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A guidebook for walking this long-distance trek through the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Cape Wrath. The Cape Wrath Trail is a 200 mile, three-week challenge through wild and magnificent landscapes, such as Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt. Crossing such empty country, it is for the experienced backpacker only.
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Widely regarded as the toughest backpacking trail in Britain, the Cape Wrath Trail is a 3-week, 200-mile epic from Fort William to the most north-westerly point of the mainland, crossing real wilderness and rugged terrain. Winding through beautiful glens, lochs and mountains, it takes you through some of Scotland’s finest country including Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, before a spectacular finale at Cape Wrath.
The inspiring sights range from the deep blue mirrors of hidden lochs to the unkempt expanse of mountain and moor, to the final cliff-top view of pewter sea. To reach them you will travel on ancient drover paths, through forested glens and across quintessential Highland bogs.
The Cape Wrath Trail offers an unparalleled level of freedom and adventure to an experienced trekker; with flexible routes, camping and days spent in inaccessible wilderness.
A cautionary note – it is with some justification that Cape Wrath is regarded as Britain’s toughest backpacking trail. It crosses rough, unforgiving parts of Scotland that should not be underestimated. There are no pack-carrying services and often there are not even any clear paths, only bogs and leg-sapping terrain. Limited re-supply points require self-sufficiency for much of the journey, and there will be stretches during which you’ll need to carry many days’ supplies. This is absolutely not a route for beginners or those unfamiliar with remote, rugged mountain areas.
This guidebook describes the route in detail over 14 stages, although the route may well take three weeks to complete. The guide covers information about all the facilities and accommodation options en route, as well as guidance on preparation, planning and navigation. It offers a wide range of variations, recognising that there can be no definitive path suitable for all.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).
|Geology and wildlife|
|When to go|
|Money and communications|
|Preparation and planning|
|What to take|
|Waywarking and access|
|Maps and navigation|
|Using this guide|
|1 Fort William to Strathcarron|
|Stage 1 Fort William to Glenfinnan|
|Stage 2 Glenfinnan to Glen Dessarry|
|Stage 3 Glen Dessarry to Barisdale|
|Stage 4 Barisdale to Morvich (near Shiel Bridge)|
|Alternative Stage 1 Fort William to Laggan|
|Alternative Stage 2 Laggan to Cluanie|
|Alternative Stage 3 Cluanie to Morvich (near Shiel Bridge)|
|Stage 5 Morvich (near Shiel Bridge) to Strathcarron|
|2 Strathcarron to Inverlael (near Ullapool)|
|Stage 6 Strathcarron to Kinlochewe|
|Alternative Stage 6 Bendronaig to Kinlochewe|
|Stage 7 Kinlochewe to Strath na Sealga|
|Stage 8 Strath na Sealga to Inverlael (near Ullapool)|
|3 Inverlael to Cape Wrath|
|Stage 9 Inverlael (near Ullapool) to Oykel Bridge|
|Alternative Stage 9 Ullapool to Oykel Bridge|
|Stage 10 Oykel Bridge to Inchnadamph (or Loch Ailsh)|
|Stage 11 Inchnadamph to Glendhu|
|Alternative Stage 11 Loch Ailsh to Glendhu|
|Stage 12 Glendhu to Rhiconich|
|Stage 13 Rhiconich to Sandwood Bay|
|Stage 14 Sandwood Bay to Cape Wrath|
|Appendix A Route summary table|
|Appendix B Accommodation|
|Appendix C Shops, cafés and Post Offices|
|Appendix D Useful websites|
|Appendix E Maps|
|Appendix F Further reading|