Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Self guided walking tour of the Great Glen Way, In Style
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Highlights

  • Stay in award-winning hotels and hike Scotland's iconic Great Glen
  • Sample delicious Scottish fare and enjoy a Highland welcome from your hosts
  • Follow the picture perfect Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness
  • Visit the 13th century ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness
  • Delight in stunning views of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis

Our Great Glen Way In Comfort trip delivers a unique and truly memorable visit to Scotland for walkers wishing to experience the Great Glen Way with a touch of style. Stay in hand-selected hotels with first class service, traditional Scottish hospitality and culinary excellence.

Starting in Fort William, at the base of Ben Nevis, follow the Caledonian Canal, via Neptune’s Staircase, and past Loch Lochy and Loch Oich to reach Scotland’s most northerly city of Inverness. En route you’ll trace the shores of iconic Loch Ness, pass the 13th century ruins or Urquhart Castle, and stay in charming Highland villages.

Day 1:
Arrive Fort William

Lying in the shadow of Ben Nevis at the head of Loch Linnhe sits Scotland’s outdoor capital - Fort William.


Glasgow and Inverness are the closest airports to Fort William and regular trains and buses connect to Fort William.


Overnight: Nevis Bank Inn****, Fort William


The modern 4-star Nevis Bank Inn is the perfect place to spend your first night in the Highlands. Situated on the banks of the River Ness, you can enjoy a meal in the excellent 'Browns' restaurant or relax in the bar.  Fort William is just a 10 mins walk away.


Day 2:
Walk to Gairlochy

You start on the outskirts of Fort William following the River Lochy with a short detour to Old Inverlochy Castle. Ben Nevis Distillery, which runs tastings and tours is also just off the route. After briefly following the banks of Loch Linnhe you reach Corpach where the Caledonian Canal meets the Atlantic.
Here you turn northeast and follow the towpath to Banavie and Neptune’s staircase, a series of lochs which raise the canal 80 feet in 400.


 Leaving Banavie behind you follow the canal towpath as it winds its way through stunning countryside above the River Lochy with great views of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries. On arrival in Gairlochy we will transfer you to your accommodation in Spean Bridge.


Walk: 10.5 miles / 17 km


Overnight: Smiddy House****, Spean Bridge


Once the village Smithy this 4-star  ‘Restaurant With Rooms’ offers first class Scottish hospitality.
Rooms are individually designed but it is its cuisine for which Smiddy House is known. Highland game, beef and lamb, scallops from the Isle of Mull, Arisaig prawns and salmon from Wester Ross all feature frequently on the menu.


Day 3:
Walk to Laggan

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.


If you do decide to visit the museum we would strongly recommend taking the detour (on the minor road) past Loch Arkaig to then re-join 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.


Walk: 12 miles / 19 km


Overnight: Glengarry Castle Hotel***


Glengarry Castle sits on the shores of Loch Oich, between Loch Ness and Loch Lochy in a beautiful woodland setting. You will be greeted with the aroma of the wood smoke from the burning log fires.  Rooms are individually styled in traditional highland style and staying in a castle is always special, especially when you can look forward to a fine meal in the castle restaurant with fine views of Loch Oich.


Please note that Glengarry Hotel are unable to accommodate group bookings of 9 people and above. If you wish to book a group this size, please phone our office and we can discuss alternative options.



Day 4:
Walk to Fort Augustus

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, through 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 Lock is one of the highlights of the entire walk.
Fort Augustus is centred on a series of lochs which are always a hive of activity. It is a great spot to spend afternoon or evening.


Walk: 10.5 miles / 17 km


Overnight: The Lovat Hotel***, Fort Augustus


The Lovat is a beautiful, eco-friendly hotel located in the village of Fort Augustus on the southern tip of Loch Ness.  Rooms are contemporary yet traditional with the majority enjoying views of mountains, the Canal or Loch Ness.


Meals can be taken in the main restaurant, offering a finer dining experience or in the Brassiere.  Both provide diverse menus cooked from some of the finest ingredients found in Scotland.


Day 5 Walk to Invermoriston

At Fort Augustus you leave the canal and begin your 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.


Walk: 8 miles / 13 km


Overnight: Glen Moriston Arms, Invermoriston


Invermoriston is a small but charming village not far from Loch Ness. Stay in a superior, superking or four-poster bed room at this friendly and welcoming hotel, which boasts a relaxed guest lounge with open fire, bar, and a restaurant serving such delights as pan-seared wood pigeon or Highland venison stroganoff. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing massage in the hotel’s treatment room (pre-booking essential).


Day 6:
Walk to Drumnadrochit

Rejoin the Great Glen Way as it climbs steeply out of 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 Loch Ness Monster experiences.



