Introduction to The North West Wilderness Weekend
The North West Wilderness Weekend gives you the chance to walk the first 3 days of the Cape Wrath Trail, from Fort William to Kinloch Hourn. It is perhaps the most remote and wild section of the entire Cape Wrath Trail. Due to its extremely remote nature, one night of this weekend will be spent wild camping. Wild camping is camping away from all civilisation, so you will not even be on a camp site. Giving you the opportunity to really experience a part of Scotland that is otherwise inaccessible. Our North West Wilderness Weekend allows you to sample the incredible Cape Wrath Trail.
Highlights of This Trail
- Walking along the beautiful Cona Glen, following the Cona River.
- Seeing The 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct (made famous by the Harry Potter Films).
- 1 night of wild camping in an extremely remote part of the UK.
- Views along Barisdale Bay and Loch Hourn.
What's Included with this Holiday
- A qualified Mountain Leader on each day of the trek
- A Full Information Pack
- 3 Nights Accommodation in Fort William
- 1 night of wild camping with the assistance of a Mountain Leader
- Breakfasts at all B&Bs/hotels
- Maximum group size of 7
- Support Vehicle available (so you can skip a section)
What to Expect from the Trail
The Cape Wrath Trail is known as one of the most challenging and remote treks in the UK. These 3 days on The North West Wilderness Weekend will give you an insight into why. The terrain is often very rough underfoot, with much of the trail being off path. However, this difficult terrain opens up some outstanding scenery, and a level of remoteness that many don’t realise exists in the UK. Although you will be taken to Fort William most evenings to your accommodation, you will also be spending one night wild camping. Wild camping can be a challenge in itself. However, experiencing the most wild of landscapes with no evidence of civilisation is an incredible feeling.
Is This Trail Right For Me?
The North West Wilderness Weekend is not only perfect for those that want a taste of the trek. It is also excellent for anyone who has previously walked The Cape Wrath Trail with us and wants to come back to do the first few days. However, this is not just about the Cape Wrath Trail. Since you will have a night out wild camping it also makes an excellent weekend for those that want to simply spend a night out in some of the most remote and breath-taking scenery in Scotland. If you are looking for an introduction to wild camping, this is a fantastic experience.
The North West Wilderness Weekend Guided Walking Itinerary
Each day you will be following the itinerary as detailed below. Once you have completed the day of walking along the trail you will be taken to your accommodation in Fort William. Except for night 3 (after the 2nd day of walking), whereby instead you will be spending the night wild camping. Your main bag will be safely stored for you and so you will only need to take the items that are essential for your wild camp with you on that day.
Day 1: Arrive in Fort William
Today you'll arrive in Fort William, The Outdoor Capital of The Highlands and the start of The Cape Wrath Trail. Fort William will be our base for much of The North West Wilderness Weekend. We will have accommodation arranged for you so you just need to check. In the evening you will get a chance to meet your fellow walkers as well as your guide at a local pub for a drink or two and to hear more about the plans for the coming days.
Accommodation in Fort William
Day 2: Walking to Glenfinnan - 22 miles (35km).
While today is a long day, it is actually fairly gentle underfoot. It has just under 600m of height gain throughout the full day. We will begin by catching the small passenger ferry from Fort William to Camusnagaul. This 10 minute crossing over Loch Linnhe gives you fantastic views of what is to come. Once off the ferry we will first have some road walking to cover before the road turns into a good track for the next 15km. This is section follows the River Cona, giving excellent views of the Glen. The track then turns into a more trodden path, as you ascend to the bealach between Meall nan Damh and Sgorr Craobh a'Chaorainn. From here you will start to descend until you are once again on a good track that you will follow to Glenfinnan. This is the location of the famous Glenfinnan Monument. Built in 1815, the 18m monument was a tribute to those who fought and died in the Jacobite Risings. It was erected in the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his father’s Standard at the start of the final Jacobite Rising in 1745.
