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Great Glen Way Walking Holidays

The Great Glen Way (79 miles/125 km) is one of Scotland's Great Trails and encapsulates the unforgettable beauty and turbulent history of the Highlands. 

Enjoy a variety of walking terrain as you hike quiet forest trails, canal towpaths, heather-clad hills and open moorland on this coast-to-coast route. From Fort William to Inverness the landscape is littered with fascinating historical sites from the Old Fort of Fort William (strategically important in the Jacobean rebellion), to the medieval Urquhart Castle, home to Robert the Bruce in the early 1300s. On the shores of Loch Ness the castle enjoys dramatic views of the glen and is ideally placed for a little "Nessie" spotting. The route follows the Caledonian Canal as it traverses the Highlands from Scotland's west to east coast. The canal towpaths, well-made trails and excellent signposting along the trail, along with low and high route options make this trip the perfect choice for experienced walkers and those new to walking holidays alike. 

Macs Adventure has been offering walking holidays on the Great Glen Way since 2003. You can depend on us to provide a hassle-free experience with hand-picked accommodation, luggage transfers, local knowledge and wonderful memories. 

We offer a variety of itineraries so you can complete the classic Great Glen Way trail in a timescale that suits you over 7-9 days. Alternatively, explore the highlights of the trail on our 5 day short break itinerary, the Great Glen Escape. Or spoil yourself by booking our popular Great Glen Way in Comfort trip.  

Discover The Great Glen Way

  • Why book your Great Glen Way trip with Macs Adventure?
    Why book your Great Glen Way trip with Macs Adventure?

    We have been connecting people with great experiences on the Great Glen Way almost since its inception in 2002, this means we know and work closely with our long-term suppliers along the route. Not only that, but a few of us at Macs have walked or cycled the trip ourselves and have our own experience of the trail to draw upon when arranging your holiday. 

    We offer a great range of itineraries from you to choose from, from avid walkers seeking a challenge, to those embarking on their first walking holiday. We have something for everyone! Complete the entire 79 mile trail stretching from Fort William to Inverness over 5-7 days of walking, with an arrival and departure day either side. Alternatively, for a little luxury along the way why not treat yourself to our popular Great Glen Way In Comfort trip? For those on a shorter timescale check out the Great Glen Escape, a Macs-curated short break taking in our favourite bits of the trail. 

  • Great Glen Way FAQs
    Great Glen Way FAQs

    Q: When is the best time to walk the Great Glen Way?

    A: Spring and autumn are considered the best seasons for walking the GGW, when temperatures are fine for daily walking and days are often dry. Summer in Scotland is a mixed bag, if you are lucky it could be dry and warm, but you are more likely to get dry days in spring and autumn. Another advantage of walking the trail in autumn is you'll be able to appreciate the beautiful autumnal foliage on the trees.  

    Q: Will I need a map and compass?

    A: The GGW is waymarked with clear signposts and marker posts. For the most part, these are easy to see and follow and booking with Macs Adventure you can download our app, which has the GGW route already loaded. 

    Q: Should I walk the high or low route variations?

    A: For the two days walking between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit you can choose from high or low route variations. As the name suggests the high route involves more ascent, but we believe the amazing views over Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle are worth it. However, if you encounter bad weather or simply wish to take things at a more relaxed pace then take the low route largely on forest trails near the shore of Loch Ness. 

    Q: Are midges a major problem?

    A: There is no denying that midges can be a nuisance when there is no breeze. They will bite if they find bare skin but they do not cause illness. Some people suffer from itchy bites.

    The worse time for midges in Scotland is June to August on warmer humid days. The best solution is to carry midge repellent with you. See our Say Goodbye to the Midges blog for repellent ideas.

    Q: Will my accommodation be close to the route?

    A: We endeavour to book accommodation as close as possible to the trail. Generally, you will only have to walk less than a mile from the route to get to your overnight accommodation. We provide comprehensive details to guide you to your accommodation is each night. On some itineraries you may have a private taxi transfer included if your accommodation is further from the route. 

  • A Historical Coast-to-Coast Trail
    A Historical Coast-to-Coast Trail

    A great choice for history buffs, and nature-lovers alike the trail takes you from Fort William the 'outdoor capital' of the Highlands in the west to Inverness, Scotland's most northerly cathedral city in the east. The Great Glen Way is the perfect way to travel slowly, discovering the dramatic heritage of the settlements and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. Get away from it all and lose yourself in surrounding landscape and its history, while making new memories yourself. 

    From fact to fantasy, the Jacobites to Robert The Bruce, and everything in between, the Great Glen has it all. En route you'll pass forts, castles, Scotland's deepest loch with a reputation as a home to monsters (Nessie!), all while following the Caledonian Canal a feet of historical engineering in itself. The trail starts beside the now unassuming 17th century fort ruins in Fort William and ends in Inverness, settled as early as the 6th century and close to the famous Culloden Battefield.

  • Walking the Great Glen Way

    This video was made by Ewan, one of our Great Glen Way experts who embarked on this classic walk himself a few years ago. He shows that this route is very well-waymarked and not too strenuous, so that the majority of fit people can accomplish it. With lochside walking and magnificent views over the Scottish Highlands, this long-distance trail is memorable in many ways. From the exploration of Scotland's turbulent history at Urquhart Castle, to spotting "Nessie", the mythical monster, you are sure to relish this experience.

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