The British call them laybys or lay-bys and there are four or five of them pretty close to each other in the Three Sisters area of Highway A82 in Glencoe. We pulled over at one of them and waited until there was a parking spot available at the viewpoint up ahead. This was our last stop in Glencoe for taking pictures and here are some of the ones I took.
Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.
These photos were taken at a spot about four miles from Glencoe Village, the site of one of the most horrible events in Scottish history. In 1692 the latest Jacobite rebellion was winding down and the Scottish clans were asked to sign pledges of allegiances to the king. The MacDonalds of Glencoe delayed signing until they received permission from their former king, James VII, who was in exile in France. A couple of companies of soldiers under the command of Captain Robert Campbell were sent by the military government in Fort William to be billeted in Glencoe and the MacDonald Clan in a spirit of friendship welcomed them to their homes. The soldiers stayed in Glencoe for about two weeks and then on February 12th in the middle of the night the guests got up and slayed their hosts while most of them were sleeping. All told, 38 MacDonald men were murdered and 40 wives and children fled in the snow and either froze or starved to death. The plot was apparently concocted by the Secretary of State for Scotland John Dalrymple and some members of the lowland Campbell clan who wanted revenge on their highland MacDonald enemies (The Glencoe MacDonalds were notorious for stealing cattle and hiding them in a secret Glencoe valley). Dalrymple convinced King William that the MacDonalds were a scourge to the kingdom, their pledge-signing was too late and they needed to be wiped out and King Billy signed the order.
Of course there’s a song about what has come to be called The Glencoe Massacre and of course there’s a rendition by the Corries on Youtube. You can listen to it here.
Glencoe has become a favorite site for filming motion pictures. The first two Harry Potter movies were shot mostly in studios but the third film, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, was filmed almost entirely in Glencoe. So was the James Bond thriller Skyfall as well as several of the outdoor scenes in Braveheart and Highlander.
After this Glencoe viewpoint we bypassed Glencoe Village and drove all the way to Fort William where we stopped for lunch. I’ll have more details on the rest of our trip to Skye in my next posting.