The Great Glen Way

A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick

Heading back to Drumnadrochit on the next-to-last day of our 2008 expedition

Heading back to Drumnadrochit on the next-to-last day of our 2008 expedition



Scotland’s Great Glen Way is a route of approximately 75 miles ­– one that takes the walker from Fort William, on the Irish Sea, to Inverness on the North Sea, in a north-easterly direction. Although there are some long stages, the territory covered is not particularly strenuous; indeed, the Great Glen Way is often used by cyclists – as well as walkers – as it makes its way along the towpaths of the Caledonian canal and along the shores of a number of lochs. It does climb high above Loch Ness – the dominant geographical feature in the northern half of the enterprise. A bus service parallels the route.

When we walked it in 2008 we were able to make use of a professional walk organizer, in our case the Mickledore company, but other outfitters will also arrange all accommodation and make sure that your bags are ferried forward for you. There are several guidebooks available and you may wish to supplement these with the relevant Ordnance Survey maps. Explorer sheets 92, 400 and 416 cover all but short stretches of the route – and there is a good Harvey’s strip map covering the entire distance. In spite of the midges I thought this was a great route and I can recommend it highly. But if you are entirely new to the walking enterprise you may want to have a look at my A Walker’s Alphabet: Adventures on the long-distance footpaths of Great Britain. This can be obtained directly from my publisher at or or from or A version of the illustration you see here was used as the front cover of this book.

One of the longest stages is between Drumnadrochit and Inverness at the end of the route. If you don’t feel like an eighteen-mile stretch you may want to utilize the strategy employed in our case by Mickledore. We were taken half way to Inverness by taxi and walked back to Drum; then the next day we were taken to the same spot so that we could complete the trek to Inverness. This variation will explain why our next-to-last stage in the following listing appears to be heading backwards. You can always let me know how you got on by leaving a note via the Contact Page.

Our stages were as follows:

Day One: Fort William to Gairlochy – 11.5 miles

Day Two: Gairlochy to South Laggan – 13.5 miles

Day Three: South Laggan to Fort Augustus – 9.5 miles

Day Four: Fort Augustus to Invermoriston – 8 miles

Day Five: Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit – 15 miles

Day Six: Ladycairn to Drumnadrochit – 9 miless

Day Seven: Ladycairn to Inverness – 10.5 miles