Great Glen Way Walking Tour

Scotland
Walking
Self-Guided
Great Glen Way Walking Tour

Great Glen Way Walking Tour

Prices

From $850USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels

Start Your Booking

Highlights

Walk the famous Great Glen Way trail from Fort William to Inverness

Walk Coast-to-Coast through the very heart of Scotland along the beautiful Canal and Loch-Side Footpaths

Walk on your own pace as you’ll have all your logistics taken care for you

Observe the best view of Ben Nevis

Spend time exploring small authentic villages along your walking path

Opened in April 2002, this long-distance walking trail travels right through the very heart of Scotland. From Fort William to Inverness, you'll discover the highlights that make this area such a magnet for walkers. Pass by the foot of Ben Nevis (1344m), the highest mountain in the UK. Follow undulating forest tracks along the shores of Loch Ness and walk through a mixture of farmland, exposed high moorlands and woodland as you make your way to the capital of the Highlands, Inverness. Along the route you will also encounter the forts and castles scattered along the way that lay witness to Scotland's turbulent past, from the Iron Age to the Jacobite Rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie who was finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden.

It is easy to moderate, walking approx. 8 miles/ 13 km to 18miles/ 29km (3.5-8 hours). The route starts fairly flat but gets harder over the last 3 days with short steep hills and longer hills on the last day of walking. The last day of walking can be reduced by taking optional taxi transfer (included in the price) to a point about a third along the trail, missing out the steep climb.

Great Glen Way Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Fort William

Make your own way to Fort William. Train links to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

There are only traces left of the original fort built to keep the dreaded Highlanders at bay. Today the town is the “Chamonix” of Scotland with a proliferation of outdoor shops, cafes, bookshops and bars to entertain you if you arrive early. If you have an extra night here and you are an experienced hill walker, you could go and climb Ben Nevis, or you could take a boat trip to “Seal Island” to see the grey seals loitering around.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in Fort William
Distance
None
Meals
None

Day 2 Fort William to Gairlochy

Today’s walk is very easy which will give you the opportunity to do several side trips. The first one being Old Inverlochy Castle, which is one of Scotland’s earliest stone castles, built in 1260. Continue on with your walk before taking a short diversion to Corpach sea loch, with its lock-keepers’ cottages and pepper-pot lighthouse. You then head up to the tow path of the Caledonian Canal following it past “Neptune’s staircase” (a flight of 8 locks) to the small village of Gairlochy. You will be staying at Spean Bridge, which is another 3.5 miles hilly walk as there is no accommodation on the route. Normally the guesthouse will be able to collect and transfer you for a fee by prior arrangement, if you prefer not to walk.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in Gairlochy
Distance
17km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 3 Gairlochy to South Laggan

A mainly easy walk today, but it does have some short steep ascents. You will be walking on a mixture of tarmac, forest paths and tracks, mostly shared with the Great Glen Cycle Route. Two miles after the start of your walk, you could take a side trip to Clan Cameron Museum and Cia-aig waterfall before rejoining the Way at Clunes (an extra couple of miles or so) but note that the museum is only open in the afternoons. From Clunes all the way to Kilfinnan, you walk on forest tracks, you will get splendid views of Loch Lochy with the mountains behind.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in South Laggan
Distance
17.5km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 4 South Laggan to Fort Augustus

An easy walk today. The terrain is a mixture of tarmac, railway track bed, old military road, then a canal towpath. You enter the Leiterfearn nature reserve, enjoying the wonderful ash, birch, elm and hazel woodland. If you have time you could walk up Meall a’Cholumain from Fort Augustus, which is a great viewpoint. Fort Augustus was largely built in 1729 as the hub of General Wade’s military road building programme to calm the highlanders after Culloden and there are 5 locks at the centre of town on the Caledonian Canal and several museums. There are some great restaurants here, you may even have enough time for a short cruise on Loch Ness.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in Fort Augustus
Distance
20km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 5 Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

A harder day today with steeper ascents. You will climb through a forest of birch and pine, beside a stream and uphill to a forest track. You should get some dramatic views of Loch Ness at intervals through the woods. Walk through the village of Invermoriston with its little bridge built by Thomas Telford. The Invermoriston Hotel is a great place to eat and has several types of malt whisky. They also have great beer from The Skye Brewery. There are nice leafy walks down by the river. Note our route describes the low level option for this leg.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in Invermoriston
Distance
13km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 6 Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit

