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Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

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Price from: £495

Duration: 6 night(s)

No. of Travellers:   Date:

Location: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 4

18 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.

100% Unedited Reviews

Our clients receive a feedback survey automatically after finishing their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once it's submitted the review is automatically published on our website just as soon as our database updates. We read all our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience and if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 17

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Christine Osnes 03/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation 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
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!
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
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.
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
Good clear information and very helpful staff when I had occasion to phone them.
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

4Accommodation 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
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.

by Joe Johnson 03/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
It would have been nice to get the map and booklet earlier, we only received the info one week before departing.
Trip Comments
Some of the published distances didn't seem to match the actual distance traveled.
We pasted at least one locked public toilet, meant for camping and canoeing, it would be nice if you were able to provide keys.
Accommodation and Food
It would have been nice to get the map and booklet earlier, we only received the info one week before departing.
Your Guide
A download of key waypoints that can be overlayed onto the GPS map would be very helpful.
The Bottom Line
The trip was wonderful, our decision to break the last leg from Drumnadrochit to Inverness into 2 days was a good one. That would have been one long day to do the whole thing.
Make sure you highlight the little trail off to the stone chair, between Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit, its only a five minute walk, but sitting in that chair overlooking Loch Ness was the high point for me.

by Nancy Kramer 02/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We had no idea what to expect as we have not been to Scotland. Rachael answered all questions with such joy we were properly prepared for our hike.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
We had no idea what to expect as we have not been to Scotland. Rachael answered all questions with such joy we were properly prepared for our hike.
Your Guide
Don't know enough to answer this.
The Bottom Line
The hike was the most relaxing vacation I've had. Wanted to turn around and keep going.
The folks were great and helpful
To know how safe and easy it was to go on a extended hike in some of the most beautful country I've seen

by Mathew Tuttle 31/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The only 'negative' from our trip were the route notes; they seemed to be written for someone who is a little familiar with the area and/or traveling by car instead of by foot. For example, when we left the trail to walk towards Spean Bridge, the instructions said something like "when you reach the War Memorial, travel down to Spean Bridge...." However, at that intersection we couldn't see the village, there's no signpost pointing towards it, and the road goes downhill in BOTH directions. The route instructions should say something like "turn right" or " walk south," or provide some alternative wording with more specific instructions for someone on foot.

Also, in Inverness the instructions from the castle to our B&B were appropriate for a car, but unnecessarily long for someone walking (after a 20-mile hike, every step counts.) The B&B owner showed us a shorter, simpler route.

A GPS format might prove better. In any case, I suggest you review the route notes from the perspective of someone completely unfamiliar with Scotland, and walking on foot.
The Bottom Line
It was a wonderful experience! Walking from B&B to B&B provided the joys of walking through enchanting forests and the Scottish countryside, PLUS great food and comfortable accommodations each night. We highly recommend the trip.

by Tina Stallard 13/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
It was great to have the detailed notes and the maps in good time.
Trip Comments
We both felt the walk on the last day was simply too long. 14 - 15 miles felt like a longish day, and the last four miles into Inverness were particularly inspiring. The days we enjoyed most were along Loch Lochie and the canal, where we had the path to ourselves and glorious sunshine!
Accommodation and Food
It was great to have the detailed notes and the maps in good time.
Your Guide
We did not use GPS, but it would have been good if the Rucksack Guide had contained more information about distances on the map.
The Bottom Line
We enjoyed the trip enormously and had a huge sense of achievement when we finished.

by Andrew Dreitcer 01/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
It was so wonderful to be taken care of so thoroughly and thoughtfully at every stage of the way. Our hosts were wonderful, as were all the help and guidance Wilderness Scotland staff gave us.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
I think GPS would be a helpful supplement, but I'd not want to give up the written notes, since technology has a way of failing just when I need it the most. ....
-One glitch in the notes came when we tried to find our B&B in Fort William. It was not clear which was the main entry of the train station. In fact, we assumed it was the one that wasn't locked at that time of night. But that meant we headed in exactly the opposite direction (in the rain) from the correct one. Perhaps those directions could be a bit clearer, e.g., "standing with the train station on your left and the bus station on your right...."
The Bottom Line
We are hoping to return for more! (We only wish you did this in more countries.)

by Joseph Clark 10/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

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.

Additional Accommodation: If you plan on staying longer in the area – either before or after the walk, please let us know at the time of booking and we will be delighted to book accommodation for you. Additional nights in Inverness can be booked from £50.00 per person per night for B&B.

Upgraded Accommodation: We can also offer you an upgraded accommodation package along the route. The additional cost for this brings the total to £695 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. For more relaxed self-guided walking, please see the Highland Escapes page on our website.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – 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 2 – 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 3 – 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 4 – 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 5 – 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 6 – 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 7 – Inverness and depart

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

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Trip reviews

100% Unedited Reviews
We had a wonderful experience, and are already planning a similar trip next year.

Christine Osnes
03/08/2014

5

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.

Lynne Herzog
28/06/2014

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 18 review(s) of Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

5 star 17

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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