Great Glen Way, Scotland

The Great Glen Way, which was opened in 2002, is one of Scotland’s official Great Trails. It follows the geological fault of the Great Glen for 127km (79 miles) from coast to coast across the Scottish Highlands, from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east. The Great Glen Way is generally walked in that direction to follow the direction of the prevailing wind.

This route is home to some of Scotland’s most spectacular and atmospheric scenery as it runs along the complete length of the lakes Loch Linnhe and Loch Oich and through the forests above the deep and mysterious Loch Ness, the largest lake by volume in the UK (keep an eye out for the famous ‘Loch Ness Monster’!).

Much of the trail is on lower ground and follows the towpaths of the Caledonian Canal, which was built in the early nineteenth century. Just outside of Fort William, you will pass ‘Neptune’s Staircase’, a ‘staircase lock’ comprising of eight connected locks, the longest staircase lock in the UK. There are another 21 locks along the length of the canal before it reaches the east coast near Inverness.

And for those who are fans of history, you will have the opportunity to learn about the Jacobites and their fight to restore of the House of Stuart to the British throne and visit Urquhart Castle, which has a bloody history from 1200s – 1600s, and remains an excellent example of a medieval stronghold.

Why go walking on Great Glen Way?

  • Experience timeless Scottish Highland scenery with lochs, forest trails and heather covered hills, and maybe even catch a glimpse of “Nessie”, the Loch Ness Monster!
  • Follow this Coast-to-coast hiking trail all the way across Scotland, as you trace the route of the Caledonian Canal from Fort William on the Atlantic to Inverness on the North Sea.
  • A great introduction to walking in the Highlands. Enjoy spectacular surroundings minus the climbing as most of this relatively gentle hike keeps to lower levels of the Great Glen.
  • For those willing to spend a little more energy in exchange for more dramatic views across Loch Ness there is also a higher-level route option between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit.
  • Visit Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness. The famous ruins of this 13th Century stronghold will give you a taste of how it felt to live in medieval Scotland.

Great Glen Way Self-Guided Walking Packages;

  • Options for 5-9 Days Walking
  • Top-Choice Accommodation
  • Detailed Itinerary and Map
  • Baggage Transfer
  • Breakfasts
  • Insider Tips
  • 24/7 Support

To enquire about this walk please submit an enquiry using our Hiking Trails UK and Europe Enquiry Form

Hiking Trails Pty Ltd acts as an agent for this walk which is operated by Hillwalk Tours of; 27 Galway Technology Centre, Mervue Business Park, Wellpark Road, Galway, H91 WV02, IRELAND. Package inclusions and pricing will be provided with quote. The walk operator, Hillwalk Tours terms and conditions will apply to bookings for this walk. Images on this page are sourced from Hillwalk Tours.