walkhighlands

Scotland's Great Trails

The Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way stretches for 117km from coast to coast across the Highlands, linking the main centres of Fort William and the regional capital of Inverness. The route follows the major natural faultline of the Great Glen which divides Scotland from coast to coast. Most of the route keeps to lower levels and offers a good introduction to the Highlands and to long distance walking; from August 2014 there are also higher options between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit which offer more dramatic views but are a little more strenuous. The Way runs along the complete lengths of Loch Linnhe, Loch Oich and the forests above Loch Ness, as well as along the towpath of the Caledonian Canal, an engineering marvel built by Thomas Telford that links these lochs and creates a through route from the western seaboard to the Moray Firth.

Starting at the end of the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way provides a natural continuation of a longer journey through the Highlands. It is also possible to link the route with the unofficial East Highland Way.

THE CHALLENGE

Well-waymarked and following clear paths and tracks, the Great Glen Way provides straightforward walking throughout. The section through the forests above Loch Ness does have some steep climbs. For most walkers the final stage is the main challenge, due to the distance from Drumnadrochit and Inverness.

ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

Click to open our photo gallery.

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS AND WALKING PACKAGES

Click to find organised Great Glen Way walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

Fort William has a wide range of both bed and breakfast accommodation, hotels, and independent hostels. There is a good range of shops including outdoor gear and a large supermarket. The nearest campsite is at Glen Nevis.

Gairlochy has two bed and breakfasts. There are further alternative b&b options and hotels at Spean Bridge which is around 5km off route. There is also a campsite at Torness, 2km from Gairlochy.

Laggan Locks has only the Great Glen Hostel. There is a shop at the Well of the Seven Heads, just over a kilometre offroute on the A82 up the north side of Loch Oich. Invergarry (passed on the link route variation only) has a range of bed and breakfasts together with 2 hotels.

Fort Augustus is a small town with shops and offers a choice of both bed and breakfasts, hotels, an independent hostel and campsite.

Drumnadrochit also has a good choice of guest houses and hotels. Again, there is also an independent hostel and campsite.

Inverness is the Highland capital and as you would expect offers a full range of services. These include many bed and breakfasts, hotels and hostels, as well as a campsite.

BOOKS AND MAPS

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The ends of the route are easily reached by public transport. Both Fort William and Inverness have good long distance bus connections as well as railway stations.

There is a Citylink bus service that runs along the length of the Great Glen, linking the ends of the route. This passes the start/end points of each of the stages, with the exception of Gairlochy. Gairlochy has no public transport and is around 4km from the bus routes along the A82.

Full timetables for the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

Users' walk reports for the Great Glen Way

There are 438 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Great Glen Way, including you. Our users have contributed 16 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
  19/04/2013  7
  12/10/2012  7
  26/08/2012  5
  21/09/2012  3
  22/09/2014  1
  09/04/2013  1
  12/04/2013  1
  31/03/2013  1
  20/07/2003  1
  23/06/2011  1
  25/07/2010  1
  29/07/2014  0
  13/04/2013  0
  19/05/2008  0
  18/07/2011  0
  05/05/2010  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.