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Great Glen Way

Great Glen Way ~ 73 miles (117.5 km) ~ 6 days walking

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The Great Glen Way stretches from Fort William, at the foot of the mighty Ben Nevis, to the highland capital of Inverness. Crossing a breathtaking landscape of lochs, hills and forests, with glorious views over Loch Ness, the Great Glen Way offers a good introduction to Highlands long-distance walking.

Although mostly a low-level walk there are some challenging sections. Immediately after leaving Fort William you will encounter Neptune’s Staircase, a series of eight sea locks at the opening before walking on alongside the Caledonian Canal built by the Victorian age engineer, Thomas Telford in the early 1800s at a cost of almost half a million pounds.  Continue past beautiful Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the world-famous Loch Ness, home of many myths and legends overnighting in iconic highland villages of Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit, offering the best of Scottish food and drink.

Follow the history of this turbulent region as the Way passes castles and forts, scenes of some of the Scotland’s bloodiest battles. Urquhart Castle is one of the most iconic locations you can choose to visit during your Great Glen Way walk.

Most of the route keeps to lower levels although a higher level option between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit offers more dramatic views for a little more effort.

The Great Glen was formed by a massive glacier during the last ice age and traverses Scotland from West to East, from Loch Linnhe on the Atlantic Coast following tree lined canal towpaths, loch shore paths and forestry tracks before crossing over the Ness Islands to the finishing point at the Inverness Castle on the Beauly Firth. It is possible to spend an additional night in Fort William in order to climb Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK. Or you may extend your tour to visit Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands.

If you are interested in our Great Glen Way walk, then fill out an enquiry form.

Key Symbols

Route Terrain
Easy to Moderate

Route Signposting
Waymarked

Navigational Skills
Easy

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Great Glen Way ~ 73 miles (117.5 km) ~ 6 days walking

Click each day to expand.

Arrive in Fort William

Fort William is known as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ and the main town in the Lochaber area. As one of the major resorts of the Highlands, the town commands an important position and is situated on the shore of Loch Linnhe under the mighty hulk of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. There is a footpath to the top of the mountain starting close to the town. It takes around 4 hours to reach the summit. Just a few minutes from the town is Glen Nevis, one of Scotland’s most picturesque Highland glens. The glen is formed from the flank of Ben Nevis and has the River Nevis flowing through it. Overnight in Fort William.

Fort William to Gairlochy (10.5 miles / 17 km)

It is an easy walk past ruined Inverlochy Castle to reach Banavie and the seven locks of Neptune’s Staircase. Join the Caledonian Canal towpath, enjoy wonderful views of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries, spot birds and wildlife and continue to Gairlochy. There is no accommodation at Gairlochy. From previous experience, many walkers have found this section to be relatively easy and most have actually walked the addition 3 miles from Gairlochy Locks into Spean Bridge. However, a transfer service is available and most walkers take advantage of the service the next morning to make their way back to Gairlochy Locks.

Gairlochy to South Laggan (12 miles / 19 km)

Return from Spean Bridge to Gairlochy on foot or by transfer. Walk to Clunes and join the lochside forest trail to Laggan Locks. Perhaps stop for a refreshment at the Eagle, the Inn on the Water, a beautifully converted Dutch barge. Just a short walk now to the accommodation at South Laggan.

South Laggan to Fort Augustus (10.5 miles / 17 km)

A pleasant easy walk along the east side of Loch Oich to Oich Bridge. From there follow the Caledonian Canal towpath into the attractive village of Fort Augustus where you can watch the boats descending the staircase of six locks into Loch Ness.

Fort Augustus to Invermoriston (8 miles / 13 km)

Perhaps take a morning cruise on Loch Ness before joining the forest trails to Invermoriston. Enjoy the lovely views as you walk through the forest high above Loch Ness.

Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit (14 miles / 22.5 km)

Mostly forest trail walking today until the last stretch which follows the minor road from Gortaig. A steep descent leads to the busy lochside village of Drumnadrochit.

Drumnadrochit to Inverness (18 miles / 29 km)

Quite a steep climb out of the village: continue through open moorland along the edge of Craig Leach Forest and enjoy spectacular views over the Beauly Firth on the descent to Invernesss. Follow the River Ness into the town and the completion of the walk at Inverness Castle.

Depart Inverness

Congratulations - you have completed The Great Glen Way! After breakfast, it is time to set off on your onward journey.

Fixed Price - £550 per person

Single supplement - £190

Included

  • 7 nights' accommodation for 2 people sharing in quality B&Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels. Rooms with shower/wc (where available)
  • Breakfast
  • Door to door baggage transfer to each stage - maximum 18 kg per bag
  • Gairlochy to Spean Bridge transfer
  • Rucksack Readers Guide Book
  • Location details for each accommodation
  • Travel information to the start and from the finish of the walk
  • Suggested equipment list
  • Emergency support
  • Car parking can also be arranged during your walk (subject to availability)

Not Included

  • Evening meals, packed lunches and drinks
  • Travel insurance

Customise My Walk

 

It is possible to omit the overnight at Fort Augustus and walk a longer stage in one day. Or it is possible to split the final stage at Blackfold / Dochgarroch. There is no accommodation at Blackfold / Dochgarroch, however it is possible to spend an additional night at Drumnadrochit, where you can visit Urquhart Castle, and with a return taxi transfer. You can see the Fixed Price stages in the table below, with this additional optional stage in brackets. You can also choose different types of accommodation, for example bunkhouses or hotels at some stages. If you don’t require overnight stays at the start and end of the walk, simply let us know at the time of booking. You can also stay an extra night at any point on the route. Take a look at our FAQ for more information. Explain any changes you require in the Comments section of the Enquiry Form. We will recalculate the price of your holiday based on the changes you make and will confirm the price before any payment is requested. The final amount you pay may be lower or higher than our Fixed Price, depending on the options you choose.

Stages and Distances
(Optional extra stages shown in brackets)
Fort William
10.5 miles - 17 km
Gairlochy*
12 miles - 19 km
South Laggan
10.5 miles - 17 km
Fort Augustus
8 miles - 13 km
Invermoriston
14 miles - 22.5 km
Drumnadrochit
12 miles - 19 km
(Blackfold / Dochgarroch)*
6 miles - 10 km
Inverness
* Transfer to accommodation from Gairlochy and Blackfold


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If you have any extra questions, feel free to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

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