The oldest Hotel in Scotland – and it’s on the West Highland Way

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Kings House Hotel

Bridge of Orchy- Kings House Hotel (21.5 km)  – Glencoe, Argyll
We were staying at a B&B near the village of Bridge of Orchy. The overnight rain had brought about an overcast morning.

It was time to pay for dinner and order lunch. Dinner turned out to be £10 each instead of £9 and a packed lunch started out at £6, but Carol’s jaw dropped and eventually the price came down to £4. Our hostess wanted £4 per bag delivered to our next accommodation at Kings House, but we showed her that we had already paid, the delivery service included in the self-guided tour costs. She gave us a lift back to the hotel at the Bridge of Orchy where we rejoined the West Highland Way.

It was a long upward haul over the foothills of Ben Inverveigh and down to the Inveroran Hotel.  (Don’t get this confused with Inveranan). It had taken us 2 hours to cover the 5 km distance. The rain set in. Then across Victoria Bridge and past Forest Lodge (a real lodge) and to the outer boundary of Rannoch Moor, one of Britain’s largest.

We followed an old military road for much of the way. The rain showered us, the wind was more behaved. Mists covered the mountain peaks around us. We heard deer bellowing in the distance.

You could image a huge stag, the Monarch of the Glen, standing there in his magnificence, proclaiming his territory. We arrived at Ba Bridge, the halfway section of our 16 km walk across the moor. I took a photo here of the only trees for miles around, growing alongside the granite bouldered stream. Ian Fleming’s family owns Black Mount Estate.

The path continued upwards and we reached a ridge where the strong wind was quite forceful. I was getting cold, and possibly hypothermic. I put my woollen vest on beneath my goretex coat and a beanie on my head. That was much better. From here we could see the Kings House Hotel in the distance. We walked past the Glen Coe ski-lift and the Black Rock Cottage. Arriving at the A82, we crossed it and followed the parallel path to the hotel.

We were glad to be inside. Our bags were there (delivered as part of the self-guided tour price). We checked in and removed all our wet gear. Then a pot of tea, and some biscuits from our food stash. The Kings House Hotel is two star, but certainly well set up for walkers and other guests. No central heating though. We hand washed some clothes and used the drier. Boots and daypacks were placed in the drying room.

Carol had a full dinner, while I ate the remainder of my lunch. Then a gin and tonic and a cider. We retired to the comfortable lounge to read and update our diaries. This is the oldest hotel in Scotland.

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