Great Glen Way

Great Glen Way

Scotland » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • The finest views of Britain’s highest mount, Ben Nevis
  • Urquhart Castle with its superb setting on Loch Ness
  • Possibility to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 665 €

Duration (days): 8

Difficulty grade:  

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The Great Glen Way is a 79 mile walk through Scotland’s most famous Glen from Fort William to Inverness via Loch Ness. It is a wonderful relaxed walk where you walk through beautiful forests, peaceful working canals and magnificent brooding lochs.
Starting in Fort William at the base of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, you follow the Caledonian canal via Neptune’s Staircase to Gairlochy for your first nights accommodation. You then continue on the Great Glen Way up Loch Lochy to South Laggan, and on to Fort Augustus via Loch Oich and Kytra Lock. The Great Glen Way then follows the western shore of Loch Ness passing the highland towns of Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit until you reach the historic town of Inverness. Nessie hunters can take a cruise on Loch Ness from Fort Augustus, Drumnadrochit and Inverness and shouldn’t miss the Loch Ness Experience in Drumnadrochit. Urquhart Castle, with its commanding view of Loch Ness is another must see, as is Inverness Castle at the walk’s end.

Day 1: Arrive in Fort William
Fort William is a bustling town and very popular among climbers and walkers as it sits at the base of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest peak.
Day 2: Walk to Gairlochy/Spean Bridge
(16-19km; 4,30-5,00 hrs of hiking)
From the start on the outskirts of the town you follow the river Lochy with a short detour to the ancient Old Inverlochy Castle. You can also make a short detour to the Ben Nevis Distillery, which runs tastings and tours. After briefly following the banks of Loch Linnie you reach Corpach where the Caledonian Canal meets the Atlantic. Here you turn North Eastwards and follow the towpath to Banavie and Neptune’s staircase, an interesting series of lochs which raise the canal 80 feet in 400. Leaving Banavie behind you follow the canal towpath as it winds it way through stunning countryside above the River Lochy. Your overnight stop in Gairlochy* appears all to soon. It is a hamlet nestled at the mouth of Loch Lochy.
* There is very limited accommodation in Gairlochy and you may be staying in Spean Bridge, a pleasant 3-mile walk further up the valley (We will inform you if this is the case)
Day 3: Walk to Laggan
(18-24km; 5-6 hrs of hiking)
From Gairlochy you follow the shore of Loch Lochy on forest tracks through land owned by the Cameron Clan. The Clan Cameron Museum at Achnacarry is well worth the short detour. Achnacarry was also home to one of the toughest commando training camps in the world and the museum has some information on the conditions they endured. If you do decide to visit the museum we would strongly recommend taking the detour (on the minor road) past Loch Arkaig to then rejoin the path again at Clunes as this is a wonderful walk. After Clunes the road continues on fire tracks above Loch Lochy all the way to South Laggan. Make sure that you don’t miss the turn to the right before the wooden chalets which takes you to Laggan Lochs.
Day 4: Walk to Fort Augustus
(16-18km; 4-5 hrs of hiking)
Your day starts at Laggan Bridge, which is the highpoint of the Caledonian Canal at 106ft above sea level. Initially you follow the Eastern shore of Loch Oich, one of Scotland’s most beautiful pristine natural woodlands, which is teeming with bird and wildlife. Once you reach the end of Loch Oich at Oich Bridge you follow the canal for a few miles along to Fort Augustus. This is a lovely section of canal and Kytra Loch is one of the highlights of the entire walk.
Day 5: Walk to Invermoriston
(13 km; 4-5 hrs of hiking)
At Fort Augustus you leave the canal and begin our journey on the banks of Loch Ness. This section has some steep climbs and is mainly on fire roads and some good tracks. You have great views of Loch Ness throughout so make sure you keep those eyes peeled for the monster, you might be lucky. Invermoriston is your overnight stop and a very pretty little village.
Day 6: Walk to Drumnadrochit
(22km; 7-8 hrs of hiking)
As you leave Invermoriston the path climbs steeply until you are high above Loch Ness, it then descends again to the Lochside after three miles and climbs again, so yes, a tougher day of walking today. Most of the section is spent on woodland paths and tracks on the steep sides of the Glen. A great day's walk ends in Drumnadrochit, famous for its proximity to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Monster experiences. You should have enough time to explore at least one of these attractions.
Day 7: Walk to Inverness
(24-29km; 7-8 hrs of hiking)
From Drumnadrochit you endure a section on the busy A82 before climbing steadily through woodland and forestry. Eventually the climbing comes to an end and you wave goodbye to Loch Ness. Then you beging a descent down towards Inverness and the Moray Firth. A mile before the end of the way you once again meet the Caledonian canal and it is possible to walk all the way to the end if you wish. The way turns right instead and follows the River Ness into the centre of Inverness and Inverness Castle, which marks the end of your wonderful journey across Scotland. If you have walked all the way from Drumnadrochit you will be very pleased to reach the end of the days walk at Inverness - the capital of the Highlands.
Day 8: Inverness - departure day.

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
The accommodation for this trip involves a combination of small hotels, guest houses and traditional B&Bs. Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors - charming locations, good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality. Many are small, owner-managed establishments where you can be assured of a highly personal service. Wherever they are available, we will reserve en suite rooms for you. However, these may not be available in the high season, especially if you are booking your holiday at the last minute, so we cannot guarantee that all of your accommodation will be en-suite. We will, however, advise you wherever possible if this is the case. En-suite rooms throughout are only guaranteed for the Premium option (check the Prices tab for details). Breakfast is included in the price and is provided each morning. Packed lunches and evening meals are available at a number of locations along the route. Luggage transfers are included all days.
 

Price:
Standard option (guesthouses, BBs and hotels): 665 Euros/person
Premium option (superior guesthouses and hotels): 845 Euros/person

Single room supplement:
Standard option (guesthouses, BBs and hotels): 220 Euros
Premium option (superior guesthouses and hotels): 360 Euros

Group size: min. 2 persons

The price includes: 7 nights accommodation on B&B (en-suite rooms unless otherwise stated); Daily door to door baggage transfer of 1 bag of up to 20kg per person; Detailed route notes in English and 1x map per group; Emergency telephone.

The price does not include: Any additional transfers required if unable to walk; Dinners, lunches, drinks, snacks; Travel insurance; Any entrance fees, admissions or services not specified.

Tips:
By Air: Inverness and Glasgow Airports are the most convenient. From Inverness Airport catch the bus (2 hours) or arrange a private transfer to Fort William. From Glasgow Airport take the shuttle bus into Glasgow city centre and then the train (4 hours) or bus (3 hours) to Fort William.
By Train: Between 3 and 4 trains run daily from Glasgow to Fort William and the journey takes around 4 hours. Widely regarded as one of the world’s great rail journeys this is a great way to start your trip. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and tickets.
By Bus: Scottish Citylink operates 9 buses per day from Glasgow (3 hours) and 8 buses per day from Inverness (2 hours) to Inverness. Visit www. citylink.co.uk for timetables and tickets.