Which is basically my plan. It can be hard to find the little path there is, and if you take a wrong turn, you could end up at the bottom of a cliff and have to turn around (like we did). We would highly recommend this, as much of the track is along the road - no fun at all to walk. We camped on a green piece of lawn in front of an abandoned building and got a bit of flac from the owner. The Cape Wrath Trail is an unofficial long distance trail and as such it is very remote and rarely walked. Plus, you have a bothy at the end, which makes it all worth it. Now I’m a freelance, I can (kind of) afford to allow myself time to complete the Trail in my own time, at a pace that suits the conditions and my own fitness. Instead of heading to Kylestrom, we cut some corners and walked straight to the bothy at Glendhu. But we can tell you it worked for us, and their were no cliffs in the way. We spent an extra hour or so waffling about this. D There's not one perfect way to get to and from the trail. The walk to the School House bothy is very easy from Oykel, and highly recommended. Note - all times and distances are estimates based on our actual experiences (ie, when we got lost). Stefan also managed to lose his one and only shirt at the bottom, so he got to hike it once and run it a second time. After finally finding our way, the first half of the walk was quite easy. The route is unmarked and there is no official line. This is where we made the biggest decision on the Cape Wrath Trail. Over the years since, several guides have been written and a number of suggested variations of the walk itself have been introduced. View fullsize. View fullsize. The trail is EXTREMELY good here, the best of the whole trip, so soak it in. We made the rather bold decision, after walking down the other side of Ben Stack on a gravel road, to abandon the trail. There are also many decision to be made before even leaving that are beyond the standard long trail decisions, such as: All of these are very important decisions that are taken long before travel planning or gear updates begin; these are decisions that should be taken in the idea stage. hard (!!) This day was very slow going, but also included a stop at Cape Wrath. It took almost all day to get to Cape Wrath from Edinburgh. We left early, and traversed a pleasantly undulating trail along the loch. Let us know below. Not what you picture when you think of Scotland. The Cape Wrath Trail is a remote and challenging 200-mile hike through the Scottish Highlands. Resources. Some of the river crossings on the Cape Wrath Trail can be potentially difficult and dangerous. The first day of this trek really let us know what we were in for. It took us about 5 minutes, 2 minutes longer than it had in Rinconich. The ever changing route crosses Lochaber, Knoydart, Applecross, Torridon, vast parts of Wester Ross, Assynt and Sutherland - all areas of great beauty and majestic peaks. It still took a couple hours to get there. It was very easy, starting at the bridge in Kinlochewe; we snagged two quick rides from there. There's a bit of flat ground after the gate, but it's not ideal. This trail should only be undertaken by experienced walkers who have honed their walking, navigation and outdoors skills by now and are very comfortable with being outdoors in harsh conditions. The trail then drops gently, through a forest, down to Morvich. She told me the Ozone Cafe was open if I wanted anything. Located in Scotland, it runs from Fort William, through the Highlands and Western Scotland, to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath, the northwestern-most point of Scotland. Choice of maps is a particularly important decision when planning an expedition on the Cape Wrath Trail. We just weren't up for the long day(s). When planning my Cape Wrath Trail trip this year I expected to walk it ultrapacking-style, going for long days with no stops at a steady 5km/h pace. It was pretty spectacular, but also challenging, remote, and at times monotonous. Gilad Nachmani is the creator of the Outdoor Father blog, a guide for people who want to make the most of their limited time with some epic adventures. 1. It then broke into open bog land (which wasn't too hard to navigate) before meeting up with a 4x4 track. It climbed up and up past numerous small lochs to reach Bealach na h-Uidhe. And the bothies! But it was a good ride. If you're not too tired, head to Barrisdale bothy. The full route is 200 miles, but most hikers need two and a half to three weeks to walk the whole thing. The bridge is technically out at the river before the bothy. The Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) is an unofficial, unmarked long-distance route between Fort William and Cape Wrath, the farthest NW point in mainland Britain. Apparently it was, as we didn't get soaked, but it was hard walking, with lots of up and downs and absolutely no sign of any trail whatsoever. Then, down again on a whole lotta bog. Lastly, the Cape Wrath Trail crosses the Scottish Highlands and as such has three major challenges: the weather, the fact that it is so remote and rarely travelled, and the critters (midges and ticks). We can't guarantee this would be a good idea in all weather. What’s the difference? Approximately 230 miles in length, most people take 2-3 weeks to backpack the trip. Here is exactly how we did it with (mostly) public transport It leads through the harshest and barren areas. The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance trail, and is an unofficial route through some of the most spectacularly wild parts of Scotland. Most sections have at least one climb over a bealach that can be very challenging, especially if there is snow present. In 2020 I also walked a major part of it south to north on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk.. It is widely regarded as the toughest and most