We allowed a day for travel to Drumnadrochit as we had around 320 miles to cover and progress on the roads beyond Glasgow is often slow. A day was also planned for the return journey which would also allow extra time if we experienced any delays on route due to poor weather.
We set off at around 9am and after a quick stop in Barnard Castle to pick up a few provisions, we made swift progress, only stopping on the banks of Loch Lomond for lunch. We arrived in Fort William at around 3pm. As we couldn’t check into our B&B until 5pm, we had a potter around the rather dull town centre and enjoyed a pot of tea before continuing the journey to Drumnadrochit arriving at our B&B just as it opened for check-in. We stayed at Springfield B&B which was great value and included a cooked breakfast – several alternative B&B’s either didn’t offer breakfast or only a continental.
We would be starting the walk from the opposite end on Lock Duich. The Inverness to Skye Scottish Citylink coach route 917 which passes through Drumnadrochit stops at the start point for Affric Kintail Way in Ault A’Chruinn. We had booked tickets for the 9.40am bus to arrive at Ault A’Chruinn at 10.55am. A later start than we would have ideally liked but we had planned for the 1st day to be a bit shorter to allow for this.
Returning home we left Drumnadrochit at around 9am on Easter Monday. The weather forecast was for extensive snow across much of Scotland and also the North East of England with Met Office warnings in place.With this in mind we chose a different route home avoiding Glencoe and the M74 as both might suffer disruption if the snow was heavy.
Instead we returned via Inverness and then down the A9 and M90 to Edinburgh. At that point depending on conditions we would choose between the A1 or A68. As it turned out the worst of the snow was on the A9 but the gritters and ploughs had been out in force and the roads we clear.
News reports suggested long delays on the A1 north of Newcastle so we headed down the A68. We stopped for a cracking baguette in Lauder at an art gallery before carrying on. The closer we got to the English border and the climb over Carter Bar the heavier the snow became. The Scottish side of the A68 was mostly clear but we hit the English border and the A68 didn’t look like it had been ploughed or gritted at all. Conditions were far from ideal but fortunately the car still had the winter tyres fitted. The poor conditions slowed us down but we still arrived back at around 4pm.
This route (A9, M90, A68) was definitely preferable to the journey there (A66, M6, M74, A82) and will the route of choice for future trips to Loch Ness area.
The route from www.affrickintailway.com is shown below