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Author Topic: Female walking alone in Scotland  (Read 17201 times)
NervousFemale
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« on: May 27, 2010, 12:21:02 pm »

Young female in her 20s. Have plenty of experience with long distance walks, but only ever undertaken one day'ers alone.
Have a week in Scotland and deciding between the Great Glen Way and The Rob Roy Way, to walk on my own.
Looking for opinions on whether it's safe to walk alone, along a planned route. And which track is more picturesque?
Thanks
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 01:49:42 pm »

Welcome to the forum! Smiley
I normally walk alone , but would be less confident in another country, agreed!  Nowhere, even your own home, is 100% safe from all possible injury or loss, but walking in Scotland on a waymarked route is much safer than, for example, wandering about a large city almost anywhere in the world. Sad

Depending on the route and which day you set out, you may find yourself alone a lot, but if you prefer to join up with anybody who keeps roughly the same pace you are likely to be welcomed.  Walkers over here are usually friendly, and you would have to be very unlucky, or foolish, or both, to run into danger.  Just take normal traveller precautions, like keeping your valuables about your person and not left in a rucksack Shocked.  If you were planning solo mountain ascents in doubtful weather, going alone might sound foolhardy unless you can use a map and compass, but on a waymarked route it really shouldn't be dangerous.

Both routes you mention are waymarked and if you are an experienced walker and using a baggage service, you could enjoy either of them over five days.  I helped to devise the Rob Roy Way, so I have a soft spot for it. However, the Great Glen Way is better waymarked, has less road-walking and is less challenging to fit into five days, also having a good public transport setup with frequent buses linking Fort William to Inverness.  (The Rob Roy Way has no national trail status and no public investment.)  Both are scenic, and have a lot of general interest, please see our guidebooks if you haven't already.  Or follow the links above to look at the website galleries for each: this should give you a rough idea of the scenery.

Whatever you decide, good luck and let us know how it goes, please!
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
Kate
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 09:29:58 pm »

That's great.

I agree, walking in a different country can seem daunting, all that is needed in this case is a little encouragement.
Reading the reviews of the walks in this forum has been inspiring also.
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sandrahal
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 07:33:24 am »

Hello there
I'm another solo female walker, who happens to live almost right beside the Great Glen Way.  I've walked alone in several European countries and never once felt threatened by other people, only ever by my own nervousness about negotiating a tricky exposed move - which, of course is not something you'll encounter here !

The GGW is very popular, as we know from the numbers of people walking through Drumnadrochit (where we live), so you're bound to meet numerous other like-minded folk.  I endorse Jacquetta's advice and strongly encourage you to give it a go in the best Aussie style.

By the way, though my husband and I have been living here for 21 years, we still consider ourselves Aussies at heart, so do get in touch.
Best wishes
Sandra
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Kiarna Boyd
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 12:29:22 pm »

I walked the GGW solo this year and found everyone friendly and polite. As an aside, the only people that were concerned about me doing a solo hike of this kind (well marked & fairly close to emergency services) were a few older men. I asked one of them if they would be concerned if I was a male hiker and they said no and that gave an insight into the nature of the type of concern being voiced. Sadly, I suspect a great many women have felt afraid of being alone in the world regardless of location for the sinister reasons my critics inferred. I cannot speak for the entirety of the travel locations, but I can say absolutely the conduct of the people I encountered along the GGW was genuinely welcoming and I was offered the highest degree of hospitality I've ever experienced.

I walk and hike all the time in New Hampshire and Maine in the USA and take basic precautions of filing a trip plan with someone at home, knowing first aid, and making sure I have more than enough water and food (and water filtering options). That said, the culture over here is very different from what I encountered in Scotland. I found strangers to be more friendly while maintaining a polite distance and even had a few other hikers express genuine delight when we ran into each other in the small towns after passing on the Way. Whilst I felt self-reliant, it was made clear that the communities I traveled through supported and kept an eye out for travelers. I would strongly recommend the GGW for solo hikers and especially women.

Truth be told, I think I did in fact leave a large chunk of my heart up there in the Highlands and can't wait to go back.
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