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The Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way stretches for 118.5km 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; since 2014 there has also been a higher level option between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit which offers more dramatic views at the cost of a little more effort. The Way runs along the complete lengths of Loch Lochy, 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. Note that the low route between Fort Augustus and Invermoriston will be closed for 11 weeks from 9th November. The High Route is available as an alternative.

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.

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, and the Saddle Mountain Hostel.

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

Invermoriston is a smaller village with shop, cafe, hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation.

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.

ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

Click to open our photo gallery.

BOOKS AND MAPS

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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 1049 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Great Glen Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 24 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
Great Glen Way – the wrong way! (May 2017)  solololo 11/05/2017  24
Great Glen Way April 2013 - In 4 Days  LCThubron 19/04/2013  13
Great Glen Way - First long distance walk, May 2017  MichelleE 13/05/2017  10
Great Glen Way October 2012  gavmac 12/10/2012  9
Great Glen Way August 2012  welshy165 26/08/2012  6
Great Glen Way, Fort William to Drumnadrochit  LaurenAlexandra 21/09/2012  5
10½ minute pictorial record  JillK 25/10/2015  5
Great Glen Way - Inverness to FW (4 days)  thetiddler 09/11/2019  4
West Highland, Great Glen and Affric Kintail Combo 2/3  pbeauvillard 15/05/2018  3
Great Glen Way august 2016  SeRaCreations 23/08/2016  3
Great Glen Way - 3 days Fort Bill to Inverness  sirlimpalot 09/04/2013  3
The Great Glen Way over 6 days - 2012/13  andrewl7642 13/04/2013  3
Not just a good glen  Sarika 07/03/2015  2
Great Glen Way with the sun every day  raykilhams 31/03/2013  2
Great Glen Way  SandyBoy5 12/04/2013  1
Great Glen Way  Lenore 20/07/2003  1
Starting from Inverness  craiglui 23/06/2011  1
Great Glen walk  horatio 25/07/2010  1
GGW - 4 day solo  dmirzai 13/05/2021  0
Great Glen Way, Solo Hike in November 2016  slaveoth 02/11/2016  0
The Great Glen Way in Kilts video  Guswelsh 13/06/2016  0
Great Glen Way  RuthieT 19/05/2008  0
Great Glen Way  Grum 18/07/2011  0
Great Glen Way  Billymaca 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.