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Best of the Great Glen Way & Edinburgh Getaway

6 Days & 5 Nights
  • Wander the purple heather-clad landscape of Scotland’s renowned Great Glen
  • Stay in Edinburgh’s old town just minutes from the capital’s iconic castle
  • Unravel the stories of the legendry monster of Loch Ness—“Nessie” and 13th century Urquhart Castle
  • Feast on delicious Scottish cuisine and sample a local ale or two
  • Delight in “ceud mìle fàilte” (a hundred thousand welcomes) at our hand-selected accommodations
On this self-guided walking tour immerse yourself in the best of Scotland’s Great Glen Way on a shortened trip itinerary. Explore Scotland’s Highland landscape brimming with deep lochs and glens between the quaint village of Fort Augustus and Inverness, Scotland's most northerly city. End the trip in true Scottish style by spending a night in heart of Edinburgh’s old town just minutes from the city’s castle. Begin the trip with one of Scotland’s most scenic rail journeys—wind your way north from Glasgow through seemingly infinite glens to reach Fort William at the base of Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. By day relish tranquil hiking as you roam a landscape strewn with ruined castles and remote villages nestled among impressive mountains. At night retire to our hand-selected accommodations and settle down with a dram to reflect on a day well spent . Round off the trip with a night in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital.
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What To Expect

This is the ideal itinerary if you are seeking the perfect balance of hiking, scenery and culture in less than a week. This “best of” 6 day easy to moderate hiking itinerary combines some of the finest walks and hand-selected accommodations that the Great Glen Way has to offer. Not only will you hike the highlights of an internationally renowned trail but you’ll discover the secrets of the illusive Loch Ness monster and overnight in the iconic city of Edinburgh.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

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

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers, First Timers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wine, Whiskey & More...
  • Historical Journeys

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular
  • New
  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

We have created this “best of” itinerary to showcase the best walks and create the perfect balance of walking and sightseeing. While the walks are less challenging than if you were to walk the entire Great Glen Way, they offer magnificent views and you will really get a sense of Scotland’s dramatic Highland scenery. Any limited road walking tends to be scenic and mostly along quiet lanes, however from time to time there are some busier stretches where you will need to look out for traffic. This itinerary is rated easy to moderate. On most days you will be walking on wellwaymarked terrain that may include forest tracks, rocky trails, and occasionally back country roads. On the whole most days have minimal ascent/descent as you’ll be following the Caledonian Canal most of the way. The most challenging walk from Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit includes up to 1700-1900 ft /520-580 m (depending on whether you choose the high or low route option) of ascent so if you’re not a frequent hiker we suggest you do a little training so you find this day as enjoyable as possible.

Navigation

This route is well way-marked and follows the internationally recognised Great Glen Way making navigation straightforward. We recommend you navigate using our Macs Adventure smartphone app—simply download your daily routes for offline use and follow the GPS tracks of the trail with the assurance that you will not get lost.

Accommodations

One of the highlights of this tour is the standard of accommodation. We have hand-selected the hotels to make sure you love every minute of your stay. All offer a warm Scottish welcome to walkers. We usually use the listed hotels but occasionally may use alternatives of the same standard if these are not available. You can choose to upgrade your final nights’ accommodation in Edinburgh if you wish.

Included
  • 5 Nights in hand-selected accommodations
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfers to walks as listed
  • Trains from Glasgow to Fort William & Inverness to Edinburgh
  • Information pack, GPX tracks and access to the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
Excluded
  • Travel to and from Glasgow/Edinburgh accommodation
  • Lunches, dinners (except 1), drinks & snacks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Upgraded accommodation in Edinburgh

When To Go

This walking tour is best enjoyed between April and the beginning of October. Scotland’s weather is changeable so no matter what month you decide to travel you could experience spring, summer and fall all in one day! April is a wonderful time to travel in Scotland, the daffodils in the villages are blooming and the countryside is alive with wildlife. May is particularly popular among walkers as it tends to be the driest month of the year. However, for slightly warmer weather (just an average of 65°F) we recommend travelling in July or August. For cooler temperatures, and to experience the beautiful autumnal colours on the trees September is a also a great month for walking. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans and you will find availability on our website. The Great Glen Way is popular so it’s best to book as far in advance as you are able.

Getting to the Start

The trip begins at your accommodation in Glasgow—easily accessible from the UK via rail and motorway links. If you’re travelling from Europe, North America or further afield we recommend flying into Glasgow Airport just a short taxi journey from the city centre (20 mins). The airport has plenty of European links and if flying from North America there are direct flights available from New York, Orlando, Toronto and Halifax. Otherwise, you can easily connect from other North American airports via Iceland, London or Amsterdam using British Airways, KLM, or a multitude of low budget airlines such as Ryanair or Easyjet. 

Getting from the End

Your hotel in Edinburgh is located within a short walk of Waverley Train Station, from where it’s less than an hour on the train to Glasgow (check the Scotrail website for timetables and tickets) for your return flight or onward travel. Alternatively, if you are extending your travels in Europe via Edinburgh airport it’s a 30 min taxi from the city centre to the airport, which is also easily reachable using the tram or Citylink bus networks.

Luggage Transfer

Your luggage 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 40lbs/18kg per person, and on the rail journeys that you bring your luggage with you. 

General Information

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 - the temptation cruise guided tour of Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle is no longer operating till March 2021 - you will be refunded the cost of this as it is included in the trip. 

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Itinerary

Day 1 Train to Fort Willam and transfer to Glengarry Day 2 Walk to Fort Augustus 9 miles / 14.5 km Day 3 Walk to Drumnadrochit 15 miles / 24 km Day 4 Walk to Inverness 9 miles / 14 km Day 5 Train to Edinburgh Day 6 Onward travel

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