Book data

Great Glen Way
Jacquetta Megarry   Sandra Bardwell  
06 February 2020
UK price £13.99
80pp, 130 x 220mm, 165g

Great Glen Way

(6th ed)


Jacquetta Megarry Sandra Bardwell

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“Robust, waterproof, comprehensive and enjoyable ... an essential companion” - Undiscovered Scotland

The Great Glen Way is one of Scotland’s Great Trails and offers a superb experience for both walkers and cyclists. The Way runs for 77 miles (124 km) along Scotland’s Great Glen between Fort William and Inverness. It follows the scenic Caledonian Canal and runs beside four of the Highlands’ loveliest lochs – including Loch Ness, famous for its monster legend and for Urquhart Castle.

This new edition of our popular guidebook has been fully revised in 2019-20 after extensive fieldwork. It includes new large-scale mapping (1:38,000) with mileage markers and a kilometre grid, many updates and fresh photos, and is in our slim pocket-friendly format, still on rainproof paper.


This guidebook contains all you need to plan and enjoy the Great Glen Way – on foot or on a bike:

  • detailed mapping on 13 pages at 1:38,000
  • hill and mountain side-trips 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
  • town plans of Fort William and Inverness
  • in full colour, with 100+ photos, many of them new
  • rucksack-friendly and on rainproof paper.
Look inside

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.

Excerpt from Part 1 (planning)
2.2 The Caledonian Canal
3.4 Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

From an online review (Undiscovered Scotland)

The sixth edition of this excellent guide is one of a range of books produced by Rucksack Readers in their very distinctive and highly practical style. … They are tough, spiral-bound, lightweight, and, perhaps most important of all to anyone venturing into the outdoors in Scotland, printed on waterproof paper. This volume differs from previous Rucksack Readers we’ve seen in being rather slimmer and with the spiral binding down the side rather than across the top. In our view both these changes make it even more usable.

Clear maps and detailed instructions ensure the walker has everything they need in once place and at their fingertips. At the back of the book is a reference section with a range of helpful contacts and sources of additional information.

Combine the quality of the content with beautiful presentation and good colour photography throughout and the end result is a book that’s a pleasure to use – or just to browse – and an essential companion for anyone wanting to tackle the Great Glen Way.

Click here for the full review.

Undiscovered Scotland

Review in IML magazine, Spring 2020 page 65

The guide is in the standard Rucksack Readers user-friendly format and is updated on the previous edition to encompass the recent changes in the route … I would certainly be happy heading off on the Way from Fort William armed with this guide, with its detailed route description and clear maps.

Patrick O'Sullivan, Editor of Irish Mountain Log

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

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 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

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

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

Bonus content

GPX route file
Route updates

In November 2020, the Way between Fort Augustus and Invermoriston had its low route closed for works by Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Water. The high route was unaffected. Please revisit here for an update on reopening.

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