Find out how the big day went and how you go about preparing for such an event in the British outdoors! But it was a good ride. Continue reading » Harvey Cape Wrath Trail Maps. But one thing is for sure: it can be kind of a bitch. Use the offer code 'os' to save 25%. It isn't so hard, and the trail offers great views. This is a gorgeous section. The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. No one seemed to care, and it meant that we had a toilet and running water at our disposal. Some of the river crossings on the Cape Wrath Trail can be potentially difficult and dangerous. 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. 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. We're glad we did, even though we couldn't quite finish the whole thing in our time allowed. But it can get congested with day hikers (unlike anywhere else). It is approximately 200 miles in length and is considered to be one of the most challenging long distance walks in the UK. It usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete and is considered the most difficult long-distance walk in the UK. If you're not too tired, head to Barrisdale bothy. We then headed briefly back down the road and turned off into some proper bog. The Cape Wrath Trail is challenging and frustrating, mostly because the "Cape Wrath Trail" is something that someone (probably on the internet) made up. Cape Wrath Trail Gear List. without extensive snow and ice) extends from roughly April to October in an average year, but non-trivial snow could be encountered for weeks at either end of this window, making the trail a significantly tougher proposition. Of course, this is also what makes it so very special. We would highly recommend this, as much of the track is along the road - no fun at all to walk. We left our little campsite and walked for an annoyingly long time through the town of Morvich. Climbing 250 metres when you’re pushing through waist deep bogs is … She told me the Ozone Cafe was open if I wanted anything. The Cape Wrath Trail doesn’t exceed 750 metres of elevation at any point – but you’re not in for an easy ride. The last bit was very, very steep and quite slow going for us. This meant that we were walking for an hour or so at the end of the day along quite a boring section. The Cape Wrath Trail is considered the hardest hiking route in the United Kingdom. There's an overpriced cafe there, and likely some weathered hikers just finishing up their own journey. Gilad Nachmani has advice for anyone planning on taking on the last British wilderness. Approximately 230 miles in length, most people take 2-3 weeks to backpack the trip. We left early, and traversed a pleasantly undulating trail along the loch. Still, we think it's worth it for the challenge. We chose to take the western route instead of the easier Great Glen variant. The country isn't as green as you think. We spent an extra hour or so waffling about this. Check out detailed information in our post here. The area after Glencoul bothy was mostly pathless, but gorgeous. The real challenge with the CWT is that it crosses the Scottish Highlands: one of the last wild areas in the British Isles. while scree and scrambling make this a trail only for the nimble and experienced walker and certainly not to be underestimated! 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. 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. D The Cape Wrath Trail is one of the UK’s toughest long-distance trails, covering roughly 240 challenging (and often pathless) miles from Fort William to Cape Wrath. © Ordnance Survey document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); / Privacy Policy. 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. With a very painful knee and an altered itinerary, it didn't really feel like the end of a mighty trek. Here is exactly how we did it with (mostly) public transport You should be comfortable with long days on the hills, exposed to the elements and with very little shelter. There are very long pathless sections where you need skillful navigation (An absolute requirement!) The bottom of the valley is a great place for a picnic. Ultrapacking on the Cape Wrath Trail We camped smack dab in the middle of Kinlochewe. We made the rather bold decision, after walking down the other side of Ben Stack on a gravel road, to abandon the trail. Resources. The CWT is not a trail on which to learn those much needed outdoors skills and it is not a trail to take friends or relatives who would like to get a taste of the outdoors on - they might never try again. It's hard to believe that this website is now nearly five years old. hard (!!) This has little to do with its duration or elevation levels. 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. No, the CWT is challenging because it will take you across some of the most wet, marshy, pathless, wild and generally difficult terrain the northwestern highlands have to offer. There's plenty of accommodation in town. From Fort William you will navigate 370km of rugged, beautiful mountain country to reach the UK mainlands most northwesterly point of Cape Wrath. But, be warned, it can happen. You’ll find a feature on Alex Roddie’s journey along the trail in the May 2019 issue of our magazine , and in this section of our website we’ve published additional content. The Cape Wrath Trail (let’s call it the CWT from now on) is known as Scotland’s most challenging long-distance trail. Plus there's a little store in town. We camped next to a lovely rope swing and fire pit, a good four kilometers before it. Proceed at your own risk and try to glance at a topo first. Then, down again on a whole lotta bog. The other thing it needs to be approached with is a camera, or at least a half-decent smartphone in my case. The CWT is one of those routes that become part of a bucket list or a "one day" kind of adventure - don't let this happen. #GetOutside Champion, Stef Jackson-Horner, knew that a big white wedding wasn't for her and her fiancé; what they wanted was a walking wedding. Don’t underestimate this section! There are a couple ways to go, but we chose the 4x4 track down to a proper road. We started out the day wandering along the beach. This really did it for Tori's (by this point) weak joints and it took us ages to reach the bothy at Sourlies. After the bothy, the path is clear, or at least easy, past some big lochs. The Cape Wrath Trail is