Walk: 14.5 miles / 23 km


Overnight: Loch Ness Inn, Drumnadrochit


The Loch Ness Inn is found in the heart of the small town, run by a friendly team who have won numerous Scottish hotel awards. Most of the restaurant’s fish is sourced from Mallaig, with seafood from Applecross Bay. There is also Highland farmed beef, lamb and venison.


Day 7:
Walk to Loch Laide

Today you will walk the section of the Great Glen Way from Drumnadrochit to Loch Laide.


This morning you’ll be transferred further north, so that you can start your day’s walking and appreciate the easier descent and views of Loch Ness as you walk back to your hotel. Returning to Drumnadrochit, if you have time, pay a visit to Urquhart Castle which is nestled on a rocky promontory on the loch, within easy walking distance of the town. With over a thousand years of history, a visit to this picturesque castle is well worthwhile.


Walk: 7 miles / 11 km


Overnight: Loch Ness Inn, Drumnadrochit



Day 8
Walk to Inverness

Take a short transfer back to where you started your walk yesterday (this is a remote part of the Great Glen Way).  You follow woodland trails to climb and rejoin the Great Glen Way at Loch Laide. Here you follow a minor road across the heather moors 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.



Following the Caledonian Canal and River Ness you soon walk into the centre of Inverness and Inverness Castle, which marks the end of your walk on the Great Glen Way.


Walk: 12.5 miles / 20 km


Overnight: Rocpool Hotel*****, Inverness


The Rocpool hotel is a boutique hotel providing modern elegance and outstanding service.  The bedrooms are classically chic and come with all the amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel. Unwind in the R bar overlooking the river and enjoy an evening drink. The Chez Roux restaurant is overseen by the multi award-winning chef Albert Roux OBE. A fitting highpoint on which to end your trip.


Day 9:
Depart Inverness

Your trip ends after breakfast. Inverness has good rail, bus and air links to destinations throughout Scotland 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 than the traditional route, 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 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


This tour is available to solo walkers, although a 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
also payable.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. The hotels offer a continental and full cooked breakfast, which should
keep you going for hours.


Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the
available options. Most of your accommodations will be more than happy
to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival.
Alternatively your guide book  includes details of local pubs and
convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your
accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.



Below is a selection of the accommodation we use in the Great Glen Way In Style.



 



 




Nevis Bank Inn - Fort William

The modern, 4-star Nevis Bank Inn is situated on the banks of the River Ness, just a ten mins walk from the centre of of Fort William. It boasts a lovely restaurant 'Browns' and a cosy bar.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Smiddy House - Spean Bridge



Smiddy House B&B - Spean Bridge

Four star graded ‘Restaurant With Rooms’ offering first class Scottish hospitality.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Lovat Hotel - Fort Augustus

The Lovat is an award-winning eco-friendly hotel, situated on the southern tip of Loch Ness. Located in the loch-side village of Fort Augustus, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Glen Moriston Arms - Invermoriston

Invermoriston is a small but charming village not far from Loch Ness. Stay in a superior, superking or four-poster bed room at this friendly and welcoming hotel, which boasts a relaxed guest lounge with open fire, bar, and a restaurant serving such delights as pan-seared wood pigeon or Highland venison stroganoff. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing massage in the hotel’s treatment room (pre-booking essential).


 

 

 


 

 

 



Loch Ness Inn - Drumnadrochit



Loch Ness Inn - Drumnadrochit

The Loch Ness Inn is found in the heart of the small town, run by a friendly team who have won numerous Scottish hotel awards. Most of the restaurant’s fish is sourced from Mallaig, with seafood from Applecross Bay. There is also Highland farmed beef, lamb and venison.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Rocpool Hotel - Inverness



Rocpool Hotel - Inverness

The Rocpool hotel is a boutique hotel providing modern elegance and outstanding service. The bedrooms are classically chic and come with all the amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel. Unwind in the R bar overlooking the river and enjoy an evening drink. The Chez Roux restaurant is overseen by the multi award-winning chef Albert Roux OBE.


 

 

 

Busy Travel Dates

There are a few dates throughout the year when events in the local area will prevent us from being able to book accommodation. If you could schedule your trip around these dates it would be extremely beneficial.


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 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.

Included

  • 8 nights hand-picked 3,4 & 5 star country hotels, inns and restaurants with rooms
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 1 nights dinner in Spean Bridge at a Michelin guide-listed restaurant
  • Door to door baggage transfer
  • Transfers on Days 7 and 8 to the start of the walk
  • Transfers to/from hotels when off route
  • Information pack and access to maps and GPX tracks on the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem

Excluded

  • Travel to Fort William/from Inverness
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Travel Insurance (required)
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Excursions & entrance fees
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after your walk
  • Single room / solo traveller supplement

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.

