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What is the Great Glen Way like for walkers?


The Great Glen Way is an attractive route for walkers. Credit: Peter S


If you are hoping to complete a long-distance walk in Scotland, have you thought about the Great Glen Way? One of Scotland’s many popular trails, the Great Glen Way starts at the end of the iconic West Highland Way.


The Great Glen Way is 127km (79 miles) long and extends from coast to coast in the Scottish Highlands, starting in the town of Fort William in the west and finishing in Inverness, a small city in the east.


The trail follows a natural faultline, known as the Great Glen, which means it is often scenically attractive with mountains rising upon both sides.



The Great Glen Way is waymarked. Credit: Dave Kelly


Easy to follow


The route of the Great Glen Way is waymarked. It follows paths and tracks and is fairly straightforward for walkers of all abilities. 



The trails and paths mostly offer easy walking. Credit: Chris Heaton


A week of walking


The route can be completed in six days between 14.8km and one long final day of 32km. Most days are around the 20km mark.  


The stages are:

  • Fort William to Gairlochy - 17km/ 10.5 miles

  • Gairlochy to Laggan Locks 20.7km/ 12.7 miles

  • Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus 19.5km / 12.1 miles

  • Fort Augustus to Invermoriston 14.8km / 9.2 mile

  • Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit 23km/ 14.3 miles

  • Drumnadrochit to Inverness 32km / 19.88 miles.



There is a variety of scenery on the Great Glen Way. Credit: Karsten Berlin


Not too many ups and downs


The total ascent for the route, if you follow the lower level options, is just over 1550 metres, with some days of only 20 metres or 40 metre total climb. The most you will climb on this route is just over 500m, so the Great Glen is not difficult in terms of uphills.


If you fancy making the Great Glen Way a bit more of a challenge, you can choose a higher route on days four and five. This will add about 400 metres to the total ascent, which again is not too challenging for most walkers.



Loch Ness is one of the scenic highlights on the Great Glen Way. Credit: Vaidotas Mišeikis


Scenic highlights 


The route is in the Scottish Highlands and well known for being a destination of fabulous landscapes. 


You will walk along the shores of stunning lochs, through a forest above famous Loch Ness and on the towpath of the magnificent Caledonian Canal.


The wider vistas are of hills, forests, lochs and majestic mountains.


It’s not just for walkers

The Great Glen Way is a good option for runners, who can easily aim to complete the route in fewer days if they enjoy covering more miles daily, or for cyclists. The paths, tracks and towpath are suitable for walking, running and cycling.


Places to stay

If you walk the route in the suggested six daily stages there are plenty of places to find accommodation (although it is always wise to plan ahead with these bookings, especially in the popular spring and summer seasons). 



Walk along the side of the Caledonian Canal. Credit: Werewindle


Allow extra time at the start and finish 


If you are planning a walk, run or bike ride on the Great Glen Way, you could plan in a few other activities. Why not arrive a day early at Fort William and aim to walk the UK’s tallest mountain of Ben Nevis nearby? The Ben is a challenging hike and weather dependent but it is manageable for many keen walkers.


Likewise, Inverness at the end of the trail is an attractive destination in its own right. The so-called capital of the Highlands, the small city of Inverness is a vibrant and interesting place to explore for a few days.


Let us support your walk

Highland Transfers can help you complete the Great Glen Way whether you plan to walk, run or cycle the route. Let us transfer your luggage between overnight accommodation so that you do not need to carry a heavy pack with you every day. Please contact us to find out more.










Allow extra time at the start and finish 


If you are planning a walk, run or cycling on the Greta Glen Way, you could plan in a few other activities. Why not arrive a day early at Fort William and aim to walk the UK’s tallest mountain of Ben Nevis nearby? The Ben is a challenging hike and weather dependent but it is manageable for many keen walkers.


Likewise, Inverness at the end of the trail is an attractive destination in its own right. The so-called capital of the Highlands, the small city is a vibrant and interesting place to explore for a few days.





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