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Great Glen Way - Top Tips

OutandaboutElaineOutandaboutElaine Member ✭✭✭
@Michèle one of our new Community members is coming over to Scotland in August to walk the Great Glen Way.  Have you walked it? Do you have any insider tips? Must visit places close to the route?  Let's help Michele make the most of the trip!

Comments

  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    When she gets to Drumnadrochit there's a wee diversion she can take to cool her feet off on the shores of Loch Ness. A walk down Kilmore Road will take her to Urquhart Bay woods, if the weather has been reasonably dry it's an easy walk through the woods and a shallow wade across the river to the shores of the Loch. 
    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@leodhasach
  • MichèleMichèle Member
    Thank you @VisitScotlandElaine  and @Leodhasach! Is it possible to reach Urquhart Castle by walking along the shore? 

  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    @Michèle unfortunately not. Unless you're willing to wade/swim! The castle is managed by Historic Scotland and there's a fee for entry so I wouldn't advise trying to follow the coast. There is a path along the side of the A82 though, it takes about twenty minutes to walk to the castle from Drum.
    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@leodhasach
  • FrazerFrazer Member
    If you are leaving from Fort William, then you must schedule a break at Neptunes Staircase at Banavie. Perhaps  a coffee at the new Bistro at the Moorings Hotel and some of the best views of Ben Nevis.
  • shetlanddebbieshetlanddebbie Member ✭✭
    I'd love to try this sometime.  Thanks for the tips!
  • Hi, 
    There are two paths north from Fort Augustus to Invermoriston the high road or the low road :)

    I would thoroughly recommend the high road, it’s a little steep but once you are up the views across Loch Ness are amazing.  Enjoy.

  • Tmo63Tmo63 Member
    My friend Michael and I walked from Inverness to Fort William.

    Between Inverness and Drumnadrochit theres a wild cafe! On the trail you will see signposts for tea, coffee etc. Go!!!! A surreal experience being served tea from a silver tea set in the middle of a wood with hens and pigs!! Great hosts too!

    We used B&B rather than wild camp. Invermoriston was the best overnight! We arrived from Drumnadrochit and found a gorgeous tea room (turn right off the great glen way) for a welcome freshly brewed coffee and 'millionaires shortcake'; then down to the Invermoriston Hotel (family owned) for our overnight where we were gobsmacked by the dinner! The Duke of Buccleuchs chef had just taken residence and we had an amazing experience.  A good job we were burning calories!!

    Do yourself a favour and stay overnight; and do yourself another favour by missing out the Invergordon loop.
  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Tmo63 said:
    My friend Michael and I walked from Inverness to Fort William.

    Between Inverness and Drumnadrochit theres a wild cafe! On the trail you will see signposts for tea, coffee etc. Go!!!! A surreal experience being served tea from a silver tea set in the middle of a wood with hens and pigs!! Great hosts too!


    I'm going to have to go and track that down! I live in Drum and have never heard of it. It sounds very intriguing. 
    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@leodhasach
  • JanepJanep Member
    My son is trying to persuade me to walk the great Glen way with him in mid September, he's happy to camp but I want something more comfortable. Would I have to book accommodation or is demand lower at that time of year?

  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Janep said:
    My son is trying to persuade me to walk the great Glen way with him in mid September, he's happy to camp but I want something more comfortable. Would I have to book accommodation or is demand lower at that time of year?

    Sounds great - my son is into long distance walks too and the Great Glen is one we have talked about doing together.  Personally, I would book ahead as it can still be pretty busy in mid-September.  Although the schools are all back there are still lots of overseas and homegrown visitors enjoying the glorious colours of late summer.  Check out accommodation possibilities on the Visitscotland main website, as well as points of interest along the way you wouldn't want to miss - Urqhuart Castle is a must!
  • My wife and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago and appreciated the accommodations along the way (lodging and cafes). Are there such amenities along the Great Glen Way or should we plan on camping along the way?
  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Take a look at the website https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/lochness/bedandbreakfast.shtml which has masses of information about the Great Glen Way.  Also the Highland Council has a good site for 2016 which will still be mostly relevant. 
  • RennerraRennerra Member
    I’m trying to get information about the walking surfaces. I’m a hiking amputee who hikes on crutches. I’m especially interested in how wide the paths are and whether they are level. Many of the hiking paths here in California are inclined from side to side and that is particularly hard for me. I’m fine with elevation ascent and descent but need a reasonably even walking surface. Any information is most welcome. 
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @Rennerra, welcome to the community! Is your question specific to the Great Glen Way alone or for hikes in Scotland in general? There are all sorts of hiking trails in Scotland, this is no minimum bar for "trail quality", I have been soaked to my knees while walking in bog and landed on my bum due to loose rock in the worst case but the best walks have excellent paving.

    The answer to your question can be best learnt from the WalkHighlands "Terrain" description as well as photos of the hike you are interested in. All the segments of the Great Glen Way can be found here: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/great-glen-way.shtml Most, if not all, segments have excellent paved trails, segment 2 is an example: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/gairlochy-laggan-locks.shtml Some segments have more elevation change than others.

    Let me also add that I find the fact that you are an amputee hiker very inspiring. If you have descriptions of your experiences on a blog or social media somewhere, I'd love to know and follow along!

    Feel free to ask followup questions.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

  • RennerraRennerra Member
    Right now, I am asking specifically for the Great Glen Way. I am building up to try the Camino in Spain, so this is more of a training hike. I'm not sure I can even do the Camino. Right now, I'm hiking between 15-20 miles/week, building to 40-50/week by summer and shooting for GGW in September. I kind of flamed out at Henry Coe State Park in northern California a few weeks ago and had a fairly serious left forearm strain. Hence the questions about surface, walking for a long time on an incline with one crutch high and the other low is practically impossible.
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @Rennerra thanks for the context. I hope some other members can chime in with their thoughts on your question at it is quite critical for you to know a precise answer. I imagine muddy pathways after a rain shower might be an impediment as well and I can't speak exactly to the Great Glen Way but it's fairly common on a lot of Scotland's trails due to the typical weather here.

    My suggestion at this point would be to ask your question on the Scottish Hillwalking Facebook Group. It has thousands of members and I've seen many specific questions about Scottish hill walking and wild camping answered on it.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

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