UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies
Pinterest Facebook Twitter

Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

*main trip image

Price from: £575

Duration: 7 night(s)

No. of Travellers:   Date:

Location: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 4

24 review(s)
  • Traverse Scotland from coast to coast on a rewarding journey through deep glens and past dramatic mountain ranges.
  • Take in the sweeping views across Loch Ness, perhaps catching a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster!
  • Enjoy moderate hiking on good trails as you hike from village to village through this spectacular geological fault line.

Blue Graded Self Guided Holidays 4-6

Our Blue graded walking holidays involve climbing some of Scotland’s best mountains and ridges. The walks are conducted at a good pace and you may be out hiking for 8 or 9 hours a day. The terrain underfoot can be anything from stalker’s paths to rough or boggy ground, boulder fields and mountain tops.

The daily walks will occasionally involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 10+ miles (16+km), climbing mountains and covering a variety of challenging underfoot conditions? How often do you do this?

Our self-guided walking and hiking holidays feature a wide range of accommodation – very much depending on the remoteness of the region. This includes small hotels, guest houses and traditional B+Bs.

Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality.

Our accommodation partners range from small guesthouses and bed and breakfasts to inns and country hotels. 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.

Our accommodation partners pride themselves in locally sourced produce wherever possible and the food during your holiday in Scotland will be one of the highlights.

Clients who request a single room will incur a single room supplement – please refer to the dossier for details.

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 22

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Roland Luescher 02/07/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Donna McKinney 27/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
We didn't have one but I had to answer to go to the next question. We were a self guided tour.
The Bottom Line

by Jennie Hill 23/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We had the most contact with Rachael Gavan and Julie Deans. Both were lovely--helpful, available and friendly.
Trip Comments
Wow--where to begin. From booking to the very last event, our trip was seamless, easy and better than anticipated. We had no trouble at any point. The guesthouses and inns were impeccable--each one unique, clean, friendly and all around lovely locations. The proprietors were on-site, helpful and knowledgeable about the area. The food was amazing at each one. It is clear that W. S. has developed strong relationships with these businesses and you will get what you expect and more than at most places.
Accommodation and Food
See my previous comment. We absolutely loved all the places. But favorites was the first and last. . . Old Pines was delightful. The views and food were incredible. In Inverness we ended at Strathness house. We really wished we had one or two more nights in Inverness.
Your Guide
I put excellent. . . but our trip was self-guided. The survey makes you answer something:o)
The Bottom Line
Would? How about already am. . . we have told everyone how wonderful WS is and how we can't wait to go back and do another trip.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: Thank you for your comments, we are delighted that you enjoyed your Great Glen adventure. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Highlands in the future.

by Jackie Hill-Rita 17/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All of our questions were answered promptly and efficiently with excellent tips and pointers.
Trip Comments
Trip highlights: Warmth and excellent customer service at each stop. We did self-guided but Wilderness Scotland is spot-on in their recommendations for lodging and food.
Accommodation and Food
We were pleasantly surprised at how lovely all of our accomodations were - the descriptions (room size, bathroom situation, etc.) were accurate and honest. Wilderness Scotland did not oversell. The food exceeded our expectations as did the hospitality and ambiance at each lodging stop. All different but so cool in their own way.
Your Guide
Not applicable - we did self guided.
The Bottom Line
Amazing. From start to finish our experience with Wilderness Scotland was exceptional. They are first in customer service. We did self-guided but all of their lodging partners are fantastic and the restaurant recommendations just delicious. Each night our stop was unique and the ambiance special to that village but every host was warm, helpful, and exceeded the "norm" for customer service. I would tell anyone considering a trip (of any type) with Wilderness Scotland to book it and book it now!

