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Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

  • 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.
  • 7 nights’ accommodation on a Bed and Breakfast basis in Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Small Hotels and Inns on the route, based on two people sharing a twin or double room
  • Luggage transfer for 1 bag per person for the duration of the trip, meaning you will only have to carry a day rucksack
  • Route notes which include a map and full directions to your accommodation.
  • The services of the Wilderness Scotland Team prior to & during your trip.

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?

Accommodation:

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. Establishments 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.

Single Supplement:

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 44

4 star 3

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Lee Hockstader 26/06/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very nice and fairly efficient personnel -- prompt, helpful, responsive.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Only real problem was that directions to Inch Hotel in Fort Augustus were not good -- very confusing and prone to wrong turns. Made for an unpleasant hour of confusion and extra walking on a rainy day on blistered feet. I realize Inch Hotel is probably responsible for providing these directions but you guys need to improve them -- specifically by furnishing # of meters/feet and more specific directions on turns. The directions as written now simply do not work.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thanks very much for letting us know. We’ll look into this and see if we can improve them.
Your Guide
Self-guided -- but see previous note on poor directions to Inch Hotel in Fort Augustus.
The Bottom Line
Very good.

by Billie Horst 09/06/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Every question we had was answered promptly, thoroughly and cheerfully. It was delightful and very reassuring to have such pre-trip support!
Trip Comments
One of the best aspects of the trip were the lovely Scottish people we met along the way. The transfer drivers were particularly nice and went out of their way to give us helpful information about that day's walk. One even volunteered to stop at a local store so that we could purchase lunch supplies. Everyone made us feel very welcome.
Accommodation and Food
We opted for the "better room" option, and we were very happy with our accommodations for the most part. Ironically, the one place we were booked in for two nights was by far our least favorite place. The food was excellent there, but the rooms - we had a "family suite" - were tiny. I have no idea where we would have put our suitcases if we hadn't had the extra room. Worst of all, it was extremely noisy. We heard the music and crowd noises in the restaurant/pub below until the middle of the night. We understand that this was "best available" and have no idea what you could do about it. However, we did pick up another couple at what our driver called the 'posh" hotel, which was a few miles out of the village. I think it had Loch Ness in its name as well. Again, it was certainly not centrally located.
Your Guide
We were very happy with the materials provided, and this particular route is extremely well marked. We did get lost at the very beginning, but it was our fault - we breezed by a detour map without really looking at it. However, this does look as if it's going to be there for awhile - they are rebuilding the pedestrian bridge about 15 minutes from the start of the walk, and the detour is significant and not marked.
The Bottom Line
We have taken 15 walking trips with several different companies over the past decade, and this trip is tied for first place in our hearts. It was beautiful, and so were the people we encountered, from planning stages onward. We would use Wilderness Scotland again without even considering any options. Thank you so much for a great vacation!

by Stephanie Franklin 13/10/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
David Russell was very nice and helpful.
Trip Comments
The advice and materials were very good except that there was not enough information/preparation for toilet facilities along the way. Other hikers had key cards for compostable toilets, though there were very few of those. I wish someone had given specific help regarding where to find facilities since the path was often too exposed for just going off into the bushes. Also I wasn't told I might need a shovel. Someone said there would be businesses along the way where we could ask to use the toilet, but some long stretches of the path had no businesses.
Accommodation and Food
Some of the accommodations were very nice but not all were. Sometimes there was no option for enough heat in the rooms nor a way to dry soaked clothing. Other hikers we met had much nicer B&B's. I wish we had upgraded.
Your Guide
The materials were great except more detail in the print-outs about the B&B's and directions to them would help.
The Bottom Line
Very good organization that I would use again but maybe just for a guided hike.

by Elaine Churchill 10/10/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
When I made requests for information it was sent to me quickly. The information that was sent was clear and helpful.
Trip Comments
This was probably the best vacation we have had in a long time. It was well organized. The instructions regarding our hike were clear and easy to follow. The bed and breakfasts that were arranged for us were all very pleasant (except for one which was disappointing) The hosts at the bed and breakfasts were very pleasant and helpful. Many of them went above and beyond the basics to make our stay extra special. The Great Glen Way was beautiful!! Each day brought new surprises and amazing scenery.
Accommodation and Food
We enjoyed all of our bed and breakfasts with the exception of one. They were all very clean and well-located. The food was excellent at all locations.
Your Guide
We did a self-guided tour which worked out very well for us. The route each day was clearly described and easy to follow. The distances were very manageable although the first day was longer than we had expected. The extra distance from the war memorial to the accommodation made the day seem long. The maps were great. We had no difficulty finding our way.
The Bottom Line
We have already recommended this company to several of our friends. From start to finish it was very well organized. Thanks!!!!

