Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal Self-Guided Walk Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
United Kingdom
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W06LN
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

7 Days Land only

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 6 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • All Breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers

Trip 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

Is This Trip for You?

Classification: Self-Guided
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.

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Inverness
End City:
Inverness

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Inverness

    Arrive in the wonderful waterside town of Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. (Staying at the Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, 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
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • 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
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • 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 Pottery House, Breakfast only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • 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 Best Western Inverness Palace, Breakfast only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 7

    Leave Inverness

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

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 a nearby beach access, and a riverside hotel in the heart of Inverness.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £470.00

Joining Instructions

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Standard transfers
Transfers are not included on this holiday but can be arranged at a supplement from Inverness train station or Inverness airport.

Location start:
Inverness
Location end:
Inverness

What to Take

Reading List

The Rough Guide to Scottish Highlands & Islands, by Rob Humphreys and Darren Longley.
Scotland's Highlands and Islands (Lonely Planet Country & Regional Guides), by Neil Wilson.
Around Loch Ness: The Guide Book: See it, Do it.... Don't Miss It! By Lynne Woods
The Guide to Mysterious Loch Ness (Mysterious Scotland), by Geoff Holder

Practical Information

Visa

United Kingdom

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

United Kingdom's Timezone:
Europe/London BST (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

United Kingdom's Electricity:

220-240V. 50Hz. You will need a 3 pinned type G plug.

Money

Responsible Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.