Great Glen Escape5 Days & 4 Nights 4.7 Read 19 reviews
- 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 having passed through some of Scotland’s finest scenery
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travellers, Families, Multi-Generational, Groups > 10, First Timers
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Historical Journeys
- National Parks & Trails
- Most Popular
Grade & Terrain
This holiday is graded easy to moderate overall, with the 7 and 8 day tours graded moderate, due to a couple of longer days. Daily walking distances very between 8 - 20 miles. Some days will be more challenging than others and the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths. There are ascents and descents involved, so a good level of fitness will be required. For fitter walkers the High Route will appeal, which affords particularly spectacular views from the Great Glen Way.
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 than the traditional route, with some challenging gradients and a new summit at 422m (1385ft) on Creag Dhearg.
The route is well way marked and easy to follow. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you will easily manage to find your way.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of 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.
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.
- 4 Nights in hand-picked B&B's, guest houses and small hotels
- 4 Breakfasts
- Baggage transfers
- Taxi transfer on day 4
- Information pack, guidebook and access to maps & GPX tracks on our Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
- Travel to the start / from the finish of the walk
- Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
- Travel insurance (required)
- Personal equipment
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
- Extra nights before, during or after your walk
When To Go
You can start your walk on the Great Glen Way on any day between March and October, subject to availability. The Great Glen Way is very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able to.
Getting to the Start
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 Scotrail's website for timetables and tickets.
By Bus: Scottish Citylink operates up to 8 departures per day from Glasgow to Fortwilliam (3 hours) and up to 8 buses per day from Inverness (2 hours) to Fort William. Visit Scottish Citylink's website for timetables and tickets.
By Car: Fort William is 100 miles (approx. 3 hours) north of Glasgow on the A82. Parking (not secure) is available in Fort William. You can sometimes leave your car at the properties 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 to the start/end of your walk; just ask us for a quote. This is often the smoothest way to begin or conclude your adventure.
Journey Planning: If travelling by public transport the website www.travelinescotland.com has an excellent journey planner.
Getting from the End
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.
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.
You will be collected from your accommodation in Drumnadrochit on day 4 of your trip and transferred to Loch Laide, avoiding the busy A82 section of the Great Glen Way, and allowing you to enjoy walking into Inverness at a more leisurely pace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.
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, we believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
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.
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.
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.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Fort Augustus and overnight
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.
This house was built in 1760 in the grounds of the 2nd fort, and has undergone a number of alterations over the years. Most recently they have added the new breakfast room which provides stunning views of the Caledonian Canal, Meall Dubh peak and the centre of Fort Augustus.
The Bank House sits on an elevated site overlooking the Caledonian Canal in the centre of Fort Augustus. They are within walking distance of pubs, restaurants and shops. They have three en-suite rooms that are named after Castles and come with tea and coffee making facilities, a hair dryer and a colour TV.
The Holt has the Caledonian Canal at the front of the property and the River Oich flowing at the rear. All rooms are en-suite and equipped with a television/DVD player, free Wi-Fi, radio alarm clock with MP3 connection, hospitality tray, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.
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.
Heather and Robert would like to extend you, a warm welcome to their Bed and Breakfast, Bracarina House. Where you can expect a hearty breakfast, homemade scones for your walk. Bracarina House is set in the middle of the beautiful village of Invermoriston and is a stone’s throw from the pub.
Sisters Lindsey and Manda would like to offer you a very warm welcome to their home in Invermoriston. All rooms are en-suite and have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay.
Darroch View is situated near to the world-famous Loch Ness and in the heart of Invermoriston. All their rooms are en-suite, as well having satellite T.V., free wireless internet connection (WIFI), tea/coffee making facility, hairdryer, alarm clock & complimentary toiletries. Downstairs the dining room has a wonderful view of mountains and the beautiful village of Invermoriston.
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.
Situated just a little outside the village centre of Drumnadrochit the shores of Loch Ness, this peaceful haven gives you all the relaxation you need after day out on the Great Glen. All rooms are well appointed and the house is surrounded by well-kept gardens, with a relaxing lounge and bright and airy breakfast room. All rooms include complimentary upgraded Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities.
Greenlea is a charming cottage situated on the Village Green in Drumnadrochit. Built in 1810, it was the first house on the green and as a listed building it maintains many traditional features. All rooms are equipped with TV, tea & coffee facilities, hairdryer and Wi-Fi access.
Aslaich Bed & Breakfast is situated in the peaceful and picturesque village of Lewiston, adjoining the village of Drumnadrochit. This family run bed and breakfast offers peace, relaxation and beautiful views of the surrounding hills and countryside within Glenurquhart (the Great Glen). The Shores of Loch Ness (Urquhart Bay) is a short woodland walk away, and the house is situated 400 metres from the Great Glen Way. The house has a drying room for those wet walking days and has Wi-Fi available.
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.
Located in the capital of The Highlands, Kinnoch Lodge offers an ideal place to stay for your visit to Inverness. Located 5 minutes from the centre of town and only a short walk from Inverness Castle, this accommodation is in the perfect location for your stay. Each room is finished to a high standard and Sharon and Donnie will make you feel at home for the duration of your stay.
Inverglen is a Victorian stone villa built in 1894. All bedrooms are en-suite and have complimentary toiletries. Each room has a digital flat screen television, a radio alarm clock, hair dryer and hot water bottle. Their large comfortable guest lounge has an extensive library of guides, reference books, novels and magazines, as well as many CD’s and DVD’s for you to borrow. They also serve complimentary tea/coffee together with biscuits or other home-baked treats most afternoons.
Built in 1842, your accommodation is a well-appointed Victorian villa with stunning views over the River Ness and Cavell Gardens. All rooms have TV, hospitality tray, hairdryers and free wireless Internet. They also have available on request bathrobes, slippers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, iron and ironing board and DVD player.
Your trip ends after breakfast. Inverness has excellent transport links by road, rail and air to destinations throughout Scotland and the UK.
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