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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness
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Highlights

  • Discovering the Caledonian Canal and its very impressive series of locks.
  • Visiting Urquhart Castle with its superb setting on Loch Ness.
  • Exploring Loch Ness by foot and boat and perhaps catching a glimpse of the famous Loch Ness Monster!
  • Getting to Inverness with a real sense of achievement having passed through some of Scotland’s finest scenery.

Known as one of Scotland’s finest long distance walks, the Great Glen Way takes you along the Caledonian Canal, through beautiful forests, peaceful working canals, and magnificent brooding lochs. On the Great Glen Escape short break we have focused on arguably the most scenic part of the walk, from Fort Augustus to Inverness, allowing you to experience the highlights of the Great Glen over 5 days.

Starting in Fort Augustus, The Great Glen Escape follows the western shore of Loch Ness, passing the charming Highland towns of Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit until you reach the historic town of Inverness. Nessie hunters can take a cruise on Loch Ness from Fort Augustus, and shouldn’t miss the Loch Ness Experience in Drumnadrochit. Urquhart Castle, with its commanding view of Loch Ness is another must see, as is Inverness Castle at the walk’s end.

Hand-picked overnight accommodation in high quality hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses, daily door to door baggage transfer, maps, route notes and emergency support are included in your walking break with Macs Adventure.

Day 1: Arrive Starting Point: Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus is a busy little town, lying on the southern tip of Loch Ness and is centred on a series of lochs which are always a hive of activity. It is a great spot to spend a relaxed afternoon or evening. Should you be travelling from Inverness, take the bus (approx. an hour’s journey) to Fort Augustus.


Day 2: Fort Augustus to Invermoriston - 8 Miles, 13 Km

At Fort Augustus you leave the canal and begin your walk on the banks of Loch Ness. This section has some steep climbs and is mainly on fire roads and some good tracks. You have great views of Loch Ness throughout so make sure you keep those eyes peeled for the monster, you might be lucky! Invermoriston is your overnight stop and a very pretty little village.


Day 3: Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit - 14.5 Miles, 23 Km

As you leave Invermoriston the path climbs steeply until you are high above Loch Ness, it then descends again to the Lochside after three miles and climbs again, so yes, a tougher day of walking today. Most of the section is spent on woodland paths and tracks on the steep sides of the Glen. A great day's walk ends in Drumnadrochit, famous for its proximity to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Monster experiences. You should have enough time to explore at least one of these attractions.


Day 4: Transfer to Loch Laide and walk to Inverness -  12.5 Miles, 20 Km

Transfer from Drumnadrochit, avoiding the busy A82 section of the Great Glen Way, to Loch Laide (approx. 15 mins). Initially you follow a minor road for a few miles and then at Blackfold you branch off through the forest before beginning your descent down towards Inverness and the Moray Firth. A mile before the end of the Way you once again meet the Caledonian Canal. The way turns right instead and follows the River Ness into the centre of Inverness and Inverness Castle, which marks the end of your wonderful journey across Scotland.


Day 5: Depart Inverness

Your trip ends after breakfast. Inverness has excellent transport links by road, rail and air to destinations throughout Scotland and the UK.


The High Route

In Summer 2014, through a £1 million project, the Forestry Commission Scotland created over 10 miles (16km) of waymarked Great Glen ‘High Route’ above Loch Ness. These new options take you above the treeline and offer fantastic views, with some challenging gradients and a new summit at 422m (1385ft) on Creag Dhearg.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Great Glen Escape is available and well suited to solo walkers as the route is popular and well marked. Single rooms are available but a single supplement is payable.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your guide book will have details.



The accommodation we most regularly use for both accommodation options is listed below.



 

 



The Bank House - Fort Augustus



The Bank House - Fort Augustus

The Bank House B&B sits in a beautiful position overlooking the Caledonian Canal in the centre of Fort Augustus. You are assured a warm welcome at this lovely property and you are also within walking distance of Pubs, Restaurants, Shops and of course the World famous Loch Ness.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Bracarina House - Invermoriston



Bracarina House - Invermoriston

Located in the centre of Invermoriston and a stones throw from the pub Bracarina is a purpose built guesthouse with little extras such as a sauna to revive tired legs.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Craik na Dav - Invermoriston

Sisters Lindsey and Manda would like to offer you a very warm welcome to their home in Invermoriston. They are actually on the GGW so no deviation from the route necessary, a couple of minutes walk from the Hotel to dine and offer a "wee dram" in the room. A footspa and foot massager are available and they offer homemade cake with tea / coffee / herbal tea / fruit tea on arrival.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Tramps - Drumnadrochit



Tramps - Drumnadrochit

Tramps is run by Mary Beedham who is reknowned for her outstanding hospitality. A wonderful host and an ever helpful host make for an outstanding stay.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Acorn House - Inverness



Acorn House - Inverness

The ambiance throughout Acorn House is one of comfort and relaxation - from the moment you walk through the entrance you will discover a warmth and friendliness unrivaled in Inverness. Dugie and Fiona will look after you well in this award winning Guesthouse.


 

 

 

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 18kg per person.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Getting to/from Inverness

By Air:


Inverness airport is just 15 minutes from Inverness city centre, alternatively Glasgow International airport is approx. 3.5 hours from Inverness.


