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Hiking trail

Inverness to Drumnadrochit

· 1 review · Hiking trail · United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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  • Inverness castle
    / Inverness castle
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Srarting point
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Pebble from Inverness!
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Bridge at 1.2km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Bridge at 1.7km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Ggw diversion at 2.1km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Canal bridgest 2.7km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Caledonian canal
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Great Glen House at 4.9km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / View over Inverness at 6.1km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Open moorland at 13.7km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Abriachan entrance at 18km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
  • / Loch Laide at 19.5km
    Photo: Dan Greenwood, Macs Adventure
m 500 400 300 200 100 -100 30 25 20 15 10 5 km

An exhilarating walk from Inverness up through forested hills and open moor and farmland en-route to Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness.

31 km
8:25 h
446 m
439 m

This route follows a section of the Great Glen Way. Therefore the entire day is waymarked by the dark thistle on a blue background.

Commencing at the 19th Century neo Norman Inverness Castle, follow the tree lined banks of the River Ness and leave the vibrant northern city ascending into forests affording stunning views north to the Beauly Firth. Hike through the bird rich pine woodlands and out into open moorland before descending via woods and farmland toward the shores of Loch Ness at Drumnadrochit.

Author’s recommendation

Right from the start you are rewarded with views that highlight a vibrant history. From the vantage point of Inverness Castle, an Iron age can be seen crowning the wooded peak of Craig Phadraig. Upstream there is St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the first new British cathedral since the Reformation, and looking westward you may note the statue of Flora MacDonald, who assisted Bonnie Prince Charlie on his escape following the Jacobite uprising. Moving out of the city into the hills the views back northward to the Beauly Firth are simply stunning. Castle Urquhart is a real highlight and views of this iconic landmark perched on the banks of the Loch are sure to appeal to all. User
Dan Greenwood
Updated: August 10, 2018

Highest point
381 m
Lowest point
4 m
Best time of year

Safety information

There are exposed areas of moorland in the central sections of this walk which provide little or no shelter on windy and wet days. One should take extra care on the steep descent through the woodland toward Drumnadrochit. Also, the final section into Drumnadrochit is on a pavement that follows the A82 road. The traffic can be heavy and fast moving so extra care should be taken.


Waterproof boots with good ankle support are a must. Waterproof and windproof clothing is of course also a necessity, with gloves and hat to keep out the cold in the exposed upland landscape. Walking poles will assist on the ascents and descents. Midge repellent for the Summer months should provide some respite from the ubiquitous flying insects.

Enough water and food should be carried for the duration of the walk, as aside from a rural café at the half way point there is nowhere to purchase any supplies.

Tips, hints and links

Many accommodations in Inverness will provide a packed lunch with prior notice. There are many shops, supermarkets and bakeries in Inverness that may also assist with food supplies. Inverness is also well served by outdoor clothing and equipment retailers that stock any last minute necessities that may be required. Remember to follows the Great Glen Way thistle way markings throughout the day.

Useful Links:



Inverness (26 m)
57.475379, -4.225447
30V 426510 6370967



Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start in Inverness Castle car park at Great Glen Way stone monolith sign. With back to the castle, follow road DOWN HILL, adjacent to ‘View Place’.
0.10km – TURN RIGHT down steps and cross road toward to Ness Bank Church. TURN RIGHT and then immediate LEFT to arrive at riverbank.
0.15km – TURN LEFT following riverbank. Keep river on right side and walk STRAIGHT ON passing suspension footbridge,
0.88km – TURN RIGHT over small bridge to riverbank path. TURN LEFT keeping river on right hand side.
1.20km – TURN RIGHT over foot bridge with Great Glen Way (GGW) symbol way marker (Thistle on blue background) and TURN LEFT along footpath.
1.30km – STRAIGHT ON following GGW way marker.
1.50km -  STRAIGHT ON over footbridge following GGW way marker.
1.70km – TURN RIGHT over river via white suspension bridge. Following GGW way marker TURN LEFT then immediate RIGHT crossing road onto Bught Drive.
1.80km – With playing fields on right follow GGW way marker STRAIGHT ON.
2.00km – TURN RIGHT at leisure centre and walk STRAIGHT ON, keeping playing fields to right hand side.
2.20km – BEAR LEFT following road around caravan park.
2.50km – TURN LEFT at main road following GGW way marker.
2.70km – BEAR RIGHT around roundabout following ‘Fort William’ sign ‘A82’ and TURN LEFT over Caledonian Canal bridge.
2.80km – Cross bridge and TURN RIGHT following GGW way marker to walk with canal on right hand side.

