Cape Wrath Trail (incl. GPX!)
With Heritage Paths!
Distance: 378 km Grade: 4 (Hard)
Loch Hourn in the early morning
A 15/16-stage unmarked (!!!) hard (!!) walk from Fort William all the way to Cape Wrath. There are very long pathless sections where you need skillful navigation (An absolute requirement!) while scree and scrambling make this a trail only for the nimble and experienced walker and certainly not to be underestimated! Having said all that, this trail is a stunning long distance route. If spectacular landscapes are your thing and you have the stamina, you will love it.
As mentioned before, the trail is completely unmarked and runs through wild and rugged terrain. A tent is therefore a must. Off course, you might do the route staying in a mix of bothies, bed and breakfasts and hotels, but that will take very meticulous advance planning. Even then, if you do plan to stay in bothies, a sleeping bag, mat, stove and food supplies would still need to be carried for the stays.
The "CWT" connects with quite a number of other trails: Fort William is the terminus of the famous West Highland Way, but also the starting point of the East Highland Way and the Great Glen Way. At Mandally the CWT joins up with the Scottish National Trail. At Morvich the trail connects with the Affric Kintail Way from/to Drumnadrochit and at Inchnadamph there is the fascinating Sutherland Trail.
Stages (on the map):
You have 2 options: The Glenfinnan variant or the Great Glen variant (meet up at Morvich)
- Fort William - Glenfinnan 35 km (Moderate)
- Glenfinnan - A'Chuil 19 km (Moderate)
- A'Chuil - Barrisdale Bay 25 km (Hard)
- Barrisdale Bay - Morvich 33 km (Hard)
- Fort William - Gairlochy 17 km (Easy)
- Gairlochy - Mandally 25 km (Slightly harder)
- Mandally - Poulary 19,5 km (Moderate)
- Poulary - Cluanie 17,5 km (Moderate)
- Cluanie - Morvich 26 km (Moderate)
- Morvich - Maol Bhuidhe 22,5 km (Hard)
- Maol Bhuidhe - Craig 24,25 km (Hard)
- Craig - Kinlochewe 16,5 km (Hard)
- Kinlochewe - Shenavall 28,25 km (Hard)
- Shenavall - Inverlael 18,75 km (Moderate)
- Inverlael - Oykel Bridge 34,5 km (Moderate)
- Oykle Bridge - Inchnadamph 31,5 km (Hard)
- Inchnadamph - Kylestrome 27,5 km (Hard)
- Kylestrome - Rhiconich 29 km (Hard)
- Rhiconich - Sandwood Bay 19 km (Slightly harder)
- Sandwood Bay - Cape Wrath 12,5 km (Moderate)
Heritage Paths (on the map):
2- Another very interesting option is a more or less direct link with the John o’Groats Trail which runs from Inverness north along the coast. A few km short/south of Oykel Bridge (12) you cross the Duag Bridge and see the Schoolhouse Bothy on your left hand side. A little ways further there is a distinct fork in the road at NH345973 (GPS: 57.934569,-4.795528). Stick to the right. You’re now perfectly aligned for the Ullapool to Strathcarron Track which you follow all the way to Croick (16 km). From NH465889 (GPS: 57.863450,-4.588854) you take the Glen Calvie Lodge to Braeantra Track (16 km) and the Dalnavie Drove Road (10 km) from NH567781 (GPS: 57.770066,-4.409964) to Dalnavie.