Glencoe Elopement Guide

        I can clearly remember my first time in Glencoe, it was an incredibly rainy dark day in November, when we drove through the valley in our rental car and went for a little walk and I was mesmerized by the sheer scale and rugged beauty of the hillsides with heather and bramble in all shades of orange and red covering the slopes of The Three Sisters and Aonach Eagach on the other. Since then I’ve climbed most of the hills you can see from the road with Hillwalking Club or on my own and explored the hidden gems of surrounding valleys, bathed in waterfalls and slept on the roadside in my camprevan. I’ve also captured some beautiful weddings there and I’d like to share a bit of my experience so you can plan your adventure in Glencoe as well.

        The location

        Glencoe is often called a gateway to Highlands and it’s perfect for smaller intimate weddings or adventurous elopements. It is located just a 2.5h drive from Edinburgh and 2 hour drive from Glasgow – which is actually really good for Scottish Highlands. (For example Isle of Skye is ~6 hour drive from Edinburgh.)

        There is single main road going through Glencoe – A82 and along the way there are plenty or parking lots to stop and enjoy the views or go for a hike. The are in itself is pretty remote and phone signal can be scarce.

        The seasons

        Spring and autumn – my favourite: muted colours and dramatic weather

        Scotland is magical in all seasons but my favourite times to visit are spring (March- mid May) and autumn (mid September – early November). I love that these are less busy times which allow more privacy, the muted colours of spring before everything bursts into 50 shades of green – with newborn lambs jumping around. In the autumn it’s vibrant red and orange hues of bracken and heather (from mid October). The weather is usually either sunny or beautifully dramatic with some showers and clouds rolling on hillsides during these seasons. In late autunn there is a good chance of snow capped mountains.

        Summer – vividly green, busy and swarmed with midges

        Summer is busiest season in Scotland and everything turns vividly green, the days are long (you’ll have to put in some effort into catching that sunrise/sunset as on longest day sunrise is about 4:30am and sunset at 10:15 pm), there is a lot of tourists and also by the evening the swarms of midges (tiny biting insects) are pretty annoying.

        Winter – short but cozy days

        In winter on the other hand the days are short, but it allows you to get cozy by the fireplace or enjoy the place all to yourself. Snowcapped mountains are beautiful and even though there is not usually massive amount of snowfall in cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, you have good chance of snow in Highlands (but also of traffic jams as not all the drivers are equipped enough to drive on snow in UK).

        Glencoe Elopement Photography | Ceranna Photo | Scotland Wedding Photographer

        Places to eat & stay near Glencoe

        Glencoe valley itself is pretty vast and empty, but there are some wonderful places to eat and stay within a short drive. Nearest village is Glencoe Village – Ballachullish, there are Airbnbs, hotels and couple restaurants, as well as a museum of Glencoe Massacre which is really worth a visit. Right at the opening of Glencoe, there is Kingshouse Hotel – probably a closest place to eat to the remote Glen Etive.

        • Kingshouse Hotel – modern hotel & restaurant with stunning scenery before you enter Glencoe valley and some tame deer roaming around
        • Clachaig Inn – hikers pub & accommodation
        • Glencoe House Hotel – luxury hotel & restaurant near Glencoe Lochan

        A little bit further away (~30 min drive) is Fort William, where you’ll find all the shops, restaurants and hotels you could ever need. In Fort William I highly recommend Crannog Seafood Restaurant and Wildcat Café. If you venture even further out or even decide to climb Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis, there is wonderful Ben Nevis Inn in Achintee.

        Glencoe Elopement Stories

        “Just us” elopement with 3 dogs and sunset hike | Eleanor & Alex

        Eleanor & Alex eloped on the shores of Loch Etive with just the celebran and me and their lovely Airbnb owner as witnesses + their three dogs by their side. We exlored Glen Etive before parting ways for the afternoon and then met up again in the evening for a sunset hike. THen they went off on Scottish honeymoon in their van.

        View their full Glen Etive Elopement story here.

        Wedding Vows in Scottish Highlands | Linda & Marcel

        With Linda & Marcel we road-tripped around the Isle of Skye, hopped on a boat, made a fire on the beach, cooked meals together at a little cottage with a sea view and just took in the wonders of the not yet fully awakened Scottish landscape or early spring. It was at the end of our journey when Linda & Marcel felt it was the right time for their wedding vows. With their big wedding party scheduled for the next month, they felt that sharing the wedding vows was such an intimate moment that they wanted to do it just between the two of them. That’s why they headed to Scotland for a little adventure. And honestly, they couldn’t have selected a more amazing setting than Glencoe for their wedding vows.

        It was a typical gloomy day, as you would expect in the Scottish Highlands. We climbed a bit to the spot with the most iconic view of the Glencoe valley, surrounded by the steep slopes of Aonach Eagach (one of the best and airiest ridge walks in Scotland). The famous Three Sisters towered above us on the other side… Linda wore her hiking boots and jeans, hidden under her dress. The bouquet by the wonderful florists at Snapdragon was fairly beaten up after three days in the wild wind of Skye. A bottle of whisky was stashed away in a pocket for a toast… This is how you roll on adventurous elopements! And here they were, standing in the wind and cold in one of the most magnificent valleys in the world. The right time had finally come to hold hands and share their wedding vows. The wind was howling so no one on earth could hear their words but just them two. It was beautiful and emotional and I am so glad I could be there to silently capture those moments.

        View their Isle of Skye adventure elopement here.

        Autumnal hiking elopement by the waterfall | Jessica & Patrick

        Running away to elope intimately amongst the hills they love and which they’ve longed to explore with their son, was exactly what Jess and Pat dreamed of for their wedding. We managed to squeeze the ceremony by the waterfall right in between of two rain showers and observed gorgeous rainbows before setting off on a easy hike, where their son Finley was such a wonderful help protecting Jess’s wedding dress from getting muddy in the puddles. She did get muddy a little bit, but hey, that’s autumn in Scotland, did you even elope if your dress wasn’t a bit muddy?

        View their full Glen Etive Waterfall elopement here.

        Small wedding by the river in Glencoe | Charlotte & Mitchel

        View the full story of their Intimate Glencoe Wedding here.

        Glencoe Elopement Packages

        If you’re looking for Photographer to capture your adventure and maybe even help you with planning, I’m here for you with packages starting from £1200.

        Get in touch if you’d like to elope to Glencoe. I absolutely love this place and would jump with joy to be able to capture your special moments in such an amazing setting.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        ceranna photography portrait | anna cervinkova

        Glencoe Elopement Photographer

        Hi! My name is Anna, I am international wedding photographer based in Scotland – it’s my favourite place to be and of this whole wide country Glencoe valley is the most atmospheric and magical.

        As wedding photographer I am super relaxed, no cheesy-poses-kinda-girl and capture things as they’re happening, I love those natural and intimate moments and going on road trips with a couple in love in the land of rainbows, unicorns and waterfalls might be my most favourite thing to do. So if you’re adventurous and planning elopement in Glencoe – in Scotland’s wind and rain (and occasional sunshine!), let me know about your plans!

        I also do engagements, surprise proposal and couple photoshoots in Glencoe! 

        You can check out my recent weddings in my portfolio: ceranna.com/blog or get to know me a bit more.