Walking the Cape Wrath Trail
Backpacking through the Scottish Highlands: Fort William to Cape Wrath
By Iain Harper
A guidebook to the Cape Wrath Trail, a long-distance trek through the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Cape Wrath. The Cape Wrath Trail is a 230 mile, 3-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.
SeasonsApril, May and June are ideal months to walk the trail. September and October are also good, but there may be diversions due to deer stalking and military operations at the cape. In July and August the days are superbly long and the weather can be fine, but midges will be in full flight. The limited accommodation along the trail may also be booked up at this time of year.
CentresFort William, Glenfinnan, Barisdale, Kinloch Hourn, Shiel Bridge, Strathcarron, Kinlochewe, Dundonnell, Ullapool, Bridge of Orchy, Inchnadamph, Kylesku, Rhiconich, Kinlochbervie, Durness
DifficultyThe Cape Wrath Trail is regarded as the toughest long-distance backpacking trail in Britain. It crosses remote, sparsely populated and potentially dangerous mountain country. There are no pack-carrying services and often no clear paths. Limited re-supply points mean you need to be self-sufficient for several days at a time. Not a route for beginners or those unfamiliar with remote, rugged mountain areas.
Must SeeGlenfinnan monument and viaduct, the gloriously remote rough bounds of Knoydart, Barisdale, Forcan ridge, Falls of Glomach, Beinn Eighe, Lochan Fada, Shenavall, An Teallach, Glen Douchary, Glen Oykel, Ben More, Glencoul, Arkle, Foinaven, Sandwood Bay, Cape Wrath lighthouse
This guidebook describes the Cape Wrath Trail, a long-distance trek from Fort William to Cape Wrath crossing the wild northwest of the Scottish Highlands. The route is described from south to north in 14 stages, with 6 alternative stages along the way, allowing for a flexible itinerary of between two and three weeks. A long tough trek with no waymarking, this is for the tried and tested backpacker.
The guidebook includes OS mapping, route profiles and detailed route descriptions and gives you all the information you need about accommodation (including hotels, bothies, B&Bs and bunkhouses), campsites and amenities en route, to help you plan and prepare for this epic challenge.
The Cape Wrath Trail is regarded as the toughest long-distance route in Britain and offers unparalleled freedom and adventure to the experienced and self-sufficient backpacker prepared to walk for many days in remote wilderness. Travelling through the wild and rugged landscapes of Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, it will test the limits of your endurance.
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Iain Harper completed the Cape Wrath Trail in 2009. Armed with his research he approached Cicerone to write the definitive guidebook to the trek. Iain has walked extensively in the Highlands for 20 years, enjoys running ultra marathons and lives with his wife Kay in the Cotswolds.View author profile
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