Circular Cycle of The Great Glen Way Scotland
Single / Double
Any Start Date February to November
A five centre self-guided circular cycling tour of the Great Glen Way from Fort William to Inverness and back. 6 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, and 5 days of cycling. Hire of a 27 speed mountain bike would be extra. Includes luggage transfers, route guide book and maps. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
This circular cycle route of ‘The Great Glen’ is a magnificent 150 miles through some of Scotland’s most impressive highland scenery. Using mainly minor roads and traffic-free bike trails, the route starts and finishes in the picturesque town of Fort William. An easy first section along the Caledonian Canal cycleway leads to a challenging middle section where your efforts are rewarded by stunning views over this area of outstanding natural beauty. Riding on forest tracks alongside Loch Lochy and the world famous Loch Ness, on the right day this is a never to be forgotten bike ride. On either side of the historical city of Inverness the route follows minor roads through sparsely populated countryside adding to its beauty. There are optional trails to explore on the return leg of the route before finishing back at Fort William.
START and FINISH: Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland.
ARRIVAL DAY: At Fort William. Your first and final nights’ accommodation is in the quaint fishing port of Fort William. There are many places to eat in the town centre from fish and chip shops to luxury restaurants. Overnight: Fort William, Scotland.
DAY ONE: Cycling from Fort William to Invergarry. Distance approx. 26 miles (42 km). After breakfast you will begin the ride out of Fort William with a nice easy start. The Caledonian Canal is a traffic-free cycleway that allows you the freedom to look around and admire the stunning views. Riding through this area of outstanding natural beauty is a real joy with mountains, lochs, rivers and forests. A gravel track hugs the side of Loch Lochy with a testing short hilly forest trail section before reaching your next overnight stop at Invergarry. There are 2 hotels here for you to choose from for an evening meal. Overnight: Invergarry, Scotland.
DAY TWO: Cycling from Invergarry to Drumnadrochit. Distance approx. 27 miles (43 km). Today is the most challenging ride of the tour, but on the right day this is a never to be forgotten bike ride. Your efforts are rewarded by spectacular views, and the pretty towns of Fort Augustus and Invermoriston provide opportunities for refreshments or lunch. The forest trail zigzags up to 900 feet above Loch Ness with a challenging decent. As with the climbing you could always walk if necessary. The route becomes much easier as you approach "Drum" as it is known locally. There are traditional pubs or hotels here to obtain an evening meal. Overnight: Drumnadrochit, Scotland.
DAY THREE: Cycling from Drumnadrochit to Inverness. Distance approx. 29 miles (48 km). The last section of the tour follows minor country roads that are very remote in places with only occasional homesteads and farms. The route takes you through beautiful countryside with lovely scenery, but it is isolated so you will need to pack sufficient food and drink with you. In contrast, Inverness is a vibrant city with lots to offer. The castle is just one the monuments to Inverness’s role in the violent and romantic history of the Highlands. The city has a busy shopping centre and a wide variety of pubs, hotels and restaurants for your evening meal. Overnight: Inverness, Scotland.
DAY FOUR: Cycling from Inverness to Fort Augustus. Distance approx. 33 miles (53 km). You will head out of Inverness on the old General Wades Military Road to the village of Dores, where the road splits. One hugs the banks of Loch Ness and is very flat, while the other climbs steadily on to Ashie Moor. Both routes bring you to Foyers (about half way on today's ride), a good place to have lunch. From here you leave Loch Ness along the River Foyer with its waterfalls and surrounding countryside, which are breathtaking. Dropping down to Loch Ness you across the Caledonian Canal to your destination today, Fort Augustus. There are many places here for you to choose from for an evening meal. Overnight: Fort Augustus, Scotland.
DAY FIVE: Cycling from Fort Augustus to Fort William. Distance approx. 35 miles (56 km). From Fort Augustus again there is a choice of routes. The first follows a track that you will be familiar with as it is the way you came in 3 days earlier. Alternatively you can take the easy road route along the A82 (which can be busy in the summer). At Gairlochy or Spean Bridge (depending on which route you decided on) you will leave the Great Glen to enter Leanachan Forest. With many cycle trails to choose from here, you can even go up on the ski lift to the mountain restaurant and admire the views from the top. A short ride leads back to Fort William, where you spend a second night in the town. Overnight: Fort William, Scotland.
FINAL DAY: The tour finishes after breakfast.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to FORT WILLIAM (NOT included in tour price): The rail station is in the centre of Fort William. Presently the 12:40pm from Glasgow Queen Street arrives Fort William 16:22pm (direct).
The nearest international airport is Glasgow.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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Discount rail tickets to and from Fort William
GRADE B (cycling): Between 19 - 40 miles (30-64 kms) a day. The route is principally a hilly ride. We recommend that clients bring their own cycling clothing and equipment. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.