Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the trail start?
The “official” start of the Loch Ness 360° is the same as the official start of the Great Glen Way – Inverness Castle. But as the Loch Ness 360° is a circular trail, you can actually walk it in either direction and start anywhere along the route! See our section by section guide and plan your own route.
How long will it take to walk the whole trail?
This will depend on your fitness levels, of course, but the “average walker” will take about 6 days to walk the Loch Ness 360° – three days along the Great Glen Way on the north side of Loch Ness and three days on the south side of Loch Ness along the South Loch Ness Trail. The daily mileage ranges from 7.5 to 18 miles per day, so there is still plenty of time to take in some visitor attractions, restaurants and points of interest along the route!
Is wild camping allowed on the Loch Ness 360° Trail?
Yes, wild camping is legal in Scotland, but be sure you “leave no trace” and know the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. You will also find some great campsites along the route, for example in Inverness, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus and Foyers
Can I take my dog with me?
Yes, responsible dog owners are very welcome to walk the Loch Ness 360° with their four-legged walking companions! Please refer to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which has all the information you need. There are several sections of the route where you are asked to keep dogs on a lead, such as when passing through fields with farm animals or through the grounds of working farms, on the grounds of Glendoe Estate and near Suidhe during the nesting season of ground nesting birds.
What about midges?!
Don’t worry about this pesky wee beastie. Our Highland Midge blog explains the best way to avoid them.
Can I cycle the Loch Ness 360°?
Yes, the Loch Ness 360° trail is suitable for mountain bikes. Cycling the whole trail will take about 3 to 4 days, which leaves time for some sightseeing. On the Great Glen Way side we recommend the “low route” option for mountain bikers between Drumnadrochit and Invermoriston and Invermoriston and Fort Augustus. For lots of useful cycling information and bike hire, please see Ticket To Ride.
Do I need to buy a map?
Although both the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail are waymarked, we recommend that you buy a map for your walk or cycle and do not rely on waymarkers alone. Currently, the map is in production and will be for sale soon. You will soon be able to buy a map of the trail here – please also see the route description and user notes for more information.
Should I book accommodation in advance?
Yes, unless you are planning to wild camp along the route we strongly recommend that you book your accommodation well in advance, as Inverness and the villages around Loch Ness can be very busy, especially during school holidays and the summer months. Where to stay
When is the best time to walk the Loch Ness 360°?
Although most people book their walking holidays in the Highlands from Easter until October, we think that there is no “bad” time of year to walk the trail, each season has its rewards and challenges… In winter, your main challenge will be the short days, as you may not get enough daylight for a long walk and may have to break down the walk into shorter sections. Your reward though will be peace and quiet and a real feel to be “off the beaten track” and of course amazing views of snow-covered mountains!
If you decide to do the walk during the summer, you may struggle to find accommodation during the busiest months, so it helps to be flexible with your dates and maybe consider other options such as camping. On the plus side, summer in Scotland means long hours of daylight – in June the sun doesn’t set until after 10 pm!
Summer or winter, always be prepared for a change in the weather and bring suitable hiking clothing and shoes including waterproofs!