by Kate Challeen 03/10/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

3Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Most accommodations were great, specifically Myrtle Bank, the Inch Hotel, and the Glenmoriston Arms. Others were fair to good.
One request we had made was for king bed if possible, and if not, then twin beds. This wasn't the case for many of our accommodations. That said, all else was wonderful, including our hosts. Special kudos to Glen from the Spean Bridge Lodge.
Your Guide
N/a since we were self guided. I'd say we did an average job. :-)
The Bottom Line
Everything was arranged well, with no surprises. We had a fantastic time. Many thanks.

by Matt Shipman 27/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Staff were very helpful. David, Julie, Jane and Kirsty were all perfectly happy to answer my questions, both email on via phone. Payment was very simple, and easily arranged despite the five hour time difference.
Trip Comments
The entire experience was wonderful. We met some great people from the US and many more from the UK. The proprietor at the Strathness House in Inverness was a particular favorite of mine, I could have honestly spent hours talking with him, he was a lot of fun. The folks at the eco-cafe on the last day were interesting in their own right, and we enjoyed meeting them.

The scenery was beautiful, particularly the sections where we were above the treeline. I think the favorite spot for my wife and myself was the stone shelter on the first section of the high route. We could have sat there all day just enjoying the view. The troll bridge on the high route the next day, as well as the viewcatcher were additional favorites.

As far as the towns, we really enjoyed our time in Invergarry, just walking around the bridge/rapids area. Fort Augustus was possibly the most scenic with the setting sun playing over the locks and Loch Ness.

Even the weather was pleasant, good temperatures and even a little sunshine. Gina actually got a little pink one day from the sun.
Accommodation and Food
All of the hotels/B&B's were excellent with one noted exception, and that was the Inch Hotel in Fort Augustus. It was very clear that this hotel was being run by a large corporate entity. The suits worn by the staff were testament to that, it's what I would expect to see at a high-end hotel. The hotel has more of a sportsman's lodge feel to it, which was nice but compared with what we saw in the staff it was jarring. As well, the interior of the hotel is in need of some attention. The passageway and our room had a spot where the floor was sloping, suggesting that the flooring may be in the early stages of structural issues.

The restaurant at the Inch was also concerning. It does not live up to its reputation, at all. While the produce and bread were fresh and well made, the steak we ordered was at best average. It was a portion I would expect to find prepackaged at a Tesco or something similar, it was certainly not a prime cut from a good butcher. It tasted more like it had come from a feedlot rather than entirely grass fed, and frankly I cook a better steak than they do. Based on the reputation of the restaurant, I expected something quite different and the restaurant failed to deliver, it wasn't even close. Also telling was the fact that we were there on a Saturday night, and the restaurant was dead. I think there were two or maybe three other tables while we were there at prime mealtime.

Overall, I got the impression that the hotel had recently been taken over by a corporate entity (it has) and corporate has no idea how to manage it or what they want it to be. It's concerning overall, in the US hotels in that position tend to go downhill quickly.

I know that choices in fort Augustus are slim, and the location in relation to the trail is fantastic, but I would be wary of using the Inch Hotel in the future. At least until they pay some attention to the interior and figure out both the restaurant and what they ultimately want the hotel to be. It didn't detract from the trip overall, but it could be an issue going forward.
Your Guide
Notes for the self-guided tour were outstanding.
The Bottom Line
Overall was an outstanding trip, we will absolutely be using Wilderness Scotland in the future, and I will gladly recommend them to friends and coworkers.

