6 to 8 nights
73 mls (km)
Mid Scotland
Easy to Challenging
Mar to Oct

Walking Through the Great Glen Way Natural Fault

  • Explore the site of some of Scotland's more turbulent history, the 13th century Urquhart Castle was instrumental in some of the more decisive battles and sieges of the Highlands
  • Celebrate your long-distance achievement in Inverness, a thriving city, still very much in touch with its local history
  • Trace a path around the edge of the famous Loch Ness
  • Surrounded by the ancient mountains, cavernous lochs and dense woodland that make up the quintessential Highlands scenery
📷Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness Urquhart-Castle-Great-Glen-Way

Highland Walking Coast to Coast

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 north-eastwards 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.

📷Telford bridge ove River Moriston, taken by one of our walkers, Heather Telford bridge ove River Moriston, Great glen Way Walking holidays

Hiking the Great Glen Way

Although most of the route alongside the Caledonian Canal is uniformly flat, as you pass 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.

Great Glen Way walking map
Our Great Glen Way walking holidays take you on a linear walk from Fort William to Inverness

Path Walkthrough

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 parallel climb up five lochs 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 in Inverness.

Our Great Glen Way Itineraries

  • Fort William to Inverness
    Distance: 73 miles (117km)
    8 Nights, 7 Days
    from £910 pp
    Fort William to Inverness
        8 nights, 7 days
    Ref: GGW1
    Grade: Classic
    7 Nights, 6 Days
    from £780 pp
    Fort William to Inverness
        7 nights, 6 days
    Ref: GGW2
    Grade: Classic
    6 Nights, 5 Days
    from £685 pp
    Fort William to Inverness
        6 nights, 5 days
    Ref: GGW3
    Grade: Classic
    • Good standard accommodation at a mixture of guesthouses, farmhouses, local inns and B&Bs with en-suite or private facilities wherever possible
    • Breakfast
    • Luggage transfers
    • Personal transfer between accommodation and path that form a part of our standard package
    • Route planning
    • Walk pack including Trail Guide and mapping, itinerary, accommodation directions and route notes, lunch and dinner information, restaurant recommendations and holiday planning details

    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 are 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 32 reviews
    The whole trip was very well organised by Celtic Trails. Everything went like clockwork - including the weather!
    - May 2024
    Celtic Trails took away concerns about where to go, where to stay, and how to transfer belongings to each location, so all we had to do was enjoy the walk. The bed and breakfasts were marvellous, and all of our hosts were familiar with Celtic Trails. All of my questions were answered thoroughly by Nathan before we departed for our vacation.
    - October 2023
    We would recommend Celtic Trails to our friends. The walk has had a positive impact on our health and well being.
    - September 2023
    Excellent service throughout. The whole trip felt personalised and it was very refreshing to have a single point of contact, rather than a faceless website, in the event of any queries.
    - September 2023
    Any interaction that I had with Celtic Trails was very friendly and helpful. Service seemed tailored to ensure the best possible experience. A big thanks to the team!
    - September 2023
    Celtic Trails were very friendly, with an efficient service, including local information and personal transfers. Nathan was also very helpful throughout the whole process.
    - September 2023
    Working with CT is made easy by the responsiveness of the staff. All are professional and courteous.
    - August 2023
    I was extremely satisfied with the service I received from Celtic Trails. This process was seamless. Very grateful to have the luggage transfer. Celtic Trails made the whole process easy. I didn't have to do the research or the booking, which made the actual trip stress-free. Would absolutely recommend working with this company again. It was a great break away from a busy work schedule. Being in the clean, beautiful Scottish countryside was a welcome change of pace. This was my first walking holiday, and I am hooked!
    - June 2023
    Our experience with Celtic Trails was easy and well-organised. Thank you for making the logistical and admin worries an issue we didn't have to worry about. It was nice to be in nature and unconnected. Love the small towns and nice perople we met.
    - June 2023
    Celtic Trails were convenient and well-organized. While walkers from the US could certainly use the way-marked trails, organizing B&Bs and luggage transfer would be more difficult. Having Celtic Trails make these arrangements was very helpful. We love being outdoors and thoroughly enjoyed our previous walk organized by Celtic Trails (Borders Abbeys). Our Great Glen Way trip was postponed due to Covid and we had been looking forward to it for quite some time. The weather couldn't have been more perfect (we were very lucky and had warm, sunny days). Completing the walk gave us a feeling of accomplishment. We also met some lovely people on the trail with whom we will stay in touch. This route was a good mix of relatively flat terrain (along the Caledonian Canal) and climbing (for spectacular views). People were almost universally friendly.
    - June 2023
    Excellent level of Service . Friendly, Well organised , great communication. Very good level of accommodation. We will not hesitate to utilise Celtic trails again for our next walking holiday!
    - May 2023
    Celtic Trails did exactly as asked, all arrangements happened as planned, no issues, no concerns, no worries, no stress. Body tired, spirits lifted, well-being improved, achievement level high. We had brilliant, utterly amazing weather. The routes were well-signposted and we relaxed into enjoying the views, sights and sounds.
    - May 2023
    Celtic Trails provide prompt responses and caring personal attention. We have only walked with Celtic Trails and would recommend them.
    - May 2023
    Celtic Trails are a hassle free way to plan and execute a walking trip- it makes the actual trip so much more pleasurable to not have to worry about planning each component. There were no issues with the plans, and all arrangements were excellent.
    - May 2023
    Effortless and smooth luggage transfer, great accommodation and detailed daily info packs were a big help.
    - May 2023
    Celtic Trails were well organised. Would recommend.
    - May 2023
    Celtic Trails were efficient and well-organised. This is a fantastic and well waymarked trails. The scenery changed daily and was always magnificent. We feared the route might be crowded but it wasn't and we met only a few, always friendly, fellow wal
    - May 2022
    Everything exceeded our expectations. Celtic Trails took care of everything. All we had to do was walk, eat and sleep. Very well planned and organised. Hadrian's Wall next.
    - April 2022
    Worked like clockwork. Very pleasing to have completed this walk safely, under present conditions (Coronavirus). Hosts doing an excellent job under difficult conditions
    - 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.
    - 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.
    - October 2019
    Celtic Trails were supportive and well-organised. I would recommend them to a friend.
    - 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.
    - 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.
    - July 2019
    Celtic Trails were: well-organised, nice accommodation, good route guides. I enjoy the challenge and sense of achievement from completing a walk.
    - July 2019
    Excellent. Best thing for us was the route being well-signed and a good walking surface. Also, a mixture of accommodations.
    - June 2018
    "We enjoyed the variety of scenery & people's hospitality."
    - 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."
    - September 2016
    "Thanks for the good information, good trip, flexibility (and good weather!)."
    - August 2015
    "The route was easy to follow; the directions were good. Everything went smoothly."
    - 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."
    - 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!"
    - July 2012
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