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 on: April 10, 2013, 06:51:23 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by Jacquetta
For the benefit of other forum users, Buggiba's main post on this is here. However, Buggiba, I don't think your Drum entry even mentions the Benleva Hotel, or have I missed it? Huh

Does everybody have a copy of the Accommodation & Services Guide booklet? It lists Drum from pages 56-60 (including Benleva Hotel) and is also available as a download through the official website.

We used to post these out free of charge, but postage is now prohibitive: the booklet now weighs 160 g - nearly as much as a Rucksack Reader! Shocked

 on: April 09, 2013, 10:31:29 pm 
Started by Mason - Last post by Buggiba
Hi Mason,
Sorry about the delay but I have just found this topic. I have made several sorties along the route from Kinlochhourn to Inverie, in all sorts of weather. I finally succeeded in completing it but only by taking 2 cars (1 at each end), catching the boat from Mallaig to Inverie and staying overnight in the bunkhouse there before walking to Kinlochhourn the next day. Have you taken it on yet? Let me know if you need more info.

 on: April 09, 2013, 10:24:35 pm 
Started by JennieL - Last post by Buggiba
Hi bsmyth, I just wondered if you have read my report on hostelries we visited along the route in 2012? The Benleva Hotel in Drumnadrochit is excellent and open all day.

 on: April 09, 2013, 08:23:02 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by bsmyth
I gladly stand corrected, Sandra ... an important correction to what I said. Yes, the views to the north and Ben Wyvis are excellent and I agree about the last mile or so via the canal and river being picturesque. I think by that time we were getting a bit weary and thinking our celebratory pint was never coming which slightly coloured our thoughts on that section.

As I recall, there is a cafe on the canal to river stretch for a cuppa which gives a nice perk up before tackling the last mile or so. If I remember, it was quite a new facility with some gardens or something similar near some sports fields. I would certainly recommend the walk. It has very good variety throughout.

Sandra: I hope the licensed premises have sorted themselves out in Drumnadrochit? Difficult to get a good pint at 3.30pm in early June.

 on: April 07, 2013, 10:47:02 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by sandrahal
It's good to read a positive report about the last day, and I'd like to add to it, from first-hand experience and as a local, living in Drumnadrochit. The road-bash across the Abriachan plateau does take you away from the loch but as compensation you should have fantastic views to the north and north-west where, at the moment, the hills are snow-covered and Ben Wyvis looks truly alpine.  The walk from Craig Dunain has some good features: a brief reunion with the Caledonian Canal and the full traverse of the Ness Islands, a delightful green oasis in the old part of Inverness.  And then there's the very rewarding view back down the Great Glen from the end at the castle: truly a great walk.
Sandra Bardwell

 on: April 06, 2013, 08:54:59 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by bsmyth
Thought I would add my "tuppenceworth" for what it's worth. My friend and I walked GGW in 2006. My recollection of the last day, Drumnadrochit to Inverness was we left about 9ish and arrived at Inverness 3.30ish. There is a long but not difficult climb out of Drumnadrochit through forestry land some of which was felled, with nice views back down Loch Ness.

Our two abiding memories were the lengthy tar-bashing section after the forest which unfortunately takes you away from the loch, and what seemed an interminable walk from the outskirts of Inverness (the old mental hopsital which has now been redeveloped I believe) before eventually reaching the castle. Yes, the longest day but comfortably doable within normal walking hours. It was just that parts of the route were so unremarkable and unmemorable (or memorable for the wrong reasons), particularly compared with the fantastic scenery of earlier sections.

However don't be put off by that as it is a great week's walking through a beautiful part of the country. You also have the inevitable end of walk celebrations to look forward to and enjoy!!

 on: April 04, 2013, 06:58:12 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by Jacquetta
Starting early is good advice, always, but walking by 5.20 am is a bit extreme for most! Shocked Bear in mind that people look on it as a holiday, and if they are staying at a B&B they won't get cooked breakfast before 7.30/8 unless they have negotiated it ahead. Some hosts will leave a cold breakfast out the night before or supply a packed lunch instead and I've often used both methods.

But I don't think this problem applies to the West Highland Way because almost everybody makes the last day (if heading north) Kinlochlevel to Fort William and I think that is only 15 miles (or maybe 16 by the time you have walked into central Fort William) and I'm not sure how you made it 18 miles unless making a diversion or two?

Anyway, your last day heroic schedule on the GGW simply underlines (for me) that even fit, determined walkers face a real challenge on that day, and those who wish to enjoy, as oppose to endure, that stretch should think hard about alternatives. Just my opinion.

 on: April 03, 2013, 08:20:32 pm 
Started by JennieL - Last post by Buggiba
The 20 miles on the last day is a problem, just as the last day on the WHW, 18 miles, has to be undertaken in one go. My recommendation, for what it's worth, is to start early. Not only is the stretch the longest, it is also the most arduous, with the highest point of the entire walk being just outside Drumnadrochit. There is no canalside path on this stretch  Angry. There is, however, a natural break at the eco-cafe at Abriachan. Probably the strangest place I have ever been  Undecided. When we did this walk in 2012 we were actually walking by 0520 hours and arrived in Inverness at about 1445 hours, so you can see it does take some doing but it is not impossible. Bearing in mind 2 of the 3 of us were over 60 years of age it is not insurmountable.

 on: April 02, 2013, 08:25:28 pm 
Started by Jacquetta - Last post by Buggiba
The bunkhouse is actually called the Newtonmore Hostel and is behind Craigellachie House on the Main Street in Newtonmore and can be phoned on 01540-673360. The people who own/run it are brilliant (and English). There is even a fire made up for your arrival (most welcome!) that only needs a match put to it. Showers, drying room and kitchen facilities are first rate. The beds were good too Cheesy. There is a website but I just searched 'hostels, Newtonmore' and went from there Tongue.

 on: April 02, 2013, 07:18:28 pm 
Started by Jacquetta - Last post by Jacquetta
Hi there
Great to hear of your experiences, Buggiba, and it helps everybody, providers and walkers alike, when you share recommendations for accommodation such as your bunkhouse. Can you tell us its phone number or website?

It was easy enough to find the Glen Hotel so thanks for that.

I'd love a good source on the Speyside Way too. It's kind of disappointing that the official website carries no news since July 2012 and I wish I could tell you more about the extension. This is a useful reminder to probe a bit more.

As far as direction to walk, I've always done it from sea to source, Buckie to Aviemore, because you start with flattish, very manageable distances and end with the more challenging stuff. However, I can see the argument for starting high and ending downhill. Has anybody other ideas?

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