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East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

Jerusalem, Israel
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East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

Hi,

We are thinking about coming to Fort William after 2 days in Edinburgh, and hike for a day up to Ben Nevis. Then we would like to do a longer hike for a few days. Which trek (East Highland or Great Glen) has better scenery? Which one is easier to hike? We would like to see mountains, lakes, castles and abbeys, and forests. Rugged and dark, "middle age" landscapes. We have about 7 days. We were also thinking about doing the famous West Highland Way instead, but fear it will be a bit too crowded (in mid Spetember).

So which option would you recommend?

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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1. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

The West Higand Way is an excellent week's walk, and it will not be at all crowded - far from it!

glasgow
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2. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

The East Highland Way has far better scenery and attractions than the GGW with its canal towpath etc. Look up the free EHW amenities brochure and free android phone app for the route. The latest EHW guidebook is also the 2012 edition. Glen Banchor ruins, loch an eilein castle and highland folk museum are great historic route highlights.

Edinburgh...
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3. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

There's a big selection of long-distance walks and this website will help you sort out the logistics. You'll have time for *part* of the route.

walkhighlands.co.uk/long-distance-routes.sht…

Funnily enough they don't mention the East Highland Way - but that's probably because it's new and it's got its own shiny website. http://www.easthighlandway.com

WH has good mapping. Better that the East Highlands site. You can view maps for the EHW area by scrolling and zooming.

The EHW is mostly a valley walk, hence gentler than the WHW. The GG route has its nice bits (e.g. Neptune's staircase ) but you are essentially walking a long way up a very straight glen; the first couple of legs of the EHW going past Tulloch have good views of the Nevis ranges and the Grey Corries. Not that you can miss seeing Ben Nevis from any of these routes.

Unless the mist's down.

glasgow
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4. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

Yeah I enquired about the ehw with walk highlands. Apparently it is in the process of being listed on the Walk Highlands website. There are also os maps and a downloadable GPX file on the ehw website.

Edinburgh...
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5. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

WH seem to take their times about listings, no doubt because they want to get things right :-) Nor do they list the new Stevenson Way from Mull to Edinburgh. http://www.stevensonway.org.uk/

I'll stick by what I said about mapping - WH give you access to very detailed maps filling the browser window. EHW's Ordnance survey maps are detailed but only cover about 4 square km at a time - the OS impose conditions about how much of a map can be distributed freely. This makes them much less useful for detailed planning.

Inverness
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6. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

I've done the WHW, EHW and GGW and I think the best one is the GGW personally. The West Highland way is beautiful but the paths are rubbish and very difficult underfoot, the EHW has a lot of road walking and it is hard to follow, I walked it with a guided walking company and I wouldn't have been able to navigate it myself as there are no markers or signs at all. the GGW has beautiful views, fantastic paths and its just perfect really, but that is just me. All are good though, so you can't go wrong really.

Solihull
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7. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

The GGW can be walked in 4 days. Hard going other than on the canal towpaths. Well way marked and good maps available. Views en route to Neptune's Staircase are magnificent and the vistas over and along Loch Ness are superb. Approaching Inverness you also get a tremendous view towards Ben Wyvis.

The WHW is best attempted in 6 or 7 days. There are only 3 really steep climbs but the path alongside Loch Lomond is tough. The Way becomes more isolated and desolate the further you progress. There is no shelter for the entire 9 mile crossing of Rannoch Moor. Again it is well way marked with excellent maps available.

We intend taking on the EHW in March 2013, over 5 days. As stated elsewhere there is little way marking so navigation is more difficult. The mapping in the guidebook is not very comprehensive so arranging accommodation becomes more hit and miss. Will let you know how we get on.

Edinburgh...
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8. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

There are always debates over waymarking. The populists want regular and priminent marking, but the downside is people over-rely on them and are unaware where to go if markings disappear.

The purists prefer people to navigate from map and compass and want waymarks kept to a minimum.

The WHW has been in existence long enough for an industry to grow around it; hence the good maps; the EHW being new means you have to rely more on your own abilities. Regarding its mapping, I'd repeat that walkhighland can give better online mapping of the areas concenred, whether they have listed the route or not. If the WHW mapping seems suspect, just pan and zoom in hard on the nearest walkhighland map.

There are loads of long distance routes with no markings at all because they're not official routes ....

PS Walkhighlands now lists the EHW: walkhighlands.co.uk/east-highland-way.shtml They list it as seven legs, but that can be rearranged into fewer but longer days. One reason for 7 legs is to help with accommodation, which is not always easily available. But they have some suggestions.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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9. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

I agree with you, I have just completed The West Highland Way. I did The Great Glen Way last year at the same time (August). I much preferred GGW.

Solihull
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10. Re: East Highland Way or Great Glen Way?

We undertook the EHW in March this year, over 5 days. Accommodation, particularly in the early stages, is very speculative. We walked 23 miles on the first day, from Fort William to the bunkhouse at Tulloch Station. An excellent and very amenable bunkhouse but 2 miles off the route!! The second day we walked 28 miles, including the first 2 off-route miles. There is NO accommodation anywhere between Tulloch and Laggan. The guidebook recommends getting a taxi from Feagour to Laggan, and back the next day. We tried getting a taxi but the number provided appears to have only one car and this was away in Inverness. There is nothing, other than a car park, in Feagour. Laggan has one B+B and the Village Hall. B+B was £45 pppn!!

The Village Hall was £7 each. Guess which we chose? Much of the rest of the walk follows the Badenoch Way, which is well waymarked. We counted 9 EHW markers during the entire length of the walk. Personally, I would go with the GGW over the EHW every time.