remote of the UK's long distance trails. It would have been a lovely walk if not for the sideways rain. Caught the Durness bus there and waited on a very unreliable ferry. Continue reading » Harvey Cape Wrath Trail Maps. see more about how he took it on twice - in 2015 and 2016 on his blog. There's nothing else in Britain like it. Proceed at your own risk and try to glance at a topo first. The CWT can still be walked in any way you would like, but has, in general, roughly followed the route suggested by Denis Brook and Phil Hinchliffe since they proposed it in 1999. A few hours later a shrieking woman appeared demanding that everyone get off her lawn. Aug 06, 2014; Harvey Cape Wrath Trail Maps. Its warm fire and friendly Scots saved us from what would have otherwise been a miserable night. You can camp on the beach or on a grassy knoll above it like we did. So for those of you interested in walking to Cape Wrath, it’s time to dust off those map-and-compass skills! For the experienced backpacker it offers an irresistible challenge: over two hundred miles of continuously superb hiking through the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. For that reason I would call it the most challenging and demanding route in the UK, one that very few people see to completion. The trail from Stack Lodge follows a proper road briefly and then turns up and up past some lovely lakes. The route leads you across most of the north west coast of Scotland via Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, winding through its most beautiful glens and mountains. We completed this journey during the second half of May 2018. Then another hour making our way through trackless moorland up to the top of Ben Stack, which has fabulous views. If you are unsure about the route, just plan your first section and you can always come back to it. The Cape Wrath Trail is a non-trivial expedition through the wildest country remaining in the British Isles and it does need to be approached with a modicum of respect. The real challenge with the CWT is that it crosses the Scottish Highlands: one of the last wild areas in the British Isles. Here’s how to make the most of it. Glendhu is beautifully situated and would make a great overnight stop. Your own thoughts about the Cape Wrath Trail? From Fort William you will navigate 370km of rugged, beautiful mountain country to reach the UK mainlands most northwesterly point of Cape Wrath. It explains why we chose to hike it north to south, plus all the gritty details of the trip (including what we'd do differently). Other resources online make it sound incredibly hard, but I think it is manageable for any prepared hiker. No one seemed to care, and it meant that we had a toilet and running water at our disposal. You should be comfortable with long days on the hills, exposed to the elements and with very little shelter. This is the terrain through which the Cape Wrath Trail runs. I knew from my previous walk of the Cape Wrath Trail that there are often bits of a path on the coastal route, but it’s hard going whichever way you choose. They will also help prepare you for the CWT, and your ability to handle the first and last of the three big challenges. We took a train to Sterling, then another to Lairg. We also wrote our best tips for the trek in another article, here. Still, we think it's worth it for the challenge. Having said all that, this trail is a stunning long distance route. Morar, Knoydart, Assynt … the nation’s most grueling trail passes places so remote, many are known simply as wildernesses—because there are … Many describe the CWT as the hardest (or toughest) route in the UK, but I think it is not the route that makes it hard - it is the setting it is in. There weren't any trains that day, because it was a bank holiday. Despite some wet and wild weather, I was never uncomfortable during the hike and felt prepared for any meteorological scenario that may have occurred. We got hopelessly lost after leaving the Schoolhouse. The trail follows a good path downhill past Maol Bhuide. The usual seasonal window for hiking the Cape Wrath Trail in summer-like conditions (i.e. After the bothy, the path is clear, or at least easy, past some big lochs. There are very long pathless sections where you need skillful navigation (An absolute requirement!) It's all old fire road, and pretty flat. It’s not marked and requires very good navigational skills. It runs along the west coast until the terminus at the Cape Wrath lighthouse at the northwestern tip of the mainland. The Cape Wrath Trail is the UK’s best long-distance hike. The views - and bothies - were still much better. It … best eats, Cape Wrath Trail, bothies, bothies Cape Wrath Trail, Accommodation Cape Wrath trail, best bothies on the Cape Wrath Trail, where to stay on the Cape Wrath Trail, Cape Wrath bothy list, Scottish bothies, budget accommodation Cape Wrath trail, Scotland, Bothy, Bothies, Wilderness huts, Free wilderness huts, Scottish bothies, what is a bothy, are bothies free, wild camping, wild camping Scotland, Mountain Bothy Association, MBA, cheap Scotland, Budget backpacking Scotland, backpacking Scotland, Scotland on a budget, is scotland expensive, is Scotland cheap, where to stay in Scotland, Bothy trip, Hiking, Camp for Free in Scotland with the Outdoor Access Code, Our Top Tips to Hike the Cape Wrath Trail Fast and Cheap. Should you just make your own route? The CWT is not a new concept, but it was first named and suggested by David Paterson in a 1996 book about the route. We would highly recommend pushing on to Maol Bhuide, though. We made a bold choice at this point in the trail. It was a bit torturous, being able to see the bothy from miles away. Next, it climbs up next to the Falls of Glomach. After a few easy kilometers along the road we reached the lighthouse at Cape Wrath and took the appropriate pictures. Sign