The waters which tumble from these high mountains and give rise to a series of spectacular waterfalls gather initially at the ‘Meeting of the Three Waters’ to form the River Coe. Less than a mile lower down, at the very heart of Glencoe, the river widens briefly to form the sombre yet beautifully situated Loch Achtriochtan.
The mountains of Glencoe are built from some of the oldest sedimentary and volcanic strata in the world. They were subsequently moulded, sheared and repositioned by a geological event known as a ‘cauldron subsidence’ which took place 380 million years ago.
The mountains which first greet the visitor arriving from the south are the strikingly beautiful and instantly recognisable peaks of the Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag, – ‘The great’ and ‘The little’ Herdsmen of Etive. Magnificent though they may be, neither of these mountains is the reigning peak of the Glen or the district. That distinction belongs to the peak of Bidean nam Bian; whose main summit is hidden above and behind its more famous outliers, three great-truncated spurs known as ‘The Three Sisters of Glencoe’.