a long distance walk from Fort William to the northwesternmost point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath. Aug 06, 2014; Choice of maps is a particularly important decision when planning an expedition on the Cape Wrath Trail. Still, this section is a bit tricky technically. It is widely regarded as the toughest and most remote of the UK's long distance trails. We know, surprising. Here’s how to make the most of it. They will also help prepare you for the CWT, and your ability to handle the first and last of the three big challenges. The southern section of the trail has a few possible routes available for hikers, as their is no official route. Aug 06, 2014; Harvey Cape Wrath Trail Maps. After leaving camp, we wandered through Inverlael, where a few hikers were catching the bus to Ullapool for food. Which is basically my plan. Its warm fire and friendly Scots saved us from what would have otherwise been a miserable night. We camped next to the river, right before Inverlael. Rinconich could barely be called a town, but it does have some public toilets and sinks that could be useful. Today was the first day that we started to have joint issues. A 15/16-stage unmarked (!!!) This is the southern section of our Cape Wrath Trail. 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. 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. It still took a couple hours to get there. Finally, we passed Shiel Bridge, where there's a perfect river to swim in, and began climbing. We made a bold choice at this point in the trail. It took almost all day to get to Cape Wrath from Edinburgh. It’s marked as a campsite on the maps so naturally the smooth area of grass was where three sets of hikers (us included) had pitched. Will you be hunkering down every time the weather turns? Fortuitously, it was closed, so we could camp in their pristinely manicured lawn. The Cape Wrath Trail is an unofficial long distance trail and as such it is very remote and rarely walked. Cape Wrath lighthouse. We completed this journey during the second half of May 2018. One of the toughest (and also most spectacular) long distance walks is the Cape Wrath Trail in the Scottish Highlands. Speaking of the bothy - Shenavall was our favorite bothy of the entire trip. For that reason I would call it the most challenging and demanding route in the UK, one that very few people see to completion. Which route variation to take? It's hard to believe that this website is now nearly five years old. It’s not actually a trail though, but a route. 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? And goddamn it poured. Cape Wrath Trail is a hiking route that runs through the Scottish Highlands and along the west coast of Scotland. In this case, the ankles. The Cape Wrath Trail does not offer hikers the luxury of certainty: flexibility is a critical part of the trailblazer’s mountain kit. It's available for £6.99 from Gumroad. It's a bit hard here to tell exactly when you should leave the 4x4 track, cross a few deer gates, and enter the bog. The Cape Wrath Trail is a real gem; the diamond in the rough. The trail is EXTREMELY good here, the best of the whole trip, so soak it in. We would highly recommend pushing on to Maol Bhuide, though. The trail follows a good path downhill past Maol Bhuide. This 6 day walk starts at the remote Kinloch Horn and takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery that the Scottish Highlands have to offer, finishing where the trail passes near Ullapool. 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. Then, we entered the lovely Glen Douchary. After the glen, the last section of the track is on a 4x4 road. 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. On the plus side, Inverie was beautiful and the ferry offered views toward the Isle of Skye. 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. We spent an extra hour or so waffling about this. It leads through the harshest and barren areas. We then headed up and over some small hills toward the tiny town of Blairmore. We climbed past some sheep farms and walked a clear path through pretty, if high, terrain. 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. This is the terrain through which the Cape Wrath Trail runs. 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. The trail then drops gently, through a forest, down to Morvich. The last view of the Great Glen, looking back northeast from above Laggan Bridge. It seemed like the end when we finally reached a 4x4 and indeed we did pass Bendronaig Lodge. 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. You can find the exact distances on Walk Highlands and the Harvey maps. 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. We camped on a green piece of lawn in front of an abandoned building and got a bit of flac from the owner. We took a train to Sterling, then another to Lairg. Plus, you have a bothy at the end, which makes it all worth it. The trail was gentle, and we saw a fair few day hikers. This 200-mile, two-to-three-week tramp up the rugged northwest edge of the Highlands whets hard-core adventurers’ appetites. But, it was worth it for an easy day. 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. Next, it climbs up next to the Falls of Glomach. Your own thoughts about the Cape Wrath Trail? Know what you’re taking on. Why would I want to do the Cape Wrath Trail alone at all? Near the top, there was a fun wire bridge crossing that offered many opportunities for pictures. You have to go up another stack, in what is essentially a slowly running river, and back down to Glencoul bothy on the other side. I was looking into all possible directions, checking buses, ferries and trains. 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. There's nothing else in Britain like it. Let us know below. After a few easy kilometers along the road we reached the lighthouse at Cape Wrath and took the appropriate pictures. Instead, we kept chugging and made it to Glencoul bothy. Over the years since, several guides have been written and a number of suggested variations of the walk itself have been introduced. Then another hour making our way through trackless moorland up to the top of Ben Stack, which has fabulous views. It was our own fault - the fire roads were simply too easy walking. 