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.

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 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 continue to your next overnight stop.

Excellent trip

5

Lovely trip. We were very lucky with the weather, and the walking was varied – some flat days, others more hilly. The accommodation was, in general, very good and, as ever with Macs, the organization was top notch. We added a couple of days in Edinburgh as well, which rounded things off perfectly. Would thoroughly recommend.

Russell

London

true

best trip ever

5

Wonderful experience

Brigitte

Graz, Austria

true

I would buy again with a small modofication

4

Way very well marked, not too difficult, nice places to sleep and very good food The Scots are so kind and hospitable people, it is always a pleasure to talk to them A special thanks to Jess Cohen who was so helpful and wonderful. She made me feel good all along the way

Catherine

Montreal, Canada

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Less than expected

4

My husband and I hiked the Great Glen Way with two friends. We had a delightful time because we were together and laughed a great deal. However, I've done about 30 walking trips over the years and we found this one less interesting than most. The first day from Fort William along the canal's tow path seemed endless. Flat and only interest was the boats in the canal. We took ride after 14 miles to Smiddy House which we loved. Robert is wonderful. The food everywhere was local and excellent, especially at Smiddy House and The Loch Ness Inn. We spent 3 nights there, following the grueling hike to get there. The hikes through the Moors provided lovely walking, views and picnic spots. We were disappointed at not finding towns or coffee shops during the day - as we have found on other hikes such as the West Highland Way. The last day to Inverness also seemed endless. However, we found Inverness delightful. All in all, I felt this hike, although a grand tradition, lacked immersion in the culture, opportunities to chat with locals during the day so would not recommend it as a first inn-to-inn hike for clients. It is one of those notch in the belt - and of course we now have it in our repertoire. The organization, being arranged thru the Colorado office did not live up to the usual MAC standards.

Bullthistle

Seattle

false

Walk the Great Glen Way!!

5

This was a great trip. Every detail was handled by MACS. The walks were challenging, but certainly not too much. We met so many people on this adventure. At the same time, we would walk for miles not encountering anyone. This was a special way to introduce Scotland to us and we would highly recommend using Macs Adventure for future walks and travel. If you have any doubts about walking the Great Glen Way...just do it! You will see the natural beauty of Scotland and meet the nicest people along the way. Hearing from other travelers who had not used Macs...we knew we had made the correct choice! Book with Macs Adventure and walk the Great Glen Way.

Bandits and Feathers McGraw from the US.

California

true

Excellent trip

5

Well marked trails. Relatively easy with few hills.

AVR

San Diego

true

Lifetime memory for father & son

5

My 16-year old son and I hiked the Great Glen Way (in Style!) with Mac's Adventure in June 2018. It was an extraordinary experience. This was our first long hike and we had no difficulty with the distance or the hills. If you're in reasonable health and fitness, you can handle it. The walk was on well prepared trails and route finding was easy (definitely use the app from Mac's Adventure - so easy to follow!). We were tired but not exhausted each day. The accommodations were all wonderful country inns and the food was fantastic. In style indeed! Nothing like ending a day's walk with a cold beer, a delicious meal and a friendly hotel. All of the arrangements from Mac's Adventure were flawless. Really, not a single problem whatsoever. The walk had a lot of variety, with beautiful canal paths for the first few days then some challenging climbs over Loch Ness on the later days. We got lucky with the weather and the views were amazing. I definitely recommend the high route options where available. Climbing out of Fort Augustus on the high route we could see all the way down the Great Glen, with Ben Nevis in the background. Really a beautiful view!

Steve

Richmond, VA USA

true

A Great Trip!

5

We enjoy hiking and walking trips and we had heard good things about Macs, but we had never booked a trip with them before. The Great Glen Way in Style was a first class trip. The accommodations were very nice, the people were friendly, and the food was amazing! We walked 10 - 15 miles per day, carrying all of our own kit, and I still gained weight during the trip!

Don

Pittsburgh, PA

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Great Walk

5

No additional comments

Vector

Canada

true

Great Glen Way-In Style

4

We had a B & B that lost our reservation, but we were placed in a higher rated accommodation by Caroline and all transport extras were also taken care off. The accommodations were all fine with the exception of The Glen Mhor in Inverness. The Glen Mhor location to finish the entire Great Glen Way is ideal, but this hotel is old and dated and cannot be described as in style. The in style part in this hotel does not apply and an alternative should be found.

DSL

USA-North Carolina

true

The Great Glen Way in Style

4.7 19

94.7

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