Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike Coast to Coast in Scotland - Self Guided

Hike the length of Glen Affric, the most beautiful glen in Scotland through remote mountain wilderness all the way to the sea

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Trip Ref #10181

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike Coast to Coast in Scotland - Self Guided

Hike the length of Glen Affric, the most beautiful glen in Scotland through remote mountain wilderness all the way to the sea

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

Scotland

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

May-Sept

GROUP SIZE

Up to 10 people

MEETING POINT

Inverness Train Station

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

WIld Scotland at it's best, you should be comfortable hiking up to 8 hours a day

Hike independently from coast to coast on one of Scotland's most diverse long distance trails

Just rock up with your rucksack, we'll handle the rest - accommodation, route maps, baggage transfers, local transport and 24/7 support are all sorted for you

Stay in local B+B's, guesthouses and a secluded eco-hostel along the route

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Navigation Support

Access to route notes, detailed maps, and GPS tracks in the host navigation app

Accommodation

7 nights in B&B's, guesthouses and an eco-hostel

Meals

All breakfasts

Baggage Transfers

Overnight kit transferred for you

Emergency Support

24/7 emergency telephone support from local host

Mid-trek Transfers

Two short transfers to and from the trail and your accommodation

Not Included

Travel to and from the start point

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Inverness

Anytime on Day 1

Ends

Glenelg

Anytime on Day 8

Transfers

Start of Trip
By Train: Inverness is easily accessible by rail from Glasgow (3h20) or Edinburgh (3h30) and from connecting destinations throughout the UK. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and tickets. By Coach: Scottish Citylink operates several services daily from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness. Visit www.citylink.co.uk for timetables and tickets. By Car: Inverness is 170miles (3 hours) north of Glasgow on the A9. Parking (not secure) is available in Inverness. You can leave your car at some accommodation we use in Inverness but please request this at the time of booking.

End of Trip
Unless you are taking the ferry across to Skye you will need to take a taxi to Shiel Bridge or Kyle of Lochalsh where you can connect with the frequent buses that run to Inverness(1h40), Fort William (1h30) and Glasgow (5h00).

What about all the carbon?

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

Day 1

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your overnight spots will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants. You will need to carry food for the night you are staying at the Glen Affric Youth Hostel.

What is the accommodation like?

Inverness and the trail

You'll spend 6 nights in b&b's and guesthouses and 1 night in a private room in the Glen Affric Youth Hostel. This remote eco-hostel has no shops or food for sale so you will need to carry your food and drinks for dinner, breakfast and lunch the following day. You will also need to carry a sleeping bag and overnight clothes. Your main bag will be waiting for you in Shiel Bridge.

Day 1

Arrive Inverness

Inverness, the capital of the Highlands is divided by the salmon filled waters of the River Ness on the shore of the Moray Firth. Arrive in time to explore or just to check into your guesthouse for the night for a good night's sleep before your adventure begins.

Day 2

Follow the Great Glen Way to Drumnadrochit

Hiking

8hrs · 32km

The first day of your walk follows the route of the Great Glen Way along the River Ness, the Caledonian Canal and then up through Dochgarroch Woods to the high ground above Loch Ness. Finally you drop down to Drumnadrochit with great views of Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.

Day 3

Drumnadrochit to the village of Cannich

Hiking

6hrs · 21km

At Drumnadrochit you part company with the Great Glen and your day’s walk begins with a steep ascent to the ruins of a Pictish fort overlooking Urquhart Castle. This area has always been a crossroads and as the walk contours through woodland and forest you pass forts, hut circles and chambered cairns.

The final few miles of the walk are along the road to Cannich, which has wide verges and is fairly quiet. Cannich is a small village lying at the head of two huge remote glens, Glen Affric and Glen Cannich.

Day 4

Cannich to Affric Lodge

Hiking

6hrs · 21km

As you leave Cannich the scenery steps up several notches. You are entering the wonderful world of Glen Affric. This area is a conservation success story. Since sheep and deer were excluded the natural beech and Caledonian pine forests have made a remarkable comeback. Brimming with native wildlife and birds you should enjoy numerous sightings if you walk quietly. There is no accommodation at the end of the day’s walk at Affric Lodge so your host will transfer you back to Cannich for your overnight accommodation.

Day 5

To the eco-hostel at the end of the world

Hiking

5hrs · 15km

After the short transfer back to Affric Lodge you follow a footpath on the North Shore of Loch Affric to the Cnoc Fada at the head of Loch Fada. The route then continues west to the remote Alltbeithe Youth Hostel. Today you will have the privilege of walking through some of the highland’s finest landscapes. Enjoy!

Glen Affric Youth Hostel (Alltbeithe) is a unique and remote hostel situated 8 miles from the nearest road. There is no shop or mobile phone coverage at the hostel.

Day 6

Alltbeithe to the sea!

Hiking

6hrs · 21km

You head west from Alltbeithe through the wonderfully named Fionngleann, soon crossing the watershed at Cnoc Biodag, before following Gleann Licht to Morvich and then Shiel Bridge. Whilst officially you are now on the west coast you have one more superb day of walking to Glenelg to look forward to.

Day 7

Shiel Bridge to Glenelg

Hiking

7hrs · 26km

Glenelg, your final destination, has long been an important connection to the Isle of Skye. Cattle drovers swam their cattle across the narrow, but fast flowing, straights of Kylerhea on their way to the markets in central Scotland. Leaving Shiel Bridge you climb steadily to 500m and are rewarded with wonderful views of the Five Sisters of Kintail.

Day 8

Journeys onwards or head home

Unless you are taking the ferry across to Skye you will need to take a taxi to Shiel Bridge or Kyle of Lochalsh where you can connect with the frequent buses that run to Inverness(1h40), Fort William (1h30) and Glasgow (5h00).

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

  • Rucksack (we recommend 40 litres) with liner
  • Waterproof hiking boots (not shoes)
  • Thermal base layer
  • Fleece top – not cotton
  • Polyester, fleece or woollen trouser and tops (no jeans)
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Woolen hat
  • Gloves
  • Neck buff or scarf
  • Head torch
  • Flask or water bottle
  • Energy snacks
  • Sunglasses and sun cream
  • Walking poles (optional)

No optional extras are available for this trip.

The daily distances are up to 32km so you should have a good level of walking fitness as you will be walking for up to 8 hours each day. The terrain is varied with some short sharp sections and weather dependent, they could be slippy. You should be used to walking back to back days and will be carrying all you need for the day i.e water, waterproofs, lunch etc.

Really it just means that you get to enjoy all the best parts of the adventure - the hiking in the great outdoors bit - knowing that all the annoying logistical bits are taken care of. You will be provided with access to a navigation app by your host and instructions with how to follow the trail. You will also get detailed route notes and maps with suggested highlights and recommendations (even the best local pub intel). Your overnight spots are booked so you can turn up whenever you like - as you'll be going at your own pace throughout the day, there is no set timetable.

And just in case of any emergencies, there will be someone on call 24/7 should you need any support at all.

Sure can! You will have everything you need to navigate and although the trails will be quiet, you will have the opprtunity to meet others hikers in the evenings.

This long-distance walking route can be hiked throughout most of the year however we suggest May - September for the best waeather. Thanks to the mild spring and fall Highland climate, walking season tends to start early and push late into the fall.

Your overnight bags (max weight 20km) will be transferred between your accommodation spots each morning so will be waiting for you when you check in at the end of the day.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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