by Matthew Rita 16/06/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Paul Estabrooks 16/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All of the materials you sent were great. They helped us get the stuff we needed before we left and helped with all the particulars when we arrived.
Trip Comments
The hiking was absolutely wonderful. The great glen way was well marked and the directions you provided for our hotel stays were clear and got us to where we needed to be. We loved each overnight location... it was well worth going with the upgrade package to come in, have your luggage ready for a shower and clean change of clothes, and the food (we ate at our hotels most days) was outstanding.
Accommodation and Food
Every spot was great. The Old Pines was an excellent first stop... the family running the place was very nice, organized, and had hot scones, carrot cake, and coffee right when we walked in. Dinner was outstanding. We also had great stays and food at the other spots but have to give a shout out to the Invermoriston Arms for the best packed lunch! They introduced me to coronation chicken sandwiches... I will be forever grateful!
Your Guide
Our guide was primarily the materials you sent (we did a self-guided tour).
The Bottom Line
Great places to stay. Great food. Everything was easy... except the hiking, which is exactly what we wanted.

by Christine Osnes 03/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We had to book very late (due to a cancellation from another company), but Rachael at Wilderness Scotland still managed to arrange everything for us barely a week before departure. Impressive!
Trip Comments
Great route, well marked and easy to follow.We especially enjoyed the last day (from Drumnadrochit to Inverness) starting with views of Loch Ness and Urquhart castle, then walking through misty forest and moors. A side trip to the stone seat overlooking Loch Ness and taking a break in the cave right next to the path on our way from Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit were also among our personal hight points.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation ranging from good to excellent, but because of our late booking, it might have been harder to find accommodation than it would normally be. Highlights: the Coinachan and Kilmore farmhouse. Both Dorothy at the Coinachan and Frances&Colin at Kilmore Farmhouse must be among the most friendly people we've ever met. If we're going back on our own we will definitely try to stay there again.
Your Guide
Not familiar with using GPS for a trip such as this, but written notes worked very well. The only place we were in doubt about where to go was when looking for the Thistle Dubh in Fort Augustus, and then it turned out that we were just around a corner from it.
The Bottom Line
We had a wonderful experience, and are already planning a similar trip next year.

by Lynne Herzog 28/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Really appreciated the contact and response when we had questions. Not over aggressive in the marketing, and also received all of our information in a timely manner giving lots of time to prepare.
Trip Comments
I don't think that you can please all of the people all of the time. The second day was a bit of a slog on through the forest, with no views. Could use some selective clearing. We had a lot of sun, so it was warm, luckily no flies. We liked hiking along the lochs and also across the moors up high. However that would mean a lot more climbing in some areas. Didn't like all of the clear cut logging areas we had to hike through, but this was probably the easiest way to get access to plan and construct the trail. Would suggest that perhaps on the last day you add an option to split the hike into two days for some people. We did fine, but were a bit tired. We met several hikers who had arranged for making the last day a two days. Great exercise, met lots of nice people, and had no rain!!
Accommodation and Food
The accommodation was excellent. All hosts were helpful and welcoming. The accommodation types varied and this added to the experience.
Your Guide
GPS would not do for us. We liked the maps, are used to following them. We have GPS on our phones, but personally having worked in a wilderness environment, have seen where GPS has gotten some people lost in the mountains. Of course if the GPS is on it makes it easier on the rescue teams to find people. I really think that if you don't know how to read a map, you shouldn't be out in the woods with GPS.
The Bottom Line
We enjoyed our hiking holiday tremendously. Great Accommodations with welcoming, hospitable and informative hosts. The Great Glen Way is a good hike although some stretches need some viewpoints.

by Sandra Porter 17/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Good clear information and very helpful staff when I had occasion to phone them.
Trip Comments
A really good walk. Wonderful scenery and varied terrain. The second day gets rather tedious on the forest track and is quite hard on the legs.
Accommodation and Food
The bed and breakfast accomodation was very good. All very helpful and friendly.
Your Guide
I do not use GPS. Customers need to be given the choice. I much prefer written notes.
The Bottom Line
Would not hesitate to recommend this trip with W. Scotland.

by Mary Brodock 04/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The country was beautiful and it was nice to have a your brief statement of information about an area.
Accommodation and Food
We enjoyed all the accommadations you selected for us.
Your Guide
We used the written route notes throughout the trip. None of us used phones although we did us a GPS for backup.
The Bottom Line
We would recommend your company to anyone travelling from afar. We appreciated the thoroughness of everything set up for us.

