of the lost settlements that dotted the glen during this era and are making ambitious plans to recreate one of the traditional turf-built dwellings for visitors to explore just outside the centre, so watch this space…

Get out into nature

With over 60km of footpaths across the National Nature Reserve, there is a wealth of choice when it comes to stretching your legs. Whether you fancy a short wander or a full-day expedition, you don’t need to go far to immerse yourself in Glencoe’s wildlife and experience some of Scotland’s most iconic mountain landscapes. With its giant 3D map, the latest wildlife sightings, weather forecasts and knowledgeable staff, the Info Hub at the Visitor Centre is an essential first step to finding the best route for you, from family-friendly, easy access trails to all day summit-top expeditions. Hillwalkers can also book on to one of the Trust’s guided mountain walks for the chance to climb one of the eight Munro peaks with an experienced Ranger who can provide a unique insight into the landscape, the history and the upkeep of the glen. For something a little less energetic, you can also admire the views and gain a behind-the-scenes perspective on life in Glencoe and Glen Etive on a Landrover Safari with the Trust’s Ranger team.

Take a break

Whether you have caught the bus up from Glasgow, driven for miles, come for the perfect selfie or bagged a few peaks, Glencoe Visitor Centre is the perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in the landscape so special before continuing your travels. Nestled in a woodland glade at the west end of the glen, this award-winning eco-friendly building has recently enjoyed a £1million refurbishment.

It now offers a fantastic new café with panoramic views and a distinctive Scottish menu, a new exhibition and a shop, all of which provide weather-proof activities when it rains (not always, but quite a bit)... Don’t forget that every penny you spend here contributes towards the charity’s work looking after the glen, its footpaths and its wildlife.

While waiting for the clouds to clear, you can sit back and listen to the deep tones of Game of Thrones ‘The Hound’, actor Rory McCann, who narrates ‘The Glen Revealed’, taking you on a 10 minute journey from Glencoe’s volcanic origins to life here today. From 3 August to 28 September, you can also catch an exhibition of the vibrant Highland landscapes captured by acclaimed Scottish artist, Hamish MacDonald.

Leave no trace

The National Trust for Scotland conserve and protect 14,000 acres (that’s over 4000 football pitches worth) of mountainous landscape in Glencoe and Glen Etive, home to some of Scotland and Europe’s most precious natural habitats and species. Much of their activities here focus on the sensitive balance between the wildlife which makes its home here and the two million people who pass through every year. While the Ranger team urge you to savour every moment of your visit, they also ask that you to tread lightly, take care to leave no litter, drive respectfully and camp responsibly, so this remarkable place remains as beautiful tomorrow as it is today. If you want to get more involved you can become a volunteer or book on to a variety of week-long Thistle Camps assisting with practical conservation tasks.

For the Love of Scotland

Aside from being an unforgettable day out, by visiting National Trust for Scotland sites or joining as a member you are actively protecting and preserving Scotland’s heritage.

Places in the Trust’s care include eight National Nature Reserves, 38 gardens and landscapes, 46 Munros, 400 islands and inlets, 26 castles and great houses, and thousands of precious artefacts and collections.

For more information and to plan your visit, enter your postcode at nts.org.uk