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.

Glenfinnan Variant Length Time Done
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 Done
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

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS AND WALKING PACKAGES

Click to find organised Cape Wrath Trail packages and baggage transfer providers.

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.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES

Details of accommodation and services along the way is included in the description of each stage.

ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

Click to open our photo gallery

BOOKS AND MAPS

Click to search on Amazon.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

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.

Users' walk reports for the Cape Wrath Trail

There are 311 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Cape Wrath Trail. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 61 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
Cape Wrath Trail Fast and Light: 230 miles in 11 days  Outdoors Father 16/05/2015  61
Cape Wrath Trail with Minors: Parental Guidance Recommended  floma 21/07/2013  39
Cape Wrath Trail Vlog 2018  Hounds of Howgate 11/08/2018  32
Out The Front Door (a 500km walk to Cape Wrath)  Justalittlefurther 11/07/2018  31
Cape Wrath trail 2014: video log, reflections and FAQ  petert847 21/05/2014  31
North by Northwest: Cape Wrath Trail 2017 Part 1  jaggedlittlehill 15/04/2017  24
North by Northwest: Cape Wrath Trail 2017 Part 2  jaggedlittlehill 24/07/2017  21
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report Chapter 11 & 12  Billymaca 14/05/2012  21
Novices on the CW trail-an epic adventure  Susannah Caroline 18/05/2019  17
CWT without a tent  walkingpoles 26/09/2016  16
Cape Wrath Trail in 16 days, July 2015  Sruthanach 11/07/2015  16
Solo in September: The Cape Wrath Trail  durham94 13/09/2020  15
Hiking the Cape Wrath (aka ‘Cape Rough’) Trail  caromiri 04/08/2020  13
Cape Wrath 2019  fgb2019 06/07/2019  13
The Cape Wrath Trail, part 1 Glenfinnan to Ullapool  mountainstar 02/05/2009  12
CWT - a Coigach-Assynt variant  Ch55 02/12/2013  11
The Cape Wrath trail part 3 Glendhu Bothy to Cape Wrath  mountainstar 02/05/2009  11
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Walk Report Chapter 1 & 2  Billymaca 04/05/2012  11
Cape Wrath Trail - North to South  Serpentinite 10/09/2020  10
Cape Wrath Trail part 2 of 2  cookachoo 01/09/2013  10
Papa Smurf's Cape Wrath Trail 2014 - part 1  papa smurf 16/04/2014  10
Cape Wrath Trail 2013 Part 3  whiteburn 09/07/2013  10
Cape Wrath Trail 2013 Part 1  whiteburn 09/07/2013  10
Cape Wrath Trail: Stage one at 71!  westgate 13/05/2021  9
Papa Smurf's Cape Wrath Trail 2014 - Part 3  papa smurf 16/04/2014  9
Cape Wrath Trail 2019 With Dry Feet  stevemee 11/05/2019  8
Cape Wrath May 2015 Part 3  Guinessman 31/05/2015  8
Two Women and a Welshman on the Cape Wrath Trail  walk aboot 11/06/2014  8
Papa Smurf's Cape Wrath Trail 2014 - Part 2  papa smurf 16/04/2014  8
Cape Wrath Trail  nickzip 11/05/2006  8
Cape Wrath Trail Part Three  nickzip 08/05/2008  7
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Walk report Chapter 9 & 10  Billymaca 12/05/2012  7
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report chapter 5 & 6  Billymaca 08/05/2012  7
Cape wrath trail - fast and light in 8 days  Kaarebjert 25/05/2018  6
Cape Wrath Trail April 2019  Guinessman 09/04/2019  6
Cape Wrath Trail 60th birthday treat!  oldsnail 10/05/2016  6
Cape Wrath Trail 2013 Part 2  whiteburn 09/07/2013  6
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 walk report chapter 3 & 4  Billymaca 06/05/2012  6
Cape Wrath Trail - part 1 of 2  cookachoo 29/08/2013  5
Cape Wrath Trail Part Two  nickzip 10/05/2007  5
Cinematic film of our rough Cape Wrath Trail (385km)!  DutchTrailrunning 01/08/2020  4
walk  Malkie 08/06/2018  4
Cape Wrath Fail 2017  andrewl7642 20/07/2017  4
Cape Wrath trail May 2015 part 1  Guinessman 02/05/2015  4
Cape Wrath May 2015 part 2  Guinessman 31/05/2015  4
Cape Wrath Trail: Strathcarron to Inchnadamph ( May 2014)  Lagrannoch Boy 21/05/2014  4
The Cape Wrath Trail 2012 Walk report Chapter 7 & 8  Billymaca 10/05/2012  4
The Cape Wrath trail part 2 Ullapool to Glendu Bothy  mountainstar 02/05/2009  4
The Cape Wrath Trail May 2011  Billymaca 07/05/2011  3
3 Gulli Girls on the CWT  Dunni 26/11/2017  2
Cape Wrath Trail: Inchnadamph to Cape Wrath ( May 2015)  Lagrannoch Boy 15/05/2015  2
The Cape Wrath Trail - Glenfinnan to Strathcarron (May 2013)  Lagrannoch Boy 18/05/2013  2
John's Cape Wrath Trail  johnwh 27/06/2002  2
Cape Wrath Trail GUIDE - All In One (based on WalkHighlands)  caromiri 11/08/2020  1
Cape Wrath Trail, 2018 and 2019, report in German  jansenfk 28/05/2019  1
Cape Wrath Trail and stag stalking  tromboneonly 12/02/2015  1
TTWFF The cape wrath trail May 2012 PART 1  ttwff 02/05/2012  1
12-day October CPT (incl a return to FW for lighter boots)  Tom Tabori 02/10/2018  0
CWT just thinking  innkeeper 10/10/2014  0
TTWFF The cape wrath trail May 2012 PART 3  ttwff 02/05/2012  0
TTWFF The cape wrath trail May 2012 PART 2  ttwff 02/05/2012  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.