The Great Glen

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 Loch Ness, The Great Glen, Scotland   (Mike H/Shutterstock)

Loch Ness, The Great Glen, Scotland (Mike H/Shutterstock)

Looking for some Great British adventure inspiration? You're in the right place. Here you'll get an independent, ad-free lowdown on Britain's top 50 adventure locations - the online yin to the paper yang of our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map.

Why Go To The Great Glen?

It's huge, visible from space (apparently) and the most natural route between Scotland's east and west coasts. Just some of things you can do in the Great Glen that you can't do anywhere else...

  • Travel from one side of Scotland to the other along Britain's most significant geographical feature, the Great Glen Fault
  • Walk, cycle or canoe from coast to coast via four connected lochs along the 79-mile Great Glen Way
  • Access loads of big hills and other spectacular scenery, and maybe do a bit of monster-spotting

Want to find out more? Read on for great photos, articles, videos, top tips and other content to fire up your adventure appetite. Got a question? Ask away.


Tell Me More

Walk, cycle or canoe coast-to-coast from Inverness to Banavie along the enormous valley known as the Great Glen, taking in the stunning scenery of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, Loch Ness, Loch Dochfour and the Caledonian Canal. At 79 miles, it can be cycled in as little as a day, and walking or canoeing it can be done within 5 days. Paddling from one side of Scotland to the other via this route is one of the great canoe trips. If you've only got a couple of hours, the journey can be done quickly and on the cheap too - the bus journey from Inverness to Fort William shows off most of the best bits.

 Loch Lochy, one of four lochs making up the Great Glen  (John A Cameron/Shutterstock)

Loch Lochy, one of four lochs making up the Great Glen (John A Cameron/Shutterstock)

The essential journey is either a walk or canoe the entire length - the Great Glen Way is Scotland's only great trail that also has a water-based version.

Loch Lochy is surely the most excellently named loch.
— George Mahood

Getting To The Great Glen, Maps & Guides

Getting there: Start at Fort William or Inverness, and finish at the other.

Travel times from where you are: See the Great Glen on Google Maps.

Maps: Find the right Ordnance Survey maps and / or get a month's free subscription to their excellent OS Maps app.

Guidebooks: Rough Guide to the Highlands & Islands or theLonely Planet Guide to the Highlands & Islands.

Walking route guidance: WalkingHighlands or Visit Scotland.

Tourist board: Visit Scotland.


Even More Great Glen Adventure Inspiration

 The Caledonian Canal at Gairlochy, in the Great Glen, Scotland  (John A Cameron/Shutterstock)

The Caledonian Canal at Gairlochy, in the Great Glen, Scotland (John A Cameron/Shutterstock)

A great book recounting life as a crofter on the hills around Loch Ness in the 1950s is A Croft In The Hills by Katharine Stewart. A more recent tale of adventure through these parts (and the rest of the country) is George Mahood's Free Country.


What Next?

Click here to see 49 other Great British adventure locations and tell us about your adventures, plans and suggestions for these pages.


Britain's Best Outdoorsy Bits... Mapped!

Liking what you see, but fancy keeping it old school with an actual paper map? Our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map features all of Britain's best outdoorsy bits (including the Top 50), plus some enjoyably random and vaguely useful stuff too. Available either as a 2-sided fold-out map or a framed wall map (office furniture and fake plants not included).