3.5 of 5 (2 votes)

Loch Ness viewpoint - Meall Fuar Mhonaidh

A moderate walk (mountain (above 600m)) in Highlands, Scotland, about 20.37km (12.66 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 6:30. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Gain 646m (2119ft)
Loss 645m (2116ft)
Max. Elevation 690m (2263ft)
Elevation (total) 1291m (4235ft)
Start & End
Lewiston, near Drumnadrochit
Distance 20.37km
(12.66mi)
Duration ~6:30
Difficulty  
Moderate
5Created by maryw on 28 Sep 2011
This distinctive knobbly hill is visible for miles around Loch Ness and offers a superb viewpoint, revealing clearly the fault line followed by the Great Glen to the north and south. The views compensate for the longish walk in (and back) along a minor road, when doing this walk the car-free way; the start point on the A82 is accessible by bus. There is a clear path up the hill, but be prepared to get  a bit muddy!

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Walk Map

Waypoints

OS Grid NH512290
Alight from the bus at Lewiston, by the bridge, a mile or so south of Drumnadrochit. Both local buses and Citylink coaches ply the route from Inverness to Fort Augustus via Urquhart Castle - the buses are cheaper! Head along the minor road south of the bridge, past the pub on the corner. Follow signs for Great Glen Way where this swings away from the road on a bend. This diversion for pedestrians avoids a steep narrow hill with hairpin bends.
Clunebeg House About 1.23 km (~0.76 miles) from
OS Grid NH502282
Here the Great Glen Way swings left and continues uphill through woodland until it rejoins the minor road from Lewiston.
Minor road junction About 0.74 km (~0.46 miles) from
OS Grid NH510282
Turn right and follow the road southwards, shaded at first by conifer woods, then opening out between croft land to give wider views. In places a separate pedestrian path has been created alongside the narrow road, which is mostly quiet with little traffic. Signs to a pottery appear at intervals.
Balbeg -start of hillpath About 4.89 km (~3.04 miles) from
OS Grid NH490237
Just beyond the settlement of Balbeg, pass a carpark on the right. Shortly afterwards turn right (opposite the pottery turning) onto the signposted hillpath. This meanders along close to a stream , with a boardwalk over the worst of the marshy ground, then through deciduous woodland before heading more steeply uphill onto open ground towards a deer fence, crossed by a high stile. Notices advise that stalking may take place in season beyond this point, stick to the path!
Deer fence stile About 1.07 km (~0.66 miles) from
OS Grid NH479238
The path swings left up the ridge, it is clear enough though somewhat boggy and eroded in parts (no boardwalks here!) There is a steeper section near the top, leading to a cairn which is not the summit. Continue across a rocky plateau to the westernmost cairn - the actual summit at 699m.
Summit About 2.88 km (~1.79 miles) from
OS Grid NH456221
On a clear day, enjoy stupendous views for miles up and down the Great Glen, from the Moray Firth in the north towards Fort William in the south. Tearing yourself away, retrace your steps to the deer fence stile.
Deer fence again About 2.79 km (~1.73 miles) from
OS Grid NH478238
Follow the path as for the outbound route, to rejoin the minor road.
Great Glen Way again About 1.07 km (~0.66 miles) from
OS Grid NH489238
Follow the minor road through Balbeg as for the outbound route.
Road juncton About 4.86 km (~3.02 miles) from
OS Grid NH511281
If cutting it fine near the end, time can be saved by continuing straight back to Lewiston on the steep road section instead of following the gentler off-road gradient of the Great Glen Way loop.
Back to busy A82 About 0.84 km (~0.52 miles) from
OS Grid NH513289
If you have time in hand, there are refreshment options at Lewiston and less than a mile away in the centre of Drumnadrochit itself.

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