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2
introductory to moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 7 day guided walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights barge
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days£1615GBP

Overview

Trip Code: GGB

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 walking 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 hike and barge cruise offers the opportunity to walk from one coast of Scotland to the other. During the weeklong trip, the barge stops are planned to suit the walking stages, breaking them into manageable day walks of between 10 and 15 miles. 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 walk 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 walking the breadth of Scotland.

Countries:

Scotland

Starting Point:

Inverness or Banavie (Fort William)


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We will board the barge at 14:00 (2pm) today and after meeting the crew and other guests, we walk 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 walk follows the towpath with the Caledonian Canal on your right and the River Ness on your left. Distance: 7 miles/11km; Height gain: 15m/49ft

Meals:  D

The day’s walk begins with a climb through the forest to join the Great Glen Way above Loch Dochfour. We stop for lunch at the weird and wonderful Abriachan Eco-Café, a popular stop-off point for both hikers and cyclists along the trail. The afternoon walk is mostly downhill, providing our first glimpses of Loch Ness. The barge will pick us up at Drumnadrochit, a village located on the western side of Loch Ness, and we'll cruise to Foyers, on the eastern side, for the night's mooring. Distance: 14.5 miles/23.2km; Height gain: 350m/1148ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the morning with a breakfast cruise back to Drumnadrochit where we will continue our walk. From the mooring we head through the village, before ascending the trail, with views back over the town and the loch. Our lunch stop today is at the charming Grotaig Pottery gallery, which has a small walkers cafe with tables in the garden or inside the gallery. In the afternoon we'll descend through some beautiful pine woodland back to the loch side, where the barge will pick us up at Alltsigh. We will then cruise to Fort Augustus where we will spend the night. Distance: 13 miles/21km; Height gain: 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will once again cruise during breakfast back to Alltsigh, where the barge will drop us ashore. The initial section of today's walk will take us to Invermoriston, a highland village located on the northern shores of Loch Ness where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we have the choice of two walking routes both with converge at Fort Augustus. The High Route which takes us above the trees offers breath-taking views over the Monadhliath Mountains (Grey Mountains). The Low Route which stays below the tree line provides walkers with viewpoints across Loch Ness. The barge will meet us at Fort Augustus where we will overnight. Distance: 13 miles/21km; Height gain: 200m/656ft (High Route: +1 mile/1.6km, +300m/984ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk out of Fort Augustus this morning takes us up a small hill (120m) which commands awesome views over the full length of Loch Ness. These will be our last glimpses of the loch, as the route then takes us back down to the canal towpath to meet the barge at Cullochy Lock for lunch. Our afternoon walk is almost entirely flat following an old railway bed and General Wade’s Military Road along the shores of the picturesque and secluded Loch Oich. The barge will be awaiting our return at the far end of Loch Oich at Laggan Locks. The fascinating water lock gates here connect the highest waters of the Caledonian Canal, at Loch Oich with the lower water levels of Loch Lochy. Distance: 11.5 miles/18.5km; Height gain: 140m/460ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Following close to the shore of Loch Lochy, our morning walk provides some dramatic views of the Munros (a mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet or 914.4 mt) to the North and, on a clear day, our first sight of Ben Nevis to the South. We stop for lunch on the shore of the loch, before heading inland past Chia-Aig Falls and Loch Arkaig. We continue into the Achnacarry Estate, home of the Clan Chief of the Camerons of Locheil. We return to the loch side, passing wonderful native woodland along the shores, before returning to the barge which will be moored at Gairlochy, a small hamlet located on the southern shore of the loch. Distance: 14.7 miles/23.5km; Height gain: 140m/460ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Our final morning walk follows the canal towpath, passing the only hand wound bridge left in the Great Glen at the small village of Moy. The path offers fantastic views of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain at 1,345 m (4,413 ft). We conclude our walk at Corpach Sea Lock, the most westerly point on the canal and the end of our coast to coast journey. A taxi will return us to the barge for our final goodbyes and departures. Distance: 8 miles/13km; Height gain: -20m/65.5ft

