walkhighlands

The Cape Wrath Trail

The Cape Wrath Trail is a long distance walk from Fort William to the northwesternmost point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath. The route is unmarked and there is no official line. It is a superb route for very experienced long-distance backpackers, passing through magnificent wild landscapes for most of the route, with the freedom to choose your own exact route; we cover both the common variations starting via Glenfinnan and via the Great Glen.

Welcome to the Walkhighlands' guide to the Cape Wrath Trail; we have a detailed description and Ordnance Survey mapping covering every stage of the route, accessed via clicking on the stages below. You can also check out the excellent trip reports below for further photos and personal experiences from the trail.


STAGE DESCRIPTIONS AND MAPS

Glenfinnan Variant Length Time
Fort William to Glenfinnan 35km 8-10 hours
Glenfinnan to A'Chuil 19km 5-6.5 hours
A'Chuil - Barrisdale Bay 25km 7-9 hours
Barrisdale Bay - Morvich 33km 9-11 hours
Great Glen Variant Length Time
Fort William to Gairlochy 17km 4-4.5 hours
Gairlochy to Mandally 25km 6-7 hours
Mandally to Poulary 19.5km 4-4.5 hours
Poulary to Cluanie 17.5km 5-6 hours
Cluanie to Morvich 26km 6.5-7 hours
Combined onward route Length Time
Morvich to Maol Bhuidhe 22.5km 6.5-7 hours
Maol Bhuidhe to Craig 24.25km 6.5-7 hours
Craig to Kinlochewe 16.5km 4-5 hours
Kinlochewe to Shenavall 28.25km 7-8 hours
Shenavall to Inverlael 18.75km 4-5 hours
Inverlael to Oykel Bridge 34.5km 8-11 hours
Oykel Bridge to Inchnadamph 31.5km 8-11 hours
Inchnadamph to Kylestrome 27.5km 10-11 hours
Kylestrome to Rhiconich 29km 9-10 hours
Rhiconich to Sandwood Bay 19km 4.5-5 hours
Sandwood Bay to Cape Wrath 12.5km 3.5-4.5 hours


THE CHALLENGE

The trail is completely unmarked and passes through extremely wild and rugged terrain, far from services and facilities for much of the distance. Although many sections follow paths and tracks, there are also some sections which are pathless and a high degree of navigational skill is required. Walkers need to be self-sufficient and to carry food needed between resupply points. There are also several unbridged river crossings which can become dangerous or even impossible in spate conditions.

The route has the reputation of being Britain's toughest long distance walk. Much of the route is shared with the new Scottish National Trail which starts at Kirk Yetholm near the English Border.

The start of the trail is in Fort William, which is easily reached either by train or city link bus. The end of the trail is remote Cape Wrath, linked by a seasonal tourist bus and ferry to near Durness. The Durness bus can provide onward transport.


The following users have walked the Cape Wrath Trail:

Walkscot  jondale  Bobafete  mountainstar  greenraymond61  andyp  cookachoo  mamacgregor 1444  Iainhamill  Billymaca  samohtw  shaunthefish  Fortuna95  Volpi  MalGleave  LDPWalker  DavieQ  mikeypower23@  Shinglar  frankieman  nickzip  Bjørn  whiteburn  lusian  colinstevo1964  kennethrhodes  john_g_stewart  Pfad-Finder  johnwh  skatemun  Reuben  bradfe  CarolineHB  petert847  jbesser  tytus2311  Jaydee  Rolly  desmond  sparkrc  Davey72  jkphillips  razzah  Hume  croustybapt  krislaevaert  papa smurf  ggregoire  Swello  mecthilde  davieq1  gristbob  ajordan  WhiskyRiver  Peatbog  Keith Sibley 

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User reports from the Cape Wrath Trail

Title Author Likes
Cape Wrath Trail with Minors: Parental Guidance Recommended floma 22
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12 Billymaca 15
The Cape Wrath Trail, part 1 Glenfinnan to Ullapool mountainstar 9
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Walk Report Chapter 1 & 2 Billymaca 9
Papa Smurf's Cape Wrath Trail 2014 - Part 3 papa smurf 8
Cape Wrath Trail part 2 of 2 cookachoo 8
Two Women and a Welshman on the Cape Wrath Trail walk aboot 7
Papa Smurf's Cape Wrath Trail 2014 - part 1 papa smurf 7
Cape Wrath Trail 2013 Part 3 whiteburn 7
Cape Wrath Trail 2013 Part 1 whiteburn 7
Papa Smurf's Cape Wrath Trail 2014 - Part 2 papa smurf 6
The Cape Wrath trail part 3 Glendhu Bothy to Cape Wrath mountainstar 6
Cape Wrath Trail Part Three nickzip 6
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Walk report Chapter 9 & 10 Billymaca 6
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report chapter 5 & 6 Billymaca 6
CWT - a Coigach-Assynt variant Ch55 5
Cape Wrath Trail nickzip 5
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report chapter 3 & 4 Billymaca 5
Cape Wrath Trail 2013 Part 2 whiteburn 4
Cape Wrath Trail Part Two nickzip 4
The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy mountainstar 4
Cape Wrath Trail - part 1 of 2 cookachoo 3
The Cape Wrath Trail May 2011 Billymaca 2
The Cape Wrath Trail - Glenfinnan to Strathcarron (May 2013) Lagrannoch Boy 1
John's Cape Wrath Trail johnwh 1
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Walk report Chapter 7 & 8 Billymaca 1
TTWFF The cape wrath trail May 2012 PART 1 ttwff 1
Cape Wrath Trail: Strathcarron to Inchnadamph ( May 2014) Lagrannoch Boy 0
Cape Wrath Trail Part 2 Shiel Bridge to Ullapool Hume 0
Cape Wrath Trail part 1 Fort William to Shiel Bridge Hume 0
TTWFF The cape wrath trail May 2012 PART 3 ttwff 0
TTWFF The cape wrath trail May 2012 PART 2 ttwff 0

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.