Three of us did the GGW in April 2012 over 4 days. The canalside walking is easy (not surprisingly) but the lochside bits are heavy with trees and views are quite restricted. The way-marking is exemplary. 79 miles in such a short time is not to be sneezed at. We did 25 miles for each of the first 2 days, then a short 10-miler, finishing with 20 miles on the last day in to Inverness. Much depends on which method of accommodation you prefer. We like comfy(ish) beds so opted for hostels, staying at the Great Glen Hostel in South Laggan, Alltsigh on Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Backpackers in Drumnadrochit. All excellent in their own way.
Four of us leave this Saturday (16/03/13) to take on the East Highland Way over 5 days. I have studied this in depth over the last 9 months by way of preparation. There is not much in the way of way-marking, other than where it shares the route with the Badenoch Way. The guide book appears quite comprehensive but lacks the overviews and detail offered by Footprint maps and Rucksack Readers publications. (Will report back on this upon our return!) Accommodation is another stumbling block. After leaving Fort William the first destination is Spean Bridge, 11 miles away, and too short a day for us. There is a bunkhouse at Achulachrach but this means the second day is over 30 miles unless you can arrange lifts or camp. We decided to make for the station bunkhouse at Tulloch, a first day of 23 miles. Only problem here is that the station is 2 miles off route , which has to be re-walked the next day. Our second day, therefore, comes to 28 miles in total, as there is no accommodation whatsoever till you reach Laggan.
With the first 2 days done the rest appears pretty plain sailing . A 9-mile walk through Glen Banchor to Newtonmore, 15 miles then to Kincraig and finish with a swift(!) 10 miles into Aviemore. Scenery appears to be magnificent and it is a mostly low-level route, but with some extraordinary sights to enjoy, like Ruthven Barracks. Will provide more details, and photos, upon our return.
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