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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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| | |-+  How long should I allow for GGW?

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Author Topic: How long should I allow for GGW?  (Read 25175 times)
Jenny B
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« on: January 08, 2007, 08:59:19 pm »

I'm a keen walker, fairly fit, but new to long-distance.  Have seen advice on walking the GGW ranging from 4 to 6 days, which makes a big difference to time and costs.  I know it's 73 miles, but how do I work out how long that will take me?  Can anybody who has done it tell me how long they took and whether you'd plan it differently next time or not?
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sue k
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 09:45:23 am »

Hi Jenny B
Ive not been part of a forum before, but here goes! My daughter and I walked the GGW in 2003 and we did it over 5 days. Our first day involved travelling to Fort William so we didn't set off until early afternoon. We are keen walkers but like to give ourselves time to look around along the way. That was our first long distance walk, and was wonderful. Since then we have done the West Highland Way and the Speyside Way, and we are planning to do the Kintyre Way in May.

We always stay at small guest houses or B&Bs or hostels, and it can work out fairly expensive, but I would suggest that you don't limit your days because of cost. Every day is a new adventure to be relished!

Happy walking, sue k Smiley
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:17:27 pm by Jacquetta » Logged
bsmyth
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 10:16:46 am »

Hi Jenny

A friend and I also did it over 5 days/6 nights in June 2006. It was my first long distance walk too, but it was very enjoyable. We took advantage of one of the baggage transfer services which made it more enjoyable. We were fortunate with good weather all week and there are some marvellous views.

We walked from Fort William to Inverness. We were able to leave our car in the car park of the guest house in FW and returned by bus. A very enjoyable week with good accommodation and food along the route.

Good luck
Brian
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:16:41 pm by Jacquetta » Logged
barbaraj
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 11:26:04 am »

Hi Jenny
A friend and I did the Great Glen Way a couple of years ago. We did it over 4nights/5days, setting off from Ft William on the Saturday afternoon. We used B&Bs and a luggage service which worked very well but you could save some money by using Youth Hostels. Doing it over 5 days meant the last day was a long walk (over 20 miles) and was also the toughest day - over moors, etc. - but easily manageable if you are reasonably fit. We had some sun and a lot of rain and wind but this did not spoil our enjoyment of the walk at all and we managed to get our boots etc completely dried out each night.
It's a beautiful walk - go for it and enjoy. 
Barbara
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Louise
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 02:12:03 pm »

Hello Jenny,

THe GGW was our second long distance walk, and in Holland we are not accustomed to hill walking (flat as you might know) so we planned to do the walk in 6 days.

The start is rather easy going and a bit dull along the canal. Our main goal was to keep enough energy to enjoy everything so 6 days were fine and comfortable.

We choose hostels and where not available a B&B.  I can recommend the Loch Ness Hostel it is very nice situated and has a real good atmosphere! For a good meal I recommend the Fiddlers Inn (also B&B!).  After Drumnadrochit the GGW is getting steeper.

For us the last section to Inverness was beautiful but heavy going, especially when after reaching the end we had to walk quite a distance to the hostel! It is desolate but very beautiful!

We are 50, and if you are younger it might be easier.

Enjoy your trip Smiley
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:17:59 pm by Jacquetta » Logged
jimmystep
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2007, 04:02:37 pm »

I did the GGW a number of years back. I found walking on some of gravel paths by the canal a bit heavy going. We only had 3 days so I found it to be a bit of a struggle. Best bit for me was walking up over the moorland from Drumnadrochit into Inverness. Stayed in B& B in Fort Augustus, Drumnadrochit & Inverness before getting the bus back to Fort William to pick up the car which we had left in the supermarket car park near the start of the walk. If doing it again then I would spread it over 4 days: only 3 just wasn’t that enjoyable.

Cheers….Jimmy

Ps 52 but I am from Scotland, so used to the ups & downs of the hills  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:18:56 pm by Jacquetta » Logged
fortypockets
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 08:29:26 pm »

Hi Jenny B,

When eight of us did the walk in 04 we took 5 days; this was mainly due to accommodation arrangements as there weren't too many options available for that many. Apart from the last day it's easy (if rather firm underfoot) walking. My cousin and his dog did it in 3 days. He camped out and carried dog food and water plus his own grub and said he didn't break sweat - but there's an Invernessian for you.

Do try to find The Eagle dutch barge at South Laggan if it's still there - the best meal, environment and company of the trip.

And if you want to do coast-to-coast, find time to to walk to the end of the Caley canal - we had the most beautiful sunset over the Moray Firth, looking towards the Black Isle, followed by several pints of real ale in the Clachnaharry Inn.

Fortypockets
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:15:28 pm by Jacquetta » Logged
JennieL
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 11:11:57 pm »

I'd agree with what's been said: 5 days is good, 3 days is too rushed (obviously, unless you want to jog 73 miles Shocked) and so is 4 (so why does the Harvey map say 4 is OK?).  If you're happy to enjoy some side-trips, 6 days is better still.

Is there more to be said?
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RoyHayward
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 12:20:53 pm »

Shouldn't the question be how much time and money do you have to complete a walk? All the postings have a similar theme in that the walk is supposed to be enjoyable -- too short, you may struggle; too long, it may affect your bank balance. Have a look at the accommodation booking services web sites - it doesn't cost anything. In most cases they identify route options over several timescales showing the suggested break points and distances per day. Use the guides to see if there are any key places of interest you may want to visit. On the GGW I thought that the Well of the Seven Heads sounded interesting so we walked there but found it disappointing. You don't get it right all the time. You'll then have an idea of the duration that suits YOU and your walking ability.

The websites usually indicate typical availability of accommodation to fit in with your initial planning. Simple adjustment then to match time and money available.

As in a previous posting. I'd definitely add in the detours to the sea-locks at Corpach (you're virtually there) and Clachnaharry to complete the end-to-end Caledonian canal walk.

The "Inn on the Water", the Eagle is still there at South Laggan Lock and I fully endorse the recommendation -- however, do book in advance if you want to eat there, there's only one "sitting" and seating is limited (www.westhighlandsailing.com/eagle).

May seem basic but planning is very worthwhile - you're already proving you're doing that by asking your question.
Roy
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:14:38 pm by Jacquetta » Logged
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