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