Tag Archives: Drumnadrochit

The Great Glen Way – Drumnadrochit to Inverness

August 20 – Today is our penultimate hiking day. It was pouring down rain when we woke up, but within the hour, the sun broke through. We have had such great weather on this trip.

At breakfast this morning we met Philip and Roger, who are bagging the Munros – climbing to the summit of each of the 282 Scottish mountains over 3000 feet tall. Today, Roger is bagging his 282nd Munro! Congratulations Roger! 🥳

Philip and Roger

We had to walk a mile along a busy highway, which was no fun but still provided some pastoral views.

Then we started to climb again, for much longer than I like to climb. Today is our highest elevation day.

See Urquhart Castle in the distance?
We climbed all morning
Finally, Loch Ness from above!

Then we were out on the moors, with purple heather all around:

When the mist is in the gloamin’, and all the clouds are holdin’ still.
Take my hand and let’s go roamin’ through the heather on the hill. – from Brigadoon
There was a café in the middle of nowhere
Then, back onto the moors
Straightest path ever

As we just don’t walk 20 miles a day, our tour operator split the day for us. We reached our rendezvous spot out in the middle of nowhere, where a taxi was supposed to pick us up, but the taxi driver could not find us. An amusing hour on the phone ensued, (what landmarks do you see? Trees.) until he eventually showed up to take us to our guesthouse in Inverness. We are staying in the Fraser Room (no relation to Jamie.) Tomorrow is our final day!

August 21 – Another beautiful, sunny morning. We enjoyed our last hiker’s breakfast, got into our taxi – this driver knew exactly where to take us – and got back on the trail.

Back into sparse woods
We followed a stone wall for a long time
Last mossy moss
The River Ness, which flows from the Loch into the city
Our first view of Inverness
The Great Glen House, ecologically sustainable building
We walked through the suburbs
Watched boys practicing football
The end of the Caledonian Canal
A bridge over River Ness
We walked through several parks
A wooden Nessie
The city war memorial
…with several more MacLennans
We’ve arrived!

A plaque marked the official end of the Great Glen Way. Unlike the previous hike, there were no other walkers to celebrate with. As we struggled to take a selfie to commemorate the day, a couple at the restaurant across the street stood up and applauded us. We did it!

The Great Glen Way – Invermoriston to Drumnadrachit

August 18 – After another fine smoked salmon and egg breakfast, we set out onto a trail that immediately went uphill, and kept going uphill much longer than I wanted it to. See the town down below?

The day is gray.

We got to the woods, and they looked really, really dark. The tall pine trees blot out any light. Careful, Jim!

Jim found a pine cone heart on the path
Little stone cave
Finally, the Loch!
Heather lined both sides of the trail
Then, the sun came out!
Now it’s a lovely day

Because there was no lodging at the end point of our walk, our tour operator arranged for a taxi to pick us up and take us back to last night’s guesthouse. I like it when we can stay more than one night in the same place.

Tomorrow’s hike is all road walk into Drumnadrochit (Drum-na-DROCHHH-it), so, with the help of the taxi driver, we planned an alternate adventure. Can’t wait!

August 19 – Our taxi driver picked us up at the guesthouse and took us two miles past the town of Drumnadrochit to Urquhart (IRK-hart) Castle, the second most visited castle in Scotland.

Urquhart Castle

The castle was built around 1250, and passed through many hands before being blown up by the occupying English in 1690 to prevent the Jacobites from using it. It has been falling to ruin ever since. That does not stop a half a million tourists a year from coming to see it.

There were signs indicating that archeologists surmise that one area must have been the kitchen and another the stables, but you really had to use your imagination.

The tower
This must have been the prison!

The trebuchet below was built in 1997 for an American documentary that was filmed here. There is no indication that trebuchets were ever actually used to hurl big stones in a battle here.

Wildlife in the gift shop
The tourists!

Then we visited the Loch Ness Centre to see all the ways folks have been looking for the monster.

Diving bell
Yellow submarine

They haven’t found him yet. A few weeks ago there was an article about a local Nessie sighting. It turned out to be a swimming alpaca.

Then we walked into Drumnadrochit for a scrumptious meal, and to provision for tomorrow’s hike.

A piper
A floral reproduction of Urquhart Castle

We are staying at Drumbuie Farm, which raises the famous Highland cattle – beef cows of a gorgeous color that look like they need a haircut.

Highland cow cupcakes at the market
A Highland bull
and a Highland cow

Tomorrow is our penultimate hiking day!