By Train:


Trains run throughout the day between Glasgow and Inverness, the journey takes around 4 hours. Widely regarded as one of the world’s great rail journeys this is a great way to start your trip. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and tickets.


By Bus:


Scottish Citylink operates 8 buses per day from Glasgow (approx 4 hours). Visit www. citylink.co.uk for timetables and tickets.


By Car


Inverness is 170 miles (3.5 hours) north of Glasgow on the A9. Parking (not secure) is available in Inverness. You can leave your car at some accommodation we use in Inverness :


Getting to/from Fort Augustus

By Bus:


Scottish Citylink operates buses from Inverness (1 hour) to Fort Augustus. Visit www.citylink.co.uk for timetables and tickets.

Included

  • Hand-picked bed and breakfast accommodation in en-suite rooms wherever possible.
  • Door to door baggage transfer.
  • Taxi transfer on Day 4.
  • A detailed info pack, guidebook and map.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Extras

  • Single room supplement
  • Extra night/s along the route

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or perhaps visit our walking forum for more advice from our clients and team.

How fit do I need to be?

The Great Glen Way is a relatively easy walking trail and if you are a regular walker or lead an active lifestyle you will enjoy the trail. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular walking supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Great Glen is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked the way in every summer month I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved on to your next overnight accommodation.  We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 18kg per person.

What are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American gnats) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your experience.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets and several sections of the way are closed to dogs as they are permissive paths through farm land. What happens if I can’t walk a stage? You can use public transport or local taxis to travel to the next overnight stop.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

Good trip

4

Well organised trip - great organisation and the walk was very easy to follow - well signposted all the way (we didn't need the map!) Loved the longer days - some challenging inclined if you choose the high route. Some of the guest houses were better than others - not all were great but they were adequate. Beautiful scenery and would travel with Macs again.

Georgina

London

Yes

A great way to get away for a few days

4

I really enjoyed my trip. The organisation was fantastic. I was travelling alone so it's always nice to know when you are with a very trustworthy company! All of the accommodation I stayed at was great and well located and the owners were all incredibly friendly an helpful, I had some really nice chats with them all! They were very well informed about my trip and knew exactly what the plan was with my luggage and the one set of transport that came to collect me. The breakfasts were all particularly good! The info I was given about the walk was good and although I didn't have an OS map, the signage for the footpath was incredibly clear and so it was pretty impossible to get lost. I could also follow the walk with the book I was given so that was very useful. The part of the Great Glen Way walk I did was very beautiful - and I made sure I did the recently opened high route which I would recommend, as the views were incredible. The path is very well looked after and although there are a few steep climbs it wasn't too challenging but still very varied. I really enjoyed it!!

Vic Tweedie

London

Yes

Great Glen Way is a winner!

4

A lovely walk along Loch Ness. I'd recommend taking the high road when there's an option! Breathtaking views of majestic country.

The Aussie walkers.

Australia

Yes

Great Glen Escape - May 2017

4

The Great Glen Escape is 3 days of walking. The first day was a it of a challenge with steep grade changes, we took the high road, and no services along the trail until you come to the days final destination. That is true of most of the trail. So carry whatever you will need for the day, water and food and sun screen. It was unusually hot ( 85F) and sunny during our 3 days on the trail. The second and third day on the trail we opted for the low road route through the forest. Views on both the high road and the low road were beautiful. I have walked the Camino and by comparison this is a lonely walk. If you're looking to get away from people and services - truly get back to nature this is the walk for you

Bluecar

Philadlephia

Yes

A beautiful short hiking trip - and a great present!

5

This trip was a gift to my best friend's 40th birthday. He is usually not a hiker. So I picked a rather short distance, which made the Great Glen Escape a perfect choice, even for beginners. Not only did we have great luck with the weather (always sunny, not one drop of rain... and this at the beginning of May!), but also great views, great accommodations, great food, great lager beer, and most of all - great fun! I can really recommend this trip to anyone who wants to get to know Scotland. It's Beautiful. This was my second trip there and I booked with MacsAdventure again. Like the first time (the Speyside Way, also great!) everything was perfectly organised! I have no complaint whatsoever. Thanks a lot, guys! I will definitely return as a customer - and to Scotland.

Sascha

Stuttgart, Germany

Yes

The GREAT Great Glen Escape

5

I couldn't fault Macs Adventure, they have been helpful from the beginning. Our trip was well organised and the luggage was always at our next B&B before we were. We had one B&B that was double booked, but another accommodation had already been sorted for us and they had let us know a few hours before. Each village/town is well equipped for walkers, with small shops and pubs or restaurants for food. I would definitely use Macs Adventure again and I now have the walking bug!

Sophie the Scottish walker

Dorset

Yes

A great intro to Scotland

5

This was a great way for us to try a little walking in our introduction to Scotland. We didn't have time for the full Great Glen Way. The info packets and accommodations were easy to find and easy to follow. Our B&b's were nice and we felt at home with our generous hosts. The routes were well marked and we especially loved the High Route options for better views of Loch Ness.

Tank girl

Wyoming

Yes

Great Glen Escape

4.4 7

100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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