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2
introductory to moderate
Activities
  • 7 day guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 6 nights barge
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days£1715GBP

Overview

Trip Code: XGC

Trip highlights


  • Absorb the impressive views of majestic mountains and large expanses of open water
  • Discover smaller atmospheric lochs and pretty canal sections along the Great Glen Way
  • Relish in the accomplishment of cycling the breadth of Scotland
  • Relax on board your floating hotel in the company of like minded fellow travellers

Scotland's Great Glen Way walking trail stretches 75 miles from Fort William to the capital of the highlands, Inverness. Based on board a comfortable barge at night, this bike and barge cruise offers the opportunity to cycle from one coast of Scotland to the other. During the weeklong trip, the barge stops are planned to suit the cycling stages. Guided along the route by an experienced escort, who will point out places of interest along the way, there is no shortage of highlights. From impressive views of the mystical Loch Ness to glimpses of Scotland's highest peak, Ben Nevis, this relaxed pace cycle will immerse you in the Scottish Highlands. In the evening, share stories of your day with like minded travellers and relish in the accomplishment of cycling the breadth of Scotland.

Countries:

Scotland

Starting Point:

Inverness or Banavie (Fort William)


We will board the barge at 14:00 (2pm) today and after meeting the crew and other guests, we cycle to Clachnaharry Sea Lock, the easternmost point of the Caledonian Canal, to start our coast to coast journey. The canal which was constructed in the early 19th century connects the east coast of Scotland, from Inverness to Fort William. This afternoon we will follow the barge to Dochgarroch, a picturesque settlement located on Loch Dochfour, where we'll stay for the night. The cycle follows the towpath with the Caledonian Canal on your right and the River Ness on your left. Height gain: 15m/49ft

Meals:  D

Our tender will drop you ashore at a small inlet on the shores of Loch Dochfour. The cycle route follows the forest path past the spectacular Aldourie Castle, through Tor Point woods to the village of Dores on the shores of Loch Ness. The shingle beach by The Dores Inn provides a spectacular location for refreshments whilst admiring the view down the length of Loch Ness. The route then follows a back road along the shore of Loch Ness to Inverfarigaig. From here the route heads uphill along good forest roads, with occasional views over Loch Ness, before reaching Upper Foyers with its shop and café with a short walk on offer to a spectacular gorge and waterfall. The route down to Lower Foyers is a welcome downhill to the shore of Loch Ness where we find our barge waiting at the pier. Height gain: 240m/792ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the day with a steep climb to Upper Foyers to re-join the South Loch Ness Trail. This takes us along back roads via the picturesque Loch Tarff. The fun descent to Fort Augustus offers some wonderful views of the village and Loch Ness below. For an easy-going morning alternative, you can stay aboard the barge and enjoy cruising along the spectacular wild quarter of Loch Ness. We are reunited with the barge in Fort Augustus. The village is centred on a staircase of 5 canal locks which raise the canal high above Loch Ness. This is the main habitation on our route and there are a variety of cafes, shops and visitor centres as well as an interesting museum describing the life of the 17th Century Highlander. Height gain: 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we can cruise or cycle along the middle section of the canal and through the first half of the beautiful Loch Oich. The barge will anchor on Loch Oich by the elegant Glengarry Castle Hotel, within sight of the ruined Invergarry Castle. no height gain After the morning cruise or cycle, we can set off along the road to Skye for a few miles before heading off on the start of the longest no-through road in the UK. We leave that road to cross the narrows of Loch Garry on a bridge, then head onto a fairly remote forest trail climbing steadily uphill before an exciting descent takes us down to the River Garry and then back to the shores of Loch Oich. Back on board the barge at the end of the day, we spend the night at our beautiful anchorage overlooked by Old Invergarry Castle. Height gain: 250m/825ft

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, the barge will weigh anchor and cruise along the remaining half of Loch Oich and on through Laggan Avenue, which makes for a stunning journey by bike or barge. The cycle route would then follow a forest trail along Loch Lochy, with views of the largest of Scotland’s mountains across the loch. The trail takes a moderate undulating route to Clunes, the start of the Dark Mile, and then passes the stunning Cia-aig Falls. After crossing the bridge at the foot of Loch Arkaig and stopping to enjoy the views stretching out to the west, we head through the Achnacarry Estate, home of Clan Cameron of Lochiel. Here the Clan Cameron Museum makes an interesting stop, offering information about the history of the area and a chance to buy a well-deserved ice cream. The last leg of the day takes us along The Great Glen Way to meet the barge at Gairlochy. Height gain: 150m/495ft

Meals:  B,L,D

From Gairlochy, we cycle past the impressive Commando Memorial to the village of Spean Bridge. We then head onto forest tracks through the spectacular scenery of The Nevis Range, our local ski centre and home to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Here you can take the optional gondola ride up to 650m, for spectacular views and a high level café stop. Later we take the cycle track towards Fort William passing the local Distillery before returning to Banavie for our last night aboard the barge. Height gain: 300m/644ft

Meals:  B,L,D

For our final morning we cycle the towpath and explore the local features of the dramatic Caledonian Canal. We will see one of the aqueducts that carries the canal over the tributary rivers to the River Lochy and visit Corpach where the canal meets the sea. We then cycle back to reach journeys end at the top of the spectacular flight of eight canal locks, known as Neptune’s Staircase. A fitting end to an inspirational adventure. Height gain: 30m/99ft

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, 6 dinners
  • Breakfast includes porridge, cereal, yoghurt and fresh fruit, followed by toast and a hot cooked option. At lunchtime we have home-made bread, soup and fresh salads. Packed lunches are individually prepared.
  • Dinner consists of a main course with two options, dessert and cheeseboard. Local produce is sourced wherever possible including: fresh fish; Scottish venison and Scottish beef. Haggis, meat or vegetarian is provided as an option on one of the meals.
  • The chef is happy to cater for most dietary needs as long as you advise us on booking.
  • Daily tea and coffee
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a category C+ barge with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. The compact cabins are configured with split level beds. Single cabins are limited and on a request basis (supplement applies).
  • Boat crew consisting of skipper, chef, walking guide (who accompanies the group on the daily walks) and bosun.
  • hybrid bike rental

  • Travel to and from the start and end point of the trip
  • Drinks - payable locally
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend GBP20-25 per person (to be distributed between the leader, captain and crew).
  • Travel insurance - mandatory *cruise cover may be required - check with your insurer
  • A supplement will apply if you are booking a single cabin (we do not match single travellers)
  • Items of a personal nature

Bike information


Suitability

introductory to moderate

2

Introductory, cycling approx 7 miles/ 11km to 18miles/ 29km. 3-5 hours The route has many flat sections close to the canal and lochs but also includes some short steep hills and longer hills. There is an option to stay on board should you not want to walk some sections.


Departure dates


Notes

1
Begins in Inverness
2
Begins in Banavie (Fort William)
Note:
Mid season is from 27 Apr to 3 May & 28 Sep to 4 Oct. High season is from 4 May to 20 Sep. Supplements apply for mid and high season departures. D = Departure on board the Fingal of Caledonia, K= Departure on board the Ros Crana. Single cabins and single use of twin cabin - available on request, please ask our consultants.
Note:
The cancellation and payment terms and conditions are different for this trip. Please see the detailed trip notes for information.

Priceper person from

£1715GBP

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

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