If you are a regular reader of the blog, you will know that preparing for walking the Great Glen Way has been on our agenda recently. From the 6-11 May, we walked 55 miles from Fort William to Drumnadrochit. The remaining 18 miles from Drum to our home in Inverness will be completed hopefully over the summer.
We got the Citylink Bus down to FW ready for our first nights stay – which took just over 2 hours. Me + long bus journeys + highland roads do not mix well, but fortunately the stunning scenery meant I could focus on looking out the window and happily, we arrived in one piece! (However if you are travelling from Glasgow to do the walk, you can get the train, which is a much less stomach churning affair).
We used a travel company called Mickledore to book our accommodation, packed lunches and baggage transfer, and we were really pleased with them over the course of the week – everything went very smoothly and they provided a very comprehensive support pack of maps, guidebooks and supplementary information. The cost of this was approx £430 per person,which possibly seems quite a lot, but it was definitely a treat to leave the organisation of everything to someone else!
We found a good place for our evening meal – The Grog and Gruel where we had a good venison burger (for me) and a very spicy burrito (for him), and a very good half-pint of cranachan icecream to finish! The main pull of this restaurant though for Mr B was the range of craft ales on offer, which did not disappoint.
Our first night’s stay was at Guisachan, close to the centre of Fort William and the official start of the walk route. The room was a decent size, though we noted the TV only had two working channels (this didn’t bother us, but might bother others), and the breakfast was served very quickly and was of a good standard – apart from the instant coffee (thumbs down from Mr B)
After visiting the supermarket and Mountain Warehouse to stock up on water/decent bottles, we were ready to go! At the start of the walk we met two Geordie retired teachers, who we actually ended up walking a lot of the route with over the 5 days.
Walking: 10.5 miles along the canal, through heavy rain showers from Fort William to Gairlochy
Sights: Neptunes Staircase, lambs skipping across a burn (stream),
Random moment: being frogmarched along the canal path by a farmers wifey who was trying to get her sheep across a canal bridge with minimal disruption. It was akin to a military operation apparently!
Time of departure in Fort William: 10.22
Time of Arrival in Gairlochy: 15.10 (including 3 faffing/refreshment stops)
Blisters/injuries: 1 for Mr B, 0 for me!
Come back tomorrow for Day 2 of our walk – Gairlochy to South Laggan!