The Great Glen Way
Scotland - Fort William to Inverness
- Location: Scotland - Fort William to Inverness
- Categories: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Human continental / Highland / Mountain / Lowland / Plain / Coastal / Forest / Wood / Sea / Lake / River / Waterfall
- Duration: 4-6 Days
- Distance: 79 miles
Walking the trail:
- Summary: Enjoy 79 miles coast to coast from Fort William to Inverness walking through and above the forests of Loch Ness and along the Caledonian Canal. A great extension to the West Highland Way for further Scottish adventures!
Note: This writeup is from the 15 mile section between Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit which was walked June 2018. I plan to go back and do the entire 79 mile route very soon and add more photos!
Ive done a lot of hiking in Scotland over the past few years including the West Highland Way, the incredible Skye trail and various walks in the Cairngorms (features all to follow at some point). Its definitely one of the best places in the UK to get outdoors, the place is just beautiful especially when you get into the central highlands, the scenery is just breathtaking!
This trail feature focuses on a 15 mile section of the Great Glen Way (The Great Glen Way runs 79 miles between Fort William and Inverness). This trail runs along Loch Ness and starts in the small village of Invermoriston and finishes at Urquhart Castle in Drumnadrochit. Invermoriston is really nice, its very small and has a really interesting river/falls with an old bridge that runs through it. The Clog and Craft shop is well worth a visit for some very authentic Scottish souvenirs and I would also recommend staying at Invermoriston Holidays cabins (http://www.invermoristonholidays.co.uk/) for a great holiday break!
For the walk I was joined yet again by my hiking buddy Chelsea and Willow the Cocker Spaniel (who is becoming quite the UK doggie adventurer!!)
You start the trail just behind the Clog and Craft Shop (IV63 7YA) which gets you straight onto the Great Glen Way. Follow the signs and the blue sign posts showing a thistle. The initial ascent is a bit of a slog but it doesn’t last long and once you’re up the trail is generally fairly flat and on easy paths with the occasional ascent/descent. Overall the trail is easy! A mile in and there is a small left side detour through overgrown bushes up to a stone viewing seat which is well worth the 10 minute detour for nice views of Loch Ness. Make sure you bring a rain coat as we had rain and glorious sun which alternated at quite a rapid pace!!
The terrain on the trail is mainly woodland with occasional clearings, great views of Loch Ness and some country road walking especially in the last few miles. Once you descent down into Drumnadrochit you turn right (off the Great Glen Way) and walk down the A82 toward Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, which is about a miles walk. The ruins of Urguhart castle looks pretty cool with Loch Ness in the background. It was unfortunate we couldn’t go into the actual castle grounds as no dogs were allowed! (Boooo).
To get back to Invermoriston you can catch the 919 Bus (Inverness to Fort William) right outside the castle, although yet again be careful the buses don’t take dogs which meant I had to go alone and pick up the car to come back!!
Overall the trail is a nice easy walk. If you want to visit Loch Ness and want to do some walking then this is a great little route to follow.
While in the area I would recommend doing the Jacobite 1 hour boat tour (dogs allowed) that goes from Clansman Harbour (Between Drumnadrochit and Inverness). This tour sails all the way down and around the castle and provides a lot of interesting information on Loch Ness. An excellent hour trip! Unfortunately we didn’t see Nessie but who knows you might be more lucky!!
Any questions, feel free to ask, GPX route available.