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Walking the Great Glen Way
Old 03-27-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
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Walking the Great Glen Way

My wife an I are planning to walk the Great Glen Way in Scotland this September. We are looking at two companies that will book accommodations and baggage transfer one is Celtic Trails the other is Walkingholidayinfo, we are also considering doing this ourselves. Is anyone familiar with this walk or the booking companies? Any comments about doing the walk in September as opposed to other months? We are in our mid sixties and are in decent shape, this will be our first long walking trip so any feed back will be appreciated.
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:01 AM   #2
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We walked the Camino de Santiago. 13 miles per day with about 20 pounds in our pack was about right for us for this 30 day hike. This walk is mostly flat but there are a few hills. So, you may want to take that into consideration in terms of distance and weight. We exercise a lot and are in fairly good shape in our mid-60s. We prefer doing these adventures on our own but it is very nice to have someone do all the planning and nothing to worry about except making it to the destination.
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bigfish View Post
My wife an I are planning to walk the Great Glen Way in Scotland this September. We are looking at two companies that will book accommodations and baggage transfer one is Celtic Trails the other is Walkingholidayinfo, we are also considering doing this ourselves. Is anyone familiar with this walk or the booking companies? Any comments about doing the walk in September as opposed to other months? We are in our mid sixties and are in decent shape, this will be our first long walking trip so any feed back will be appreciated.
BF
I am sorry, I cannot comment on the walk, but we took a barge cruise through the Caledonian Canal, which follows the Great Glen. I have attached a copy of our trip story so you can have an idea of some of the sights. I am happy to answer any questions
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Scottish Barge 2004.pdf (426.9 KB, 24 views)
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:43 AM   #4
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We have used Sherpa Walking Holidays for a trek through the Alps, and will be doing the 200 mile Coastal Walk across England wirh them next summer. If this is who you mean by 'Walking Holiday Info' I can attest to their being a terrific company to deal with. Their walking maps and guides were excellent, and, yes, everyday our luggage was indeed awaiting us at our next night's lodging just as was supposed to happen.

We will be using them again for the last 200 miles of the Camino in 2018.

If this is not the company you are considering, take a look on Trip Adviaor for traveler reviews. In general, there are a lot of companies that do this type of trip in Europe, so I think if you do your due diligence you should be fine.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:08 AM   #5
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We didn't walk it so I can't comment specifically on the hike or the operators you mention. But we did spend about three weeks driving through the area in August of 2014.

I recall thinking on our driving tour that the way to really do that part of the world is on foot. It's spectacularly beautiful and there are so many places you just can't reach with a vehicle because there's no where to stop along the road.

Now having said that, the weather even in August was pretty cold and rainy. We had a fire going just about every day at a house we rented for a week in Inverness in early August.

But for folks who are OK with the elements, it's got to be an amazing walk.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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I've always planned to do the Camino de Santiago when I turned 50, but now wondering if I should set my sights on one of the lesser known (read less crowded) walks. This one is in the mix, though I don't know much about it.
I'll be interested to hear your report on how it goes.
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:00 PM   #7
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My wife an I are planning to walk the Great Glen Way in Scotland this September. We are looking at two companies that will book accommodations and baggage transfer one is Celtic Trails the other is Walkingholidayinfo, we are also considering doing this ourselves. Is anyone familiar with this walk or the booking companies? Any comments about doing the walk in September as opposed to other months? We are in our mid sixties and are in decent shape, this will be our first long walking trip so any feed back will be appreciated.
BF
We've not done that walk before, but reading about it, it sounds excellent. September is a good a month as any to do it I would think. The last time we went hiking in the Scottish Highlands was July/August, 2013 and it was really hot. Every other time we've been in the Highlands in the summer months it has been cold and wet. (Be ready for the possibility of cold wet weather). It looks to be about 10-12 miles per day of hiking with a pretty tough final stage of 18 miles. When we go on vacation we usually do lots of hiking in hilly country, usually in the 10 - 15 mile range, but have never managed more than 3 or 4 days in succession before either needing a break or seeing the weather turn nasty.

