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Author Topic: Which Way for 4 days in August?  (Read 6238 times)
alan
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« on: February 22, 2009, 04:57:21 pm »

Hi again !

Looking for some advice on the best 'Way' to go for our wee excursion in August. We have only completed 1 so far, the West Highland Way, which was absolutely brilliant!  We especially enjoyed the last few days of the WHW, so looking for something with similarly dramatic scenery and a bit of a challenge also.

We only have 4 full walking days so we are probably looking to 'cherry pick' the best part of any route.   We aim to do a waymarked route, B+B overnights, and bag transport if possible - but these are not essential.

We are reasonably fit but not massively experienced hikers, WHW over 7 days was probably about right for our level. 

Scotland is preferred but not essential.  Any views or ideas Huh

Cheers
Alan
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 05:26:03 pm »

Hello Alan

Not sure how far you are travelling from, but my advice has to be that if you like dramatic scenery, Scotland has a great deal to offer.  Within easy reach of Glasgow, consider the Arran Coastal Way – only an hour on the ferry from Ardrossan: in four days you could do all the good parts using the bus to skip the road walking from Lochranza to Blackwaterfoot.  Or how about the Cowal Way?  It needs 5 days to complete, but again you could skip the road-walking and shorten it.  Or if you are willing to do a really long first day, you could go for the Great Glen Way from Fort William, and overnight in South Laggan (23 miles) Invermoriston (18 miles) Drumnadrochit (14 miles) and Inverness (18 miles).  But that means pushing hard and having little time to linger and enjoy: is that what you want?

The only Scottish route I have comfortably completed in four walking days is the Cateran Trail, especially if you just do the loop and miss out Blairgowrie.  Even the St Cuthbert's Way (Melrose to Holy Island) is 62 miles and splits more readily into 5 days than 4.  But I haven't actually walked it, so can't really comment.  Can anybody advise, or suggest alternatives?
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
sandrahal
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 07:33:19 pm »

Hi Alan
Four days is a bit limiting - or a challenge, in more ways than one, the more so as you've already done what I think is the best of Scotland's long distance routes.
As mentioned elsewhere, it is possible to do the Great Glen Way in 4 days, but none of them are short or anything like easy;  even if you do have a bit more than 4 days, it's not possible to shorten the Drumnadrochit-Inverness day at one end; at the other end, available accommodation is also a limiting factor.
St Cuthbert's Way is very interesting historically, and the last day, across the sands to Lindisfarne is truly inspirational, but I wouldn't put the scenery in the same class as the WHW, or the GGW for that matter.
There's also the Fife Coastal Path from North Queensferry near Edinburgh to Tayport (I think); you might do this in 4 days, accommodation would be plentiful and it's well served by public transport, but there are a couple of shortish less than idyllic though historically interesting stretches around Burntisland and Leven.
Hope this helps.
Cheers
Sandra
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alan
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 09:54:24 pm »

Hi Sandra and Jacquetta,

Thanks for the great input, I really don't mind if I don't do a whole trail, indeed I don't expect to in 4 days.
I would be very happy to do the 'best' 4 days of any of the trails, whether it be the first, middle or last 4 days.

Jacquetta, I would be prepared to push myself a little to compress 5/6 days into 4 for example but not doing 20 miles+ every day. Maybe 1 day at 20+

Don't know if this helps a little more ?

Thanks again, alan
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 09:43:50 am »

I agree with you, Alan, and the first day would be a particularly bad time to collect a blister! 

How about doing the Great Glen Way but skipping the first part, which starts with suburban Fort William and Caol?  If you begin instead from Gairlochy, your four days would have the following mileage: 13 to South Laggan, 18 to Invermoriston, 14 to Drumnadrochit and 18 to Inverness, which could be manageable.  You wouldn't miss much scenery-wise, IMO, and could include the main sight – Neptune's Staircase, a flight of 8 locks – by getting a taxi to pause there en route to Gairlochy.  If the taxi follows the B8004, you are closely parallel to the Way anyway and can see similar views from the road. 

Laggan has a youth hostel and floating pub so the taxi needn't be a big extravagance in the overall plan.  It's only 6 miles from Banavie (Neptune's Staircase) to Gairlochy so if you set off early from FW you could take the first day leisurely.  What do you think?
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
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