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Walking the Great Glen Way

AuthorPaddy Dillon
PublisherCicerone Press
ISBNISBN-13: 978 1 85284 503 2 (First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978 1 85284 801 9 (Second Edition)
Also available in eBook format
Price£14.95
Sunlight catches a lighthouse beside Loch Lochy as a storm moves through the Great Glen.

Sunlight catches a lighthouse beside Loch Lochy as a storm moves through the Great Glen.

The Caledonian Canal is accompanied by a broad track as it runs towards Fort Augustus.

The Caledonian Canal is accompanied by a broad track as it runs towards Fort Augustus.

A glimpse of Loch Ness from the forested slopes alongside it.

A glimpse of Loch Ness from the forested slopes alongside it.

The Great Glen is a remarkable, ruler-straight glen slicing south-west to north-east, from coast to coast through the Highlands of Scotland. It is based on the ancient Great Glen Fault, which tore the mountains apart millions of years ago and is still capable of giving the occasional shudder.

The Great Glen contains three lochs: Loch Lochy, little Loch Oich and the enormous Loch Ness, home of a legendary 'monster'. The low-lying glen has attracted canal-cutters, road-builders and railway engineers, all seeking a coast to coast route through the Highlands.

More recently, the glen has been blessed with a long-distance footpath offering walkers an easy coast to coast walk through the Highlands. The route links at Fort William with the long-established West Highland Way, and has its other terminus at the Highland capital of Inverness.

When the route was being checked, it was walked immediately after a trek along the West Highland Way, and immediately before a trek along the Speyside Way. The route has been described both ways in the guidebook, showing the route highlighted on OS Landranger mapping, along with plenty of pictures.

As an easy, low-level trail, the Great Glen Way would serve well as an introduction to long-distance walking, and it could be completed at most times of the year.

The entire route was re-walked for the second edition, with the route description overhauled, including newly-created high-level stages. All the facilities along the trail were checked. A special companion Great Glen Way map booklet, containing extracts of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 mapping, now accompanies the latest edition of the guidebook.

GPX tracks are available for all the routes in this guidebook. They can be downloaded from the Cicerone website.

Walk Contents

South to North

Stage 1 Fort William to Gairlochy
Stage 2 Gairlochy to Laggan Locks
Stage 3 Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus
Stage 2A Gairlochy to Invergarry
Stage 3A Invergarry to Fort Augustus
Stage 4A Fort Augustus to Invermoriston (low-level)
Stage 4B Fort Augustus to Invermoriston (low-level)
Stage 5A Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit (high-level)
Stage 5B Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit (low-level)
Stage 6 Drumnadrochit to Inverness

North to South

Stage 1 Inverness to Drumnadrochit
Stage 2A Drumadrochit to Invermoriston (high-level)
Stage 2B Drumadrochit to Invermoriston (low-level)
Stage 3A Invermoriston to Fort Augustus (high-level)
Stage 3B Invermoriston to Fort Augustus (low-level)
Stage 4 Fort Augustus to Laggan Locks
Stage 5 Laggan Locks to Gairlochy
Stage 4A Fort Augustus to Invergarry
Stage 5A Invergarry to Gairlochy
Stage 6 Gairlochy to Fort William