Meals:  B

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We will board the barge at 14:00 (2pm) today and after meeting the crew and other guests we will be taken by taxi/minibus to the westernmost point of the Caledonian Canal, at Corpach, to start our first walk of the week. The canal which was constructed in the early 19th century connects the east coast of Scotland, from Fort William to Inverness. Today's walk follows the canal towpath, with excellent views of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain at 1,345 m (4,413 ft) to Gairlochy, a small hamlet located on the southern shore of Loch Lochy, where the barge will be berthed overnight. Distance: 8 miles/13km; Height gain: <20m/65ft

Meals:  D

From Gairlochy, the walk will take us around Bunarkaig Bay, with great views down Loch Lochy and into the Achnacarry Estate, home of the clan chief of the Camerons of Locheil. We will pass the stunning Chia-Aig Falls and return to the loch side for lunch at Clunes. In the afternoon we will walk the remainder of Loch Lochy to Laggan Locks, where the barge will be awaiting our return. The fascinating water lock gates here connect the highest waters of the Caledonian Canal, at Loch Oich with the lower water levels of Loch Lochy. Alternatively you could remain on the barge and watch the scenery from the water. Distance: 14.7 miles/23.5km; Height gain: 140m/460ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Leaving Laggan, the morning walk takes us up a short section of canal and onto the shores of the beautiful and secluded Loch Oich. Some of the trail will be on the disused Spean Bridge to Fort Augustus railway line, and the rest is on General Wade’s Military Road, Scotland’s first metalled road. This will lead us to Cullochy, where we will join the barge for lunch. A 5 mile (8km) walk makes up the rest of the journey to Fort Augustus, first along a towpath and then up a small hill (120m) which gives fantastic views right up Loch Ness. The descent takes us into Fort Augustus where we will overnight. Distance: 11.5 miles/18.5km; Height gain: 140m/460ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The day’s walk starts with a climb out of Fort Augustus to a viewpoint over the loch. The path then splits in two. The High Route leads above the trees for breath-taking views over the Monadhliath Mountains (Grey Mountains). The Low Route stays below the tree line with affording walkers viewpoints across Loch Ness. Both routes converge at Invermoriston, a highland village located on the northern shores of Loch Ness, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon there is another climb out of Invermoriston before descending to Alltsigh, where the barge will pick us up and take us back to Fort Augustus for the night. Distance: 13 miles/21km; Height gain: 200m/656ft (High Route: +1 mile/1.6km, +300m/984ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast we will cruise back to Alltsigh where we will continue our journey. After being dropped at the beach, the morning will be spent climbing through some lovely pine forest to the pottery and café at Grotaig. There we will stop for lunch (and maybe some retail therapy) before heading via country roads, down into Drumnadrochit a village located on the western side of Loch Ness. At the far side of town we will be picked up by the barge and taken across the loch to overnight at Foyers. Distance: 13 miles/21km; Height gain: 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We will cruise back to Drumnadrochit during breakfast, and once there we will spend the morning walk climbing steadily and taking in our final views of Loch Ness. Our most eclectic lunch stop of the week is at the Abriachan Forest School and Eco-Café, a popular stop-off point for both hikers and cyclists along the trail. After lunch we will descend through the forest to Dochgarroch, a picturesque settlement located on Loch Dochfour, where we rejoin the barge for a well earned dinner. Distance: 14.5 miles/23.2km; Height gain: 350m/1148ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The final walk of the week takes us from Dochgarroch, along the canal towpath, to Clachnaharry Sea Lock at Inverness, the end of the canal and the end of our coast to coast journey. The walk follows the towpath with the Caledonian Canal on your left and the River Ness on your right. Distance: 7 miles/11km; Height gain: 15m/49ft

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
  • 6 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.
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from the start and end point of the trip
  • Drinks - payable locally
  • Travel insurance - mandatory *cruise cover may be required - check with your insurer
  • 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).
  • A supplement will apply if you are booking a single cabin (we do not match single travellers)
  • Optional transfers available - from the disembarkation point back to the embarkation point (eg, if you have driven and parked your car), or to/from the bus or train station at the town near to the start/end point. This must be booked at least 2 months in advance, payable locally.
  • Items of a personal nature

Cabins


Suitability

introductory to moderate

2

Introductory to moderate, walking approx 8 miles/ 13 km to 14.7miles/ 23.5km. 3-7 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

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
1
Begins in Inverness
2
Begins in Banavie (Fort William)
Note:
2025: Mid season is from 20 Sep to 11 Oct. High season is from 3 May to 19 Sep. 2024: 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

£1615GBP

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

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