The Great Glen Way

FEATURES:
Distance: 75 Miles / 120 Km Season: April to October
Start: Fort William Min Group Size: 1
Finish: Inverness Difficulty Rating: 3
The Great Glen walk was fantastic. My partner and I are not avid mountain climbers (although we have trekked to 14,500ft in the Himalayas) so we were looking for a straightforward walk with beautiful scenery. I will definitely use the WAS service the next time I go walking in Scotland and I do hope there will be a next time.
— B. Frasher, USA

Overview

The stunning landscape surrounding the Great Glen Way could be described as very unique; featuring a 'ruler straight' deep scar in the landscape stretching coast to coast from west to east, effectively splitting the Highlands into a geological north/south divide.  

Over millions of years, this natural thoroughfare has produced some wonderful landscapes, with deep filled lochs and rivers, surrounded by mountains and age old pine forests.  More recently (the 1800's), modern engineering was such that a series of canals were constructed to connect the Scotland's east and west coasts, allowing boats to travel through the landscape, rather than attempt the treacherous sail around the north coast. Loch Ness, Loch Lochy and Loch Oich were all utilised, with the canals effectively connecting each body of water to produce the Great Caledonian Canal as it is known today.  

The Great Glen Way provides a wonderfully scenic route as it follows the general course of this famous waterway.  The new 'high route' offers fantastic views of the Highlands and down to the lochs which dominate so much of this part of Scotland.  And be sure to keep a watchful eye out for the Loch Ness Monster!!

Scotland’s epic Great Glen is the gift of a dramatic tectonic collision that raised the Scottish Highlands and opened a giant crack across the entire width of the country. Surrounded by some of the UK’s highest mountains and filled with four immense lochs, the glen is rich in Highland heritage and is a unique wilderness for those with adventure in their hearts.
— Lonely Planet

The Route

STAGE 1: FORT WILLIAM TO GAIRLOCHY

DISTANCE: 10.5 MILES / 17.0 KM

TOTAL ASCENT: 40 METRES

The walk start by the banks of Loch Linnhe, and follows the shoreline to the locks of the Caledonian Canal.  The trail then changes course and joins the canal as it heads towards the Great Glen.  At Gairlochy, your accommodation is likely to be in Spean Bridge, which is a further a further 3 miles walk from Gairlochy.  A pick up service is provided if required.

STAGE 2: GAIRLOCHY TO INVERGARRY

DISTANCE: 16.5 MILES / 26.5 KM

TOTAL ASCENT: 480 METRES

From Gairlochy, the trail soon leaves the canal and meets Loch Lochy, where you are never too far from it's shores.  The path makes it's way through woodland as it undulates across the the hillside towards Laggan Locks.  At the locks, the trail continues on towards Fort Augustus along Loch Oich, however, it is possible to hike the Invergarry Link to your overnight accommodation.

STAGE 3: INVERGARRY TO FORT AUGUSTUS

DISTANCE: 8.5 MILES / 13.5 KM

TOTAL ASCENT: 100 METRES

The path climbs north out of Invergarry through some woodland, before descending to the north banks of Loch Oich, where it once again joins the Caledonian Canal for the walk into Fort Augustus.  This stage of the trail offers some fantastic distant views of the surrounding mountains.

 


STAGE 4: FORT AUGUSTUS TO INVERMORISTON

DISTANCE: 7.5 MILES / 12.0 KM

TOTAL ASCENT: 560 METRES

The trail initially climbs out of Fort Augustus through a forested area onto the open hillside high above the lochs and canals below (note there is a low route option).  The trail continues at high level for much of this stage, descending only to reach the village of Invermoriston              

Additional Info: The trail offers walkers the choice to take either the High Route or Low Route to Invermoriston

STAGE 5: INVERMORISTON TO DRUMNADROCHIT

DISTANCE: 14.0 MILES / 22.5 KM

TOTAL ASCENT: 710 METRES

Again, the trail quickly climbs out of Invermoriston, eventually providing fantastic views of Loch Ness and the surrounding mountains.  As with the previous stage, there is a high and low level option during this stage.

STAGE 6: DRUMNADROCHIT TO INVERNESS

DISTANCE: 19 MILES/ 30.5 KM

TOTAL ASCENT: 500 METRES

The trail leaves Drumnadrochit by following the main road for a short distance before heading onto a wooded hillside.  This is the final significant climb of the GGW, with now a gradual descent towards Inverness, but not before more excellent views across the Highlands.  The walk to Inverness Castle follows the latter section of the Caledonian Canal into the city centre.

Additional Info: This section of the trail can be split into two separate stages by stopping at a point called  Blackfold, where we will arrange for you to collected and transferred to Drumnadrochit for a second night.


PRICES & ITINERARIES

Tour Code No. of Nights Ave. Miles Per Day Price per Person **
GGW1 7 12.5 £490 - £550
GGW2 8 10.7 £560 - £620

What is Included?

