“Robust, waterproof, comprehensive and enjoyable ... an essential companion” - Undiscovered Scotland
The Great Glen Way runs for 78 miles (125 km) along Scotland’s historic Great Glen between Fort William and Inverness. It follows the historic Caledonian Canal and runs beside four of the Highlands’ loveliest lochs. These include Loch Ness, famous for its monster legend and for Urquhart Castle.
This 5th edition of our popular guidebook was fully revised after extensive fieldwork on the High Route in 2014, and further revised in 2016. If you have a previous version, we recommend you to download section 3.5 and section 3.6 which were both rewritten, with new photographs.
All readers are recommended to download pages 64-65 for the change resulting from the completion of the Inverness bypass in 2018.
This guidebook contains all you need to plan and enjoy the Great Glen Way – on foot or on a bicycle:
- full details of the two High Route sections launched in August 2014
- town plans of Fort William and Inverness
- hill and mountain climbs including Ben Nevis
- background on canal heritage, clan history and wildlife
- detailed description for each section walked from Fort William to Inverness
- summaries showing distance, terrain, food/drink stops and altitude profile
- planning information for walkers and cyclists
- drop-down map of the Great Glen Way in five panels (1:100,000)
- in full colour, with 90 photographs, many of them new
- rucksack-friendly and on rainproof paper.
Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from the book "Great Glen Way" in standard PDF format.
To reduce loading time, resolution is limited in these extracts, but all photographs are printed at top quality in our books. All text and images are copyrighted ©Rucksack Readers and licensors: please respect our intellectual property.
Feedback from two Danish walkers
We used your book a lot, it was very useful, and as the Danish booking company had equipped us with the 4th edition we could really compare. It so great you have done the text about the gradients much more distinct in the 5th edition ... We used that a lot, and of course it was great that the High Routes were described as well. We only did the one between Fort Augustus and Invermoriston in high wind, rain like almost snow, but it was absolutely worth it. ... We did also like background, the historical and the nature part of your book. I used it as bedtime reading, and it is great to get the knowledge about the area in which you're walking. I will recommend your books whenever I'll get a chance to talk about walking in Scotland, and I'm sure when doing my next walk somewhere in Scotland I'll purchase your book about the walk.
Unsolicited comments, by email
Reviewed by Scotland Outdoors
This long-distance route ... has been massively enhanced by the opening of its high-level section overlooking Loch Ness, and Rucksack Readers has been quick to revise their excellent guide to include the new section. With a wealth of new photographs, clear instructions, user-friendy maps and advice on how to break up the 77-mile route into six manageable one-day stretches, this would be a wise purchase for anyone ...
Scotland Outdoors nov/Dec 2014 page 26
Comments from a customer
I purchased your Rucksack Readers Guide and found it to be extremely useful. It is full of information and the route was described with sufficient detail to give a clear idea of what to expect and what to look out for – congratulations! The background information about the geology, history, wild life and the Caledonian Canal added to my enjoyment of the trail. The drop down map was very clear and full of helpful information.
By email (unsolicited)
Recommended by Scots Magazine
A handy and comprehensive trail guide, written by hikers for hikers and printed on waterproof paper in a rucksack-friendly format.
Scots Magazine, May 2002, page 500
Excerpt from Undiscovered Scotland online
Robust, waterproof, comprehensive and enjoyable, this Rucksack Reader is the "everything you could possibly want to know" guide to the Great Glen Way ... It provides route information and overview maps - plus detailed maps of the route through Fort William and Inverness. Nicely illustrated throughout, it also provides a wealth of background on the geography and history of the Great Glen, and on its wildlife and mountains. Whether you're looking for an easier alternative to the West Highland Way, or a serious extension to it, this book is an essential companion.
Undiscovered Scotland website
Review in the Financial Times Supplement
In Inverness I bought a copy of the best guide to the Inverness-Fort William leg of the drive ... It might seem eccentric to recommend a rucksackers' guide to motorists, but Megarry's little book is extremely well presented. It contains a fold-out map and a wealth of information about the Great Glen Way, its national history and what to do and watch out for, especially around Loch Ness.