Trip Details

The Great Glen Way traverses Scotland from west to east, following the fault line which almost splits Scotland in two.

Hiking past some of our most beautiful lochs, this 127km route is one of Scotland’s finest long distance trails.

Since it opened in April 2003, the Great Glen Way has quickly gained popularity as hikers discover the beautiful scenery along the route. Being less busy and slightly easier than the West Highland Way, it also attracts hikers who prefer a more peaceful or less challenging experience.

The Way begins in Fort William, beneath the slopes of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. You will then journey north-east through spectacular scenery and past lochs Lochy, Oich and, of course, Ness, before finishing in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness.

Additional Nights Accommodation: Some people prefer to split Day 6, which covers 29km, into two shorter days. Do let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this. Taking this option would add £65 per person to the trip price.

Upgraded Accommodation: We can also offer you an upgraded accommodation package along the route. The additional cost for this brings the total to £765 per person.

Luggage Transfer: One bag per person is included in the trip price, and this bag should be of a reasonable size and weight (maximum weight permitted is 18kg). If you are planning on bringing more than one bag person, or your bag weighs more than 18kg, please note that the luggage transfer company is entitled to levy an additional charge at their discretion, and this will be payable directly to the transfer company.

If you are seeking a slightly more challenging route, you may wish to consider the West Highland Way, which runs from Glasgow to Fort William. The Speyside Way is another option and is at a similar grade to the Great Glen Way.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Fort William

Today you’ll make your own way to Fort William where you’ll spend the night at your first guesthouse of the trip.

Day 2 – Fort William – Gairlochy

The first day’s hike takes you from Fort William, past the canal locks of Neptune’s Staircase and north along the canal to the tiny village of Gairlochy. The views are dominated by the mass of Ben Nevis which reveals its craggy north face from this aspect.

Distance 17km

Day 3 – Gairlochy – South Laggan

The route follows the western shoreline of Loch Lochy as it continues north-east to the village of South Laggan. Loch Lochy is the first of the three main lochs you pass on the Great Glen Way.

Distance 21km

Day 4 – South Laggan – Fort Augustus

The routes continues along the canal and past the swing bridge at Laggan to Loch Oich, the second of the three main lochs in the Great Glen. The trail follows the east bank of Loch Oich then joins the canal side at the north end of the loch and follows it to the pretty village of Fort Augustus.

Distance 19km

Day 5 – Fort Augustus – Invermoriston

This short day gives the legs a chance to recover as you enjoy the first views of Loch Ness. The trail hikes along the north-west shore of Loch Ness to the village of Invermoriston.

Distance 15km

Day 6 – Invermoriston – Drumnadrochit

The trail continues along the side of Loch Ness but rises high above the banks as it passes the settlement of Bunloit before dropping down to Drumnadrochit. This village is located close to Urquart Castle and an early finish will ensure there is enough time to visit the castle, which is said to be a favourite spot for Nessie to reveal herself!

Distance 23km

Day 7 – Drumnadrochit – Inverness

The final day climbs up from the banks of the loch then descends north-east towards Inverness and the sea beyond. The final few miles are along the banks of the River Ness before the trail finishes in the heart of the city, next to Inverness Castle.

Distance 32km

On reaching Inverness, you will have trekked 117km (73 miles), traversing Scotland from coast to coast along its most natural route, the Great Glen Way. On arrival in Inverness, settle into your accommodation then decide whether you need an early night, or if it is time to celebrate your success!

Day 8 – Inverness and depart

After a leisurely breakfast, you may have time to explore Inverness, perhaps visiting its castle, before departing.

Download Dossier

Trip Photos

The Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen WayThe Great Glen Way
View Gallery

Download your trip dossier

All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures

 

  • All info in one document
  • Print-friendly PDF format
  • Details of the meeting point
Download Dossier

Location


Trip reviews

Customer Kudos

Roland Luescher
02/07/2015

5

Donna McKinney
27/06/2015

4

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 24 review(s) of Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

5 star 22

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

Read All Trip Reviews