A moderate day of walking with some steep sections. There is quite a bit of undulation today, but hopefully you’ll be used to the walking now! For strong walkers in good weather you could ascend Meall Fuar-Mhonaidh from where you may get views from Ben Nevis all the way to Inverness. You can take excursions to Urquhart Castle with commanding views over Lochness, with a stop at the café or an interpretational centre. You end up at Drumnadrochit, an attractive ‘Green Village’, which has a Loch Ness Monster visitor’s centre…or two! Note our route describes the low level option for this leg.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in Drumnadrochit
Distance
22km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 7 Drumnadrochit to Inverness

Today is normally a long day: 19 mile/30.5 km, which may be too much, especially if you want to see something of Inverness. So the tour is shortened by an optional taxi transfer taking you from the town to Loch Laide, famous for its very clean water. Descend then to Blackford and the Great Glen once again meets the Caledonian Canal before reaching Inverness, a beautiful city of past and modern, although mostly Victorian. If the taxi option is taken then this is a 21 km/14 mile walk.

Overnight Location
Hotel/BB in Inverness
Distance
21-30km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 8 Departure day

Arrangements end after breakfast.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

Great Glen Way Tour Price and Dates

This self-guided tour in Northern England is always run as a private tour for your group only and the price per person depends on the type of the room that you choose.

The price below is per person:

  • Price per person staying in a single room: $1,350USD per person
  • Price per person sharing a double room: $850USD per person
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Accommodation on Great Glen Way

There is a variety of accommodation along the route ranging from bed and breakfasts, lodges, pubs and small hotels. They are run by cycling-friendly hosts offering en-suite or private facility rooms with a tasty breakfast to get you ready for the day ahead. Further facilities such as washing and drying facilities, packed lunches and packed lunches are available in some accommodations, you will be advised on your listing of what is available.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
Rooms are double occupancy. You can pay a supplement to have a private room in a hotel where possible. Solo travellers may be required to pay a supplement.

Night 1-7

Hotel/BB along the Great Glen Way

Stay in a cozy BB accommodation along the Great Glen Way Trail in England.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Great Glen Way Tour?

Meals

7 breakfasts are included. Packed lunches can be booked and paid for on arrival at your accommodation.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 7 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

This tour includes luggage transfers for your luggage; however, you are in charge of any personal transfers needed.

Also Included

  • Detailed documents, guides, route maps, and GPX tracks
  • Emergency telephone support hotline for the duration of the tour
  • Pre-planned route

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas if required
  • Guide services
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks not previously mentioned
  • Tourist hotel tax, payable each night at hotel
  • Airport transfers
  • Gratuities for drivers, servers, or other staff if desired

Optional Extras

  • Single occupancy upgrades

Frequenty Asked Questions about Great Glen Way Walking Tour

How hard is the Great Glen Way Tour?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; footpaths, mountain trails and some tarmac roads.

I’ve never been on a self-guided trip! How does it work?

Self-guided travelling is not difficult! For many, it is a preferred type of travel since you are in charge of your own time and pace. You are provided with all the information you’ll need to follow the route each day and often have access to phone support or other kinds of assistance. However, self-guided travelling requires good navigation skills and those who don’t feel confident in unknown places should consider booking guided tours.

Do I need a visa to travel to Scotland?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Great Glen Way Tour?

15 breakfasts are included. Packed lunches can be booked and paid for on arrival at your accommodation.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip, and your insurance should cover cycling. Get your travel insurance.

How do I get to Fort William to start this tour?

The best way of getting to Fort William is by train from Glasgow Queen St. (which has good connections to Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports as well as Manchester, Birmingham and London). When you reach Inverness you can either fly from Inverness Airport or take a train to Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Where does the Great Glen Way Tour end?

This tour ends in Inverness.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to England?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for England?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

Reviews

All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Written Reviews

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18 total ratings, 0 with reviews

Prices

From $850USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels

Start Your Booking

What travellers say

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; footpaths, mountain trails and some tarmac roads.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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