THE CHALLENGE COMMUNITY, ON-LINE!
FRIENDLY ASSISTANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT AVAILABLE FOR CHALLENGERS OLD AND NEW,
FROM FRIENDLY AND ENCOURAGING CHALLENGERS, NEW AND OLD
PLEASE USE YOUR OWN NAME WHEN POSTING. THANK YOU!
Download route sheets, admin forms, event documents here
Any queries? Email the coordinators Sue and Ali at email@example.com or ring on 01540 673360 / 673583
Looking for your recommendations for lodging in Dornie, Drumnadrochit and Braemar. Thank you!
When I started from Dornie, I overnighted in Inverness (lots of choice) and caught the first bus in the morning to Dornie - it worked better for my transport arrangements - worth considering?
Stopping in Inverness, as Graham has suggested, is very practical and not expensive. I stayed in a Travelodge-type place a few years ago.
There's not a great choice in Dornie, Sealladh Mara was reasonably priced last time I stayed there.
Drumnadrochit has a decent backpackers hostel: Loch Ness Backpackers' Lodge.
Braemar: check out Kate's bunkhouse, quite luxurious: Rucksacks Braemar.
At the risk of developing a theme - have you thought of crossing the loch and camping at Ault-na-goire - we camped there last year - the welcome was amazing - its one of the ‘must stay’ places on the challenge. They’ll also hold resupply parcels. Highly Recommended (contact details in the challenge details you’ve already recived).
As Graham suggests, staying in Inverness and travelling to Dornie on the morning you start can work well, there is lots of accommodation in Inverness to suit all budgets and taking the bus is easy, I started just before lunch and made good progress on the first day in 2019.
Crossing Loch Ness and stopping at Ault-na-goire is easier and cheaper than stopping in Drumnadrochit, where accommodation can be limited. If you do stay in Drum, be aware you will need to set off early if you plan to catch the first boat across, especially if you have stopped anywhere at the southern end of the village, you will have about 4km or so to walk.
Braemar has a reasonable amount of accommodation, but it can be expensive and often limited to 2 night stay minimum. Rucksacks is lovely, but booking is not available online, you can Google and find the phone number, but I know Kate has been considering retiring and Covid may have helped that decision.
I appreciate the inputs!
Not much interested in the Inverness idea - we'd rather get started walking instead of taking a 2 hour bus ride on our first morning.
Drum will be our 4th night and seemed like a good opportunity for a B&B and resupply before heading to Aviemore, where we planned to only pass through for resupply.
We plan to arrive in Drumnodrochit in the afternoon, so I suppose we could cross Loch Ness later in the day instead of first thing in the morning. However, from what I can tell on the internet there are at least as many lodging options available on the west side of the Loch as there are on the east side. Are there other reasons for crossing later in the day vice first thing? Odds of crowds or rough water delaying our crossing later in the day, for example? Seemed to me the best chance for a smooth/undelayed crossing was first thing. Also - can we expect multiple crossing times throughout the day, or only 8am and 4pm?
I don't think you'll find the boat running much outside of those times, although that may change if Gordon has a long list of Challengers wanting to cross.
I can't comment on the availability of accommodation on the E side of the loch, but I would have expected more on the W side.
I'm sure you'll get a reply disagreeing with me...just hang around for a few minutes!
I've reluctantly booked in at the youth hostel in Braemar after searching high and low for an affordable b&b or hotel for my only bed of the walk this year. Most options I contacted were either too expensive, fully booked or only available for two night stays during Challenge week. Rucksacks is still open as a business but is booked out to a large group carried over from a covid cancellation last year. Moorlands Hotel is likewise fully booked all week. There is the option of the pods on the caravan park but a little overpriced for a single occupant in my opinion.
The youth hostel is fine Chris, I have stayed there before but I just fancied a bit of luxury and privacy for my one night of indulgence.
Hi. I have booked into the Ratagan Hostel and have a taxi booked to take me to my start point in Dornie. Wednesday start, and happy to share.
I was going to suggest Ivy Cottage in Braemar but they are a minimum 2 night stay too