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The Great Glen Way - Self-Guided
Walking the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness

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The Great Glen Way is a spectacular walking route from Fort William, nestling under the massive Ben Nevis to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. The trek takes you from the beginning of the Caledonian Canal past Neptune's Staircase and past Lochs Lochy, Oich and Ness. The trek terrain varies from towpath flat walking by the canal, to forest walks and woodland paths by the lochs, as well as some tarmac walking on a very quiet peaceful road.

The Great Glen is a natural fault line running across Scotland as a series of lochs. In 1803-1822 the Caledonian Canal was built by Thomas Telford to link the two coasts of Scotland. Fort William on the west coast and Inverness on the east coast mark the two ends of the glen.

This is moderate walking with some easy stages.

Highlights of the tour include:

  • Fort William- Ben Nevis
  • Fort Augustus
  • Loch Ness
  • Inverness


Day 1  Arrive Fort William for overnight.

Day 2  Fort William - Gairlochy 10.8 miles
Leave Fort William along the Caledonian canal passing Neptune’s Staircase, a flight of eight locks which raises the water in the canal by 64 feet. Overnight Gairloch. (B)

Day 3 Gairlochy - South Laggan 11.5 miles
Walk along the shores of Loch Lochy on forest roads and tracks with high mountains on each side. Overnight South Laggan. (B)

Day 4  South Laggan- Fort Augustus 11 miles
The walk today is through mixed woodland along the banks of Loch Oich until Fort Augustus, one of the prettiest villages in the Great Glen. Overnight Fort Augustus.(B)

Day 5  Fort Augustus - Invermoriston 7 miles
Walk along forest tracks with great views until the River Moriston and the village of Invermoriston. Overnight Invermoriston.. (B)

Day 6 Invermoriston - Drumnadrochit 12 miles
Continue the walk along the banks of Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle, one of the great historic ruins of Scotland, stands out perched precariously on the side of the banks of Loch Ness and is open to the public. Walk to Drumnadrochit - the centre of for the Loch Ness Monster. Overnight Drumnadrochit. (B)

Day 7 Drumnadrochit - Blackfold 14 miles
The route continues along moorland at 300 meters and through forest with more panoramic views down the Great Glen and Loch Ness. At the end of the walk there is a transfer back to Drumnadrochit. Overnight Drumnadrochit.(B)

Day 8 Dochgarroch - Inverness 5 miles
Transfer back to Blackfold - then a beautiful walk alongside the Caledonian Canal to the Highland Capital, Inverness.

Day 9: Departure after breakfast (B)

Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement is only applicable if you are traveling solo and/or have a room to yourself.

May through October $1,475 TBD

Your trip price includes the following. For additional information, please call or email us at and one of our exceptional Travel Advisors will be happy to share with you all kinds of details.

  • All accomodations with private bath
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • Trail maps and detailed notes
  • Luggage transfers for each day
  • Local emergency contact

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“Meals at our hotel were superb, outstanding. Pub lunches were excellent. Our guide’s leadership was a high point of the trip — his knowledge of the region (topography, history, social and cultural characteristics), his overall concern for the group, his keen insight and well-developed sense of humor were magnificent.”
D Swoap     Clearwater, FL

“For the Cotswolds — an area steeped in history — one needs a guide who is steeped in the knowledge of it. Ours met this criterion to the max.”
J & C Tate     Malvern, PA

“It was a very friendly group — helping to make the tour an excellent experience. Meals were superb, both the quality of the food and the serving staff.”
A Matz     PA

Best Time to Go

April to middle of October subject to weather conditions.

Convenient Airport

Glasgow International Airport (GLA)

Traveling By Rail

Fort William is accessible by rail with service from Glasgow Queen Street Station. For rail information including reservations, time schedules and current fares please refer to BritRail at (800) 677-8585 or In the UK call (08457) 484950, or visit Another useful resource is The Train Line at

Note: The journey up the West Highland line to Fort William, and on to Mallaig, is described as “one of the world’s most dramatic and scenic railway lines”. The approximate time of the journey from Glasgow to Fort William is 4 hours.


Follow this link to the Meteorological Office for information on climate and rainfall averages in Scotland.



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