Over 73 miles of varied and striking highland scenery, The Great Glen Way (Ghlinne Mhòir in Gaelic) , links the North sea and Atlantic Ocean from coast to coast.
The path begins at Fort William - near the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis - and travels northeastwards across Scotland to Inverness, the ‘capital of the Highlands’.
You’ll come across castles and forts on your route, sites that have seen some of the fiercest battles in Scotland’s turbulent history - indicative of a landscape steeped in Scottish history.
Hiking the Great Glen Way
Although most of the route as you alongside the Caledonian Canal is uniformly flat, through thick pine forests you'll meet short, sharp ascents with views over the sprawling lochs to reward for your efforts.
The Great Glen Way can be completed easily in a week. Alternatively, it can be finished in unison with the West Highland Way for a varied two-week walking holiday across Scotland’s finest scenery. The Great Glen Way converges with the West Highland Way at Fort William, but is not nearly as busy or as rugged.
Your route leads out of Fort William, following tracks and roads along the coast, with very little climbing toward Gairlochy. Where river meets Loch Lochy, the route slopes into a forested loch-side track developing into firm canal side path at South Laggan. The next stage is an easy-going route out of North Laggan, following the Caledonian Canal, where a descent down five locks leads you to Fort Augustus. From there, the route takes a parellal climb up five locks to lead you out of the settlement.
There are forest tracks and short, steep slopes towards Invermoriston, where the route is densely forested along the edge of Loch Ness, before gradually clearing as you approach Drumnadrochit. The final stretch follows moorland and pine forest tracks before joining a paved path through green area, arriving at Inverness.
Accommodation provided in high standard B&Bs, farmhouses and small local inns, with en-suite or private facilities where available
Breakfast included in price
Flexible itinerary with choice of daily distances to suit requirements
Walk pack including Trail Guide, itinerary, accommodation directions, local interest leaflets and holiday planning
Daily luggage transfers
Information about packed lunches and getting food locally
You choose which day you would like your holiday to start on. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements.
Our Great Glen Way holidays are available to walk March to October.
The weather in Scotland is notorious for being particularly changeable (often summed up as 'four seasons in one day'), so waterproof wear and sunscreen are both advised. A good amount of the path around the lochs is dense woodland, so please bring sturdy footwear that can cope with thick mud, should the issue arise.
If you travelling in the middle of high season, the notorious midges may be a problem. Midges favour still conditions in the morning and evening and are generally not a problem while you're on the move in the middle of the day. There are many repellents on the market (with mixed reviews), not leaving too much skin exposed seems to be the tried and tested way of dealing with midges.
Fort William has three daytime trains per day in each direction on Mondays to Saturdays, running between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig.
The Caledonian Sleeper operates six nights per week (not Saturdays) from London Euston, starting/terminating at Fort William. The sleeper also carries seated coaches and can thus be used as a regular service train to/from Glasgow (Queen Street Low Level) and Edinburgh Waverley
A bus service (the no.11) runs every 30 minutes between the airport and city centre at Inverness.
Looking for different mileages or a different number of nights? Please contact us to discuss how our itineraries can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. Call one of our helpful team on +44 (0)1291 689774 or e-mail us here.
Great Glen Way Client Reviews
4.7/5 based on 14 reviews
Worked like clockwork. Very pleasing to have completed this walk safely, under present conditions (Coronavirus). Hosts doing an excellent job under difficult conditions Mr F. Devine, Leeds - August 2020
Because the holiday was all meticulously planned for you, it really does feel like a holiday and not a chore.
Doing something like this helps you clear your head of stress and it certainly did just that. My favourite part was getting up early, sitting on a hill with a brew and seeing the morning sun rise over Loch Ness. Magical. J. Shaw - October 2019
Great Glen Way is quieter and gentler that the West Highland Way. It was nice to meet several people doing both. Walking long distance has become an annual event between friends. It is the best 'brain wash' I know - good for the body and soul.
Celtic Trails were reliable, well-organised and has very pleasant staff to liaise with. L. Falconer - October 2019
Celtic Trails were supportive and well-organised. I would recommend them to a friend. Anon. - October 2019
Celtic Trails was excellent to work with! Will definitely recommend.
This holiday had had an impact on my mental health - lots of time to clear my mind.
Loved the great Glen Way! Very beautiful and varied landscapes. A. Miller - August 2019
A well-organised tour, with a quality and service minded company. We felt well taken care of and often sent good thoughts to Nathan, who put some much care into it.
It was our first attempt at a walking holiday and it turned out to be very positive. Katerine & Elisabeth - July 2019
Celtic Trails were: well-organised, nice accommodation, good route guides.
I enjoy the challenge and sense of achievement from completing a walk. Coltart - July 2019
Best thing for us was the route being well-signed and a good walking surface. Also, a mixture of accommodations. D&A - June 2018
"We enjoyed the variety of scenery & people's hospitality." Heinzel & Pavani - July 2017
"The scenery was spectacular. [we enjoyed] seeing things we had never seen – boats moving through the locks. The sheep – meeting the local people, everyone was so friendly. Perhaps you could be a little more accurate in your descriptions of the extra 4 miles into Spean Bridge, but we had a wonderful time and will definitely do another one of your walking holidays." Brooks & Hurley - September 2016
"Thanks for the good information, good trip, flexibility (and good weather!)." Foster - August 2015
"The route was easy to follow; the directions were good. Everything went smoothly." Leckie - May 2015
"Generally we were very happy with the walk. Overall the hosts were very friendly and accommodating and we appreciated their taking out luggage upstairs or putting us on the ground floor. Apart from the Laggan diversion, the blue markers were easy to see and to follow." Cowan & Griffiths - July 2014
"This is our third walk with your company, we have always been satisfied with all your effort to make our holiday a happy one. What a shame you can't control the weather too!" Gould - July 2012
Leave your own review of your Great Glen Way Walking Holiday with us - add review.
We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £150 per person (£100 per person for a single centre break) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking process here.
Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.
Still Have Questions?
If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.