Day 1: The Great Glen Way - Fort William to Gairlochy

The original plan for the Great Glen Way was to tack it on to the end of the West Highland Way, however I decided to go home to let my swollen foot heal up before attempting anymore walking.

Two weeks later I caught the first train from Glasgow up to Fort William, arriving just after 12pm. A quick trip to the supermarket opposite the train station and I was ready to walk the Great Glen Way. The way starts next to the local McDonalds and the first few miles are a walk around the outskirts of  Fort William and villages of Caol and Banavie. The majority of the ten and a half mile hike after Caol, is along the canal path. The path is flat and straight to Gairlochy. 


The Start Next to the McDonalds

Soliders Bridge

Typical Waymarker

Canal path
It took me three and a half hours to cover the distance between Fort William and Gairlochy. My plan was to stay at a campsite a mile down a single track road. I decided instead to camp at the informal campsite located just over the road at the last canal lock. The space there is big enough for 6 two man tents and was empty when I arrived. There are toilets located nearby that have showers, a dryer and drinking water. You can buy a key for these toilets at Fort William or Inverness. It costs £10 for your entire trip. There are several toilet blocks located throughout The Way and it is a worthwhile investment. 
Informal Camping at Gairlochy

There is a B&B located near the free campsite, if the intention was to walk without camping. 

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