The Great Glen, Loch Ness & Inverness
380 million years ago a massive fault line cut across Scotland and formed what is now known as The Great Glen. This massive geological tear in the Earth’s crust was dramatic enough but today it gives Scotland some of the most impressive and iconic scenery seen anywhere in the world. From Fort William through Loch Ness you will make your way through 73 miles (117km) of stunning Scottish landscape by foot, canoe, sea kayak and bike.
- Fully qualified instructor / guide
- Accommodation (shared camp/hostel)
- Mountain bike hire
- Sea kayak hire
- All safety equipment
- Sleeping bag (option to add to your booking)
- Walking boots and warm clothes
- Good level of fitness
- More info on website under 'Active Trip FAQs'
H: Included Highlights
Day 1: Fort William to South Laggan - Bike and Hike
Departs Fort William at 10am. We meet for an initial kit check. Then we mountain bike to South Laggan past ‘Neptune's Staircase’ to the Caledonian Canal and Loch Lochy. We bike along the towpath before crossing the swing bridge at Gairlochy. Enjoy great views of Loch Arkaig and onto the shore of Loch Lochy with a possible refreshment stop at a pub on a barge! We continue on and hear about the 'Seven Heads Well' on the shore of Loch Oich. Don’t worry, there are hot showers and the tepees are all set up for your arrival, you just need to enjoy the experience of cooking and eating in the great outdoors.
H:Mountain bike along the Caledonian Canal
Day 2: South Laggan to Fort Augustus - Kayak and Hike
Today we take to the water and canoe from Loch Oich, one of the four main lochs in the Great Glen, all the way to the start of mighty and monstrous Loch Ness! After a day on the water there’s a chance for a well-earned local beer at Morag’s Lodge.
H:Hike through Scotland’s wilderness
Day 3: Fort Augustus to Loch Ness campsite - Kayak
A stunning day kayaking the waters of Loch Ness, past the ruins of Urquhart Castle where the monster has been spotted many times. The dark waters of Loch Ness remain cold all year round and come rain or shine this journey is spectacular. If you are lucky enough to be paddling on the Loch when It’s a mill pond then you will enjoy crystal clear reflections of the surrounding mountains.
H:Spend the night under the stars camping
Day 4: Loch Ness campsite to Inverness - Kayak and Hike
We complete the remaining stretch of Loch Ness by canoe and enter Inverness by water, a unique way to view of the capital of the Highlands where our trip comes to an end. You’ll be tired but what an adventure! Arrives in Inverness late afternoon.
H:Kayak through monstrous Loch Ness
- You will be hill-walking, mountain biking, sea kayaking and canoeing so a good level of fitness is required
- Mountain biking will be on tracks and paths and the terrain is fairly low level
- Kayaking will be on open lochs and sections of river
- Walking will be on mountain paths
- Activities may change depending on weather conditions
- A sleeping bag is required (can be added to your booking if you're travelling without one)
- Sturdy shoes or boots, warm clothes are required
- A full packing list is available under our Active Trip FAQs Section
- All activity equipment is provided
- We sleep under canvas and occasionally use hostels. Full facilities are generally available.
- The trip is operated by our partners 'Active Outdoor Pursuits'. You will receive full instructions for the equipment and will support you for the entirety of your trip. We know the local area, the wildlife and history and are there to answer any questions. The trip is fully facilitated by a back-up vehicle to transport your gear, so no need to carry any equipment and your luggage is transferred between overnight locations. Camping equipment is set up for your arrival each night although participation in camp life is expected.
- We operate a kitty system, payable on arrival. Alternatively you can choose to do your own thing and bring your own food.
Our Get Active trips are designed to allow you to get in amongst Scotland’s beautiful scenery travelling under your own steam. The trips start from Glasgow or Fort William at 10am (depending on which one you’ve booked) and if you are feeling fit, you can combine both to create 10 days' worth of adventure with a ‘free’ day to climb Ben Nevis... or explore Fort William and have a rest!
What should I pack?
The Scottish weather is famous (or should that be infamous?) for its changeability!
- Warm clothes – 3 sets (Fleece is good)
- Pair of trainers (that you don't mind getting wet/dirty)
- Walking boots (and gaiters if you have them)
- Sleeping Bag (3 season) - you can add to your booking if your travelling without one
- Drinks Bottle
- Head Torch
- Sunglasses and sun cream - we may be lucky!
- Midge repellent (vital, Avon 'Skin So Soft' works well)!
- Mosquito head net
- Toiletries – The most basic essentials only
- Personal medication
What do you provide?
- All technical equipment including canoes and bikes
- Dry bags or Containers
- Stoves & fuel
- Cooking sets including pots, plates and cutlery
- Camping sleep mats
- Food Packs (purchased from the Group kitty)
What is the accommodation like?
This can vary depending on the distance travelled each day. We plan a mix between hostels and camping although full facilities are usually available. If you require a wee bit more comfort you can request an upgrade to B&B / Hotel at time of booking, subject to availability.
How much activity is there each day?
You will be travelling under your own steam from roughly 9am until about 4pm every day. A typical day would involve walking 15 miles, cycling around 30 miles or kayaking 10 miles although this will vary depending on the group and weather conditions.
Is there any training before the trip?
At the start of the trip you’ll be met by your instructor who will explain all the ‘ins and outs’ of each day. They’ll be with you for the whole trip to show you how to use all the equipment safely.
What kind of support is there?
Instructors are with you the whole time and the trip is supported by minibus so you don’t have to worry about carrying all your gear.
How much group participation is there?
Getting active doesn’t just involve being active during the day, everyone mucks in! The tour requires everyone to get involved and cooking and cleaning up / washing up after meals may be required.
Do I have to cook my own food?
We operate a food kitty system payable at the start of the trip. We will provide the food but active participation is expected in the preparation. There will also be opportunities to purchase food en-route. You can provide all your own food if you wish.
Do I need insurance?
We always strongly recommend travel insurance (and please ensure you are covered for the activities on this trip).
Anything else I should know?
We require some information from you to ensure you’re properly kitted out and this is ususally collected at time of booking. If you can't provide this at the time of booking, log into My Trip or eamil us with you Booking Reference number, UK or EUR shoe size, height and weight before departure.
A really good way to see the highlands in a way that you couldn't really do on your own"