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Barge trips in Scotland

A friend has recommended a barge trip on a canal in Scotland as a way to spend some time in a non-Schengen country.

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience taking a barge trip in Scotland? I am wondering, does it go to interesting places? It looks relaxing, but is it maybe too relaxing??? I know you can borrow a bike to ride and meet the barge, but i am not sure i at my age, even though i am very active and it good shape, i could do that.

We would be going mid-June.

Any words of wisdom? Website for recommended barge trip.

Many thanks

Posted by
6775 posts

I don't know anything about that vessel, I've done the Great Glen on a larger more luxurious vessel. I did it in 3 days and that was a relaxed pace. I can't imagine taking 7 days to do the voyage- that is really very slow. I can't see much detail about the itinerary but would be really interested to know how it can take that long. There must be lots of stops for walks and cycling. Stops on the north bank will have access to the Inverness to Fort William bus, but there are few options on the south bank for anything but walking or cycling.
I am used to the relaxed pace of narrow canal boating but on the face of the available information I too suspect it could be a bit too relaxing for you.
If you'd said Edinburgh to Glasgow in 7 days I would take that, but on the Great Glen I'm really not sure.

Posted by
1319 posts

Hi Susan -

I’ve done The Great Glen Way with Caledonian Discovery back in 2012. We sailed on Fingal (one of the two barges they operate, the other one being Ros Crana) which acted as our floating hotel following us down the GGW as we walked from Inverness towards Fort William (the barges home dock is at Banavie on the Caledonian Canal near the end of the canal).

It was a fantastic week, all meals provided, tea and cake when you returned from the days walk, en suite cabins (small but comfy), large saloon/lounge, guides provided who walk with you each day, etc., etc. The only thing we had to pay for was if we wanted to purchase any of the alcohol they carried on board and if we had any expenses while out on the trail (a packed lunch was provided from the barge).

Both barges ply their trade on The Caledonian Canal between Inverness and Fort William, travelling in both directions, so you either join near Fort William or Inverness dependent on the direction of travel. They do walk along the Great Glen Way but that’s just one of the varied trips they do - a look on their website will give you full details of their itineraries and will advise on the state of bookings - be warned, their trips are really popular and book up really quickly and well in advance of sailing date.

We had a great time on Fingal walking the GGW and I thoroughly recommend one of their trips.


Posted by
14 posts

Thank you both for your replies.

You have given me some more good information to discuss with my daughter. I will check out the availability of the trips today.

I sincerely appreciate your responses.