Great Glen Way – Day 7

Drumnadrochit to Inverness – 20 miles

After a continental breakfast, which wasn’t too bad, and having collected our packed lunches, we were soon heading off to find the trail which was about a mile & a half outside the town following the A82.

The trail leaves the main road where you can see Urquhart Castle

standing proud in the distance at the edge of the loch. The path winds slowly up to start the last major ascent of the walk to get longer views of the loch. We followed the path and took our final photos of the very impressive Loch Ness.

Now the view disappeared as we were into open land with only the odd farm around and forestry workings to be seen. Eventually we were walking on a gravel track,

capable of being used by tractors and other large machinery, until we arrived at the road where walkers are picked up or dropped off depending on their arrangements. We crossed the road and were now following a very narrow path through the woods.

It was so narrow that if anyone was coming the opposite way, one would have to step amongst the trees.

As we walked into the thick forest, signs began to appear telling us of a café, and there were random planks of wood with signs on showing coffee, tea, chocolate etc. But no visual sign of a café. The path went on and on with only the one single walker going in the opposite direction. She was an American who suggested we should try out the café, “It’s unusual.” We followed the track until we arrived at the pathway leading to

the café, but then decided to carry on to the road. Once on the road we had open views across fields with even more fantastic scenery.

It wasn’t long before we decided to stop for lunch, and do the usual checks and adjustments to boots and feet. The lone French lady walked by, followed by the Irish men, another lone walker, then the Canadians.

Lunch now devoured we set off on the final leg, so it was back on the road where we soon caught up with the French walker. During a brief conversation, Steve found out she was from Grenoble and here on holiday. We continued on our way for about an hour before stopping for a coffee break in the woods and to check out any problems.

The French lady walked by followed by the two German ladies – with a smile and a wave they carried on.

We set off again following the path until we could see, in the distance below us, Inverness.

“We’ve nearly finished,” so I thought, but a little further on we were deflated to read the sign- Inverness 4 miles. (Huh!) Anyway, we followed the path into Inverness, through the housing estates until we arrived at the Caledonian Canal,

now turning towards the city to cross the canal for the last time, then walking towards the park still following the GREAT GLEN WAY marker posts to eventually arrive at the River Ness.

Crossing onto Ness Island and going along the path, we met up with the two ladies from Germany, passing them on our way to the second and final bridge. Crossing the river again for the last time we followed the signs leading to the finish line by the castle.

On our way up to the castle, walking towards us was someone dressed in bright red, full traditional Scottish uniform with kilt etc. leading a small group of tourists into town. As we passed each other he shook our hands and congratulated us all.

We arrived at the finish point where we just had to wait whilst other people were taking photos. They were asked if they would take ours

and as they did the German ladies appeared so Steve offered to take their picture.

Next we went across the road for a celebratory drink. Whilst we were there we saw the Canadian couple so we congratulated them and had a chat.

Next it was off to find our accommodation which wasn’t too far away. Our lady host, who was very friendly, showed us to our rooms and we asked about any Italian restaurant she would recommend. She told us of her favourite and duly booked us a table and a taxi.

After freshening up we were soon met by our taxi driver who swiftly drove us to the restaurant. We celebrated our achievement of walking from Fort William to Inverness in style, with a lovely meal, a bottle of wine and good friends. After the meal our taxi appeared to take us back to our accommodation for a restful night’s sleep.

I had heard that Inverness was not worth a visit, but from what I saw it has a lot of character and interesting historical architecture which I feel is worth another visit if ever I visit Scotland on a touring holiday.

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