Absolute Escapes April 13 2021

The Great Glen Way is renowned as one of Scotland’s greatest long-distance walks.

Starting in the shadow of Ben Nevis in Fort William, the trail runs for 73 miles along the natural fault line that divides Scotland from coast to coast (see aerial shot below) – ending in the Highland capital of Inverness.


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What makes the Great Glen Way so great?

The scenery is as varied as the historic sites and delightful villages that you can find along the route.

Thomas Telford’s famous Caledonian Canal – peppered with pleasure crafts that hand out gentle waves as you stroll the towpaths – connects some of Scotland’s most legendary lochs.

Walking alongside these serene bodies of water, you’ll discover that each loch has its own unique coastline and rhythm.


Highlights of the Great Glen Way

As well as offering fantastic scenery, the Great Glen Way is one of Scotland’s best walks to do some sightseeing. These are my top highlights which you’ll find on or nearby this legendary trail.


Ben Nevis & The Jacobite Steam Train

Before you even set foot on the trail you can have a sightseeing day full of stunning views and memorable experiences in Fort William.

Start big by climbing Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis! All 1,345 meters of ascent are rewarded with a stunning Highland vista all the way to Inverness along the Great Glen.

If you’d prefer to rest your legs, the famous Jacobite Steam Train is waiting. This legendary train journey is famous as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.

Top tip: Remember to book well in advance as the Jacobite Steam Train sells out quickly each year.


Commandos in the Glen

The surrounding terrain is so tough that British Commandos were trained in these very glens during World War II. The ancestral seat of Clan Cameron – Achnacarry House – was the main base where the Commandos were put through their paces.

You can visit the nearby Clan Cameron Museum to hear their story, or detour slightly from the trail to visit the impressive Commando Memorial which is just west of Spean Bridge.


Take the High Road

North of Fort Augustus you’ll have a choice between taking the low route, which hugs the banks of Loch Ness, or the high route which climbs high above the Scots Pine forests.

Make sure you take the high road. It’s slightly more effort, but you will enjoy fantastic views over the lochs and mountains as far as the eye can see.


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Loch Ness

Why not take to Loch Ness by boat or under your own steam? With so many companies offering a boat cruise on the loch, you can take your pick and take to the water when it suits you. Just keep an eye on the water for our famous friend!

If you’re feeling a little braver, you could paddle on the loch on your own paddleboard or kayak. Explore Highland offers a selection of trips along the loch and in the wider area.


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Drumnadrochit & Urquhart Castle

The charming village of Drumnadrochit has plenty to see and do.

Nearby you’ll find one of Scotland’s most famous castles – Urquhart Castle, perched overlooking Loch Ness. A visit to the castle allows you to hear about its history and walk on the ancient defences.

As you make your way over to Abriachan, stop at possibly the highest Eco Cafe in Scotland!

This quirky cafe offers delicious cakes and hot drinks – everything you’d want before a long day on the trail.



Once you’ve reached the end of the trail the sights don’t stop. Explore historic Inverness, visit nearby Culloden Battlefield, or extend your Highland adventure on one of our self-drive holidays.

Top tip: If you’d prefer not to drive, Rabbie’s offer excellent small group tours from Inverness including day tours of the Speyside Whisky Trail and the Isle of Skye.


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Ready to walk the Great Glen Way?

Offering magnificent mountains, spectacular scenery, historic castles and famous lochs – the Great Glen Way is undisputedly one of Scotland’s most rewarding walking routes.

Absolute Escapes offer self-guided walking holidays on the Great Glen Way which include carefully-selected accommodation, bag transfers, and guidebook/map.

Please don’t hesitate to send an enquiry if we can help you plan a walking holiday in the majestic Scottish Highlands!

Jason Martin


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