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. How much food you will be able to carry and will you be sending resupply boxes. Choice of maps is a particularly important decision when planning an expedition on the Cape Wrath Trail. In 2020 I also walked a major part of it south to north on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk.. For more information on planning your CWT hike, please see this article. He has recently written an e-book to help others plan and complete this challenge. OS GetOutside Champion Cat Webster takes us on a two-day bothy adventure, taking in two Munros along the way. walk from Fort William all the way to Cape Wrath. 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. View fullsize. 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. 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. Morar, Knoydart, Assynt … the nation’s most grueling trail passes places so remote, many are known simply as wildernesses—because there are … Because of Tori's bum knee, we decided to turn off the official route and hike out to Inverie. It's a bit hard here to tell exactly when you should leave the 4x4 track, cross a few deer gates, and enter the bog. Last year when I walked the trail I kept a pretty good pace, and my experience on recent trips showed me that 5 km/h is a reasonable pace for me. Despite some wet and wild weather, I was never uncomfortable during the hike and felt prepared for any meteorological scenario that may have occurred. The Cape Wrath Trail travels up the west coast of Scotland, beginning in Fort William, and ending at Cape Wrath which is the northernmost point of Britain. So for those of you interested in walking to Cape Wrath, it’s time to dust off those map-and-compass skills! We stuck close to the ocean after being told it was less boggy there. On the 81 mile route you'll find historic Jacobite battle grounds in Kintail, beautiful Caledonian Pine forest near Kinlochewe, and traverse the Fisherfields known as the last great wilderness of the UK. 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. There are a million different variations, directions, and ideas when it comes to this route. The Cape Wrath Trail is the UK’s best long-distance hike. Next was a gradual uphill followed by a fucking brutal downhill, with little path and lots of bog. Then path turns mildly nonexistent and boggy before reaching a good gravel road. Should you just make your own route? 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. Definitely camp there - afterwards, the trail disintegrates into gnarly bog. It … 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. T he Cape Wrath Trail is the best long-distance hike in the UK. The route is unmarked and there is no official line. There weren't any trains that day, because it was a bank holiday. Such luxury. You can camp on the beach or on a grassy knoll above it like we did. Most sections have at least one climb over a bealach that can be very challenging, especially if there is snow present. The usual seasonal window for hiking the Cape Wrath Trail in summer-like conditions (i.e. Overall I was happy with my gear selections on the Cape Wrath Trail. It probably wouldn't have been any cheaper anyway, since we booked the busses in advance. 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). Having said all that, this trail is a stunning long distance route. It was pretty spectacular, but also challenging, remote, and at times monotonous. We also wrote our best tips for the trek in another article, here. All that time I was thinking hard and long what to do next. And the bothies! Sign up to receive the very best of OS and its group of companies, straight to you by email. The trail from Stack Lodge follows a proper road briefly and then turns up and up past some lovely lakes. The CWT is not a new concept, but it was first named and suggested by David Paterson in a 1996 book about the route. To complement the "How hard can it be?Could you run an 8-day epic through wild Scotland" article featuring the Cape Wrath Ultra™ in the latest issue of Trail Running Magazine, we've got some extra content for you to savour featuring Hazel Robertson, née Clyne, (joint 58th with Luke) and Iain Prentice (20th).Thanks to Claire Maxted for the questions! Cape Wrath Trail Tip 20 – Don’t Camp on the Lawn at Kinloch Hourn. So plan your gear accordingly. The first day of this trek really let us know what we were in for. It was the first night of rain for us, but it was still cozy in the tent. We made it back to Edinburgh that last day, on the bus, with a quick transfer through Glasgow. We could see the tracks of an impressive machine that we later learned had made the journey earlier that day. 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. You can connect the two endpoints by hiking over any trails you want, even hiking cross-country or a mix, if it suits you. Caught the Durness bus there and waited on a very unreliable ferry. The Cape Wrath Trail is a remote and challenging 200-mile hike through the Scottish Highlands. 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. There are grassy banks next to the lochs and the sheep are cute and curious. It was quite pretty - some of the greenest area you'll see in Scotland. The full route is 200 miles, but most hikers need two and a half to three weeks to walk the whole thing. Instead of heading to Kylestrom, we cut some corners and walked straight to the bothy at Glendhu. If you're not so lucky, continue along the trail for another 20 minutes or so and you'll find a cute little beach by the next lake you reach. Hitch hiking may have been possible, but the roads got quite large a few hours south of Fort William. Got any more questions? There are no signs to follow, no nightly stays in B&Bs with a pub dinner. The bridge is technically out at the river before the bothy. Unlike some other, better known and organised trails, the CWT is best enjoyed when you are actually out there, coming to terms with the weather and seeing the landscape. As much as the CWT is a long distance walk, it is not a trail you take to with a few maps and a guide book; it requires careful planning - from the walking route to food carrying to missing gear. In bad weather, it can be unforgiving. The Cape Wrath Trail, besides being Britain’s most remote long-distance trail, is also a noticeably unmarked trail. Just plan your first section and you can find the exact distances on walk Highlands the... 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