This is our premium product, taking in the finest trails in the Highlands, covering 145km over 5 days.
This 5 day point-to-point trip follows the best trails from the south eastern corner of the Cairngorms in Glen Clova, to the remote and wild Fisherfields in the north west highlands, via the many glacial valleys that carve their way through the Highlands of Scotland. Using historic drovers roads and stalkers tracks we will link mountain passes and great glens through the best of Scotland's high mountain scenery.
Each day you will run with a guide who can take the strain of navigation and safety to lead your team to success. It includes a support driver who will transport your luggage and provide transport to and from the trails each day.
This is a small group tour, with a maximum of 7 guests.
Total cost - £1250
To register your interest please get in touch by emailing email@example.com Please include your preferred tour dates as well as a brief resume of your trail running experience
To help you book with confidence, we are committed to providing alternative dates or refunds for any booking disrupted by Covid-19.
Information on our Covid-19 mitigation procedures can be found here
Pick up - Perth
Day 1 - Jock's road, Glen Clova to Braemar
21k 740m ascent
Highest point 914 meters
Our first day starts in the very south eastern corner of the Cairngorm Glen Clova.
The run follows Jocks road, a historic drovers route linking the Glen Clova sheep markets to Braemar in the heart of the Cairngorms range.
Staring from the visitors centre we follow wide tracks that gently ascend through the forest and out into the expanse of Glen Doll. At the head of the glen a well built but narrow path cuts across the hillside, passing an emergency shelter to lead us up onto the high plateau. The climb is never steep and we will alternate between walking and running sections. Once on the high ground we have a couple of kilometres of real wild running across open fells on a feint path before the steep descent down grassy slopes into Glen Callater. As we descend the glen the track improves as we pass the lodge and an easy downhill finishes the day to the Glenshee ski road just outside Braemar.
Day 2 - Lin of Dee - Laraig Ghru to Aviemore
31k 660m ascent
Highest point 840 meters
Again following an ancient trade route, today rather than over the hills we travel through them.
From the Linn of Dee a flat wide track lets the legs warm up towards Derry lodge, after this a well worn footpath gives steady but rough running as we pass under the huge slopes of Ben Macdui, the UK’s second highest mountain. A crossing of Luibeag bridge takes us over a small col and into the massive glacial valley of the Lairig Ghru with it’s spectacular views. Never steep the ascent is forgotten as the highest point of the pass, at 840 meters is dwarfed by the high mountains it traverses.
A short rocky boulder field marks the high point at the pools of Dee and then it is downhill all the way back to Aviemore on sweeping singletrack paths as we leave the mountains and return to the pine forests.
Day 3 - Glen Affric to Kintail
Drive to Glen Affric -1hr 45mins
30k 550m ascent
Highest point 360 meters
Today we travel trough the majestic Glen Affric, often described as Scotland's most beautiful Glen due to it's large area of native ancient Caledonian pine forests and rugged skyline of high mountains.
A reverse of the legendary Highland Cross duathlon, today is the 'flat day' of the week with more down than up. The route starts by following the undulating shore of Loch Affric before meeting the watershed at Altbeithe, the most remote of the SYHA youth hostels. A steady 100 meter climb to the col below Beinn Fhada and then a technical, fast, rocky descent drops us almost to sea level, before a perfect gradient to ease off the legs as we arrive at sea level and a 5 minute transfer to our hostel.
Day 4 - Achnasheen to Torridon
Drive to Achnasheen - 40mins
26km 1010m ascent
Highest point 652 meters
The mountains around Glen Torridon are laced with myriad trails, linking passes and winding routes between the giants of the munro summits. This allows us to tailor this day in our week to our needs, with flexibility for tired legs to get an easier day, or fresh legs to keep lapping it up!
Our route suggestion for today starts with a low angle steady climb from Achnashellach station to the Coulin pass, before cutting back west to climb to the head of Coire Lair a spectacular place, decorated with great waves of rock, contorted by the meeting of land masses. From the high point here a well worn path snakes between the munros of Sgorr Ruadh and Maol Chean-dearg before the sandstone slabs and glorious trail will have you wooping all the way to the sea in Glen Torridon.
Day 5 - Fisherfield crossing
Drive to Poolewe - 1hr
37km 1200m ascent
Highest point 540 meters
And here it is, the grand finale! Just when you thought that it couldn't get any more spectacular or wild, the crossing of the great Fisherfield wilderness will trump it all. Starting and finishing at sea level this route follows tracks used by stalkers and 'sportsmen' for hundreds of years, winding between rock and water of the many lochains and high mountains of this unique area.
After crossing the causeway to the remote shooting lodge at Carnmore we cross the first of our mountain passes to the river crossing at Shenevall bothy, nestled under the bulk of An Teallach, 'The Forge'. One last climb and gentle descent finishes the week.
Transfer to Inverness (1hr) and a well earned celebration dinner.
This is our premier trip and involves 5 days of trail running, a total of 145km and 4160m ascent. We will not be racing, and will find a pace that keeps the team together and allows time to enjoy our surroundings.