  • Pre-booked Accommodation
  • Full breakfast each morning
  • Door to Door Baggage Transfers
  • Daily Itineraries
  • Maps & Guidebooks
  • Info on transport and local services

What is not included?

  • Evening meals & packed lunches
  • Travel to Fort William
  • Travel from Inverness
  • Additional vehicle support
  • Travel Insurance

Additional Info:

**Prices are based on 2 people sharing a twin or double room and subject to availability. 

Please note an additional ‘single room supplement’ or 'single occupancy' charge of £22 per night will be incurred for solo walkers or for individuals who require single room accommodation.

The Great Glen Way hosts a variety of accommodation types; from budget stays including hostels, bunkhouses and wigwams to standard and more expensive bed & breakfasts, guest houses and hotels (please note that some budget accommodation may not include breakfast).   Individual preferences can be stipulated in the Holiday Booking Form.

This package includes a one night stay in Fort William & Inverness, however, additional nights can be arranged to explore the highlands at your leisure, including a climb up Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Walkers must organise their own return transport to Glasgow/Edinburgh and beyond.   Details of public transport services are available on request.

If you would prefer to walk the Great Glen Way using an alternative itinerary, please let us know using the Enquiry Form and we will do our utmost to tailor the holiday to your needs.

Difficulty Grading-26.jpg
GGW1 ITINERARY (6 DAYS/7 NIGHTS) DISTANCE
Arrive Fort William (Overnight)
Day 1 Fort William to Gairlochy 10.50 miles / 17.0 km
Day 2 Gairlochy to Invergarry 16.50 miles / 25.50 km
Day 3 Invergarry to Fort Augustus 8.50 miles / 13.5 km
Day 4 Fort Augustus to Invermoriston 7.50 miles / 12.0 km
Day 5 Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit 14.00 miles / 22.50 km
Day 6 Drumnadrochit to Inverness 19.00 miles / 30.50 km
GGW2 ITINERARY (7 DAYS/8 NIGHTS) DISTANCE
Arrive Fort William (Overnight)
Day 1 Fort William to Gairlochy 10.50 miles / 17.0 km
Day 2 Gairlochy to Invergarry 16.50 miles / 25.50 km
Day 3 Invergarry to Fort Augustus 8.50 miles / 13.5 km
Day 4 Fort Augustus to Invermoriston 7.50 miles / 12.0 km
Day 5 Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit 14.00 miles / 22.50 km
Day 6 Drumnadrochit to Blackfold 11.00 miles / 17.50 km
Day 7 Blackfold to Inverness 8.00 miles / 12.80 km

Extra Nights & Single Supplements

Many walkers decide to take rest days during their walking holiday, whether to give the feet a well-earned break, to do a little sight-seeing or perhaps a bit of ‘Munro-bagging’. If this option is of interest, please let us know on the booking form.

  • Additional nights can be arranged from £50 per person per night

  • For solo walkers (party of 1), a single supplement of £22 per night will be incurred. This is to cover the costs of hotels providing single occupancy of a double or twin room.

 

Accommodation

Each Hotel and Bed & Breakfast has been hand-picked to ensure you enjoy the most welcoming, comfortable and value-for-money experience on this WHW route. A warm welcome awaits all walkers and hikers, with hotel owners keen to hear stories of the day’s adventures. Evening meals and packed lunches for the onward journey are available throughout, however, please note that they are NOT included in the holiday package.

Baggage Transfer

Each walker will be allowed one bag, of up to 18 kg in weight (although this may vary between individual providers), which will be transferred by dedicated baggage transfer operators. Your bags will be uplifted and dropped off between each place of accommodation.

Navigation

The route is well signposted throughout, however, walkers must be vigilant at all times as there are paths and junctions along the way which deviate from the main route. As well as the Guidebook, your package includes detailed map of the full route. WAS highly recommend that at least one member of your party is a competent map and compass reader.

Transport & Travel

Although travel to Fort William, and from Inverness, is not included in the holiday package, we are more than happy to provide details of public transport services.

 - To Fort William – There are excellent train and bus services, allowing easy access from anywhere in the UK and overseas.

 - From Inverness – The main routes out of Inverness are by bus and train to Glasgow & Edinburgh, while you can also fly from Inverness Airport. 

Transport links will be detailed in your holiday package information pack.


Travel Insurance

WAS highly recommends that all walkers have suitable travel insurance.

Minimum Group Size

This route is suitable for solo walkers

Dogs

Unfortunately, due to the lack of pet-friendly accommodation providers along the GGW, it is not possible to include dogs.

Enjoying Scotland Responsibly

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code is a set of guidelines issued by The Scottish National Heritage Trust. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code provides detailed guidance on the responsibilities of those exercising access rights and of those managing land and water. By doing so, the Code provides a practical guide to helping everyone make informed decisions about what best to do in everyday situations.

Each holiday information pack will include a copy of the Outdoor Access Code Summary Leaflet, including details of where the full code and A-Z guide can be downloaded.