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Great Glen Way

Perfect companion: 5th edition of our popular waterproof guidebook, extended and revised in 2014/16 to cover the High Route and other updates
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| |-+  Great Glen Way, Fort William to Inverness, Scotland
| | |-+  How many days for the Great Glen Way?

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Author Topic: How many days for the Great Glen Way?  (Read 23364 times)
jonwin
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« on: July 16, 2010, 10:29:21 am »

How would you recommend dividing the route into days?

According to most websites the first part is 16 km long- which does not take a full day.

So what is a good way to divide the route if I want to finish in 5-6 days?

Thank you
Jonathan Smiley
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 04:57:21 pm »

Hi Jonathan

You're right, lots of sources show the first day as Fort William to Gairlochy (10mi/16km) and you can easily save a day, perhaps even two, from the common idea of six days for 73 miles/117 km.  Our guidebook which has just reached its fourth edition has a table on page 6 which shows a 5-day option with overnights at Gairlochy, South Laggan, Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit: this gives you two 18-mile days (29 km, on the third and fifth days) but is perfectly feasible if you push on a bit.  The six-day option splits the middle long day into two, with the benefit of an overnight in Fort Augustus.

If you don't need part of the first day for travelling, and can face a 23-mile first day (37 km), you could even squeeze it into four days: skip the Gairlochy overnight and just stop at South Laggan, Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit (with mileages of 23, 18, 14 and 18).  However, this approach is unlikely to give as much enjoyment as the five- or six-day itineraries which allow time to look around.
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sandrahal
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 12:58:42 pm »

Hi Jonathan
I agree with Jacquetta's comments, especially about not trying to rush the walk.  I've done it a few times (mainly for Rucksack Readers), and it is worth all of 5-6 days.
Your itinerary will also depend on the type of accommodation you're looking for - B&B, bunkhouse or camping, though a combination of these would give you more flexibility.
Best advice is to consult our guidebook for more information!
Enjoy the walk
Sandra
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jonwin
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 10:23:35 am »

Thank you very much for your help.  Another question that I have is what to do in terms of carrying gear.

Did you both carry a tent or a sleeping bag with you? How much weight did you carry during the route?


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Jacquetta
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 03:19:46 pm »

I'm lazy that way, Jonathan, and like a soft bed after a hard day's hiking.  So I use B&Bs and carry very little weight - only 4-6 kg even when the water bladder is full and I'm carrying overnight stuff, which I keep to a bare  Shocked minimum.

If I were camping, I'd be seriously interested in using a baggage service, although having to book would destroy most of the flexibility of camping.

I also know people who use baggage services even though they aren't camping, and seem to bring everything bar the kitchen sink, which to my mind spoils the fun of being light-hearted and carrying your world with you for a week. Roll Eyes  But walking attracts all kinds of different people, I realise.
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TomAMoore
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 04:35:07 pm »

I think using a baggage service is great even if you use B&Bs. I use a CPAP machine which is bulky and heavy, so a baggage service is the way to go. I have carried the CPAP when I credit card toured on my bicycle, but it was much easier and more fun to use a baggage service.

My two cents worth

Tom
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Buggiba
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 10:31:28 am »

In case you missed my post elsewhere I have recently returned from doing the Great Glen Way in 4 days. Leaving from Fort William just before 7 am we walked as far as the Great Glen Hostel at South Laggan, about 25 miles. An earlier start the next day, 6.20 am, saw us walking, with stops at Fort Augustus and Invermoriston, to the youth hostel at Alltsigh, another 24 miler. The benefits come in on day 3 when we had a lie-in and didn't hit the road till 9.10 am, as we only had 10 miles to go to the Loch Ness Backpackers. We were there by 1.15 pm. Still seemed a long way though. Last day was dictated by the bus journey time from the finish at Inverness back to Fort William. Out of bed at 4.30 am and walking by 6.10 am. Only break was at the eco-cafe at Abriachan. Arrived at Inverness Castle at 3.15. Knackered!! Wink
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 11:26:36 am »

As Buggiba's other post makes clear, however, he probably wouldn't do it in four days again!

There's a useful PDF of showing various ways of breaking it down into 4, 5, 6 or 7 days on the GGW official website here.  This gives more options than our guidebook which sticks to suggesting 5- or 6-day options.  It does depend on why you are walking: is to experience different places at leisure, to see wildlife and have time either to talk to people or simply "stand and stare" – or is it to set yourself a challenge, grab a route in the minimum number of days (without actually jogging/running) and dash home without even staying in the route's destination?

Since many walkers are coming to the area for the first time, we encourage people to give themselves the blessing of an extra day if they can. And remember, when reading distance tables, that the route which was officially 73 miles long for years is now thought to be 79 miles long: see this topic.
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Mason
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 09:23:56 am »

The weather does interesting things to your mood, spirit and ambitions. Me and GF walked for 5 days at the beginning of April. Her parents (Scottish) thought it was a rather dumb idea since the forecast promised heavy rain, snow and minus 6 degrees in the nights. Being from Sweden, I can't make myself dependent on weather, but try to adapt to it, planning a vacation and travelling far. For me it was good to have company this time, as I think I might have given up otherwise. The Highlands showed us its real worst, and you reach a point where is almost ceases to be enjoyable, and you only want to complete.

Personally I think that both GGW and WHW deserves more days to enjoy, but only if the weather is fairly OK, because when it is rough, it does eventually get to you. We had loads of rain all days, snow 3 days, and hail 3 days, and also a deadline before Easter Eve to pick up a rental car. As a rule of thumb, one normally does between 3 and 4 kilometers an hour with heavy luggage in this terrain.

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