up to receive the very best of OS and its group of companies, straight to you by email. The area after Glencoul bothy was mostly pathless, but gorgeous. We could see the tracks of an impressive machine that we later learned had made the journey earlier that day. The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. Of course, this is also what makes it so very special. But, be warned, it can happen. We then headed briefly back down the road and turned off into some proper bog. It's hard to believe that this website is now nearly five years old. Such luxury. At the very end of the day, right before the trail descended to the bothy where we would stay the night, it turned into an absolute waterfall. Cape Wrath Trail Gear List. Gilad Nachmani has advice for anyone planning on taking on the last British wilderness. A 15/16-stage unmarked (!!!) After walking the final stretch into Inchnadamph on a gravel road, we decided to hitch the next section (all the way to Oykel Bridge) to save both time and ourselves. It isn't so hard, and the trail offers great views. If you've decided to hike it, or are considering your own trip to Scotland, here's our itinerary to help you complete the journey in a fairly reasonable two weeks. To what extent will you allow the weather to decide your activity level? There are no signs or posts to show you the way; navigating this trail is one of the things you’ll have to take care of yourself. It's hard to believe that this website is now nearly five years old. The real challenge with the CWT is that it crosses the Scottish Highlands: one of the last wild areas in the British Isles. He has recently written an e-book to help others plan and complete this challenge. It is a long distance trail that covers 200-250 miles (320-400 km) and can be walked in one go over 10-30 days (or run in 8 days...), but it can also be a great section hike, being done in stages over long weekends, coming back to meet the trail at various times. When I finally reached the lighthouse, I was met with a friendly hello from a lady laying out in the sun. We met our ride on the ferry, so it was quite easy and enjoyable. The Cape Wrath Trail is challenging and frustrating, mostly because the "Cape Wrath Trail" is something that someone (probably on the internet) made up. The Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) has a deceiving name: it is actually not a trail, but a route, running the length of the Scottish Highlands between Fort William in the south and Cape Wrath in the north. Got any more questions? With the right planning, training and a huge amount of commitment, it is also doable and enjoyable as a trip of a lifetime. Then, we entered the lovely Glen Douchary. The Cape Wrath Trail is a real gem; the diamond in the rough. I decided that I had to do it. Once in town, we decided to save some time and hitch hiked from Blairmore to Rinconich. It's passed a fucking brutal moorland, though. If you have no past experience hiking in Scotland it is recommended to try a couple of easier trails such as the West Highland Way or the Affric Kintail Way; both are easier to walk, less demanding and are well marked. With a very painful knee and an altered itinerary, it didn't really feel like the end of a mighty trek. Generally the north is more populated than the South so you'll see more through hikers there. His primary interest is ultrapacking - long distance, fast multi-day self supported trips, including the Cape Wrath Trail - you can see more about how he took it on twice - in 2015 and 2016 on his blog. The Cape Wrath Trail is a long distance walk from Fort William to the northwesternmost point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath. So plan your gear accordingly. Definitely camp there - afterwards, the trail disintegrates into gnarly bog. You can connect the two endpoints by hiking over any trails you want, even hiking cross-country or a mix, if it suits you. Plus there's a little store in town. The country isn't as green as you think. The Cape Wrath Trail does not offer hikers the luxury of certainty: flexibility is a critical part of the trailblazer’s mountain kit. The next section of trail was quite pleasant, if boggy, following for a couple hours along the first real lochs of the trip. The Cape Wrath Trail, besides being Britain’s most remote long-distance trail, is also a noticeably unmarked trail. Some sections of the trail are very demanding and a good level of fitness is needed, especially when a heavy pack is added to the equation. There are no signs to follow, no nightly stays in B&Bs with a pub dinner. The CWT offers some of the most magnificent landscapes and views I have found in the British Isles, but to gain access to them you must endure wet and demanding underfoot conditions, rapidly changing weather, exposure to the elements and a vast emptiness that is rare to find the UK anymore. It really is gorgeous, and there's a surprising amount of sand. The alternative would have been to hike a longer day to Glenfinnan, finishing the following day with a short walk and final hitch or ferry to Fort Williams. Instead of taking yet another bus all the way to Cape Wrath, we walked about 8km along a dirt road through MOD territory to Kearvaig bothy, which is an absolutely lovely place to start your journey and is located about 3km before the official start of the Cape Wrath Trail. We stuck close to the ocean after being told it was less boggy there. This was the only day it rained on our entire trek. In this case, the ankles. The Cape Wrath Trail is among the UK’s toughest but also most rewarding long-distance routes – where better to find solitude and a break from the noise of switched-on modern living? Britain’s wildest weather, which can leave you hiking for days without dry gear, is one thing that slows you down.

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