Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal Walk

7 days
from
£839
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Trip code: 
W06LN
Activity:
Walking & Trekking

Few places stir the imagination like Loch Ness; a jewel in Scotland's crown and a window to its wild and wistful soul. This is a magical place of undisputed natural beauty, shrouded in mystery and legend, where history and heritage are greatly revered.

Our 6-night self-guided walk explores the remote, southern side of Loch Ness where shady forests, tumbling waterfalls and rolling, heather-clad moors provide a misty backdrop to some of the most spectacular hiking in the Scottish Glens. It's a timeless and kaleidoscopic landscape and the place to visit if you want peace, tranquillity and an 'escape from it all' experience.

The walking is relaxed, with few serious climbs, taking in: the serene Caledonian Canal, a section of the Great Glen Way, pretty Beauly Firth and a wealth of lochs and rivers whose glassy waters mirror the seemingly endless sky. Plant and birdlife are prolific, and there's a high probability of spotting deer too.

Highlights

  • World-famous Loch Ness: wild, beautiful and slightly mysterious
  • Dramatic gorges, brooding lochs, tumbling waterfalls, breathtaking views at every turn
  • Superb bird-spotting: ospreys, red kites, peregrines, buzzards, magnificent golden eagles
  • Red squirrels, red deer, pine martens and even dolphin sightings!
  • Rich Scottish Highlands clan culture and history

Key information

  • 6 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Full Scottish Breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Varied walking following a mixture of woodland paths, country lanes and forest tracks. Some steep, but relatively short, ascents and descents, but a good head for heights is not necessary.

Day by day breakdown
Day 213.0km/8.0miles
Day 417.0km/11.0miles
Day 515.0km/10.0miles
Day 615.0km/10.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Inverness
to
Inverness
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Inverness

    Arrive in the wonderful waterside town of Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. (Staying at the Glen Mhor Hotel, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    The Great Glen Way

    After a transfer this morning, from Inverness to Invergarry, set off along a section of the Great Glen Way, overlooking Loch Oich, to the historic Bridge of Oich. Continue along the Caledonian Canal towpath to Fort Augustus, at the southern tip of Loch Ness. (Staying at The Lovat, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    At Fort Augustus

    Spend the day in Fort Augustus, walking in the surrounding woodland or taking a boat trip on the world-famous waters of Loch Ness to visit Urquhart Castle. (Staying at The Lovat, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    South Loch Ness trail to Foyers

    Follow the South Loch Ness Trail with spectacular views of the wild and timeless Highlands. Pass through the village of Whitebridge and on, through shaded forest, to Rabbie Burns' famous Falls of Foyers. (Staying at Craigdarroch Inn, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Foyers to Dores

    Head up through the Boleskine woods to Inverfarigaig, with stunning views of the crags of Dun Deardail; from Fair-Haired Lad's Pass down over Loch Ness to the ruins of Urquhart Castle. (Staying at Balachladaich, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Caledonian Canal and the Beauly Firth

    After a short bus ride to Inverness, take in the Ness Islands, ancient Craig Phadrig, the sea locks at Beauly Firth and perhaps even spot some dolphins dancing in the waters! Loop back to Inverness to explore its shops, cafes and castle. (Staying at the Glen Mhor Hotel, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Leave Inverness

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 15km (9.4miles). Please note that these averages are based on the shortest daily distances but on two of the days there is the option to extend the walks.
No. of days Walking: 4
Terrain: Varied walking following a mixture of woodland paths, country lanes and forest tracks. Some steep, but relatively short, ascents and descents, but a good head for heights is not necessary.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Everywhere you'll be staying has its own unique appeal: a Victorian former mansion; a Highlands country inn; a friendly B&B with direct beach access, and a luxury riverside hotel in the heart of Inverness.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936