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The Glen Affric Trail

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.7 Read 17 reviews
  • Explore the length of Glen Affric - “Scotland’s most beautiful glen”
  • Begin at Inverness Castle on the banks of the River Ness
  • Spot Scottish wildlife - from elusive otters to plentiful red deer
  • Enjoy the tranquility of Glen Affric's remote eco-hostel
  • Walk to the west coast between the towering peaks of Kintail
The Glen Affric Trail across Scotland begins in Inverness, the capital of the highlands, before heading west along Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit. Here you leave the Great Glen as you walk to Cannich and then on into Glen Affric. Often called the most beautiful glen in Scotland Glen Affric is a National Scenic Area and National Nature Reserve. You walk through Caledonian pine and beech forests as you traverse the length of Glen Affric. At the head of the glen you spend a night in the Glen Affric youth hostel, a remote eco-hostel four hours walk from the nearest road. A nature lover’s paradise, the hostel is surrounded by brooding peaks and great views. You won’t want to leave the next morning, when you continue west between the hulking mass of Bheinn Fhada and the Five Sisters of Kintail to reach the sea at Shiel Bridge. The final section of your walk across Scotland takes you on Drovers’ roads, across the Glenelg Peninsula, past iron age brochs, to Glenelg, where your adventure ends. The changing landscapes and wonderful walking combine to make the Glen Affric Trail across Scotland a classic long distance walk. But this is only half the story; on your journey from coast to coast you will also discover the secret corners of Scotland and her people that make the highlands so special.
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What To Expect

If you relish a challenge through the remote Scottish Highlands, then the Glen Affric Trail will tick all the boxes. But you do need to be fit and happy navigating with a map and compass through remote countryside.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wildlife

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate to strenuous, the route comprises of hill and mountain tracks, riverside trails, minor roads and highland paths, some of which can be indistinct and boggy. Some of the ascents and descents are steep and can be exposed so require a good head for heights and sure-footedness in places. At the beginning /end of each day you may have some walking on tarmac/pavements (unfortunately unavoidable) as you exit/enter villages (the exception being Day 5). You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.

Navigation

This route is not way marked and a couple of sections follow very indistinct trails across boggy, rough and remote ground. You should be a competent navigator with map and compass.

Accommodation Information

Included in your trip are 7 nights in carefully selected accommodation. 6 Nights are in 3 star B&B’s and Inn's and 1 night will be in the Glen Affric Youth Hostel in a private room (if available).

Glen Affric Youth Hostel is a remote eco-hostel with no shop or food so you will need to carry your food and drinks that you will need for dinner, breakfast and lunch the following day. You will also need to carry a sleeping bag and overnight clothes. Your main bag will be waiting for you in Shiel Bridge. 

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This holiday is not available to solo walkers due to the remote nature of the terrain. However 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.

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. You will need to carry food for the night you are staying at the Glen Affric Youth Hostel.

Included
  • Overnight in hand picked B&B's, guesthouses and country inns
  • 1 Night in Glen Affric Youth Hostel ( private twin or dorm room depending on availability)
  • All breakfasts (except at Glen Affric Youth Hostel)
  • Baggage transfer (except to Glen Affric Youth Hostel)
  • Access to route notes, detailed maps, and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • Travel to Inverness / from Glenelg
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
  • Breakfast at Glen Affric Youth Hostel
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route

When To Go

This trip is available to start any day of the week, between April and September, although the best time to walk (for finer weather) is usually between May and September.

Getting to the Start

By Air: Inverness Airport is served by flights from throughout Scotland and the UK as well as several European destinations. For international travellers Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports are are the most convenient.

By Train: Inverness is easily accessible by rail from Glasgow (3h20) or Edinburgh (3h30) and from connecting destinations throughout the UK. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and tickets.

By Coach: Scottish Citylink operates several services daily from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness. Visit www.citylink.co.uk for timetables and tickets.

By Car: Inverness is 170miles (3 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 but please request this at the time of booking.

Journey Planning: If travelling by public transport the website www.travelinescotland.com has an excellent journey planner.

Getting from the End

Unless you are taking the ferry across to Skye you will need to take a taxi to Shiel Bridge or Kyle of Lochalsh where you can connect with the frequent buses that run to Inverness (1h40), Fort William (1h30) and Glasgow (5h00).

Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfers are included in the price of your trip. We ask you to limit your luggage to a maximum of 1 bag of up to 20kg per person. Except on day 5 to Glen Affric Youth Hostel, where you will need to carry an overnight bag and your main luggage will be moved to Shiel Bridge.

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 and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for the summer along with 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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Inverness Day 2 Inverness to Drumnadrochit 20 miles / 32 km Day 3 Drumnadrochit to Cannich 13 miles / 21 km Day 4 Cannich to Affric Lodge 13 miles / 21 km Day 5 Affric Lodge to Alltbeithe 9 miles / 14.5 km Day 6 Alltbeithe to Morvich/Shiel Bridge 13 miles / 21 km Day 7 Shiel Bridge to Glenelg 16 miles / 26 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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