Looking for ideas for budget camping along the Great Glen Way? You are in the right place!
The Great Glen Way is a 117 km long coast to coast path through the Highlands. The route follows the natural fault line of the Great Glen. It takes you along the whole lengths of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness as well as the Caledonian Canal that links them.
Most of it runs on low levels with just some recently added options taking you higher. It is considered an introductory trail to the Highlands and to the long-distance trekking.
It is also the perfect trail for solo and budget hiking – it is very well marked, safe and with enough places to camp overnight.
The Great Glen Way is much less popular than the West Highland Way, which means you meet fewer hikers on your way and also - that there are fewer accommodation options.
The good thing is, the Canal is very popular with kayakers and some facilities designed for their needs can be used also by hikers. An example would be (highly recommended by me) renting a key to facilities run by the Canal Office.
It costs £10 and have an access to a number of compost WCs and showers along the Canal. There aren't many opportunities to stop at a pub or a restaurant to use their bathrooms, so renting this key is a serious help.
With it you get a map with clearly marked dedicated camping areas, WC and showers along the way. Get it! :)
Below is the list of places I camped at and a few other options you might have - especially that I cut my hiking short at Fort Augustus to move onto Isle of Skye.
Dedicated wild camping area, no facilities. There is room for just a few tents, a picnic table and a beautiful view to Moy Swing Bridge... but not much more. The grass was cut short and well taken care off. It's clean, nice and free, but basic.
If you choose to move past Moy Bridge you can find some B&B accommodation in Gairlochy, or go about a 1 km off the trail to a campsite.
In Gairlochy there is also a spot with shower facilities - they are big, clean and with hot water so I was really happy with the combination of wild camping at Moy Bridge and then walking just a bit to showers in Gairlochy.
This is a dedicated wild camping spot on your way to Laggan. There is a small path leading off the main Great Glen Trail. It's a really tiny spot - for maybe two tents, but it's lovely.
There is also a compost WC. It's clean and it doesn't smell! And you need the Canal Office key to access it. The views in the morning are incredible... There is nothing like drinking coffee with such a background!
Another designated wild camping area. This one also has a compost WC, but I was out of luck when there - it was closed for maintenance. I hope by now they fixed whatever had to be fixed.
The camping area is hidden a bit in the forest but I camped closer to the canal bank unknowingly. Another beautiful spot! It is right next to he lock keeper's house who keeps an eye on everything.
Before you reach the village there is the Cumberlands Campsite. In addition to a pretty big pitching field it is next to a Stravaiger’s Lodge Hostel, if you rather sleep in a cottage. £10
There is a camping site a bit off the trail called Inver Coille. Check their site for more details.
If you choose the lower path you can stop at the designated wild camping area in Alltsigh.
Before you reach the village of Drumnadrochit there is a road leading you off to Borlum Campsite and Riding Center. £10
At the end of the Great Glen Way you reach Inverness where you can find more option for accommodation.
For the budget and camping minded folks you can stop at Bught Caravan and Camping Site. It's pretty close to the town's center and offers wide range of facilities, £10 for a solo camper.
Do you have all you need for your Scottish adventure?
Check with this complete hiking and camping in Scotland packing list for women to make sure you have all you need!