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Scotland - Glencoe | by © Jamie Mitchell
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Scotland - Glencoe

Glencoe is a famous glen (valley) in the Highlands of Scotland. It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland.


The glen is a U-shaped valley formed by Ice Age glaciation. It is about 16 km (10 miles) long with the valley floor less than 700 m (0.4 miles) wide, with towering mountains rising sharply from the valley floor to heights of around 900 m (3,000 feet).


It was also the site of the historic Glencoe Massacre that took place on 13th February 1692.

When William III replaced James II on the British throne in 1689, he offered peace, on condition of their taking an oath of allegience within a certain date, to the rebellious Scottish clans that remained loyal to the latter. The MacDonald chief dithered but arrived for submission on the last date. Some procedural wrangles followed and his opponents wanted to teach him a lesson, even though he was allowed to take the oath.


Earlier, on their way home from the Battle of Dunkeld, the Maclains of Glencoe, a sept of Clan MacDonald, together with their Glengarry kinsmen, looted the lands of Robert Campbell of Glenlyon. He was ultimately forced to take an army commission. Robert Campbell and his men were billeted in Glencoe and accepted the traditionally warm hospitality of the MacDonalds. At some point during their stay, Captain Campbell received orders to "put to the sword all under 70". Thirty-eight men were killed, and forty women and children died of exposure after the village was burnt. Some of the officers refused to execute their orders and broke their swords in protest.


The glen is virtually uninhabited.

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Taken on August 4, 2012