Accommodation in Fort William
Day 3: Walking to Loch Nevis - 17 miles (27km)
Today is the first day of the mini expedition. You will carry with you everything you need for two days of walking and the wild camp tonight. We will give you a full kit list to make it as enjoyable as possible and to keep your rucksack as light as we can. Your guide will choose the best place for your group to wild camp (depending on the group speed, weather and level of tiredness). Therefore, you may not go as far as Loch Nevis, but if you do go this far it will be approximately 17 miles in total. Once you have left the road at Glenfinnan you will not see another road until you reach your destination of Kinloch Hourn tomorrow. You will begin the day by walking under the Glenfinnan Viaduct. The Viaduct consists of 21 arches and was built back in the 1890’s by Sir Robert McAlpine. It has been made more recently famous by being featured in the Harry Potter films and carries West Highland Railway line to Mallaig. Your first few miles are on good tracks. However, this becomes a rougher and rougher path as you approach Bealach a'Chaorainn. Whereby, you will be crossing the small river here multiple times. At the 471m bealach you will descend steeply, this soon eases and becomes a better footpath, followed by an easy track once again. The path will become rougher as you walk closely next to two small lochs before crossing The River Finiskaig. The view soon opens up to the beautiful Loch Nevis. Here you will be spending the night.
Accommodation Wild Camping
Day 4: Walking to Kinloch Hourn 16 miles - 25km
In the morning you will wake, eat some breakfast, pack down your tent and begin the final day of walking. This last day is around 16 miles and will begin on very rough terrain underfoot. Much of it being off path or very rough path. However, the scenery is stunning and you will join a much better path as you ascend the bealach. Heading down will show off dramatic views of Loch Hourn. On reaching Barrisdale Bay you will follow a coastal footpath all the way to Kinloch Hourn. This a short section but contains a reasonable amount of undulation. Therefore, it can take longer than it appears to look. Once at the head of the loch you will be in Kinloch Hourn and will be taken back to Fort William for a well-deserved rest! The mini expedition of today and yesterday is certainly challenging. However, it is well worth all the effort and will be an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation in Fort William
Day 5: Departure
Today it is time to say goodbye and make your way home, having completed The North West Wilderness Weekend. Fort William has a coach and train station and so your onward travel should be fairly simple.
The North West Wilderness Weekend Accommodation Options
You will be staying in Fort William for 3 nights and spending one night wild camping. While is Fort William you will be staying in the following accommodation option:
Bed & Breakfast
The Bed and Breakfast option provides you with good standard Bed and Breakfast accommodation, with breakfast included within the price of the holiday. The B&Bs we use are located within small towns or villages and so you will have access to local shops as well as a choice of pubs to make sure you have plenty of opportunity to have an evening meal. In areas where there are no B&Bs or there are no facilities such as shops or pubs we will instead drive you out to another nearby village where a better overall experience can be achieved.
For the night you will be wild camping you will need to bring your tent, sleeping bag and all your overnight kit. We will provide you will a kit list to help you pack so that you are as comfortable as possible while not overloading your rucksack. Wild camping is a challenge, however, the effort will be rewarded by spending the night in one of the most remote and unspoiled locations in the UK.
Dates & Prices
The dates of our scheduled treks can be seen below. We also off the option of private bookings for groups. Please get in touch if you'd like to book privately.
|Date of Trek||Availability|
|Friday 29th June 2018 to Tuesday 3rd July 2018||Guaranteed - 4 Spaces Left|
|Date of Trek||Availability|
|Friday 2nd August 2019 to Tuesday 6th August 2019||Spaces|
No Suitable Date?
If there are no dates on this calendar to suit you please let us know, sometimes we can add extra dates if there is enough demand for an extra trip to be added.
If a trek is full but you would like to be added to the waiting list, please do let us know. The waiting list is there so that if anyone drops out of the trek we will contact you and let you know, so you can take their place on the trek instead.
We are hoping to publish our calendar for 2019 in the spring of 2018. If you are keen to book early and secure a trek on a date to suit you please do feel free to get in contact with us.
Price for Bed & Breakfast:
The price of this trip is £399 per person (based on two sharing).
To book this trip we will require a £150 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are booking as a solo traveller and happy to share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex the price is £399.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £25 per night single supplement (£75 in total).
How to Book
Booking is simple, you can either phone us, email us or use our online shopping cart below.
Book The North West Wilderness Weekend Online
What Happens Once you Have Booked
Once we have received your booking (either through the online shopping cart, email or phone). We will then confirm with you that your accommodation option and room type, single, twin or double, is available. We will then send you a full booking form and information about paying your deposit for your trek. All deposits can be paid by cheque, bank transfer or debit/credit card. Once we have received back both your booking form and deposit we will let you know and your place on the trip will be secure.