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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 49

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Elizabeth Bransky 15/08/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
David and Julie were great. We had changes as we added a hiker after original arrangements were made and they rose to the occasion. The BnBs were lovely with welcoming hosts all around.
Trip Comments
Very good. Some instructions were a little confusing and would have appreciated notes on mileage left to get to some accommodations. Overall all was good and we had a grand time. Slept well, ate well and very helpful hosts at BnBs.
Accommodation and Food
Very knowledgeable hosts and just lovely accommodations. Food was good all around.
Your Guide
As I stated previously. Some of the end of day notes were a little confusing. More detailed info regarding distances to accommodations were needed in some places. In Drumnadochit we didn't realize we needed to contact ride to and from Blackfold until night before but we got Mr Simpson and he did get things set up for us. Very nice gentleman and his wife picked us up at Blackfold. She was great.
The Bottom Line
We would absolutely recommend Wilderness Scotland to others. We had a great adventure through truly magnificent countryside. We will be carrying these memories with us forever.

by Daniel Webster 01/08/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Emphasize the baggage limitation more up front. We had to scramble to ship a bunch of stuff to get down to the baggage limitation.
Accommodation and Food
All the places were great. The Loch Ness Inn was my least favorite. The Castle Hotel in Ft William was my favorite.
Your Guide
The self guided notes should : 1) tell you how to leave a place as well as how to get there. There were days (especially the first day, leaving the Caslte) where we didn't know if we were headed the right way out of town 2) if there is a note on Day 2 that says "you must do this thing in advance" please put a note on Day 1 that tells me what I am supposed to do for tomorrow.
The Bottom Line
Best vacation so far

by Anders Wickman 31/07/2017

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
That you could see the options of B&B/hotels before booking and pre paying.
Trip Comments
Lovely B&B experiences
Accommodation and Food
Lovely B&B experiences
Your Guide
Self guided. Very easy to follow the trek signs
The Bottom Line
Excellent

by Sandra Mahe 29/07/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Friendly helpful staff who managed to change our holiday dates with no trouble
Trip Comments
We were not told about the toilets on the walk that required a key or pass. It was not a happy experience to get to a long awaited toilet to find we could not get in!
Accommodation and Food
Food in general was very good and all B&B's were notified of my partners gluten free diet but at the last place they did not know what this meant and choices were limited at breakfast
Your Guide
Self guided trip route notes good
The Bottom Line
Very good but improvements needed as mentioned

by Laurie Zelon 17/07/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The pre-trip preparations had us exactly on track to enjoy the beautiful scenery and environment and allowed us to travel without stress. Thank you.
Accommodation and Food
The accommodations were largely excellent. Two things: the Loch Ness Inn is not in a great location to enjoy the services of Drumnadrochitt. Also, the promised availability of laundry or drying services was not accurate, except in two of the locations.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
Great trip. I loved the freedom of self-guided with the security of great preparation and guidance.

by David George 10/07/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Everyone I contacted was very responsive to my inquires - David Russell, Rachael Gavin, and other's whose name I don't recall or forgot -- a great team approach - kudos.
Trip Comments
Being self guided we enjoyed our walk across the approximate 90 miles - highlights included the great meals available at the B & B's along the route and the friendly people. Well marked Great Glen Way signposts ( though in Inverness and in the area of Fort William seems done posting's were missing or someone turned them). We loved the views from the high routes along the way - and we loved the option to walk from Blackfold back to Drumnadocht in our effort to reduced Day 6 mileage.

Biggest negative --- the miles and miles of plastic track ;and orange vibes) used for filming purpose along the way - from Gairlochy to Inverness -- became an eyesore and an aggravation (sometimes in the middle of the trail path) where it had not yet been picked up after the filming (except in the bigger cities and some small towns) - and on the trail where it had been picked up some broken plastic pieces and debris from track assembly after the fiilmng remained in place.

If not already scheduled in the post filming procedure by the end of the season - Someone from an enforcement agency should walk the trail to observe the situation and determine what should be done to clean and make the trail sparkle again without remains.
Accommodation and Food
We understand the abilities and constraints of lodging in remote areas - the weakest lodge was the Loch Ness Lodge - both in food and personnel - not to mention no wireless signal available in our room (we reported and it was indicated they were in the process of remedy for the situation). Suggest considering other lodging in Drumnodohic closet to the central area where more restaurants would be closer (since we were in the town two nights)

The other matter - despite the information provided in the itinerary details - washing or drying of clothes was not available despite the itinerary at Fort Augustus (Inch Hotel) , Invermoriston (Glenmoriston Arms Hotel) , Drumnochit (Loch Ness Inn)

Loch Ness Inn - had to request clean towels for Day 2 (no exchange)
Your Guide
I believe Notes about the trail detaiksvsnd segments could be expanded (I saw an example from others who were on the route who utilized Hill Walkers that had very detailed and lengthy notes on segments)

I do believe Notes related to Inverness arrival at the Castle are in error ( had to use map provided for the correct routing for arrival - it appears some street markers are missing as well from posts directing walkers to the Castle (as they were at the intersection of the canal and the busy road at the swing bridge when approaching Inverness)

Finally I believe the directions for turns in the itinerary from the Castle in Inverness to the lodging for the final night were flat out wrong - both from Street named but also turn direction ( I recall it said turn right but it should have been left ) - I think there were at least two errors.
The Bottom Line
Finally the baggage handler, and transfer person George in Drumnodochit was great - nice warm fellow who was prompt and considerate.

We enjoyed the Coffee house in the jungle close to Blackfold (you should put in the itinerary as a must stop ) - the best coffee we have had in Scotland - not to mention the big black pig and chickens and roosters !!

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!!!!

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

53 review(s)

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
We would absolutely recommend Wilderness Scotland to others. We had a great adventure through truly magnificent countryside. We will be carrying these memories with us forever.

Elizabeth Bransky
15/08/2017

5

Best vacation so far

Daniel Webster
01/08/2017

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 53 review(s) of Self Guided – The Great Glen Way

5 star 49

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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