Michael Thompson-Noel, FT supplement "Great European Drives" 10 May 2003 page 12
From a walkscotland online review
Key to the book's undoubted appeal to walkers is the fold-out mapping covering the whole route. It's clear and uncluttered, detailed and very easy to follow. Each of the five sections correspond with a part of the map and the latter folds up into the book itself and can be used as a handy bookmark. The book itself is spiral bound along the top, making it robust and easy to use and, at A5 size, is easily slipped into a rucksack pocket. An added bonus is that it is printed on waterproof paper, very thoughtful given Scotland's rather inclement weather!
Please see http://www.walkscotland.com/books.htm for full text
The Inverness Courier
This is a well-constructed and carefully thought-out guide which is enough to whet a walker’s appetite for the long-distance route and entertaining enough to get some Invernessians out of town to see an oft-forgotten part of the local countryside. ...[It] takes in the majesty of Loch Ness, the engineering feat of the Caledonian Canal and the rich and varied natural history of the fault line.
Jack Gemmell, The Inverness Courier, 3 August 2001
From an online review
An excellent companion book to Scotland's new long distance trail between Fort William and Inverness. Waterproof and compact, this book gives route details, photos, maps, etc. for everything you need to know.
The Internet Guide to Scotland (sports/outdoors books)
Excerpt from a 5-star Amazon review
This is an essential guide for anyone intending to walk the latest long distance footpath in Scotland. Clearly written, sound advice for experienced and novice walkers, an excellent format, good map and fantastic photography.
Read the full review by a Glasgow reader at Amazon.co.uk
From an email from a back-packer
It was concise and very user-friendly - so much so that I recently bought the guides for the Rob Roy Way and Speyside Way as we intend to tackle one of them this summer.
Alasdair MacNeill, Inverness
From the official magazine of the Ramblers' Association
Rucksack [Readers was] quick off the mark with an inaugural guide to Scotland's fourth Long Distance Route ... This well-designed waterproof guide is spiral-bound with clear fold-out maps.
Reviewed in "The Rambler" no 9, Autumn 2001, page 48
From the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society
The format is part book, part map, being spirally bound with waterproof pages of text illustrated with excellent photographs ... The maps are beautifully clear but lack sufficient detail to be used on their own ... Let's hope the planned signage is comprehensive enough. The tracks around Grotaig, above Drumnadrochit and over the Aird, just before Inverness are complex, to say the least! ... That said this Rucksack Reader is a must for anyone contemplating this latest long-distance route.
Peter Koch-Osborne, ScotWays Autumn Newsletter 2001 page 17
Excerpt from a 5-star Amazon review
A revolution in guidebooks, this compact and efficient manual for walking The Great Glen Way lets you find the information you want at once, instead of wading through heaps of side-issues in the hope of finding what you need. As an experienced backpacker, but less experienced hiker, I am delighted to find a book that takes up little space, is lightweight and accommodates beginners as well as experienced hikers. Some guidebooks seem to be designed only for flipping through at home, but this is the ideal book to take along. It is waterproof, allowing you to walk in the rain, eat while reading and even highlight bits on the maps and wipe it off later! It has a table for converting metric distances, which is great for people from the continent. “The Way in Detail” breaks the walk down into day-long sections. Each has a neat little summary at the beginning telling you what to expect, such as Terrain, Side Trips and Where to find food and drink. I loved the South Laggan to Invermoriston section including Fort Augustus, with boats working their way through the flight of five locks, and the Falls of Moriston. Make sure you check out the chapter on wildlife which has many photographs. Overall this is the perfect book for a great walk. I can't wait for more Rucksack Readers to be published, on New Zealand perhaps?
Ster Liezenga, Ommen, The Netherlands at Amazon.co.uk
From an American reader who had just returned from his walk
The reader was very useful each day and helped clarify the directions we had at several points. What a beautiful place to spend a week walking!
Glenn Goldsmith, Atlanta, GA
Badenoch and Strathspey Herald
It contains a unique drop-down map flap, is spiral bound to allow it to open flat and is fully waterproof. In short, it’s extremely user friendly, even if you’re walking along the trail in wind and pouring rain.
Cameron McNeish, 19 July 2001
Chris Brasher comments on the format
These guides are a real boon to the growing army of men and women who don a pair of boots, sling a rucksack over their shoulders and head out into the great outdoors.
Chris Brasher, athlete, walker and founder of the Brasher Boot company
The completion of the Inverness bypass in 2018 meant some changes to our route description and map: please download pages 64-65 for this update.