What is a Glen?
'Glen' is the Scottish term for a valley. Many have a U-shape and were gouged into existence by huge glaciers that ground down the mountains. The glaciers finally departed at the end of the last ice age 11,500 years ago.
Where can I find glens in Scotland?
There are hundreds of glorious hills, mountains and glens in Scotland for you to discover, and they all have their own character. This can change with the weather, the season and your mood. You'll never explore the same glen twice!
Come through Glencoe on a day when the clouds are cloaking the high hills and the tales of the battles fought here will chill your blood. In the winter months, Glenshee is a playground for skiers and snowboarders. The mountain hares in their white winter fur find it all very strange.
If you're in Edinburgh, head for Glencorse in the Pentland Hills. It's only a mile south of the city boundary, but as you saunter by the placid lochs you'll feel like you've left the metropolis far, far behind. In spring, the gorse bushes are ablaze with yellow flowers and the air rich with their beautiful buttery aroma.
In Glen Orchy you can canoe for miles along the rumbling river and then rest your weary bones in style in Barcaldine Castle. (If you get any sleep, that is - the castle is said to be haunted.)
Why not conquer a Munro or two? If you're new to mountain climbing, read up on our Munros for beginners to help you get started.
Did you know?
Some glens were once ruled by warlike clans who fiercely defended their territory from their neighbours.
The feuding may have stopped, but the clan tartans, grand houses and romantic histories live on to this day. If you have Scottish ancestors, you can plan an unforgettable trip to the glen that your family once called home.
Find out about your Scottish family history. Discover who your ancestors were and plan a trip to see for yourself where they lived.