The Great Glen Way Walk
The Great Glen is a natural fault line running across Scotland as a series of lochs. In 1803-1822 the Caledonian Canal was built by Thomas Telford to link the two coasts of Scotland. Fort William on the west coast and Inverness on the east coast mark the two ends of the glen.
The Great Glen Way is a spectacular walking route from Fort William, nestling under the massive Ben Nevis to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. The trek takes you from the beginning of the Caledonian Canal past Neptune's Staircase and past Lochs Lochy, Oich and Ness. The trek terrain varies from towpath flat walking by the canal, to forest walks and woodland paths by the lochs, as well as some tarmac walking on a very quiet peaceful road.
The itinerary below shows the 7-day trek which averages 10 miles a day. This is moderate walking with some easy stages.
Day 1: Arrive Fort William for overnight.
Day 2: Fort William - Gairlochy 10.8 miles Leave Fort William along the Caledonian canal passing Neptune's Staircase, a flight of eight locks which raises the water in the canal by 64 feet. Overnight Gairlochy
Day 3:Gairlochy - South Laggan 11.5 miles Walk along the shores of Loch Lochy on forest roads and tracks with high mountains on each side. Overnight South Laggan.
Day 4:South Laggan- Fort Augustus 11 miles The walk today is through mixed woodland along the banks of Loch Oich until Fort Augustus, one of the prettiest villages in the Great Glen. Overnight Fort Augustus.
Day 5:Fort Augustus - Invermoriston 7 miles Walk along forest tracks with great views until the River Moriston and the village of Invermoriston. Overnight Invermoriston.
Day 6:Invermoriston - Drumnadrochit 12 miles Continue the walk along the banks of Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle, one of the great historic ruins of Scotland, stands out perched precariously on the side of the banks of Loch Ness and is open to the public. Walk to Drumnadrochit - the centre of for the Loch Ness Monster. Overnight Drumnadrochit
Day 7:Drumnadrochit - Blackfold 14 miles The route continues along moorland at 300 metres and through forest with gmore panoramic views down the Great Glen and Loch Ness. At the end of the walk there is a transfer back to Drumnadrochit. Overnight Drumnadrochit.
Day 8:Dochgarroch - Inverness 5 miles Transfer back to Blackfold - then a beautiful walk alongside the Caledonian Canal to the Highland Capital, Inverness.
Day 9: Departure
7 day trek/8 nights £550 per person
8 day trek/9 nights £620 per person
Single Supplement £160
Supplement for one person walking alone, please ask.
Accommodation with full Scottish breakfast in guest houses, or B and Bs in rooms usually with private bathroom based on two people sharing. Supplement of £10 per night for single occupancy.
Daily luggage transfers and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
Map / guide book on the Great Glen Way
Extra nights can be booked along the route - in Fort William distillery tours are possible or climb Ben Nevis or take the Jacobite steam train to the fishing port of Mallaig and back, along the famous and spectacular West Highland Line. An extra day in lovely Inverness will give you an opportunity to visit Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle.
Getting to and from Fort William and Inverness, meals and transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
Difficulty Of The Walk
The walk itself is not specially arduous, with several low level sections and no difficult climbs.
We have carefully selected our accommodation from the best bed and breakfast and farmhouse accommodation in each area. Your hosts are local people, who know about the surrounding countryside, and you are guaranteed a warm welcome.
Normally, your room will have en-suite facilities. However, this cannot always be guaranteed, particularly at busy times and in the more remote locations. Please let us know if you require en-suite rooms every night. We can also arrange accommodation in Hotels, usually at an additional cost.
Fort William: Train - From Glasgow Queen Street Station, normally 4 trains every day ( 2 on Sunday including one overnight train from London Euston)
Bus - From Glasgow Buchanan Street, normally 8 buses daily, including two buses via Glasgow airport
Inverness: Hourly trains to Edinburgh with connections to Glasgow and the south. Frequent buses to Edinburgh.
Telephone national rail enquiry line on 08457 48 49 50 or 1st Scotrail
Bus: Tel. 08705 50 50 50 from within the UK or visit Citylink website
What To Take
It is essential that you are properly equipped and clothed for walking in Scotland, and a compass and know how to use it. Basic advice on safety is contained in the leaflet "Enjoy the Scottish Hills in Safety," available from the Scottish Sports Council, Caledonia House, South Gyle, Edinburgh WH12 9DQ, Scotland, UK or ask us.
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun block/cream, compass, torch and a first-aid kit. Rain weather clothing highly recommended.
When To Go
April to middle of October subject to weather conditions.
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for whatever reason.