walkhighlands

The East Highland Way


Devised by Kevin Langan, the East Highland Way is an unofficial long distance walk running across the Highlands from Fort William to Aviemore. Stretching for 134km, the route enables a link between the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way with the Speyside Way. Only very short sections of the route are waymarked, though the going is not too difficult for much of the way, with a couple of tougher, more challenging sections.

Much of the route follows forestry tracks, but there is a variety of woodland along the way and enough open sections to give some superb views across the Central Highlands, as the route passes in the shadow of great mountains from Ben Nevis at the start, to the Creag Meagaidh group and finally the mighty Cairngorms.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Fort William to Spean Bridge 19km 4.5 - 5.5 hours
Spean Bridge to Inverlair 16.5km 5.5 - 6.5 hours
Inverlair to Feagour 35km 7.5 - 8.5 hours
Feagour to Laggan 8.5km 2.5 - 3 hours
Laggan to Newtonmore 15.5km 5 - 6 hours
Newtonmore to Kincraig 24.5km 6.5 - 7 hours
Kincraig to Aviemore 16.5km 4 - 5 hours

THE CHALLENGE

Much of the route follows tracks, with sections also on tarmac, and footpaths. There are two pathless sections with burn crossings. The hardest section is from Laggan to Newtonmore, passing through remote Glen Banchor with three river crossings which become impassable in spate conditions. There is an alternative route for such conditions using minor roads and a cycle path.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

The East Highland Way offers a wide choice of accommodation along most of the route, apart from the central section. From Inverlair to Pattack there are no facilities, most walkers will arrange with their bed and breakfast from the previous or following night to drop them off / pick them up at an appropriate point to break the journey, so that they can complete the route without the need to carry a tent. Those planning to wild camp and willing to carry a stove should find plenty of suitable sites; there are official campsites outside Fort William, Newtonmore and Aviemore.

Fort William has offers a wide choice of both bed and breakfast accommodation, hotels, and hostels.

Spean Bridge has a good local shop, and again a choice of bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels. There is the Aite Cruinnichidh Hostel at Achluachrach near Roybridge.

Whilst there are no facilities on the trail at Inverlair, there is a hostel by Tulloch railway station, which is 3.5km off route. The next stage as described is very long, and could be broken at Moy if a pick up / drop off was arranged by the accommodation provider used on the previous or following night.

There is no accommodation or other facilities at Feagour; a pick up would need to be arranged by a B&B or hotel at Laggan.

Laggan is a small village with bed and breakfast and hotels - the former shop has sadly closed.

Newtonmore and Kingussie are both small towns with a range of shops, bed and breakfast and hotels and hostels.

Kincraig is a smaller village but does also offer both a hotel and B&B accommodation; there is also overnight accommodation available on the route at Loch Insh watersports.

Finally Aviemore is a popular mountain resort with an excellent range of shops, cafes, restaurants, and again offers hotel and B&Bs and hostels.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Both the start and finish of the way - at Fort William and Aviemore respectively - have excellent transport links, with both long distance bus services and rail links to the central belt of Scotland and beyond.

There are also rail and bus services to Spean Bridge, and a rail services to Tulloch station. The central section of the route has no public transport until Newtonmore, although Laggan can be reached from there by taxi.

Kingussie and Newtonmore have both rail and bus links, whilst Kincraig is served by bus. However, despite the bus and rail services at each end of the route, none of these services directly link - getting a train from Spean Bridge to Newtonmore, for example, would involve a journey via Glasgow.

Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

The following users have walked the East Highland Way:

Paul Webster  Walkscot  christine george  derwent2  mmaciocia  dougy4  markohakli  mursect8  silverwalker  hanka  anxious-ambler  andi1910  phamnett  Pfad-Finder  absintheboy  dalevequ  Buggiba  smarijsse  La Petite Roer  Iain Sneddon  tyrant2  Yomper54  andrewl7642  gisellab  MisterP  wul21  MeriL  baranges  bigkenzo  sjstony  nadja  lukasb  Betty  Maroonman  anneke  davieq1  Mountain geek  RosG 

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User reports from the East Highland Way

Title Author Likes
The EAST Highland Way - Carrot Soup for the Soul walk aboot 9
The East Highland Way - backpacking over 5 days andrewl7642 4
East Highland Way Part 1 icemandan 4
EHW end-to-end in 5 days (God Knows How) Buggiba 1
A Highland walk - some of the EHW irishwasa 0
Tasting the EHW irishwasa 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.