Hiking the Great Glen Way

If coast to coast walks are your thing, and you want to tackle one that you could do in a week or less, then look no further folks.

The beauty of the Great Glen Way is that it’s long enough to challenge your endurance, but not so long that you have to train for months on end to be able to tackle it.

Take a look at what we loved about it, and then decide for yourself if it’s going to be the destination for your next break from it all.

Great Glen Way

117 Kilometres of Coast to Coast Walking that You’ll Love

At less than 100 miles, the Great Glen Way doesn’t seem all that daunting to even the novice hill walker. This makes it an ideal destination for families who want to do something a little more active than sunning themselves on a beach in Spain, or holidaying in a villa in the South of France. It’s also a great way to be able to get some real achievement and satisfaction out of your time away from work and home life.

There’s always the option of tackling it in stages, and coming back later in the year if that’s what you want to do. Most people tend to allow themselves 7 days to get from one end to the other, and enjoy every step they take along the way. Really, the choice is up to you, so go out there and have fun!

Walk Through Forests Above the Famous Loch Ness

Loch Ness is perhaps the most famous spot in all of Scotland, which can put some walkers off. If you want to skirt around tourist traps, then the Great Glen Way is a great way to do it. By walking through the forests that overlook the Loch, you’ll be able to get a far better view than the tourists, but you won’t have to zigzag your way through the crowds to get from A to B. Just what you want when your aim is to get away from all the hustle and bustle back home for a few days.

Great Glen Way

Other than the Forests, You’ll be able to Walk Without Too Much Effort in any Weather

Walking in the forests is an experience unlike any other, but there are a couple of things you’re going to want to consider. Firstly, forest walking doesn’t give you as much coverage from heavy downpours as you might think. Booking from early spring onwards is the best thing to do if you want to keep the chances of heavy showers to a minimum.

The other thing to consider is the nature of the terrain itself. There will be lots of short sharp climbs, and you will need to be steady on your feet in some sections. Off camber ground and exposed roots can both be a little disconcerting if you’ve never tackled them before, so it’ll be worth going on a short walk closer to home so that you break in your hiking boots and tackle the forests.

Finishing in Inverness is a Great Way to Put Your Feet Up at the End of a Long Walk

Inverness is a city that has so much to offer, so why not book yourself in for a long weekend once you arrive at your destination? The great thing about it is that it’s a really multicultural city, that’s also kept plenty of Scottish heritage at the heart of city life. If you want to be able to enjoy some traditional dishes, plenty of rest and relaxation and a mixture of sporting events and concerts, then this is the place for you to head to. It’ll also give you plenty of motivation to do the full coast to coast route, so that you can say you’ve really earned it!

Great Glen Way

Following the Caledonian Canal is an Experience not to be Missed

Thomas Telford had to use every ounce of his engineering brilliance to create the logistical marvel that is the Caledonian Canal, but the fact that his work is still in use today is a testament to just how much it changed the local area. By connecting up several of the major lochs, it proved to be a vital piece of transport infrastructure throughout the 19th century. By walking alongside it for major stretches of the Way, you’ll be able to get a true sense of the scale of Telford’s achievement.

When the canal was first built, it also gave rise to dozens of new settlements alongside it that sprung up to cater to the new influx of industry. It’s often said that if you want to see how the industrial revolution left an indelible mark on this part of Scotland, all you have to do is walk alongside the canal for an afternoon. If you love to immerse yourself in local history when you’re walking, there’s probably no better route to take if you want to see history in action.

The 3 Best Guidebooks You Need to Know About

Paddy Dillon’s The Great Glen Way: Two Way Trail Guide is a really informative read that talks you through everything you could ever wish to know about the local area. Not only does it cover the sights you will see along the way, it also guides you through different things to see and do for each direction. Just what you want when you’re looking to enjoy the walk of a lifetime.

It’s also well worth taking a look at Great Glen Way: 40 Large Scale Maps by the highly renowned Jim Manthorpe. In an age when virtually everyone uses their sat nav to get from A to B, there’s a lot to be said for investing in a map book that will never run out of battery life.

Finally, there’s also The Great Glen Way by Brian Smailes. If you’re looking for an informative yet compact guide that you can take with you as you go coast to coast, this will be well worth a look.

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