Glencoe was the second countryside property to come into the ownership of the National Trust for Scotland. Most of the ground was acquired in 1936 and 1937, primarily as a result of financial support from the Scottish Mountaineering Club, and in particular from an anonymous donor, later revealed to be its president, Percy Unna. Unna’s wishes for the future management of the property have become known as the Unna Principles, providing guidance for the National Trust for Scotland in the management of this and the other mountainous properties in its care, now enshrined in the Trust’s Wild Land Policy. In total, the Trust’s ground at Glencoe extends to 5,680 hectares, explored here by the author.
As one approaches Glencoe across the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor to the east, the pyramidal peak of Stob Dearg at the northern end of Buachaille Etive Mor immediately draws the eye. Passing below it and past Buachaille Etive Beag, where the mountains close in on each side of the road, the traveller is rewarded with one of the most dramatic landscapes to be viewed from a road in the British Isles.