Route of the Affric Kintail Way
The most northerly coast to coast route in the British Isles takes an anticipated 4-5 days for walkers or 2 days for cyclists who are looking for that special experience which can only be found in the Highlands of Scotland.
At 56 miles (91kms) long, this trail is recommended for experienced walkers and cyclists. It takes in ancient drove roads which used to bring cattle to market from the west coast, goes past deep lochs, towering glens mountains and through ancient woodlands. The highlight of the trail is undoubtedly Glen Affric National Nature Reserve and its stunning views and includes a stay at the most remote Youth Hostel on the British mainland. Travellers will need to carry their own food, water and sleeping bag for the part of the walk past the Alltbeithe Youth Hostel.
The walk combines established trails from Inverness down Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit, then west through the Craigmonie Woodland up to the forestry trail through to Corrimony then on to Cannich. Heading up Glen Cannich will find the forestry track to take the walker south-west before heading down to Dog Falls. Crossing the River Affric the track continues west along the south side of Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin towards Loch Affric and onto the old settlement at Athnamulloch. The river Affric is re-crossed to take the walker due west to the Youth Hostel at Alltbeithe, a place of complete tranquility. After a good night’s rest the path continues west to Kintail via Fionngleann and Gleann Lichd.
The description is for an east to west walk which starts from Inverness taking in the Great Glen Way down to Drumnadrochit on the north side of Loch Ness. But as this is the least scenic part of the walk some may prefer a leisurely yet beautiful cruise down Loch Ness to the ancient ruins of Urquhart Castle and its interesting visitor centre before walking back to Drumnadrochit.
It is hoped to have the walk fully signposted by late summer 2013 as all the paths currently exist though some work has still to be undertaken. Detailed instructions breaking the walk down into sections will be prepared and together with OS Landranger maps 25, 26 & 33, it is believed all experienced walkers and cyclists will easily find their way.
For walkers wishing to take a little longer then we recommend a slightly different route from Cannich taking in the conservation village of Tomich, the stunning Plodda Falls and up to the ancient and very remote hamlet at Cougie where there is a pony trekking centre. From here the path follows due west at some height to give stunning views of the lochs below and the high Affric range of Munros before heading down to Loch Affric via a steep and in parts muddy path where great care has to be taken. This route is not recommended for cyclists. The next stop over place is then the Alltbeithe Youth Hostel before the last leg of the Affric Kintail Way reaches the West Coast at Morvich.