When planning our trip to Scotland, my husband and I agreed that we wanted to spend most of our time in the Scottish Highlands taking in the rugged beauty of the country. So after one day in Edinburgh we hit the road for Fort William.
And along the way we took a detour through Glen Etive, which is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
This 14 mile drive takes you off of A82 down a single track road along the River Etive with stunning views of the landscape, ultimately ending at Loch Etive.
Isn’t it just stunning?
If the photos in this post look familiar to you, it’s because Glen Etive is where James Bond’s boyhood home is located in the film Skyfall. While the actual Skyfall lodge is fictional, the drive through Glen Etive is real and definitely a bucket list item for lovers of scenic drives.
And you may get to see some wild creatures up close. Look at this little guy eating along the road!
If you’re thinking of taking this drive yourself while in the greater Fort William area, you can simply type ‘Glen Etive’ into Google Maps and it will take you down this beautiful road. But with little to no cell service in this area, it’s best you have a navigation system in your car to use instead. It takes about 40 minutes from Fort William to get to the beginning of the route.
Here are a few other things you should know beforehand:
- This drive is on a single track road. Use the passing places along the road to safely pass other vehicles.
- Even though the road isn’t that long, it can take you about an hour to drive to Loch Etive and another to get back to A82 due to the slow speed, time needed for passing vehicles, and stops for photos.
- There are no shops, restaurants, bathrooms, or gas stations along the way.
- You probably won’t have phone service on the drive (so download your James Bond tunes before you start!).
- If you’re stopping to get out and take photos, don’t park in passing places. Use the shoulder to park.
My husband and I both agree that the best part of the drive was the first half, where all but one of these photos were taken. If you’re short on time I would suggest turning around about half way through.
If you want to spend more time in Glen Etive wild camping is permitted, but I must caution campers to be mindful of the environment and residents of the area.
Glen Etive has gained some celebrity since being featured in Skyfall, and in recent years inconsiderate visitors have been trashing campsites and leaving their garbage behind for residents to clean up.
If you’re visiting just for a drive or staying in Glen Etive overnight, be a respectful visitor and leave no trace.