3.20km - TURN LEFT at GGW way marker down wooden steps and walk STRAIGHT ON with playing fields on right.

3.50km - BEAR LEFT at fork and walk STRAIGHT ON with golf course on left.

3.60km - TURN LEFT at GGW way marker along paved path and walk STRAIGHT ON under small bridge.

3.80km - BEAR LEFT of houses walking STRAIGHT ON along grass path following GGW way marker.

4.00km - Walk between houses following GGW way marker ahead and cross road. Walk STRAIGHT ON uphill on grass path.

4.20km - TURN LEFT at GGW way marker.

4.40km - Continue STRAIGHT ON up hill.

4.90km - Walk STRAIGHT ON along road past Great Glen House.

5.00km - TURN LEFT at main road following GGW way marker along Forester's Way.

5.20km - TURN RIGHT crossing road at GGW way marker.  BEAR LEFT to pass between buildings.

5.30km - BEAR RIGHT following GGW way marker and walk uphill into woodland.

5.90km - TURN RIGHT at GGW way marker passing through gate and head uphill.

6.60km - Pass to left of Craig Dunain reservoir and go through gate. TURN RIGHT heading uphill on main path.

6.80km  - TURN LEFT at GGW way marker.

6.90km - Go through metal gate heading STRAIGHT ON.

10.30km - Go through gate and walk STRAIGHT ON through woods and clear fell beyond.

11.00km - TURN RIGHT at GGW way marker and walk STRAIGHT ON.

11.50km - Go through metal gate and walk STRAIGHT ON into woods.

11.50km - At crossroads on path walk STRAIGHT ON following GGW way marker out into open ground with moorland views.

14.10km - When path joins minor road BEAR RIGHT and walk STRAIGHT ON along road.

16.00km - Walk STRAIGHT ON through hamlet.

17.90km - TURN RIGHT at GGW way marker and enter gate for Abriachan Café and Eco Camp Site.

18.40km - If you wish you may TURN LEFT to Abriachan Café for refreshments. When ready to continue rejoin the narrow path and walk STRAIGHT ON.

19.50km - Go through wooden gate and walk STRAIGHT ON across road following GGW way marker.

19.80km - Walk STRAIGHT ON uphill ignoring left turn into Abriachan Forest and car park.

20.30km - BEAR LEFT uphill following GGW way marker.

20.80km - BEAR LEFT uphill at fork in road before farm outbuilding. Go through metal gate at GGW way marker.

21.40km - Walk STRAIGHT ON uphill following GGW way markers. Ignore left turn for Abriachan Forest.

22.60km - At fork in road BEAR RIGHT downhill following GGW way marker.

22.90km - Go through metal gate and walk STRAIGHT ON.

23.70km - Go through metal gate and walk STRAIGHT ON through woodland.

25.70km - View point on left offers vista of Loch Ness. Re-join path and walk STRAIGHT ON.

26.10km - TURN LEFT down steep hill at GGW way marker.

27.30km - Take sharp LEFT TURN down steep hill. Follow GGW way marker and sign for Castle Urquhart. Then take sharp RIGHT TURN and follow path along side field.

27.80km - Go through wooden gate with GGW way marker and walk STRAIGHT ON.

27.90km - When path meets wider track with gate signed Tychat Estate to right, ignore this main track to the left and walk STRAIGHT ON across track to join upper narrow path and BEAR LEFT. Go through small gate.

28.00km - Go through gate and walk STRAIGHT ON.

28.10km- Go through wooden gate and walk parallel to A82 road. Walk STRAIGHT ON skirting behind houses.

28.70km - At bottom on hill go through gate where path meets A82 road. Take immediate RIGHT TURN to follow A82 road on pavement.

30.50km - Cross A82 road with care and TURN LEFT over road bridge to Drumnadrochit.

30.70km - Walk STRAIGHT ON past traffic lights to arrive at Tourist Information centre. This is the trail end point for this route.


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Jason Cohen
July 01, 2019 · Community
He ui huuu guitar day we
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Caroline Swan
August 05, 2018 · Community
15.8.18 Craig dunain hospital
Photo: Caroline Swan, Community
The woods leading to craig dunain
Photo: Caroline Swan, Community

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31 km
8:25 h
446 m
439 m


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