by Mary Schlech 26/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I heard from Julie Deans regularly. Any questions were answered promptly.
Trip Comments
We had a wonderful trip! Every detail was taken care of so all we had to do was walk. We were outside walking about 6 hours every day; at our own pace, enjoying the scenery and the great feeling of accomplishment we had at the end of every day's journey. We always celebrated with a fabulous ale or cider at the nearest pub.
Accommodation and Food
The breakfasts were all uniformly delicious. My husband always had the full english breakfast while I was happy with the porridge. The packed lunches were mostly great, Heather Forbes from Bracarina House wins the prize for the best lunch, Alison Morrey from Forest Lodge guest house comes in a clear second. We always followed your suggestions for dinner and had satisfying meals and a few great ones. Chef Hamish from the Glenmoriston Arms served the most delicious gourmet dinner. The dinners at the Loch Ness Inn were also very good, especially the Cullen Skink..
Your Guide
We self guided. Mostly the markers were very obvious. In the few cases where we were unsure, we consulted the map and stayed on course.
The Bottom Line
We were 2 couples in our 60s; fairly fit people who had never been on a walking tour but felt sure it was something we would enjoy. We didn't actually know for sure wether we could do it! We could! We did! All the details were taken care of, the lodgings were clean and comfortable, and our bags were always ahead of us. It was so wonderful, the food, the drinks, the out doors, no responsibility other than one foot in front of the other...I really think it was the best trip I've ever taken.

by Walter Schlech 22/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Package only arrived day before leaving so may want to consider DHL or FedEx to non-UK travellers
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
All B&B's were spotless and excellent with exception of one.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
Had a marvelous time - will look at another trip soon!

by Freeman Churchill 21/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The info was easy to interpret, we knew what to expect regarding terrain and degree of difficulty and exactly where to find our B and B. Maps were great and waterproofed which was perfect.
Trip Comments
there were 4 of us who are in our 60's. It was a great opportunity to stroll through our day, always outside for the day seeing many historic sites, learning about the history of the locks and the lochs. we had good snack/lunches and were well hydrated. the weather was very good and the fall coolness was a welcome.
Accommodation and Food
except for one hostess who seemed to have another job and whose attention was clearly elsewhere, all the hosts/hostesses went out of their way to serve us.
Your Guide
Notes were great/. following instructions lead us right to where we should have gone. the only time we walked further was the the Spane Bridge day...it was closer to 4 miles from the trail end to our B and B.
The Bottom Line
It was tremendous. being in good shape, having good boots and poles were a must. We found each day easier as we continued to improve in stamina each day. Spectacular views. It was different than what I expected, but pleasantly so. well done.

by Mary Beth Caseiro 30/08/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
the trail, the people, the weather
Accommodation and Food
It was mostly excellent but a very small room at the Old Pines & an unpleasant room at Glenmoriston B& B were dissapointments. Food was good.
Your Guide
excellent except more clarity getting to the Inch Hotel in Ft. Augustus wouldhave helped.
The Bottom Line
excellent

Trip Details

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

Hiking past some of our most beautiful lochs, including Loch Ness, at 117km the Great Glen Way 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 Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and of course Loch Ness, before finishing in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness.

Additional Nights Accommodation: Some people prefer to split Day 7, 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, or £100 with upgraded accommodation.

Upgraded Accommodation:

  • Upgraded accommodation plus a stay at 5 star Rocpool Reserve in Inverness for your final night: total cost £1090 per person
  • Upgraded accommodation plus a stay at 5 star Inverlochy Castle for your first night and Rocpool Reserve for the final night: total cost £1273 per person.

Trip Itinerary – Great Glen Way

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 on the Great Glen Way 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. (B)

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. (B)

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. (B)

Distance 19km

Day 5 – Fort Augustus – Invermoriston

This short day take you past the halfway point of the Great Glen Way and 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. (B)

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 Urquhart 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! (B)

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. (B)

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. (B)

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Price from: £695

Duration: 7 night(s)

No. of Travellers:   Date:

Location: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 4

47 review(s)

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Very good.

Lee Hockstader
26/06/2017

5

We have taken 15 walking trips with several different companies over the past decade, and this trip is tied for first place in our hearts. It was beautiful, and so were the people we encountered, from planning stages onward. We would use Wilderness Scotland again without even considering any options. Thank you so much for a great vacation!

Billie Horst
09/06/2017

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 47 review(s) of Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

5 star 44

4 star 3

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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