Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness
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Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the highland landscape on one of Scotland's most renowned trails.
  • Discover the historic tow paths of the Caledonian Canal and its impressive series of locks.
  • Visit Urquhart Castle with its superb setting on Loch Ness.
  • Explore Loch Ness by foot and perhaps catch a glimpse of the famous Loch Ness Monster!
  • Arrive in 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.

Set off from Fort Augustus, from where the trail follows the western shores of Loch Ness, passing the charming Highland towns of Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit before reaching the historic city 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!

We include hand-picked overnight accommodation in high quality hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses, daily door to door baggage transfer, maps, route notes and emergency telephone support from our UK office in your short 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.

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.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Kilmore Farmhouse - Drumnadrochit

Situated in the village of Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness, this peaceful haven gives you all the relaxation you need on your hiking holiday. With five individually designed bedrooms and one of the best locations in the highlands, you are sure to enjoy your 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 / solo traveler 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 cardiovascular exercise for at least six months before 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.

How do we get to and from the trail?

Fort William is the gateway to the Highlands and is serviced by local train and bus services! With these services, you can connect easily to the start of the Great Glen Way trail with direct trains running from Glasgow city centre to Fort William (approx.. 4 hours). Getting back from Inverness is also easy, and there are again train and bus services onwards to Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres. Please check our local journey planner Traveline Scotland for more information.

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, the sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside. 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 farmland. 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.

I would recommend Macs Adventure

5

I really liked that you sent emails and kept us updated on the progress of our booking arrangements. The travel document package was well done. I'm not that experienced at walking on unfamiliar trails and I was confused a couple of times about where to go, though we did make the right choices. It would be a nice touch to personalize the Macs Adventure. A bottle of wine in your room with a note on the last day of your trip, a small box of Chocolates with a note. Something to tie the end of your trip to Macs Adventure. I loved our adventure, it really was a trip of a lifetime. Thank you Nick and everyone at Macs Adventure

JD

Canada

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Fantastic experience

5

We are experienced hikers but carrying all our gear with us is loosing its attraction. We used Macsadventure to organise a walk through the Great Glen, taking in the highlights of the routes along Loch Ness. They did a great job sorting out really great accommodation and moving our luggage from stop to stop so that all we needed with us were our day sacks. They made a wonderful set of walks into something fantastic with no downside. We will be using them again. Thanks Macs

Adam

Lancaster

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I would plan a trip like this again

5

Macadventure did take the worry out of the trip. so for a first timer, it made the hike much more enjoyable. thinking of using your service in the USA as well.

Ad Vent Urer

Athens

true

Excellent to deal with!

5

Everything ran very smoothly from our initial email until the end of our trip. Well organized & efficient- so convenient when you are traveling from the other side of the world.

Suz

Australia

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Amazing experience in an organised hassle-free way!

5

Macs Adventure listened to all our wishes and desires and arranged us a tailor-made package. We're very grateful as our Great Glen Way journey is hassle-free; they arranged baggage handling and the booking of all accommodations we stayed in. The accommodations were great and some with little personal touches, here and there. I can't find anything to complain about!

Taritha and Daniel

The Hague

true

A wonderful experience on the Great Glen Way

5

I really must compliment you on a well organized holiday. It was super that all I had to do was walk and not hassle with baggage and accomodation

Bev

Midlands

Happy Days on the Great Glen Way

5

A friend visiting for Canada and I did the Great Glen Escape trip in July. What a great time we had. Loved walking this trail, both high above Loch Ness and through the green, green woods full of foxgloves. The sun shone and not a midge to be seen ;) The B&Bs were lovely and welcoming - just what we needed at the end of our days on the trail. I'm inspired to walk the whole GGW sometime soon. Thanks Macs.

Sarah

Edinburgh, UK

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Rewarding hike!

5

I loved the organization: we did the walking, MACS did the luggage and bookings. The B&Bs were great. Each one was very clean and comfortable.

LauraCanada

Chilliwack, Canada

Excellent Organization and Support

5

Our Great Glen Escape Walking Tour was an experience of a lifetime. And a very positive one at that. The pre-trip support, instructions, and organization were impressive and Macs Adventures delivered on all they promised. I would definitely like to take an outdoors vacation with them again. The accommodations were, for the most part, top notch with wonderful Scottish breakfasts everywhere. Spectacular scenery, a feast for the eyes!

Moriah

Maine

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Great tip for a taster and beest of the great glen way

5

Great to do the best bits of the great glen way. Met many travellers along the way who said the best bit was definitely Fort Augustus to Inverness. Glad I did just that bit. Accommodation great. Friendly hosts. Well organised. Book!

Curly

Windsor

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The Great Glen Escape

4.7 18

100.0

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