We've considered doing one of these managed hikes in the past as they do look pretty well organized and have seen them in action in Yorkshire, and talked to folks doing them (never had a negative comment that wasn't caused by bad weather). The one thing that does put us off the managed hike is the commitment to the full 7 days because if poor weather sets in you probably still have to hike through rain and mist each day.

Be sure you have sturdy well fitting waterproof boots and waterproof clothing available, and have built up your fitness levels ahead of time, and you'll do just fine.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. We thought of walking the Camino but it seemed a bit long for our first walk, the Glen Way seems better. We also plan to include one or two "layover days" we don't want to be too tired, we want to be able hoist a beer at the end of the day. We also understand there is transportation available if the rain gets to be too much.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:42 PM   #9
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Another option that sounds good is the Lycean way on the coast of Turkey. We took a boat along that coast and it is stunning.

Here is a site has information but 7 days staying in inns sounds great to me - just have to pick the right time of year so it isn't too hot.

http://cultureroutesinturkey.com/the...-guided-tours/


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Old 03-27-2016, 04:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. We thought of walking the Camino but it seemed a bit long for our first walk, the Glen Way seems better. We also plan to include one or two "layover days" we don't want to be too tired, we want to be able hoist a beer at the end of the day. We also understand there is transportation available if the rain gets to be too much.
BF
Sounds like you have all the bases covered, do give us a report of how you get on.

PS
In 2004 I bought a Scottish tweed cloth cap in Fort William. In 2006 I lost it on the Roman Wall during a hike in Northumberland. In 2007 I bought a French beret at a market while hiking part of the Camino.
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Great Glen Way
Old 03-29-2016, 03:32 AM   #11
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Great Glen Way

Hello,
There are several other companies which will arrange your trip, the ones we see most often are absolute escapes, macs adventure and geminii.
They will arrange accommodation and luggage transfer


Three companies arrange baggage transfer alone, Great glen baggage transfer, great glen way baggage shuttle and support and great glen travel.

If you book you own baggage transfer and accommodation it will be cheaper.I suggest looking on booking.com/ tripadviser and then going to the accommodations own website, you will probably get a discounted rate.

The highland council website has a great glen way page with accommodation info and updates.
Walkhighlands web site has a good description of the two routes (High and low options).

Good months for walking here are May or september, but in either month you may get rain.

You can do the walk in 4 or 7 sections

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Old 03-29-2016, 02:53 PM   #12
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My wife and I walked the Great Glen Way a few years ago, also in September; it was lovely. I think that might be the best time to go: not hot, no midges, we even had only one morning of rain. Days are still long enough that you won't get caught out. We did it in 6 days (I think); there are some ups and downs, especially above Loch Ness, but nothing anyone in decent shape can't handle. The last day of our walk, from Drumnadrochit to Inverness, was a little long at 18 miles, but there may be options to break that into two days walking.

We used a company--Easyways, I think--to organize the B&B bookings and carry our bags between them (it was nice to walk with just a daypack holding water, lunch, rain gear, and a sweater). This worked well, and we've used similar services elsewhere in the UK since--West Highland Way, the Thames Path--but it would be possible to organize it yourself if you want to save a little money.

This is a great walk, and a nice way to see this part of Scotland. You'll meet interesting folks along the way--locals, and visiting hill walkers, but we didn't run into any other Americans. Have a great time.
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:27 PM   #13
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We also plan to include one or two "layover days" we don't want to be too tired, we want to be able hoist a beer at the end of the day. We also understand there is transportation available if the rain gets to be too much.
BF
The villages you'll pass through and stay in are quite small. Fort Augustus, where you hit Loch Ness--if you're heading towards Inverness--might be a good place for a layover. We just stopped for lunch while walking through but it seemed to have some tourist infrastructure. You could probably get transport to Urquhart Castle and Glen Urquhart (both are closer to Drumnadrochit, but you're almost done when you get there), climb a munroe, or take a boat trip and look for the monster.

You can arrange transportation from one B&B to the next (maybe the taxi that carries your bags; sometimes there might be a bus), but once you start walking most days you're pretty committed. It's not the Thames Path; you won't find a village and a pub when it's time for lunch. But it's Scotland--rain is part of the charm, right?
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