Itinerary - Great Glen Way
5 day off road
Day1: Arrive Inverness
redspokes Great Glen Way Scotland cycling tour begins in Highland capital city Inverness. Flights to Inverness are routed from destinations across the UK and Europe. There are good coach and rail links to Inverness as well. Taxis are readily available to take you to your hotel. For details see Essential Information and your Joining Details. You have a free afternoon to explore the area. You could visit the Old Town and Victorian Market or St Andrew's Cathedral. You can take a circular walk from the castle along the river and through the Ness Islands.
There will be a group meeting at 6 pm this evening at our tour accommodation with introductions and a tour briefing.
If you are unable to arrive this evening, please be sure to arrive no later than 08.30am on the morning of Day 2.
Day 2: Inverness to Drumnadrochit
We depart Inverness this morning cycling towards Loch Ness. Our ride begins at the start of the Great Glen Way near Inverness Castle. We cycle down the west side of the loch through farmland and forested areas enjoying some lovely views. We’ll be riding on path, track and minor road tackling a few short steep stretches. We quickly begin our first climb of the day after an initial flat mile out of the city, heading toward Abriachan. The incline takes us over the next 12 miles. We are riding through an area that used to be ancient forest and the habitat of lynx, wolves, bears and moose. We’ll then drop down in a fast descent over the next 4 miles riding alongside the loch. We curve away from the water to Drumnadrochit.
Once we’ve checked into our hotel, we can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. Nearby at the Lochside is Urquhart Castle perched on the shoreline. The castle commands spectacular views across the water, especially from the top of its tower. It was the site of many battles and raids during the years it was in use, often switching hands and eventually being blown up by departing government forces in 1692 so that it could not be used by the Jacobites. There is also a full sized, working trebuchet siege engine in the castle grounds.
Cycling Distance: 19.2 miles (31.0 km)
Cycling Ascent: 1,575 ft (480 m)
Cycling Descent: 1,500 ft (460 m)
Accommodation: B&B (B,S,L)
Day 3: Drumnadrochit to Fort Augustus
We’ll depart Drumnadrochit climbing over the first few miles before we drop down slightly then begin another climb followed by a steeper descent. We will have fantastic views over the loch. The remainder of our day’s cycling continues along the Great Glen Way on flatter terrain following the loch. We pass an Iron Age fort near Grotaig and ride on through the picturesque scenery of Glen Moriston cycling through Invermoriston where the river crashes over waterfalls into Loch Ness, passing under a famous Thomas Telford bridge, built in 1813. We cycle on through pine forest and finish the day at Fort Augustus. This is a small busy town at the southern end of Loch Ness, built around the locks that lower the canal to the level of the loch. The village was named thus on the building of Fort Augustus, following the defeat of the 1715 Jacobite uprising, after the younger son of King George II, who was to become the notorious Butcher of Cumberland.
Cycling Distance: 21.8 miles (35.1 km)
Cycling Ascent: 2,300 ft (700 m)
Cycling Descent: 2,300 ft (700 m)
Accommodation: B&B (B,S,L)
Day 4: Fort Augustus to Fort William - Inverness
We leave Fort Augustus and follow the Caledonian Canal footpath to the foot of the loch at Aberchalder. We continue onto gravel path along the east side of Loch Oich before coming to the Laggan Lochs. We continue cycling a waterside route along Loch Lochy. This is a relatively challenging stretch due to the variable surface and some gradient. The Loch Lochy Munros: Sron a' Choire Ghairbh and Meall na Teanga rise dramatically over the water offering a fabulous perspective of the area. After an undulating 20 miles we make a stop to visit Clan Cameron Museum. Exhibits include the history of the clan, its involvement with the Jacobites and the 1745 uprising.
We then cycle a relatively flat, gently descending 12 miles to Fort William following the canal towpath as far as Corpach. Towards the end of our route we encounter Neptune's Staircase, a flight of eight canal locks built by Thomas Telford and the longest staircase lock in Britain. If we are lucky enough to be here on a sunny day you will enjoy spectacular views of Ben Nevis (the UK’s highest mountain) across the water. Leaving the canal, we’ll then cross the River Lochy. We pass the ruins of Inverlochy Castle, built in the 1200s.
Fort William is the second largest city in the Highlands and a popular base for tourism. It has a rich military history from Cromwellian days through the Jacobite uprisings to becoming a naval base during World War II. As well as marking the south west end of the great Glen Way it is the northern end point of the West Highland Way.
We will transfer back to Inverness arriving at around 4pm.
Cycling Distance: 30.7 miles (49.4 km)
Cycling Ascent: 950 ft (290 m)
Cycling Descent: 1,025 ft (320 m)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,S,L)
Day 5: Inverness - Home
redspokes Great Glen Way cycling tour ends this morning.
"Sorry! this is a new tour, we do not have any testimonials just yet. We recommend that you view our customer testimonials for our other cycling holidays to get a general..."