The Great Glen Way is one of Scotland’s best-loved trails. Connecting Fort William to Inverness along a series of walking trails, this epic long-distance hike passes through world-class scenery, from idyllic Scottish villages to lochside hills. Luckily for hikers, there is plenty of accommodation on the Great Glen Way, giving walkers lots of options when it comes to looking for a place to stay.
For shoestring hikers, it is also possible to camp along the route, guaranteed to save you beer money! If you’re looking for a highland adventure, sit back and relax. This post will tell you everything you need to know about finding accommodation on the Great Glen Way.
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Read more: (opens in new tab)
- A Guide to Hiking the Great Glen Way
- West Highland Way Vs. Great Glen Way
- A Guide to Hiking the West Highland Way
Great Glen Way Accommodation Guide
This list of places to stay on the Great Glen Way is not exhaustive. It is important to remember that prices and demand are likely to be higher during peak season so make sure you book in advance to avoid missing out!
Note: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some guesthouses and campsites are still operating at reduced capacity or with additional restrictions in place. Many accommodation options have closed their doors forever. Always do your research before staying somewhere.
Fort William Accommodation
This popular hostel is part of the MacBackpackers chain which operates all over Scotland. The rooms are basic but budget-friendly and the hostel is usually full of interesting people, many of whom are walking one of Scotland’s great trails.
Smiddy Bunkhouse (£)
Perched on the banks of the Caledonian Canal, the Smiddy Bunkhouse is a cosy option in Corpach, close to the canal office where you can pick up a toilet key for the Great Glen Way. (Please see the main GGW post for more details.) It is pretty good value for those walking the trail in groups but solo hikers will want to look elsewhere as only entire rooms are available to book. They have a drying room which will come in handy for the great Scottish weather!
This beautiful B&B gets rave reviews from guests for its attentive staff and incredible loch views. The house is wonderfully maintained and the accommodation is only a short walk from the town centre. If you’re looking for somewhere to serve up a hearty breakfast before you set off, Myrtle Bank is a good option. And for everybody else? McDonald’s is en route!
Full Scottish breakfast and a heated swimming pool? Yes, please! Ben Nevis Hotel and Leisure Club is the ideal place for hikers to cherish their last days of comfort before embarking on the trail. Make the most of the facilities here as you’re unlikely to find anything this luxurious on the trail itself!
Spean Bridge/Gairlochy Accommodation
The only accommodation in Gairlochy (aside from wild camping options) is Dalcomera Holiday Home. It is close to the GGW, however, because you have to book the whole place, most choose to stay in Spean Bridge instead.
Whispering Pine Cabins (£££)
Whispering Pine Cabins might not be cheap but it certainly delivers. The lochside views are perfect and the apartments are clean and spacious. Those hiking with furry friends will also be pleased to hear that these apartments are pet-friendly!
South Laggan Accommodation
This independent hostel is situated in South Laggan, along the main road. It is a short walk from the trail and is only open seasonally. The hostel can sleep up to 49 people and they are used to taking walkers. The rooms are a mixture of dormitories and privates.
Fort Augustus Accommodation
Morag’s Lodge (££)
This hostel is popular with those doing the Great Glen Way for its hot showers and self-catering kitchen. Offering clean and comfortable accommodation for a great price, there isn’t much else you can ask for. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all available and they even have a licensed bar — winner!
Not strictly in Fort Augustus but only around four miles up the trail, this is a good option for campers. You can choose where you want to pitch up and it costs as little as a tenner a night. Dogs are welcome to stay too. If you prefer your camping experience less rustic, check out the epic glamping geodomes they have on-site. Bear in mind that glamping has a minimum of a two-night stay.
Glenmoriston Arms Hotel (£££)
There aren’t many accommodation options available in Invermoriston so those who do choose to stop here have limited choice. However, if your budget can stretch to it, the Glenmoriston Arms is a good bet. It is best known for its excellent in-house dining.
Lochside Hostel (£)
Although this hostel isn’t technically located in Drumnadrochit and instead appears earlier along the banks of Loch Ness, it is a great option for hikers on a budget. The dorm rooms are great value for the money and the place is run by a fantastic team of enthusiastic volunteers. They even have their own stretch of beach – perfect for dipping your feet after a long day on the trail!
This backpacker hostel offers superb value for money and provides all the warmth and welcome that a hostel should. There is a well-stocked shared kitchen at the property as well as a bar. The hostel accepts families and pets which will be handy for those walking the GGW as a group.
Situated within the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, this hotel is ideally located if you wish to explore more of the surrounding area on your hike. As this is a tourist-heavy area, there is an onsite cafe and plenty of souvenir shops nearby. Bear in mind that the road that this hotel can get quite busy during summer.
Smack bang in the centre of Inverness lies Black Isle Hostel, one of the most popular budget lodgings in the city. The facilities at the hostel are great and it is known for being immaculately clean. They have their own bar located just around the corner and it’s also close to the bus and train station.
Located just up from Inverness Castle and the finish point of the Great Glen Way, BazPackers is perfectly placed for hikers. Although it is slightly more costly than some of the other hostels on this list, they offer pod dorms for extra privacy and clean private rooms. A friendly vibe oozes from BazPackers and you’ll quickly feel at home.
Best Western Inverness (£££)
I know from experience that after all that walking, you’re going to want to relax. The Best Western Palace Hotel and Spa has a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub. What a wonderful way to iron out those achy muscles! Located on the banks of the River Ness, this is the perfect setting in which to detox after a few days spent on the trail.
Where to Stay on the Great Glen Way: FAQs
Do I need to reserve my Great Glen Way accommodation in advance?
During peak season, it is advisable to book your accommodation on the Great Glen Way in advance. Hostels and hotels fill up quickly, especially during the summer. It is also worth considering that a number of the places en route are tourist destinations in their own right, meaning there will be plenty of competition for lodging.
While you may get lucky and be able to snag a bed with only a few days’ notice, some people book their Great Glen walking holiday accommodation months in advance.
Is it possible to buy Great Glen Way accommodation packages?
It is possible to buy all of your Great Glen Way accommodation as part of a package. These usually come in the form of organised walking holidays. While they are good if you like the idea of walking in a group, they are often very expensive and you are likely to pay considerably more than if you booked the accommodation yourself independently.
Can I wild camp on the Great Glen Way?
Yes. As well as staying in organised campsites, there are plenty of places where it is possible to wild camp on the Great Glen Way. Camping along the Caledonian Canal is generally not allowed as it is considered a Scheduled Ancient Monument. However, there are numerous wild camping spots, known as Trailblazer rest sites and canal-side informal campsites. Bear in mind that these campsites and rest sites can only serve a limited number of people and operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you choose to rent a toilet key from the Scottish Canals Association, they will often give you a list of the informal campsites, as well as their own facilities along the route. Some campsites only have room for a tent or two, whereas others can fit around 10 tents.
Is there dog-friendly accommodation on the Great Glen Way?
Some of the accommodation on the Great Glen Way is dog-friendly. If you are travelling with a dog, definitely book your accommodation in advance as these places can be few and far between.
Examples of dog-friendly accommodation along the route include:
- Glengarry Castle Hotel
- Whispering Pine Cabins
- Craik Na Dav
- Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge
- Invercoille Campsite
Please let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations of more dog-friendly places to stay along the Great Glen Way.
Are there baggage transfer services for the Great Glen Way?
Much like the West Highland Way, it is possible to get your baggage transported to your next stop to save you from carrying it. Transfers for the whole route usually begin at around £60pp.
Have you walked the Great Glen Way? Where was the best place you stayed?