Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Great Glen Way - Day One from Fort William to Spean Bridge


Running a guesthouse in Spean Bridge we get lots of people staying with us at the end of the first day on the Great Glen Way. Whilst of course I have driven both the main road and the back road from Fort William to Spean Bridge a million times I have never walked the walk.

So today I caught a lift from my daughter into Fort William at 6:45am (because she starts work at 7) and started the walk.

The first thing I saw of interest was a red deer doe in the middle of Fort William in some wild ground. Not long after that a few more deer on the outskirts area called Black Parks.
I arrived in the village of Caol at 7:45 to pick up my father in law and from there we set off again at 8:15. Having been to Corpach Sea Lock numerous times we took a shortcut straight to Banavie and Neptunes Staircase on the canal. Here we came upon this friendly wee Westie dog.

 Just leaving Neptunes Staircase we saw the familiar sight of Fingals activity holiday barge all ready for the season.
 The reflections in the glassy smooth canal were amazing today.
This is Moy Bridge taken from a little mooring in the water and then from a little hillock at the the side of the canal

We arrived at Gairlochy at 11 and had an early lunch sitting on the banks of the River Lochy in glorious sunshine.
Heading off again at 11:30 we reached Spean Bridge at 1pm . So it probably took about 5 and a half  hours all together. Its about 10 miles from Fort William to Gairlochy and 3.7 miles to our guesthouse Distant Hills in Spean Bridge.

I really enjoyed the walk and found the scenery and history very interesting.

My top tips for the Great Glen Way are:
  • Take clothing for all weathers
  • Walking shoes should be sufficient rather than hill walking boots. To my knowledge there are no rough walking sections and boots may be too hard on your feet when walking on canal towpaths and tarmac road sections
  • Book a toilet key from British Waterways which you can pick up from the office at Corpach Sea Lock. Toilets are dotted along the Way at the canal locks
  • There is nowhere selling food and drink after Banavie until you reach the Old Pines Hotel just before the Commando monument about 2 miles from Spean Bridge
  • If you are walking during peak season and especially weekends book your accommodation and evening restaurant in advance
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them.


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