The main requirement for this trip is a good level of stamina. Being able to do 5 days of mountain walking in a row is a good indicator, along with a good base of steady longer runs up to 30km. All of the running is off-road and some will include rougher trails and muddy sections. Some off-road running technique is essential.
Transport: All in course transport, from a pick-up in Perth on the first evening to a drop off in Inverness on completion. Baggage transfer each day and a support driver on hand to transfer to start and end of each days trails.
Accommodation: Six nights accommodation. First night in a hotel then five nights in Hostelling Scotland hostels, in a private room for 2 or 4 people.
Meals: All Breakfasts are included. Simple food for during the day is included. Guiding: The group will be lead by a highly qualified local guide throughout.
Evening Meals: Evening meals are not included for the 6 nights, but we can arrange to eat together in a local restaurant.
The Highland Grand Tour week takes us through some of the most remote and wild terrain in Europe and we will have to be prepared to deal with everything that the mountains and the Scottish weather can throw us. Whilst we don’t want to be over burdened it is essential that every member of the team is carrying the correct equipment to deal with the unexpected. To ensure your safety the following kit list is therefore compulsory for each individual. Additional safety equipment will be carried by the guides.
We will be running for 5 days, laundry facilities will be available at times through the week but several changes of kit will be necessary.
On the trail everyone must have:
Adequate footwear - Fell shoes or trail shoes only
Warm layer - approx 300g synthetic jacket
Waterproofs - Jacket with long sleeves and hood and waterproof overtrousers
Head torch - light weight e.g Petzl e-lite
Survival bag - lightweight survival bag, For example Rab Ark emergency bivi
Food - Enough lunch and snacks to fuel a full day in the mountains
Drink - There are options to refill with water on the trails each day. 500ml should be enough to carry.
First aid kit – the guides will be carrying emergency first aid supplies but if you can have a small personal kit with blister pack/compeed and any personal medication.
We recommend a running vest as more comfortable than a rucksack. 5-8 Litres should be plenty.
If you have any questions or need advice about any of the equipment please just ask.
"If you want a Scottish adventure, the Highland grand tour is a must! It will take you through the most epic landscape and with Ian and Laura as guides it will only leave you wanting more! The pace was adapted so that everyone in the group could enjoy the experience. For the more eager runner you could go on ahead for a bit as the trails are (for the most part) easily navigable. Ian and Laura took care of everything in between the runs, breakfast, transport and dinner. For lunch we had amazing wraps! We even managed to go on a whiskey tasting, see a castle and even the worlds largest hedge!
We could not ask for a better week, truly."
"I joined Trail Running Scotland for the Classic Scottish Trails trip. The 5 days of running were all superb and it was a great, stress free way of seeing some of Scotlands best bits. Definitely in safe hands with Ian and Laura - full of knowledge, very organised and fun to spend a week with. Couldn't recommend them enough!" Katie
"I was recently on the Classic Scottish Trail expedition and can honestly say it was one of the best (active) holidays I have had. Although I’m a fairly experienced trail runner, organising a trip like this demands a huge amount of logistical planning – but all that was taken care of by Ian & co. which meant we could just focus on having fun. Moreover, Ian’s knowledge of the area meant we ran through some outstanding places. Regardless of whether you are an experienced trail runner or a road runner looking to go off road, without having to worry about navigation or safety, I would very highly recommend this trip." Kirsten
"In April I took part in the Classic Scottish Trails trip. The trip took me to some fantastic places in the Highlands, that I would never have thought to go to without the expert knowledge of Ian and Laura. I hadn't previously run these kind of distances for 5 consecutive days, but the great organisation meant there was plenty of time to recover and relax. This meant that I could really enjoy running in some awesome places with a nice bunch of people. I finished the week feeling inspired by the landscape and future trail and mountain running adventures to come. Thank you Trail running Scotland, highly recommended!" Simon
To secure your place on the tour all we are asking for is a £50 deposit, payable by bank transfer. Payment for the tour will then be payable in instalments.
25% deposit due 1st May
Remaining balance due 6 weeks before your course start date.
N.B For our tour date in June this means that the full balance will be due 1st May.
If you cancel your booking more than 6 weeks before your course start date there is no refund of your deposit. If you cancel between 6 and 2 weeks of your course start date we will refund 50% of the remaining course balance once the deposit is taken.
If you cancel less than 2 weeks from the start of your course we are unable to offer any refund.
At any point you may transfer the booking to another suitable person if you cannot attend yourself.
We recommend that you arrange your own travel and cancellation insurance.
Cancellation by Trail Running Scotland
We will endeavour to ensure that your course runs as planned. However, we reserve the right to modify the content of a course due to prevailing weather or other conditions and will always try to offer a suitable alternative itinerary or location.
In the unlikely event of cancellation by Trail Running Scotland a full refund will be offered.
Changes due to Covid-19
If changes to the Scottish Government restrictions mean that we are unable to run the course as planned you will be offered an alternative date, a credit voucher or a refund for your booking. Likewise To help you book with confidence, we are committed to providing alternative dates or refunds for any booking disrupted by Covid-19.
Full booking terms can be found on our booking form.