Section 1 | Fort William to Gairlochy | 12 miles| 19 Km | 4 - 5 hours
Fort William is a bustling town and very popular among climbers and walkers as it sits at the base of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest peak. From the start on the outskirts of the town you follow the river Lochy with a short detour to the ancient Old Inverlochy Castle. You can also make a short detour to the Ben Nevis Distillery, which runs tastings and tours. After briefly following the banks of Loch Linnie you reach Corpach where the Caledonian Canal meets the Atlantic. (Make sure you dip your feet).
Here you turn North Eastwards and follow the towpath to Banavie and Neptune’s staircase, an interesting series of lochs which raise the canal 80 feet in 400. Leaving Banavie behind you follow the canal towpath as it winds it way through stunning countryside above the River Lochy. Your overnight stop in Gairlochy* appears all to soon. It is a hamlet nestled at the mouth of Loch Lochy.
*There is very limited accommodation in Gairlochy and you may be staying in Spean Bridge, a pleasant 3-mile walk further up the valley (We will inform you if this is the case)
Section 2 | Gairlochy to Laggan | 15 miles | 24 Km | 5 - 6 hours
From Gairlochy you follow the shore of Loch Lochy on forest tracks through land owned by the Cameron Clan. The Clan Cameron Museum at Achnacarry is well worth the short detour. Achnacarry was also home to one of the toughest commando training camps in the world and the museum has some information on the conditions they endured. If you do decide to visit the museum I would strongly recommend taking the detour (on the minor road) past Loch Arkaig to then rejoin the path again at Clunes as this is a wonderful walk. After Clunes the road continues on fire tracks above Loch Lochy all the way to South Laggan. Make sure that you don’t miss the turn to the right before the wooden chalets which takes you to Laggan Lochs.
There is a wonderful pub and seafood restaurant on a moored barge at Laggan Lochs called the Eagle Inn. Great for an afternoon pint or a fantastic evening meal. Your accommodation is generally a mile of so from the lochs.
Section 3 | Laggan to Fort Augustus |10 miles | 16 Km | 4 - 5 Hours
Your day starts at Laggan Bridge, which is the highpoint of the Caledonian Canal at 106ft above sea level. Initially you follow the Eastern shore of Loch Oich, one of Scotland’s most beautiful pristine natural woodlands, which is teeming with bird and wildlife. Once you reach the end of Loch Oich at Oich Bridge you follow the canal for a few miles along to Fort Augustus. This is a lovely section of canal and Kytra Loch is one of the highlights of the entire walk.
Fort Augustus is a busy little town 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.
Section 4 | Fort Augusts to Invermoriston | 8 miles | 13 Km | 4 - 5 hours
At Fort Augustus you leave the canal and begin our journey 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.
Section 5 | Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit | 14 Miles | 22 Km | 7 - 8 hours
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.
Section 6 | Drumnadrochit to Loch Laide | 9 Miles | 14 Km | 3 - 4 Hours
From Drumnadrochit you endure a section on the busy A82 before climbing steadily through woodland and forestry. Eventually the climbing comes to an end and you wave goodbye to Loch Ness. If you are splitting the walk to Inverness into two sections you will then follow the road to Loch Laide (Near Abriachan Forest trust Walks), where your transfer is booked from.
Transfer Info: If you are walking the trail over seven days or longer you will have a return transfer from Loch Laide booked.
Section 7 | Loch Laide to Inverness| 11 Miles | 17 Km | 5 - 6 Hours
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 and it is possible to walk all the way to the end if you wish. 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. If you have walked all the way from Drumnadrochit you will be very pleased to reach the end of the days walk.
Solo Walkers & Single Rooms
The Great Glen Way 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.
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.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 18kg per person.
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.
The accommodation we most regularly use for both accommodation options is listed below.
Guisachan House - Fort William
A warm welcome awaits you at Guisachan House, a family run private hotel offering bed and breakfast in Fort William. We are situated in an elevated position only 10 minutes walk from Fort William town centre, railway station, bus stance, shops, cinema and tourist information centre.
Berkeley House - Fort William
Berkeley House was constructed in the late 1800's. Following a total refurbishment in 1998, this traditional Scottish Guest House has kept much of the original characteristics, whilst adding many modern facilities.
Dalcomera B&B - Gairlochy
Overlooking Ben Nevis and the River Lochy Dalcomera makes for the perfect first nights stop on the Great Glen Way.
Distant Hills - Spean Bridge
Peter and Lesley McIntosh extend a warm welcome to you from their family run guest house. Distant Hills is an established family run guest house, set in extensive grounds and located at the edge of a quiet Highland village.
Glen Albyn Lodge - Laggan
Glen Albyn Lodge is traditional on the outside and modern and eco-friendly on the inside. Dennis and Helen provide legendary hospitality and home cooking at their highly rated B&B.
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
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.
Bridgend House - Drumnadrochit
Brigend House is run by Rosalyn Luffman and is a member of Scotland's best B&B's. And for good reason, this is an absolutely superb B&B.
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
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.
Getting to/from Fort William
By Air: Inverness and Glasgow Airports are the most convenient. From Inverness Airport catch the bus (2 hours) or arrange a private transfer to Fort William. From Glasgow Airport take the shuttle bus into Glasgow city centre and then the train (4 hours) or bus (3 hours) to Fort William.
By Train: Between 3 and 4 trains run daily from Glasgow to Fort William and 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 9 buses per day from Glasgow (3 hours) and 8 buses per day from Inverness (2 hours) to Inverness. Visit www. citylink.co.uk for timetables and tickets.
By Car: Fort William is 100 miles (3 hours) north of Glasgow on the A82. Parking (not secure) is available in Fort William. You can leave your car at some accommodation we use in Fort William but please request this at the time of booking.
Private Transfers: We can arrange private transfers from Glasgow, Inverness or Edinburgh. Just ask us for a quote. Often is spectacular and a great way to begin your adventure.
Journey Planning: If travelling by public transport the website www.travelinescotland.com has an excellent journey planner.
Getting from Inverness
Inverness has excellent transport links by road, rail and air to destinations throughout Scotland and the UK. Use the websites listed above for timetables and tickets.
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. You can download a full equipment list from our website downloads page.
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.
What are the midges like?
Midges are small biting insects (much like north American knats) 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.
The Great Glen Way is available from March to October. You can start your holiday on any date in the season. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every Great Glen Way holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
||Great Glen Way
||6 - 8 Days
||Great Glen Way
||8 Days & 7 Nights
||Great Glen Way
||7 Days & 6 Nights
||Great Glen Way
||9 Days & 8 Nights
- Hand picked bed and breakfast accommodation in ensuite rooms wherever possible.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed info pack, guidebook and map for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Single room supplement.
- Hotel and castle accommodation upgrade.
- Extra nights before, during or after your walk.
- Private transfer from Inverness to Fort William.