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
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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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