Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Great Glen Way from South Laggan to Spean Bridge - by bike


We have a lot of guests who come to walk the Great Glen Way usually going South to North - from Fort William to Inverness and whilst I have walked the Fort William to Spean Bridge leg I have never done the next day which is Spean Bridge to South Laggan.

So keen to know what guests can expect I decided see it for myself but did not fancy walking it this time so hence the mountain bike. I also figured it would be logistically easier to drive up to South Laggan, leave my car and cycle back to Spean Bridge. Car to be picked up later with the help of my lovely daughter (:-) or I could catch the bus.

Not sure of how long the 17 miles would take I packed one apple, one satsuma and an oatcake! I got to South Laggan around 10am and set off straight away but of course checking three times that I had locked the car.

The first great sight is of all these cruiser boats over wintering

It was a beautiful crisp morning and Loch Lochy was looking smooth and beautiful. I disturbed a great example of a heron in a pond next to the loch - tall and with great colouring. He joined the ducks in the loch instead.

So off down the track and overall it was a great cycling track. Tarmac single track initially and then a smooth forestry road as far as Clunes.

Not far from the top of the loch I came across a wild camping site and I loved this wooden shelter.

I don't know if anyone has slept in it but it looks very dry inside with its back to the prevailing West weather and a fire pit at the open door.
The scenery was more varied than I thought it might be as I feared that it might just be conifers plus the path runs close to the shoreline which creates interest.

Eventually Aonach Mor , Aonach Beag and Ben Nevis came into sight letting me know I was nearing home.

Clunes was a welcome sight and this is the Forestry Commission woodland college building. The Great Glen Way Rangers also use this on a Monday to give advice to walkers, a cup of tea and use of their facilities.
I was now in the Achnacarry estate and it really is beautiful. I took a few minutes to have a look at this old boathouse and the fishing licence information board. I love the colours of the wood on this building.

So only a few miles to go. I was fascinated to see this old practice landing craft base at the side of the road.

I then reached the very familiar Gairlochy where I pick up walkers on the Great Glen Way every other day. I quick waive to Carrie a look at the lock keepers chickens and I was off on the last stretch. After 13 miles the climb out of Gairlochy was a bit challenging and pushing the bike for a while seemed a good idea. I also decided to have a little something from my lunch to boost my energy levels in the sheltered lea of the old church.

So my day was almost over as I passed the Commando monument and rolled downhill into Spean Bridge.
A grand day out and whilst it seemed longer it was only 3 hours.
If you are walking this route I think you will enjoy the variety of scenery which is very different from day one of the GGW from Fort William to Gairlochy/Spean Bridge.

Should any of our guests want to drive to a start point and walk or cycle back to Distant Hills Guest House then I would be happy to drive them back to their car if other responsibilites allow and within a reasonable distance of course! We also do have a good bus service for such a small village.

If you have any questions about the Great Glen Way I would be happy to answer them.

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