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HELP - Long distance walk

HELP - Long distance walk


Postby onderhetgraan » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:34 am

Hello there!

I'm a Belgian student and I'm planning to come to Scotland this summer. I would like to walk for 10 days in the Scottish Highlands. I would love to travel by ferry and train and sleep the first day in a hostel and than walking for almost 10 days with my tent. I'm traveling with another person. Are their any suggestions for routes to do? A start and end point that is easy to travel to from Belgium.
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Re: HELP - Long distance walk

Postby Marty_JG » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:31 am

Ferry to where? Hull from Zeebrugge? Bear in mind trains in the UK are brutally expensive, I checked from Hull to Glasgow (if you book in advance) is just shy of £70 return, a 5+ hour journey that can include up to 3 changes of platform. You might have better luck finding Ferry prices than me but they were pretty high too. On the other hand Ryanair do a direct 1 hour 40 flight from Brussels to Glasgow for just under £120 (as I checked, your rates will vary of course) though you you'll almost certainly need to add luggage to that (perhaps another £40 total). So it's likely to be comparable to Ferry + UK train in terms of price, but under 2 hours compared to 12+ hours land travel. Just something to consider. Depending on the timing it could add up to two days to the usable trip (if you want). Also, if you fly in you're unlikely to need the hostel on the very first night... you might want to wait till later in the trip.

Finally, as to the main question :D where to go... why not have a look at the well-maintained Long Distance Walks section?

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/long-distance-routes.shtml

One idea might be to skip the early, lower-land parts of the West Highland Way by taking a train to Tyndrum, continue to Fort William, after that continue on the Great Glen Way or East Highland Way.

There are lots of hostels, bunkhouses, and some affordable B&Bs along the way. Once you have a clearer idea of your route people can chip-in with local suggestions, else you can see where Youth Hostels are along the route you eventually decide upon.

https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay.aspx
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Re: HELP - Long distance walk

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:35 am

A very nice train and ferry trip is from Fort William to Mallaig then ferry to the Isle of Skye. You can get a bus or hitch hike around the island, there are campsites and youth hostels on Skye. Another train ride between Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness is very scenic too.
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Re: HELP - Long distance walk

Postby IanEzzi » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:13 pm

I think the Skye Trail would be a perfect 10 day itinerary, from Glasgow or Edinburgh you can take the train to Kyle of Lochalsh (beautiful journey and not too expensive if booked in advance) and then walk across the Skye Bridge. Once across the bridge you could walk to the official start of the trail or just take a local bus to Broadford.

7 days walking gets you to the top of the island and the end of the trail. It is entirely possible to get back to Edinburgh or Glasgow from there, using local buses and the train.

If you were very efficient, an excellent two day addition to the trail would be to take the ferry to Raasay and walk to the north tip of the island via the east coast, before returning along the central ridge of the island over Dun Caan.

Of course, there are endless options on the mainland, and the West Highland Way is a good base for further exploration, perhaps detouring at Victoria Bridge and visiting the east bank of Loch Etive before rejoining the trail at the Devil's Staircase. You could also detour from the trail at Kinlochleven to explore the backcountry behind Glen Nevis.
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Re: HELP - Long distance walk

Postby onderhetgraan » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:24 am

I really don't like the idea getting in Schotland by a plane. But indeed, it it's a good option 100 euro isn't that much if you compare it with the other possibilities. So from Glasgow or Edinburg I can get by train or ferry to nice spots to walk?

Well, is it possible to walk for 10 days without any human buildings on the road?
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Re: HELP - Long distance walk

Postby Marty_JG » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:58 am

Once you hit Glasgow or Edinburgh those are Scotland's two big cities, you can take the train from there, or the coach, Glasgow is the better of the two as a starting place to get to the highlands and islands.

Scotland has a lot of islands and they're served by ferries, there are also many small operators doing shuttle runs across bays, lochs, etc. I give you a link for general information on Scottish ferries. One thing that might interest you is the Cal Mac (Caledonian MacBrayne) island-hopping "hopscotch" ticket, so if you love your ferries that would get you on several and you get to see several different islands.

https://www.visitscotland.com/travel/ge ... and/ferry/
https://www.calmac.co.uk/hopscotch

As for a 10 day walk without seeing signs of humanity or the nearest Scottish equivalent, nope, not realistically ,though you can get to some quite remote areas if you plan.

If you want some long ferry trips to beyond-the-removes, look at Orkney and Shetlands, Aberdeen to Shetland is 12 hours. And they have lots of wee islands with smaller ferry runs, look at the "Island Explorer".

http://www.orkneyferries.co.uk/
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